When it comes down to it, shaving (or not) is a personal preference among most men. Unless, of course, there are certain situations that dictate otherwise, such as a job requirement or specific event.
But whatever your preference is, this will dictate your shaving schedule -- it's that simple. It's also important to know how to shave your face in order to maintain a specific look.
Whether you want to remain cleanly shaven or grow an epic beard, shaving or trimming will be part of your routine either way. So, here's how often you should shave your face.
How Often Should You Shave Your Face? A Frequency Guide
The rate at which you shave your face depends on the type of facial hair you prefer to maintain, as mentioned. Here's a simple guide on shaving frequency, according to certain shaved and non-shaved looks:
If you prefer a cleanly shaved look, with absolutely no hint of hair, not even a shadow, then daily shaving is your go-to. However, shaving on a daily basis goes hand in hand with a few precautionary steps to prepare your skin.
This is super important to avoid irritating your skin. You must apply a thick layer of shaving product beforehand and make sure you use a sharp, clean razor at all times.
After that, make sure to use an aftershave balm or a moisturizing lotion to protect your skin's delicate moisture barrier. Shaving every day is not for everyone. But for those who are dedicated to a cleanly shaven look, the extra daily effort goes with the territory.
Shaving Every Other Day
This is probably one of the most popular shaving options for most men who prefer short or very little facial hair. Shaving every other day means shaving approximately 3-4 times per week.
With this type of shaving frequency, you're actually doing your skin a favor. You're allowing it the time it needs to heal in-between shaves because shaving is a form of physical exfoliation.
This is the best option for men with sensitive skin and those who do not mind the look of short stubble or a 5 o'clock shadow.
If you have rather thin or sparse facial hair, you might only need to shave once a week. Or, if you're trying to maintain the look of stubble, this is your go-to shaving frequency.
For this type of shaving frequency, you want to stick to a single-blade razor. Or, if you have a short beard, trim it back first, then use your single-blade razor. Shaving once a week is also a brilliant way to save on your grooming expenses!
Shaving Less Than Once a Week
Now, if you want to grow a beard and maintain it well, this doesn't mean that shaving goes out the window entirely. You'll still need to shave certain areas of your face and neck and trim your beard to maintain its shape.
You might need to shave your upper cheeks and neck area once every 10 days to two weeks to keep your beard looking neat and tidy. You should also use a beard trimmer to maintain the length and shape of your beard at least once every two weeks.
What's important to consider, aside from the type of look you're going for, is the type of razor you use during your shaves. Ultimately, this can impact how often you need to shave, too. Here's what to consider by razor type:
These types of razors include your standard cartridge and disposable razor types. They provide the closest shave due to the lift and cut action the multi-blades offer.
In short, these are the most aggressive types of razors on your skin. For this reason, you must ensure you prepare your skin properly before shaving, and soothe it afterward.
If you're going to use a multi-blade razor every day, make sure your facial hair is soft beforehand. You should always use a shaving cream that provides a good lather and cushion for the blades.
You want to use a multi-blade razor if you prefer to shave less frequently, such as few times a week, or even just once a week.
Single Blade Razors
These types of razors include safety, hybrid, and straight blade razors. They are ideal for daily shaving.
This is because they don't offer a cut that is as close to the skin as multi-blade razors. They are gentler on the skin and can help prevent skin irritation.
An Electric Trimmer
You want to invest in an electric shaver or stubble trimmer if you aim to maintain a short beard or the look of stubble. These tools work best on short and dry facial hair -- no shaving foam necessary.
If you've grown out a beard and want to cut it way back, it's important to use an electric shaver or stubble trimmer first, then take a razor to it.
A Note on Plastic/Disposable Razors
While men's grooming may not be a top priority for all of the male species, it's still important to invest in a good razor if you want to maintain healthy skin and good-looking facial hair.
This brings us to the topic of plastic or disposable razors. Are they any good? The truth is that they just don't offer the longevity you need. You shouldn't use them after 5 shaves anyway, and they only increase your chances of skin irritation.
So, if you're a frequent shaver, i.e. you shave every day or multiple times per week, you want to invest in a high-quality razor or grooming kit and a good set of replaceable blades.
Beard Maintenance: When To Trim a Stubble Beard
If you're keen to grow and maintain the look of a stubble beard, it all hinges on the type of stubble you're going for. If it's a short stubble look (also called a 5 o'clock shadow) then your ideal trimming frequency is every 1-2 days.
If you want to get really technical, a short stubble length would not exceed 0.44mm. Make sure to trim back this type of stubble look with a stubble or beard trimmer and no comb guard.
When it comes to medium-length stubble, you want to trim this back every 2-4 days. The ideal length you need to maintain for this modern look is a 1mm beard. Use your stubble trimmer without a comb guard, too.
