Shave Like A Pro

photo of a barber's pole

If you would like to learn how the professionals shave, then you should find this article really useful. I have been to the barbers many times and I also know quite a few of them personally as well. Every now and then a couple of them will write a few articles for our website.

That is what I asked Geoff to do as he has been a barber now for over 25 years. He sure does know a few tricks of the trade which he is happy to share with us here at the Emporium.

In this article Geoff explains that there are two things which are important for the perfect shave:

  1. The right tools
  2. The right process and techniques

The Best Shaving Tools

Hi folks, Geoff here and hopefully you will find what I have to write to be useful. All traditional barbers will always use a cut throat or straight razor. I still use the old fixed blade version but many others use the ones where you can attach a razor blade. Most guys who wet shave at home use the safety razor as it is easier to use and does a really good job as well.

Which Razor Type Do Professionals Use?

photo of a barber's poleThe reasons for this differ depending on the circumstances. With the fixed blade option like I use you have to hone and sharpen the blade, and also sterilise it after every use. So that does take a bit of extra work, but I find that I am better used to the blade, so makes for a better shave.

The throw away blade styles also work really well and no sharpening or sterilising is required. You just need to simply change the blade and you are good to go. The bottom line is that the straight razor is the best always and either type works really well.

They do both however take a bit of practise and they do take a bit of getting used to so not ideal for a beginner to wet shaving, but something that I would encourage you to use, if you have been using a safety razor for a few months.

Your skin takes time to get used to a blade so if you have been an electric razor user for a long time, then start off with a safety razor. You can always progress on to the straight razor later. If you decide to go with this type of straight razor, then just take your time, and give you skin a chance to get used to the new blade.

Preparing The Skin

This part is often left out as it takes a bit of time to do. It is not something that people will always have the time to do, but a Pro like me would not shave any other way. You have to wash the face well and then wrap it in a hot towel to soften the bristles and moisturise the face.

It doesn’t take that long but I do understand that people don’t have the time to make a hot towel and use it. I have shown a video below that explains this hot towel process.

Next we would use a pre-shave oil which is another way of softening up those stubborn bristles. The softer you can make these, then the easier it is to remove them quickly and without damaging your skin or cutting and nicking it.

photo of a barber shopOnce that has had time to work, we then apply a shaving cream or a shaving lather made with a good soap and brush. Now some barbers will say that you should warm the cream as well and that is what I do. It is not a mandatory step but it again helps to get the bristles very soft and easier to shave.

Then I would complete the shave carefully always going with the direction of the hairs. Always make sure that if you are making a second pass, that there is cream on the skin. Never go over bare skin with a blade and that is the biggest beginner’s mistake.

When the shave is complete then we want to remove any cream from the face, wash it and then apply a moisturiser. Once that dries in, it is safe to apply the after shave for a final and complete shave.

Helpful Tips For Shaving Like a Professional

Step 1: Skincare:

The process of shaving like a Pro will always commence with a good skincare routine. It is important to cleanse two times on a daily basis. Not many men do this but if you can then try to exfoliate on a regular basis. This step is highly important for you to get an excellent shave. Next is to moisturise frequently for a better result.

Step 2: Get Ready To Prep Your Beard:

The process of prepping can be broken down into several parts. Reading through this paragraph will give a comprehensive routine to follow.

Exfoliate: You can always use a wash cloth, gentle scrub or brush to massage your skin in a circular movement. The process is usually seen as twofold. While raising the hair for a closer shave, it takes off dead skin cells and allows new skin to grow through.

Soften Your Beard: During the process of shaving, try to carry out the process like a barber. A hot towel should be wrapped around your face. You can hold it for about 30-50 seconds. The process is seen in three parts.

This is where the neck, left side, and right side area are concentrated on separately. This is done to make sure that the whiskers are perfectly softened. Now, go ahead to soak a hand towel in hot water. Excess water should be squeezed out and placed onto your skin.

In case you are left with some time, go ahead and add a couple of drops of your favourite essential oil. Most barbers often make use of lavender and eucalyptus. Through this process, you are sure to get a complete treatment.

Hot Shower Also Works Too: You can as well shave in the shower and get a quick result. This is because steam will perfectly open your pores for a quicker action and as well softened the beard.

Use Pre-Shave Conditioner Of Your Choice: With a gel or an oil product, your beard will further be softened. This will help to protect your skin properly. Normal, you are sure to experience the blade gliding across the skin without a hitch. This will help to reduce burn later on and minimise razor bumps.

Use A Brush Along With The Shaving Cream: For thicker lather, ensure to apply in circular motions. It is a good idea to even out prior to using the razor.


There are other useful steps that can help on how to shave like a Pro. This can be found in the likes of the stroke phase, post-shave care and just to mention a few. It is important to follow the steps given above to help you get the best result.

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