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Top Tips to Shave with Less Irritation!

Is there an art to shaving to avoid irritation?

There is and it starts with the razor!

For years, we have recommended avoiding multi-blade razors to our clients. As each blade slices the hair it means it cuts the hair shorter and shorter but it also means that the ultra short hair irritates the skin and may create ingrown hairs. This is particularly true for those with curly hair. 

Modern razors come in safety razors with disposable blades, cartridge razors, disposable razors and electric razors. All will shave your hair but we want to create the best shaving experience.

A moment in shaving history -  before World War I, men wanting a clean shave meant having access to a trained barber with a straight-edge razor. That all changed after soldiers returned home after World War I. Having a clean shave was a daily requirement when soldiers needed to put on protective gas masks during chemical attacks during the war. Safety razors with disposable blades became part of the battlefield kit — and made their way into our bathrooms after the war. Fast forward to the 1960s, and the disposable safety razor gives way to the cartridge razor. Whether it’s an all-in-one handle and blade or disposable cartridges, these are the razors you’ll find today on drug store shelves. 

gillette safety razor from world war 1

Most razors are mass produced in molds or castings and are a combination of plastic and metal. This means that the blades usually wiggle or flex. This wiggle and flex causes skin irritation. 

Our top pick for razors is always a single blade and a single blade with no wiggle or flex. The razor that fits this bill is Canadian designed and manufactured Henson razors

Henson razors have been designed by the same people that create parts for the aerospace industry. They design for precision. Henson uses CNC machining to make their razors (as opposed to molding or casting). They then anodize them for protection (as opposed to painting or plating). Through these processes they are able to target and maintain specific sizes and reduce the necessary allowance so that critical features of their razors ares kept consistent within a thousandth of an inch. This ensures a straight and consistently loaded blade every time, meaning that the blade is presented to your skin the same every shave! Second, it’s the shortest blade extension on the market. Shorter blade extension means less vibration in the blade (chatter). Less chatter or wiggle means less irritation and a better shave every time.

Henson has recently partnered with a Toronto-based medical start-up company that has created an app that could measure skin sensitivity and irritation caused from shaving. Check out this video to see the difference or view the after shaving images from this study below.

Henson razor for sensitive skin at The Summit spa

Henson shaving for sensitive skin at the summit spa

Next, it is cleaning, storing and drying your blade properly between use. 

Leaving whatever type of razor you use in the shower is an invitation for irritation. The blades remain wet and therefore easily rust. Make sure that your razor is allowed to dry quickly and well to avoid rusting.

Don't forget to change your blade often!

Changing your blade (or cartridge) or razor (if disposable) every two or three shaves insures a safer and less irritating shave. A dull blade irritates.

Soften the hair before shaving.

Whether you are softening with water (a lot is needed! Not the easiest way!) or cream, this step is critical to a gentle shave. Our two favourite products to shave with are Yonka Barber Shave and Yonka Cleansing Milk

Be Mindful of what you apply after shaving.

It is important to avoid exfoliants or exfoliating ingredients after shaving. Those ingredients would be glycolic, lactic, malic, tartaric, mandelic and salicylic acids. 

Avoid alcohol-based after shave or cologne. Consider a soothing, and refreshing after shave lotion like Yonka's YK Lotion, Yonka's Lotion for Dry Skin or Phytomer's Rosee Visage.

Bonus for acne sufferers

If you shave your face and neck and have acne in those areas, you will likely find great improvement in your acne after 30 days of following all of this tips!

Happy Shaving (with less irritation) Everyone!