Aguilar is a French-Mexican fashion and beauty expert with a background as writer in international titles such as Marie Claire, Cosmopolitan, In Touch Magazine and National Geographic Traveler.
How to Shave like a Gentleman
Grooming directions for your beard
A beard is not just facial hair - it is a statement, a lifestyle. Was the electric razor a real revolution for men? I’m not so sure, because the only real advantage it provides is speed and convenience. While I’m all for efficiency I believe that at times you need to break free from your daily grind and find the time to luxuriate in old-fashioned traditions. And nothing spells luxury quite like a slow shave with the right accessories. Follow these steps to groom your beard like a true gentleman.
CHOOSE YOUR RAZOR
If you prefer a "baby face" and shave up to five times a week, stop buying cheap razors. A quality razor can last a lifetime, so choose your weapon wisely. Old-fashioned safety blades offer a number of benefits over disposable ones, including precision and a closer shave. Select one that suits your skin’s sensitivity and beard coarseness. Just keep in mind that razors with several blades can burn or cause ingrown hairs because the extra blades pull the hair below the skin a little too deep. If you like luxury items, this Mühle shaving set will please you no end. Not only will it look beautiful displayed in your bathroom, it will provide you a shave unlike one you’ve ever experienced.
As you must have realized by now, a great beard requires its own arsenal of care products and amongst them is balm. It makes the beard softer, more manageable, holds it in place and ensures that it smells great Think of it as fragrance, but one that doubles as a hair and skin moisturizer. All you need is a quarter of a teaspoon to be massaged into the face and hair once a day, and the result is fuller facial hair, comparable to those of an Ottoman king rather than the scraggly bristles of Robinson Crusoe. Big Red Beard Balm offers moisturizing properties, increased hair strength, damage repair, and even claims to promote hair growth.
It’s time to take a different approach to the shaving towel and not see it as bib. This type of napkin is small and handy, and made with ultra luxurious materials. Preparation for the perfect shave begins by applying a hot towel to the face to soften the bristles. After the shave, the soft material of a second towel pampers the skin during cleaning and drying. At the end, any remaining lather is rinsed off with cold water, and the skin is softly rubbed dry with a third towel. The result is a light massaging effect that serves to keep the pores open so that the skin is perfectly prepped for the after-shave.
The most common mistake men make when it comes to maintaining facial hair is shaping and trimming too early. Even if you plan to keep it short and close to the face, wait a few months before you pick up the scissors. Don’t start trimming until the hair is at least an inch long. After that, program a cut every two months. If it’s been two or three months and it’s still patchy and scraggly, it’s not going to get better. It’s a hard truth but not all guys can grow a beard; it’s a matter of genetics. Let it go, shave it off and move on.
SCRUB, COMB AND CLIP
FIND YOUR STYLE
Choosing the right style of beard is important - should it be a stubble, chinstrap or goatee, or one with a distinguished moustache? Consider the chin when deciding. The longer your face, the shorter your chin hair should be, otherwise the beard will exaggerate your features. If you can’t make up your mind which way to go, opt for a classic full beard. It never goes out of style and looks good on all ages. It pairs particularly well with a totally bald top, a close-cropped cut or slicked-back hair. If you like to keep a full beard all year round, consider changing your hair cut every season to give some versatility to your style.
Purists swear by the "cut throat" shave, and for that you need the services of an expert barber. Cut-throat or straight razors have been in use since ancient Roman times and they beat all modern gadgets in the quality of the shave they provide. No other type of blade can come closer to your skin in a single pass. Additionally, the experience is great, allowing you to just sit back and relax. Make sure that the weapon in use has been sterilized for about 20 minutes after the last use. Unfortunately some shops find this too time-consuming and shorten this essential step.