To some rare and very lucky people playing golf is just something they can do naturally, but most of us require lessons from a professional and then many hours of practise to be anything like a reasonable player. However, if you think about it, it’s always assumed that all men know how to shave, instinctively.
Just sit back for a moment and think about how you learned to shave; I expect that you will find that my experience was typical of most men.
On a Saturday morning I would stand in the bathroom and watch as my father lather up his face with a brush and foam and then proceeded to make the most extraordinary series of gurns and grimaces as he lathered up his face and applied the razor
Eventually, when the time came for me to start shaving I made my way to the local branch of Boots and equipped myself with the cheapest shaving foam I could find and the most basic disposable razor.
The next morning after I had finished shaving and stemmed the blood I grabbed two liberal handfuls of highly ‘exotic’ and aftershave lotion, the same brand my father used, and slapped them onto my face in the method prescribed by the television adverts. Resulting in severe pain to my freshly ‘skinned’ face.
So where do we go wrong? Why is it that with all the other areas of advanced schooling and training nobody ever trains young men how best to shave?
You may be as surprised, as I was, to learn that in this day and age there are people who will train you how to shave properly and efficiently. If you are properly taught it is possible to have a ‘baby’s bottom’ smooth and painless chin complete with moist skin and the feeling of well being as you step out to meet the new day.
Hidden in London’s Mayfair emporia such as the Refinery, Ted Baker’s Grooming Rooms and the extremely traditional Trumpers, it is possible to not only get a traditional shave but be taught the best method whether you choose to use a cut throat or a normal multi blade safety razor.
What you will discover is that like most things; to be done well, shaving takes time. The full rigmarole every morning may just be too much and can be saved for weddings and that ‘special Saturday night date’. But what you learn will be invaluable every time you shave and you will come away from these lessons with a far better understanding of shaving and how to improve your daily routine
You will learn that cleaning and warming the skin to opening the pores with hot water or ideally a hot towel is the perfect grounding. Then, to preparing the skin with a skin lotion or oil allows the razor to move smoothly over your skin. This is followed by noble the art of building up good foam lather and then applying it to the face.
I didn’t realise I know so little about my own skin and stubble until the best way of applying the razor had been fully explained to me. I didn’t even know my hairy chin had a ‘grain’.
The final stage of cleaning up the face, calming down the skin and ensuring the pores are closed will use leave you ready to walk out into the fresh air of the day and get that tingle that tells you that you have the closest possible shave.
Now I can admit that the first lesson I had came some 35 years after I had first applied a razor to my chin. It was a total revelation and although I have had to pass on a cut-throat razor for fear of severe lacerations, I know know that all the stages of preparation before, and care after a shave, can have almost the same effect with a safety razor and as a result I feel much better in the morning. Now as a man with a strong stubble I can maintain my battle against the ‘blue beard look ‘ until late in the evening.
So my advice is strap on your L Plates and head off to see the experts for a lesson, your face will be eternally grateful and so will those closest to you.