Then, if you want to maintain the look of heavy stubble -- almost like a short beard, then you should trim it back every 6-8 days, or once a week, max. Use the 3mm length setting on your beard trimmer to keep up this length.
When To Trim a Short Beard
In technical terms, a short beard measures about 1-2 inches in length. In order to maintain this length, you'll need to trim it every 2-3 weeks or so. However, this depends on how fast your hair grows, how thick it is, and the type of beard style you want.
Remember that a beard requires different hair lengths at different parts of the face. In order to keep a good beard length and shape, invest in a high-quality beard trimmer and a decent pair of beard scissors.
When To Trim a Long Beard
If you aim to sport a long beard, one that measures 4-inches or more, you only need to trim it back once every 6-8 weeks. But once again, this depends on your hair growth, thickness, and beard shape.
In order to keep a long beard neat, tidy, and on-point, 6-8 week trimming is your ideal. Any longer than this and it may start to look a little scraggly in parts. For long beard trimming, invest in a good pair of bigger-than-normal beard scissors.
How Do You Know When You're Shaving Too Much?
Your skin is the largest organ in the body. While it may seem impervious to you, it's actually far more sensitive than you think. Yes, there is a thing as shaving too much, and your skin will most likely point it out to you with the following signs:
While razor burn and razor bumps are often terms used interchangeably, they're different conditions of the skin. Razor burn tends to result in a red rash across the skin that's inflamed, sensitive, and itchy.
It's the result of shaving when your skin is too dry or sensitive. It's also common when you shave too often. If you use a dull blade, not enough shaving foam, or a poor technique, you can also get razor burn.
These small, red bumps under the skin are actually ingrown hairs - known as pseudofolliculitis barbae (PFB). This happens when you use a cartridge razor and shave against the grain of your hair.
When you do this, you're cutting just below the surface of the skin and the hair cannot regrow properly or exit the skin cleanly. The result is razor bumps. If you have curly or thick facial hair, it's important to take extra precautions against razor bumps.
Top Tips for the Perfect Shave
Before you begin your shave, you need to start with a completely clean canvas. Your first step is to wash your face and remove any lingering dirt and oil from the surface of your facial hair and skin.
This can help to prevent skin irritation after your shave and prevent issues such as razor burn or razor bumps, too.
At least once or twice a week, you want to add in an exfoliating cleanse, too. This removes dead skin cells that can actually clog up your razor and make your blades go blunt, quicker.
Prepare Your Facial Hair
Once your face is clean, apply shaving cream to your damp face hair, and skin. Even if you don't have much hair to remove, don't be tempted to not use shaving cream. This is a fast track to skin cuts and irritation.
A good tip to keep in mind for those with sensitive skin is to go for an unscented shaving foam, with ingredients such as aloe vera to soothe the skin.
Use the Right Razor
Second to using shaving cream is using the right type of razor for the job. We've gone over what type of razor to use based on your shaving frequency, but you also want to ensure that it's clean, sharp, and rust-free.
Your shaving technique is also super important. Under no circumstances should you ever shave against the grain of your hair. Always shave with the grain, i.e. in the direction your hair grows. This way you can avoid major skin irritation and unpleasant ingrown hairs.
Make sure you rinse off your razor after each pass over your skin. You don't want to drag dead skin cells and other germs into open pores when you shave over another area. Buildup can also clog your razor and dull your blades.
Sooth and Moisturize Your Skin
When you're done shaving, always rinse off your face thoroughly with lukewarm water. Make sure to get rid of any lingering shaving foam that could pose a risk to your open and exposed pores.
Gently pat your face dry with a towel. After this, you want to apply an aftershave product as a measure to soothe your skin after shaving. After all, it's now dry and a little irritated.
Look for an aftershave lotion that contains ingredients such as aloe vera, vitamin E, and willow herb for a calming and hydrating solution. Next up, you need to moisturize your face.
It doesn't matter what type of skin type you have, try not to avoid this step. Wait for the aftershave to sink into your skin, then apply your layer of moisturizer. Opt for a product that contains vitamin C and nourishing oils, such as jojoba oil.
A Note on Ingrown Hairs
A top tip: when it comes to ingrown hairs, i.e. razor bumps, try not to scratch and pick at them too much. This can only worsen your situation. Instead, use a warm, damp cloth and apply pressure to the area to soothe the itching.
Avoid shaving in this area until your ingrown hairs have healed.
Looking for an Easy, Fresh Shave?
So, how often should you shave your face? Well, this depends on your personal preference and the type of look you're going for. If it's fresh and cleanly shaven, then shaving every day will become your reality.
If you're looking for the right tools to ensure you get the cleanest shave, every time, look no further than Bak Blade Body Grooming Co. We not only offer full grooming kits but specific tools that take care of unwanted body hair, too.
Learn more about our products here.