The Men's Room

I’ve been asked to answer two questions… (1) How does someone determine if they have a tough beard? and (2) How do guys with tough beards get a more comfortable shave?

So let’s start by first identifying if you have a tough beard.

Here are a few of the signs:

  • You have an afternoon shadow, not a 5 o’clock one.
  • You cannot seem to get you beard moist enough to shave.
  • It feels like you are “tug” shaving instead of “wet” shaving.
  • Your blade dulls after one shave…a bit pricey huh?

Do any of  these describe your beard?

So, how can you enjoy the shaving experience like the guys on the Gillette commercials?

I. Shave in the shower – make shaving the last thing you do before getting out. Or, shave immediately after you get out.  Why? Because your beard needs to be as moist as possible prior to applying any shaving products.

II. Use a Pre-Shave Oil and Glycerin Based Shave Cream – The pre-shave oil traps the moisture onto your face, and  protects your skin from the blade. Burke Avenue’s glycerin based shaving cream adds more moisture further softening the beard and protecting the skin.

III. Choose your blade wisely– I personally feel that a DE Razor will do the trick! However, if you feel that you must use a multi-blade system… the Gillete Fusion Power (stick with this vibrating one) can tackle these types of beards easily.  But be aware that the above tips are of utmost importance if you want to get a more comfortable shave and to avoid that “tugging” experience.

IV. Shave “With the Grain” First – Most tough bearded men seem to have more sensitive skin under all that armor.  So, attack the beard methodically.  To get a closer shave…keep it moist, by re-lathering and then go again across the grain.  For you,  “against the grain” should be for “touch-up” purposes only, not the entire face. 

V. Finish with an protective aftershave face balm – You’ve given your skin quite the workout, make sure you lock in the moisture, protection and healing it needs for tomorrow’s shave. Burke Avenue’s 3 IN 1 Face Balm is specifically designed to deliver optimized skin repair, moisture-protection and the added benefit of natural anti-aging ingredients.

There you have it, it’s all about customizing the shave for your face and creating your own guidelines.  Safe shaving!


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  1. Johnson Rover September 20, 2012 at 5:09 pm

    As a toughly bearded mofo this article was quite helpful! I use a double safety razor/ badger brush wet shave, and I am taking a straight razor course for $150 that includes a staight razor, some product, 3 mannequins to practice on and info on beard types also. This was helpful though for a quick shave with my safety razor when I’m short on time, for tough beards straight shave with hot towels is best IMO!!

  2. Leo March 11, 2013 at 5:09 pm

    I use a DE safety razor with badger brush and shaving soap. I don’t use hot water on my beard, but very cold water to make the beard stand out. I even use cold water to lather up my shaving soap and rinse my blade. Cold water is much better for the skin.

    • Craig the Barber March 13, 2013 at 12:15 pm

      Great to hear that works for you Leo. Thanks for the comment!

    • Jeff September 25, 2013 at 11:42 am

      Leo, very interesting idea. I never thought about going totally against the rule of using hot water for prep. What type of cream do you use? High-lather, low-lather, etc.?

  3. David November 9, 2017 at 7:27 am

    I usually use a safety razor with badger and soap and have optimal results! Since I started wet shaving I haven’t gone back to electric razors even once.

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