Grooming and shaving is nothing less than an art form, but it takes lots of practice in order to master your routine. Each shave is certainly different and depending on the style you’re looking for and the length of your hair, it can be easy to make a mistake that can cost you a nick or cut. Along with that, it can affect your skin underneath and set you up for some unhealthy hair growth habits.

To make sure you’re keeping your grooming under control, keep reading below to check out the biggest mistakes and how you can come up with a plan of action to fix or adjust your regimen.

Starting with cold water

As many men shave regularly, they often forget or don’t pay attention to one of the most important parts of shaving: the water. Many people often start their shaving ritual with a wash of the face, and one with cool or cold water. What many men don’t realize is this is actually the opposite of how you should be splashing your face.

Cold water will keep the pores on your face remaining closed and therefore keep germs and hair follicles trapped. This means these hairs that are still trapped in your pores are extremely difficult for your razors to remove. Instead, start with warm water that will help open up the pores and provide a better surface for a closer shave. Not thinking about your tools

A man’s grooming tools should be one of their favorite things about their arsenal of toiletries, but for many people, they don’t take careful consideration into the proper products that will give them the look they’re after.

It’s no secret that there are many important items that make up a shaving set, but let’s get into some items that you should be incorporating. Starting with shaving cream, it’s always best to stay away from foam, as it’s easy to clog up your razor. If you’re in the market for something to lubricate your skin, look for something that focuses on hydration.

Moving on to razors, be sure to do research on which ones will give you the best cut and won’t harm your skin. You can purchase a razor anywhere, from your local pharmacy to grocery store, but to get the best bang for your buck, consider browsing online companies who provide a convenience factor as well.

A men’s grooming site to consider is Harry’s, who provide quality cartridge razors that are perfect for those looking to get the closest and finite shave. Plus with removable blades that can be easily replaced, it makes it easy to remember to use fresh blades every time.

This is only where the beginning of your products starts though. Check out our full guide for more important grooming tools here. 

Shaving against the grain

One of the most common mistakes involving shaving is figuring out the actual way you should be shaving your face. As a rule of thumb, you should always shave with the grain of your hair in order to avoid cutting your skin and getting tattered patches.

(A great way to figure out which way your facial hair grows is to simply run your fingers through your curls and see which direction it flows.)

The reason shaving against the grain is not ideal is because the sharpness of the razor blade working against the grain can cause friction and actually rip your skin. Not only will you feel the consequences with razor burn, but you can also sprout in-grown hairs that can come back and haunt you the next time you shave.

If you’re unsure of where and how to start, ask your barber next time if he can give you some advice. Most barbers are more than happy to help you “map your shave” and come up with a gameplan to help you look your best.

Using sheer strength

A bad habit that many men adopt, especially younger men that have just started to shave, can be pressing extremely hard when shaving your face. Shaving is meant to be a delicate art form and should be completed that way.

It’s important never to underestimate the power (and sharpness) of the blade you’re using because it can easily cut if you press too hard against your face. The main reason it’s so easy to cut your face if you press hard is due to the unbalanced skin surface level you create when you push down hard. Instead, try to be as gentle as possible, and keep that shaving surface nice and flat. 

Neglecting post-shave responsibilities

Just because your shave is over doesn’t mean you should call it quits! Shaving is a multiple-step process, and that means you should end it as strongly as you began it. This step is often ignored or sought as unimportant, however, it should be taken care of every time, as it will help your skin and prepare you for your next shave.

After you’re done shaving, you should be looking to apply aftershave. After all, shaving is more than just removing hair, it’s about revealing fresh skin to the open air and exposing your face to potential bacteria, so it’s important to remember the use of aftershave.

Since it is the best way to rehydrate and help keep hydrating nutrients on your face, applying aftershave will help hair grow back and make your skin glow. As a tip, try not to go for aftershaves that contain alcohol in them, as they will dry your skin out drastically. While the tingly feeling might feel empowering and fresh, it’s really only going to hurt your skin even more.

For those looking to do a trimming instead of a full shave, look into a beard oil that can help out with hydration. Different oils are made for different beards, but these are perfect products to take the snarl out and help it look healthy.

If you find yourself falling victim to any of these common shaving mistakes, you’re already halfway closer to fixing it. Next time you’re getting ready to shave, think about each move you make and whether it’s actually benefiting your process. Good luck and happy shaving!