Founder of The Dandy Gent, and renowned UK barber and Master Apothecary, Shane O’Shaughnessy, answers the most common questions raised by his customers in the chair…
We hope you will find his answers useful, and invite your own questions on hair, face or beard care – and The Dandy Gent range of traditional grooming products – at any time, here or via our website.
Q: What’s the best way to prepare for my shave?
A: First soak a small towel in hot water, wring it out when it’s a bearable heat and place over your face – this will open your pores and soften your hair. Then, exfoliate (try our own Face Scrub/Exfoliant) – this will remove any dead skin and debris around the hair shaft to give a cleaner, closer shave.
Q: What are the best equipment & products to use?
A: There are several ingredients to a quality shave; a quality brush, razor, soap and cream – and a suitable level of care and patience!
Brush: A good quality Badger hair brush – or a high quality synthetic brush – will hold the moisture well to give you a smoother shave. See The Dandy Gent range of quality brushes here.
Razor: Razors come in various qualities, and you don’t have to pay a fortune for a good one. The important element is obviously a sharp blade – and a razor that is made of a weighty metal. These are generally better to handle and give a little natural pressure for an even, close shave.
Soap or Cream: Cream is easier to lather up, where as soap takes a little longer and more experience to get a good lather. Your choice is down to your personal preference. It is important to have a good lather – as it holds the hair shaft away from the skin as you shave. If you do struggle to get a good lather with soap, you may be better to use cream. (Our Lime Shaving Cream is very well thought of by our customers – give it a try, and see the difference.)
Q: Why Do I get a rash or red lines sometimes?
A: You may get a rash (or burn) due to shaving dry, shaving against the grain of your hair*, a blunt razor, shaving too close – or using a towel too hot.
*DIRECTION OF SHAVE
It is important that you learn the pattern of how your hair grows on your face to ensure you shave in the direction that your hair grows for the first pass.
Always shave “with the grain” initially, then for the second pass and a closer shave, go “against the grain”.
The way your hair grows may vary around the face, so do check by stroking your stubble – when it feels smooth, you are going with the direction of the grain, when it feels rough – this is against the grain.
Q: Aftershave or no Aftershave?
A: The use of aftershave was born from the days that cut throat razors were used time after time by barbers before changing a blade – The aftershave was used strictly for its antiseptic properties.
Although a great antiseptic, the alcohol in aftershave does tend to dry the skin, and can cause premature ageing. Recommendations now lean towards thorough moisturising and using aftershave for fragrance on the heat points – as women use perfume.
Try The Dandy Gent’s own ‘Splash’ – both an aftershave and a beard fragrance! It’s gentle ingredients and sophisticated fragrances make men (and women) irresistable without drying the skin! Currently available in 2 signature fragrances.