The Dandy Gent Q&A: Shaving

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.


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.



The Dandy Gent Q&A: Beard Care

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: How can I grow my beard thicker?

A: “Leave your beard to grow BUT a regular trim and shape does help it to grow.”

The Thickening Benefits of Macassar Oil: The Dandy Gent has recently launched a new product that the Victorian gent swore by as a beard thickener. The Dandy Gent authentic Victorian Macassar Oil has been lauded by many of its customers claiming to have seen a distinct thickening of their facial hair.


Q: How often do I have it maintained?

A: It depends on the beard and how quickly your hair grows. Some gents come every week, as their hair is particularly fast-growing. It’s not unknown for some men to find it necessary to shave twice a day.


Q: How do I avoid ‘Beardruff”?

A: Firstly, always use a good Shampoo and Beard Oil massaged through the beard right into the roots.

Of course we recommend our own products, but here’s what to look for:

  • In Shampoo: ensure it does not contain ‘SLS’ Sodium Laurel Sulphate. Sodium can irritate the skin and cause itchiness and flakiness.
  • In a Beard Oil, go for an oil that contains jojoba Oil. Jojoba is the closest ingredient to Sebum – the natural oil produced in our skin. It moisturises the face and replenishes oils that the beard draws away from the face, causing dryness.

Try The Dandy Gent Shampoo and Beard Oils (available in 5 traditional fragrances).

Q: How can I stop getting an itchy face?

A: As mentioned earlier (in How to Avoid Beardruff), ensure that the shampoo you are using on your beard is Sodium-free. The lack of air to your skin due to your beard can cause itchiness in some cases if you do not moisturise to the hair follicle. Peppermint Oil and Teatree Oil can help this – both ingredients are found in our Solid Hair and Beard Shampoo.


Q: Beard Oil or Beard Balm?

A: Beard Oil will give you a softer beard than balm, but if your beard is a little unruly balm will help you keep it in check, with a bit of hold. We are currenly perfecting a unique Beard Balm recipe for optimum moisture and hold – and will be adding it to our Male Grooming collection later in 2016.


Q: What are my options of beard styling?

A: When choosing a beard style you must consider: a style that suits your face type, your sense of style and more importantly – if your facial hair is suitable for that style. A good barber will always recommend your best options for style and maintenance.  Below is a graphic selection of a few traditional styles for beard and moustache!


How to Shave – ‘The Dandy Gent’ Way

shutterstock_281184845_shavedude.jpgIf you are guilty of never having stopped to think about how you’re treating your face, then perhaps its time to rethink your grooming regime – and learn a little about the art of shaving…

A trip to Derby-based barbershop The Dandy Gent for a traditional wet shave (just £10) will give you a taste for the superior feeling you experience following a quality shave – and help you understand how to get the most out of your daily routine at home.

If you cannot spare the time or a tenner, here’s a step-by-step guide to a quality shave courtesy of Shane O’Shaughnessy, Head Barber and Master Apothecary at The Dandy Gent – the midlands’ premier traditional barbershop and manufacturer or traditional male grooming products!


  1. Exfoliate to remove debris – such as dry skin and any remnants of the previous nights ‘repast’ – from the shaft of your hair.
  2. Rub a small amount of The Dandy Gent Shaving Oil* deeply into the face. Warm a small, clean towel. *Other brands of Shave Oil are, of course, available.

  3. Place the warm towel over the face to open the pores and soften your hair. The towel should be as warm as your face can tolerate comfortably, and be in position for 2-3 minutes.
  4. Apply your well lathered shaving cream or soap. Read our Shaving Q&A to help you decide which is more suitable for you.
  5. Shave with a straight razor – or with a sharp disposable blade. Shave in the direction your hair grows for the first pass (with the grain). You should feel your face to get to know which way your hair grows. If it feels smooth – that direction is ‘with the grain’ if it feels rough – that direction is “against the grain”.
  6. Once again apply your chosen form of lather, and conduct your second pass – this time you can shave against the grain of your hair. Repeat again if you feel necessary.
  7. When you are happy with your shave, reheat your towel and place it once again on your face. Leave it in place for 2-3 minutes.
  8. Gently smooth a sparing amount of Hydrating Gel into your face, and enjoy the smooth touch and the fresh feeling you have just invested 10 minutes of your time to achieve!
  9. Finish off by closing your pores with a cold towel on your face – left for a 2 blissful minutes.
  10. Dab aftershave or our own Splash on to the heat points (behind the ears) for a subtle fragrance that will arouse the interest of all those around you.

    And the final stage of any man’s shave…

  11. Take a moment to admire your smooth skin and stroke it with a sense of pride and superiority. Raise your head and lift your shoulders before stepping out – it’s a feeling a lesser man would simply never comprehend!