Editor’s note: Special thanks to guest blogger, Patrick Lenhoff of Shaving Solution, for writing this piece.
Some might argue that there’s nothing more debonair or softer to snuggle up next to than a smooth, clean, shaven neck, but unfortunately, it’s also a feat that seems to elude many. And of those who do manage to achieve the close shave, many complain of accompanied nicks, cuts, razor burn, and ingrown hair. According to experts, these four tips can help you get a better shave on your neck.
Electric Head Shaver
Traditional electric shavers, such as foil shavers and rotary shavers, are great for removing stubble that is stiff and dry. If you use an electric head shaver, it is important to keep the skin tight because it helps the hair stand straight and allows for maximum contact with the skin. It also helps prevent snagging.
Rotary shavers are the most preferred shavers because they don’t tug at your hair like other razors, so they provide a more comfortable shave and less irritation. In addition, they also use a revolving motion which helps with hard to reach areas and guarantees a closer shave. Just be sure to select one that fits the unique contours of your face.
Electric shavers are known to generate their share of heat. Therefore, it is recommended that you begin with your neck, while the shavers are still cool, and press lightly to minimize irritation. You should also avoid going over the same area repeatedly, which also minimizes irritation.
When using an electric shaver, it is important to begin with a clean, dry neck. Or if you’d like, use an alcohol-based pre-electric shave product with vitamin E as an ingredient to help rid your skin of dirt and oil and safeguard against skin irritation. It is also important to keep the shaver properly cleaned, and replace parts as needed, in order to extend the life of your shavers and avoid skin problems.
Combine a Gentle Razor with a High-Performance Blade
A gentle razor that exposes little of the blade to the skin combined with a high-performance blade provides a better shave on your neck while also reducing the risk of irritation.
For those who are prone to ingrown hairs, a pre-shave scrub, warm towels, and plenty of moisturizing are crucial before beginning. Applying pre-shave oils on the neck also helps prevent irritation. Dampen your face and neck. Apply the pre-shave oil, then lather with shaving cream or soap. After the prep, shave using cold water, which significantly reduces irritation.
Bend forward and tilt your neck back slightly to flatten the neck as much as possible. While applying no pressure on the razor, utilize short strokes, which allows you to cover the neck area more evenly.
End with a warm water rinse, which is especially crucial for preventing ingrown hairs. Follow up with a cool rinse and an after shave specially formulated for your skin type, and you should be in good shape.
Understand the Grain of Your Neck
The grain is the direction in which your hair grows, and it can be especially difficult to determine when it comes to the neck. The first step to achieving a better shave and overcoming irritation is to understand the direction in which your hair grows. Carefully examine your neck, using a mirror, to determine it.
Begin your shave with the grain. Shaving with the grain is generally the most recommended concept, as the idea is to remove the beard in stages to prevent skin problems. Once you have completed the shave with the grain, examine your neck to see if it is to your satisfaction. If not, lather and shave with the grain once more.
For a closer shave, omit the second shave with the grain and instead shave across the grain, or 90 degrees away from the direction of growth, using light pressure and minimal overlapping.
Examine yourself again. If you are still not satisfied, re-lather again. This time, go across the grain in the opposite direction. If you are still unsatisfied, you may just have to face the fact that a smooth shave is simply not for you.
Invest in a Professional Shave
If you find that you are unable to achieve a clean neck on your own, or if the hair on your neck grows in a circular motion, you may require more advanced shaving techniques for smooth skin.
A professional barber is trained in various shaving techniques, such as “blade buffing” and the “J-Hook,” and can help with your goal of achieving a close shave.
Blade buffing involves very short strokes in a small area and is generally used to remove hair beneath the chin, while J-Hooking involves maneuvering the razor in a curving action and is generally used to remove hair from the sides of the neck just beneath the jaw line.
Both techniques may be attempted on your own. However, since they require light, careful strokes performed just once, they may be best left to a professional.
Patience is key when it comes to achieving a better shave on your neck, especially when incorporating a new shaving instrument or technique. In addition, your skin can take several weeks to adjust to the new instrument or technique, at which time you might experience slight irritation at first, so don’t be so quick to rule it out.
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About the Author:
Patrick Lenhoff is a grooming-addict who loves keeping up with the latest trends and writing about them. ShavingSolution is his website where he’s writing articles about everything related to shaving. “The million-dollar look is kept inside us. We just have to let it shine!”, says Patrick.