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Facial Hair FAQ

Is it true that the more I shave the thicker my beard becomes?

No, your beard won't get thicker by shaving more. So you should base your decision on how often to shave on how you want to look.

Should I use an electric razor or a razor blade to shave.

That's up to you. Some guys prefer an electric razor because it's easier and usually faster to use. All you need to do is press the shaver to your face and move it around in the area you want to shave. On the other hand, a razor blade will give you a closer and cleaner shave.

How do I shave with a razor blade?

When you shave you should pull the razor in the direction your beard grows. This lets the blade glide more easily. It will give you a smoother and more even shave.

You can get a sense of what direction your beard grows by feeling your face with your fingers.

Then follow these steps to a smooth shave:

  • Wet your beard with warm water. This softens the hairs and makes them easier to cut.
  • Put a shaving gel or cream -- not soap -- on your face. Squirt the gel onto your fingertips and apply it evenly over the entire area you are shaving. It should make a lather.
  • Start by shaving the sides of your face.
  • Use short, slow strokes.
  • Avoid going back over the area you've already shaved. Going back can scrape the skin and cause razor burn.
  • Rinse the blade under running water after every two or three strokes.
  • Shave the area under your chin and at the top of your neck last.
  • After you're done, rinse your face with cold water to soothe the skin.

How do I take care of my razor?

You need to be sure the blade you use is sharp and clean. If you use a dull blade it can lead to:

  • an uneven shave
  • redness and blotches
  • patches of unshaved hair
  • scraped-off patches of skin

Dirty razor blades can irritate the skin and cause infections. So always rinse the blade well after shaving. Never borrow someone else's used razor.

How can I avoid irritation from shaving?

Here's how to get the best results with the least amount of irritation:

  • Change the blade or use a new disposable razor after every five to seven shaves.
  • Razors with two or more blades give the smoothest shaves.
  • Razors that have a moveable head make it easier for you to follow the shape of your face as you shave.

What is razor burn?

Razor burn is a skin irritation. It can be caused by:

  • Shaving without water.
  • Shaving without shaving gel or cream.
  • Using a dull blade.
  • Shaving against the direction the hair is growing.
  • Applying a heavily perfumed aftershave if you have very sensitive skin.

The best way to treat razor burn is to wait an extra day -- or even an extra week -- before your next shave. That gives your skin a chance to heal.

WebMD Medical Reference

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