SCIENCE OF SMOOTH
Light and Patchy
Facial hair that's fine and sparse is relativity easy to shave. The downside? It usually comes with sensitive skin, says Matty Conrad of Victory Barber in Victoria, British Columbia. Head off post-shave irritation three ways. Starting with Harry's Foaming Shave Gel to soften your stubble. It'll moisturize and rejuvenate your skin with natural aloe vera and cucumber. Next, go electric: "An electric razor is ideal for fine hair, "Conrad says. "It gets close to the skin while minimizing irritation." He suggest one with a pivoting head and that's waterproof so you can use it in the shower. If you have dry skin finish with an alcohol-free aftershave.
Moderate and Even
Men who are somewhat hairy have to deal with curliness the first stop on the road to ingrown hairs. If you shave against the grain, the hairs can grow back into the skin, causing irritation and possible infection. Not good. You want to go with the grain. Dr. Kabigting says "Pat your cheeks, chin, and neck to determine the path of least resistance," Then use a brush to lift the hairs so they're easier to cut. He suggest The Art of Shaving Power Brush to reduce ingrown hairs by as much as two-thirds. Then rub on Dr. Carver's Easy Shave Butter to prep the stubble. The Gillette Fusion Proshield Chill Razor has two lubricating strips and five super-thin blades. If you still have problems follow with a bump fix which contains lactic and salicylic acids to exfoliate dead skin.
Thick and Coarse
If you have a noon o'clock shadow, you need to focus on softening the growth and using the right tools. Start with a hot shower the longer you soak your stubble, the softer it'll get. Then rub on Kiehl's Smooth Glider Precision Shave Lotion it's oil-infused formula helps your razor ride smoothly across the skin. Multi-blade cartridges work on dense beards too, but if you're prone to ingrown hairs or irritation, use a single-blade safety razor, says Tyler Hollming, M.D., a dermatologist with Stanford Health Care. It'll likely shave at the surface not below which can lead to irritation and bumps he says. After you rinse use a after shave balm with aloe vera extract.