How to Properly Shave: The 11 Common Shaving Mistakes And How To Make it Right

By Ella Jones

Posted 7 years agoHEALTH

How to Properly Shave

When it comes to shaving, we tend to follow our own instincts and do what we “believe” is the best way to do it. Why make things complicated when shaving doesn’t require rocket science? The thing is, there are things that can be easily overlooked and you might be committing these shaving mistakes.

1. Pushing an old razor to its limits

You knew your razor is dulling out but you kept forgetting to buy a replacement. The only time you remember is when you are in dire need to shave. The results? You are forced to use that old razor which can harbor rust or bacteria! This does not only make a terrible shaving experience, it can also lead to skin irritation, breakouts, and even infection!

What you can do about it:

    • Whenever you buy your razor, make sure that you have an ample supply of replacement heads/ blades so that you won’t have to worry about remembering to buy them in the future.
    • Always make sure to clean and dry your razor after every use to promote its longevity.
    • Know when is the right time to change your razor or razor blade.

2. Not moisturizing your stubble

Busy people tend to shave as they jump out of the shower to save time. The thing is, wet doesn’t necessarily mean moisturized stubble. Cold water can not make a thick and stiff hair.

What you can do about it:

    • If you plan to shave after a nice, relaxing shower, make sure that you use warm water. Prevent patting your face with a towel to keep your stubble relaxed and easier to cut.
    • You can also use the barbers’ hot towel technique.
    • Moisturizing your face and stubble with pre-shave oil, creams, and lotions really helps in lubricating your skin and preventing further irritations.

3. Sharing is not always caring

Seriously, people. It’s called PERSONAL hygiene for a reason. It’s the same principle when it comes to a toothbrush. A razor harboring your own bacteria is already filthy. Let’s not get other’s bacteria add to it.

What you can do about it:

      • It’s simple. Don’t share! Marriage, blood-affinity, and brotherhood should never be an excuse.
      • If you forget to bring your razor with you on a trip, just don’t shave, or just use a disposable one! It is way more hygienic than sharing.
      • Never leave your razor lying around. You can never know when someone is tempted to “borrow” it without you knowing. Everyone can commit the crime–It may be a sibling or a wife trying to shave her legs. Prevent them from committing such crime and learn to keep your razor out of sight.

4. Not using the right tools

Every skin is unique and there is a right razor for everyone. Knowing your skin type and what razors works best for you will give you the best shaving experience. Don’t just grab anything that says “razor” in the department store.

What you can do about it:

        • If you have all the time and money, go ahead and do the trial and error thing. Experience is the best teacher anyway and it’s the best way to guarantee how well a product works for you.
        • Research. You can check product reviews of other people. It’s easy to find these stuff on the internet.
        • Ask for expert’s advice. You can join groups, circles or forums to learn from shaving “masters” and “gurus”. You can learn from their experience other than your own.
        • Ask for your barber’s advice. Some people are called “professional” for a reason. If you have been seeing a particular barber salon for a while, they should already know the type of your skin, hair, and the right tools or techniques that would work for you. At least, you can hear other stories from him aside from his “childhood life”

5. Not exfoliating

Dead skin cells clog your razor. If you exfoliate prior to shaving, this will not only give you a smoother razor glide. It also keep your razor from clogging and dulling out. Do yourself (or skin) a favor and exfoliate!

What you can do about it.

          • Don’t forget to exfoliate. It is good for your skin and your razor.
          • Follow a shaving routine. (Example: If you prefer to shave once a week, make sure that you exfoliate at least a day before shaving)

6. Shaving the wrong direction

People always tell us to shave towards the direction of hair growth. However, some of us find shaving against it easier, faster and would result in a closer shave. That can be true, but tugging your skin the opposite way also exposes your skin to bumps, cuts, irritation, and hair ingrowns.

What you can do about it.

          • Find a blade that is sharp enough for the type of skin that you have. If you can shave your hair properly following the right direction, you won’t be tempted to shave towards the other side.
          • Also make sure that you change your blade/razor when it gets dull. Back to line number 1!
          • Practice makes a habit. If you haven’t tried shaving the other way, then don’t even think about it! Live as if there is no other way to shave than doing it towards the direction of  your hair growth.

How to Shave the Right Way

7. Not rinsing the blade in between strokes

Dead skin cells, shaving foams/creams, hair–these are the things that clog your razor. Most of us just rinse the razor when it can no longer “cut” because of too much build-up. That is not getting the most out of your razor!

What you can do about it.

            • Make it a habit to rinse when you are changing side or angle.
            • Whenever you pause to check your face, don’t forget to rinse the razor. Waiting for all the debris to clump together will make it harder for you to unclog it.

8. Using too much pressure

Keep in mind that you are shaving your hair–not your skin! Given the right tools, you should not be putting too much pressure while you are shaving to get the job done. Doing so will just scrape more skin cells which is detrimental for your skin.

What you can do about it:

            • Make sure that you are using a razor with the right weight and length. In short, make sure you are comfortable working with your razor just by using little pressure.
            • Focus. You should get your head on what you are CURRENTLY doing and prevent your imagination to wander else where–that’s exactly how people cut themselves in the movies.

9. Speed-shaving

This could be the reason why you commit sections number 6, 7, and 8.-It’s all because you are rushing the entire thing! When it comes to shaving, it’s either you do it properly or don’t do it at all! Rushing will just increase your chances of getting nicks, burns and cuts!

Having an inflamed, irritated skin, with an imperfect shave (showing few hair here and there) is worse than having a full grown beard. So if you don’t want to end up looking like that, give yourself more time to shave properly.

What you can do about it:

              • Set a routine for shaving that fits your schedule. Never attempt to shave when you are running late.

10. Dry-shaving

Many people are guilty of this. That includes me. Will I do it again? No. Dry shaving irritates your skin in the same way that a speed-shaving does. Did I say it’s drying your skin and painful? Yes. It’s painful since a dry skin is more likely susceptible to irritation, cuts, and soreness.

What you can do about it:

                • If for some reason you are REALLY out of water and BADLY need to shave, make sure to use moisturizers or any lubrication.
                • Follow the safe way to dry-shave.

11. Skipping aftercare

Like mentioned above, shaving is drying to your skin and dry skin leads to irritation. Always have an after-shave moisturizer handy to prevent these skin irritations. Your skin needs a good moisturizer that will soothe it after your razor scraped its top layer.

What you can do about it:

                  • Always keep an after-shave lotion or cream in your shaving kit and make sure it is visible and within reach every time you shave.
                  • Make it a habit to prepare everything you need (including aftershaves) before you even start. This will help you not to miss a single step.


So those are the 11 common shaving mistakes that we are most likely committing. I, myself, am guilty of doing around 4-5 line items in the list. Sure, there will be times that it would be totally difficult to prevent these mistakes from happening in the future, but trying your best to be nicer to your skin won’t hurt.

How about yourself? How did the line items turn out for you? Do you have anything else to share or add? Feel free to comment below.

About the author Ella Jones

I’m a blogger, shopaholic, and beauty-obsessed blogger from NYC, armed with a Professional MBA from Fordham and a License in Cosmetology from Empire Beauty School in my hometown of Brooklyn. I’m the proud owner of a successful salon and beauty parlor in the city, and I’ve founded to share my beauty secrets with you.
You can connect it throughmy site and twitter@EllaJonesly.

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