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Greater New York Council of the Blind

A chapter of the American Council of the Blind of New York; An affiliate of the American Council of the Blind

How to Shave
by Terence Page

I have often been complimented on my shaving technique by my barber and have been so proud of this because it came from a professional in the field. I was never taught to shave properly by my father, so for years I made a lot of common mistakes. It was when I was shaved for a surgery that a lightbulb went off: I realized Iíd been shaving totally wrong! I completely revised my whole technique and I am honored to share it with you here. Please feel free to change alcohol to witch hazel for really sensitive areas.

Things You Will Need:

Preparing the Face or Area:

  1. Heat the washcloth or towel in hot water - not so hot as to burn yourself, but to a level that is comfortable to your skin.
  2. Place the hot washcloth or towel over the hairs to be shaved. If itís too hot, remove it quickly! If the washcloth or towel is comfortable, allow it to lie on the hairs to be removed. Why? Because the damp, warm heat will soften the hairs and give a more comfortable shave. This will also prevent ingrown hairs or razor bumps.
  3. Remove the washcloth or towel and pour some alcohol or witch hazel on it in order to clean the area.
  4. Spray shaving cream over the face or area. Cover well.
  5. Clean and sterilize the razor by placing it in a cup or mug with alcohol or witch hazel.

Now You Are Ready to Shave:

Remember: You must always rinse off the alcohol or witch hazel before using the razor! It is a good idea to have a running faucet available when shaving.
  1. Drag the razor across the skin. Some people will tell you to go with the grain of the hair or the way the hair grows, but I prefer to go against the grain when necessary to get the best shave.
  2. Dip the razor into the alcohol or witch hazel each time it crosses your face to reclean and sterilize it. Why? This will keep dirt, oil, and bacteria from getting underneath your skin.
  3. Then run the razor under a faucet or water before you drag it across your skin. Keep repeating this process until all the hair is gone. Donít be afraid to go over areas that you have missed with the razor and which have no shaving cream because your face has already been properly prepared.
  4. You must keep cleaning the razor throughout the shaving process to prevent ingrown hairs and infection. Again, I must repeat: Run the razor under a faucet or water before it touches your face!

The Finish:

  1. Take the washcloth or towel and pour alcohol or witch hazel on it to clean your face again. If you use alcohol, this will sting! Why? Because when you shave, you create little cuts on the surface of the skin.
  2. Splash your face with water, then dry.
  3. Youíre done! Touching your skin will be the best way to determine how well you did. In other words, if you canít feel any hair, you did a great job.

Please note: For men and women, when doing your sideburns, shave to the middle of your ear, meaning the circular part of the ear that sticks out.

If you follow these steps, you will have a great shave. The more you practice this technique, the quicker and more efficient you will become.

This article is dedicated to Tony, a great barber and musician who cut my hair often when I was a kid. R.I.P., Tony.

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