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Take the risk out of close shaves.

FOR thousands of years men have struggled to get the perfect shave and avoid razor burn, nicks and cuts.

Just follow these easy steps to achieve a smooth face every morning.

1. If having a shower, run water over your face repeatedly to soften whiskers. Make it as hot as you can stand.

2. Lather your beard thoroughly with a good badger brush and shaving soap. Use the badger bristle against the grain to get under the whiskers. If you use shaving cream, buy one that contains glycerine, which will provide a good lubricant for your razor. Let your face remain wet with the lather for some time - but don't let it dry. Again, use very hot water. The softer your beard, the less the razor will pull on your face.

3. Hair is as strong as copper wire of similar width, so your razor has to be very, very sharp. Don't be a cheapskate here. A sharp blade will also save you nicks and cuts.

4. Shave once with the grain, making no exceptions. Go slowly, and shave completely. You want to cut the hairs close enough to reduce their leverage against your razor.

5. Re-lather as before. Now, shave at an angle to the grain of your beard. Never go directly against the grain, but at an angle of about 90 degrees. You'll feel the drag of your razor increase as it finds hair to cut. Keep the lather wet and re-apply as necessary. Don't shave dry at any point.

6. Re-lather again. Use your fingers to find any areas you've missed. Rubbing against the grain gently will tell you in a second where there are still long hairs.

7. You don't want to risk razor burn on areas that are not presenting problems. Use your fingers and the brush to continue to moisturise these areas.

8. Now shave with your razor set at a slightly sharper angle, but still avoid going directly against the grain. Don't be too aggressive, as it is easy to nick the skin.

9. Moisturising the skin is essential. Experiment with different moisturisers. There are dozens of products available, but avoid any containing alcohol. After a shave this close, alcohol is the last thing you want to put on your face.

10. If you're bleeding, try a block of alum dipped in water, on the specific spot. It will help stop the bleeding.

And there you have it... a face as smooth as the proverbial infant's derriere.
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Copyright 2000 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Sunday Mail (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Jun 18, 2000
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