The Transitional Male Presents:
Shaving Tips For FTM's/Transmen who use a razor and shave cream
(for those not used to those names/acronyms, an FTM/Transman is a Female to Male Transsexual)
Have any shaving tips? Email us!
Some Shaving tips:
Other sites have addressed this topic but I haven't found many recently. Since there is a sizable number of visitors to this site on a first time basis and regular basis, I feel I should contribute to this subject to benefit those just starting to shave, will be someday or who have been shaving for a while but were never taught how to the right way.
Actually, there really isn't a 'right' way, just the 'best' way, in my opinion. Guys shave according to what works best for them or what feels the best whether it yields good results or poor results. In other words, what works for some may not work well for you.
If you are pre-T (testosterone injections), you can shave when you don't have to as a means to ease mental stress (because you cannot grow whiskers just yet) and/or to prepare yourself for the day you will be needing to shave regardless. Even if you plan to wear a full beard, you'll still need to maintain your neck whiskers and possibly cheek whiskers for a well manicured beard. If you enjoy the Grizzly Adam's look and have no desire to let a razor touch your face or neck, ever, then you won't need to read any further.
Before T and in the early stages of T use, there is something very alluring and romantic about the thought of one day being able to shave ones face. Many cannot wait and begin shaving long before their chin ever produces a real mans whisker. I'm not talking about the whiskers your grandmother gets on her chin or women see after menopause. I'm talking whisker growth as a result of testosterone in ones blood stream.
After a while, shaving becomes a pain in the ass and the romanticism has long since lost it's allure.
Often when shaving the fine hairs on ones face pre-T, we find that the skin feels strange after the razor has been raked across the upper lip a few times. The word raked is very fitting for those who have no idea how to shave the best way.
After a few injections of testosterone, many see whiskers, though light or fine, coming in on the chin, some on the neck and some on the upper lip. Many don't like to shave those off right away, enjoying seeing what is happening. But if you one day find yourself needing to shave them down, here are some helpful tips.
First, always use some form of shaving cream or gel. You don't need to fill up your palm with a huge mound of shaving cream. A small amount will do just fine, dispensing just enough to cover the area or areas you wish to shave. If you wish to apply shaving cream to areas that are not producing whiskers, great but the old wives tale or myth that states if you shave, the hairs or whiskers will come back more coarse the next time they grow in. This has never been proven. Case in point: I have shaved my moustache off 3 times in 8 years and each whisker became darker and more coarse all on it's own. It just feels like the hair is thicker when it starts growing back because of it's close proximity to the skin. Once it gets a little more length, it feels softer again.
If you have a very coarse beard (facial hair), it's a good idea to shave after a warm or hot shower. The hot water and steam soften the whiskers and make it easier to shave off not to mention easier on your skin especially your neck area. The whiskers that grow on the neck grow upward and outward, not straight out from the skin, They tend to lay against the neck, which makes it harder to shave them smooth. This is where many get into trouble with razor burn, knicks or shaving bumps.
Never press your razor hard against any part of your neck or face. There is no need for that kind of pressure or violence, which it really is.
Again, if your beard is especially tough, soften the whiskers by showering first or draping a warm towel or wash cloth over the face to soften the whiskers before applying shaving cream.
In a perfect world one should always shave with the whisker; the way it is growing but that's almost impossible along the neck. Many of us know that when we shave upward on the neck, we tend to get a closer shave. This action goes against the way the hairs grow.
One should use a light touch when holding your razor; always. If you hold the razor handle gently, you will be less likely to scrape it hard across and against your skin. You won't be able to in reality. Hold the handle between your thumb, index finger and middle finger. Don't hold it in your fist.
Buy a good razor that shaves off even the toughest beard with one to 2 passes. The best one for the job is the Gillette Mach 3. But if you're prone to pressing too hard, I wouldn't recommend this razor; you'll take off a layer of skin in one pass.
Now for commencing to actually shave your face.
Okay. FIRST!! Make sure you have a new razor blade or one that hasn't been used more than 2-3 times, depending on how heavy your beard hairs are. If you feel any pulling when you start to shave your whiskers, your blade is too dull and it will hurt! Bonus: Always keep your razor clean! Don't put it away after you shave with shave cream and hairs in the blades. Keeping it clean will extend the life of the blade and keep visitors from thinking you are a complete slob (not to mention keep your spouse happy).
Make sure your beard is well prepped. Apply your shaving cream of gel. Don't just dab or slather it on and then start shaving. Rub it into the skin, massaging it into a creamy even coat. Rub it in well, gently, please.
I suggest filling your sink with warm water so you can wash off the shave cream and hairs from the blades after a couple passes over the face/neck. Keep the blade clean as you shave!
Where you start on your face or neck is up to you.
If you start at your sideburns, shave downward. If you start at your cheeks, shave downward. If you start at your neck, shave upward, tilting your chin up to get the skin surface taught (tight). If need be, you can apply light pressure to the neck skin with your free hand, pulling the skin down to make it tight while you shave the neck.
When shaving the cheeks, keep your lips closed while opening your jaw, separating your top teeth from your bottom teeth. You can use your tongue to push out the cheek area for a better surface for your razor to glide across.
When shaving your upper lip, repeat the action of opening your jaw, separating your upper teeth from the lower keeping your mouth open and keeping your upper lip down tight over the top teeth.
To check for rough areas you may have missed or didn't get close enough, wet your free hand and get a little shave cream that is left on your face or neck (makes your fingers slick) and slide the wet fingers or palm of your hand in an upward motion across the face and neck. If you feel a rough area, wipe a little of the extra shave cream on your face or neck onto that area and gently glide your razor across that area again, but this time against the way it grows naturally.
Shaving isn't supposed to be a 2 minute event; not if you want it done right and done without consequences, like cuts, razor burn, shave bumps or laying open an pimple. Take your time.
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