Many men, at some stage in life, find themselves temporarily unable to shave themselves, and, of course, this job falls to a woman. So, as a public service, here, ladies, is how to do it.
First, I’ll get the electric razor out of the way. I have not used one in fifty years, so use my advice only as a starting point for something more current. I found back then an essential product was ‘Lectric Shave, an alcohol-based lubricant used before shaving that quickly dries when slapped on the face, but makes shaving much more comfortable. Much more. Fifty years ago, that was the only brand.
Now onto my real expertise—the wet shave. I hate to say it, ladies, but all those years of shaving your legs and pits have taught you nothing about shaving a man’s face.
I have always shaved against the grain, even though I have read advice not to do this. I never understood why. It works for me. Ask your man how he wants it, just like on his birthday.
The most important thing is to let his beard soften by letting it stay wet as long as possible. After you put on the shaving cream, let it set for at least a full minute, as long as you can without it drying up. Even an extra 15 seconds in the initial stages makes a big difference. Keep in mind those old Three Stooges movies where the barber wraps a hot, wet towel on a man’s face for a few minutes before starting the shave. And why you shave yourself in the shower.
The second most important thing is to press firmly with the razor. Women, understandably, approach the job timorously and try to touch the skin as lightly as possible in fear of cutting him. In all my years, I have never cut myself from pressing too hard. It simply does not happen no matter how hard you press. Too light of a touch, however, painfully pulls at each whisker before slicing it off.
Don’t be afraid to take long strokes. Women often use short, choppy strokes, thinking a long stroke could produce a six-inch gash. Maybe that has occurred against your shin bone, but long cut never happens on the face. That’s why they call it a “safety razor.” The worst that can happen is a small nick from slicing off some unseen bump.
You do not need a fresh razor each time. If you follow my advice to store it dry after each shave (8/24/2011 posting) it will last a long time. I easily get three months of daily use from mine.
So, ladies, have mercy. Approach the job with confidence and resolve and press the razor firmly on his face. If you all do just that, it will eliminate a lot of needless pain and suffering, and the world will be a happier place.