How Often Should You Shave Facial Hair?

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How often you shave depends on your desired facial hair appearance and the comfort of your skin.  It is recommended that you only shave once every few days as it allows your skin to fully heal.  Men who prefer smooth skin can shave daily but the proper steps must be taken.

In today’s guide, we will go over shave frequency, desired facial hair styles, and how to prevent common ailments of over-shaving such as razor burn, ingrown hairs, and dry skin. 

Additionally, we will also suggest a few shaving products that have a measurable impact on the comfort of the shave and the appearance of your skin.

Shaving Frequency

Here are some general tips and guidelines depending on how often you shave:

Daily

For close, clean-looking results, daily shaving can be achieved.  Men who shave daily should prepare their skin before shaving while also using proper shaving techniques.   This includes wetting the facial hair, applying a thick lather, and using a sharp razor blade.  Once you are finished shaving, it is important to moisturize your skin with either an aftershave balm or face lotion.  

Moisturizing helps protect the skin’s natural moisture barrier.  By moisturizing daily, you will prevent dry skin and mild irritation.

Every Other Day (3 or 4 times per week)

When shaving every other day, you give your skin the necessary amount of time it needs to heal.  Shaving is an aggressive form of physical exfoliation.  As you pass the razor over your skin, the blades not only remove facial hair, but also a thin layer of dead skin cells and natural oils.  Consider shaving every other day especially if you have sensitive skin.

Weekly

Shaving once a week is ideal for those men whose facial hair grows thin or for those who prefer to have stubble.  If you shave weekly with a multi-blade razor, clogging may occur.  Therefore, consider using a single-blade razor or trimming your beard before shaving.  Weekly shaving also saves considerably on your grooming expenses.

Greater than One Week

Shaving less than once a week will result in significant beard growth for most men.  With this long between shaving, you may want to consider using a beard trimmer to maintain facial hair.  Additionally, other products will be recommended to be worked into your facial hair such as a beard conditioner to prevent dryness.

Razor Aggressiveness

The design of the razor and the aggressiveness of the shave can have an impact on how often you shave.  Here are some guidelines to follow:

Multi-Blade Razors (Cartridge Razors, Disposable Razors)

Multi-blade razors such as cartridge razors and disposable razors provide a close shave due to hysteresis (lift-and-cut).  When using a cartridge razor daily, adequate preparation and technique must be followed to prevent irritation.  Consider using this razor type once every other day.

When using this razor type, make sure that your facial hair is softened and that you use a shaving cream that provides a well-cushioned and insulated lather.

Single Blade Razors (Safety Razors, Straight Razors)

Single blade razors such as safety razors, straight razors, and hybrid razors can be used for daily shaving. These razors don’t cut nearly as close to the skin and reduce the chance of razor burn or razor bumps.  Proper preparation and technique must be followed.

Electric Trimmers (Electric Shaver, Stubble Trimmer)

Electric shavers, stubble trimmers, and beard trimmers work well when used daily on short and dry facial hair.  A shorter facial hair length will reduce the chance of tugging or pulling as the hair is clipped.  Shaving daily will also allow for smooth results.

Common Ailments of Shaving too Much

Here are common problems that you may encounter if you shave too frequently:

Razor Bumps

Ingrown hairs often occur when a cartridge razor is passed against the grain.  This causes the hair to be cut just below the surface of the skin.  As the hair regrows, it is unable to cleanly exit the skin and becomes ingrown. Frequent shaving isn’t a cause of razor bumps; poor shaving technique is.  Razor bumps are common in men with dense or curly facial hair.

Razor Burn

Razor burn can be caused by a variety of factors.  How often you shave may be one leading cause of razor burn.  This is typically a result of your skin becoming too dry or sensitive.  Other common causes of razor burn include technique, a dull razor blade, too much pressure applied when shaving, and poor shaving supplies.  

Dry Skin

When you shave every day, your skin is unable to retain moisture and will dry out.  Either a hydrating aftershave balm or face moisturizer must be applied immediately after you have finished shaving.  This will help to reduce irritation or tightness of the freshly shaved skin.

Shaving Myths

Is shaving everyday bad for your skin?

Shaving daily isn’t bad for your skin if you have taken the proper steps for preparing your skin before and after shaving.  

Will shaving more often increase facial hair growth?

Shaving frequently will not cause your beard to grow faster or thicker.  This common myth has been disproven several times.

Consider These Additional Products When Shaving

When shaving every day, you must rely on well-made products for your shave routine.  Here are a few categories of products to consider:

  • Pre-shave Treatment: Pre-shave oils and pre-shave creams provide lubrication which allows the razor blade to glide easier on the skin.  This can help reduce irritation while shaving. 
  • Sharp Razor Blades: A dull razor blade increases irritation by tugging on the hair follicle root when it is cut.  Sharp blades allow for fewer passes and a cleaner cut.  Make sure that you replace your razor blades often.  Consider a safety razor if you aren’t willing to incur the costs of expensive cartridge refills.
  • Shaving Cream: One of the most important parts of the shaving routine is the shaving cream.  Well-made shaving cream will retain both moisture and heat to your skin.  This allows for a comfortable shaving experience. 
  • Aftershave: Not all aftershaves sting and dry out your skin.  Aftershave balms both disinfect and moisturize your skin to reduce tightness, redness, and discomfort.

Preparation is Important

No matter how often you shave, preparation is important.  When possible, take a warm shower before shaving.  This will help swell and soften facial hair in turn allowing the razor blade to cut through hair with less effort.  

Conclusion

Whether you are shaving daily or only once a week, always look at your skin for guidance.  If it is beginning to show signs of dryness or irritation, then you must make the appropriate changes.  

We hope that this guide will help you in striking the right balance of frequency and comfort when shaving.