According to One Thousand Beards by Allan Peterkin, the average man has spent 2,965 hours of his life shaving by the time he is 80. Here are some tips to get it right:
1. The razor. Always use a sharp razor as rusted or blunt blades could cut your skin, leading to infection. Razor blades must be replaced every five to seven days, depending on your facial hair. A wet razor gives a closer shave and smoother skin, but an electric razor is more suitable in case of bumps or acne. Remember to keep the skin dry while using an electric razor.
2. The brush. Elliot W Jacobs, in his book Mantalk, specifies that a shaving brush with badger hair is the best choice as it is pliant, retains water and remains soft. Apply plenty of shaving cream - one that suits your skin type - on the brush and gently stroke it sideways on the skin.
3. Bumps and irritation. To avoid shaving bumps caused by ingrown hairs, either grow a beard or shave after a hot shower. Leave on your shaving cream for a longer period of time to soften the hair. Use sharp blades and shave in the direction of hair growth, shaving each area only once. Follow with a moisturiser. Never tweeze or pluck ingrown hair, as this can lead to infection.
4. Avoiding infection. If the skin usually turns red after shaving, splash cool water on the face before and afterwards. Use a lubricating or moisturising shaving cream. Infections can be caused by unclean, contaminated or shared razors, clippers or scissors. Clean shaving equipment regularly with shampoo. Use a soothing, antiseptic aftershave.
5. Growing a beard. Your beard should suit the shape and structure of your face. According to The Complete Book of Men's Health, a beard must be trimmed twice a week when dry. It needs to be washed, conditioned and brushed daily.