Shaving your face can be a time-consuming process. It can be a slow process between getting a lather the right consistency and carefully drawing the razor across your face. But what if you need to speed things up?
To speed up the shaving process, focus on preparation rather than try to rush through it. To prepare for a quick, efficient shave, you should: set up your materials the night before, take a shower, use the right shaving cream, a fresh blade, and even strokes with the grain. You may also need to plan for a quick, not a thorough, shave.
Whether you’re new to shaving or you’re looking to shave more efficiently, keep reading for eight great tips on how to speed up your routine.
How to shave your face faster without nicks, cuts, or stubble
Shaving your face fast without tearing up your face is a difficult task. Given all of the deadlines, priorities, and tasks that may be competing for your attention, you might not be able to devote time for a nice leisurely shave.
In a poll done with over 1,500 men on a U.K. shaving website, the average British man spends roughly five minutes on his shave, with the majority shaving four times a week. Taken over a lifetime, this can equal almost 45 days of shaving.
Meanwhile, barber Charles Kirkpatrick estimates that most professional shaves can take anywhere from 12-25 minutes.
Ideally, we’d all live in a world where we don’t rush through our shaving routines. This is because the chance of nicks, cuts, and stubble increases when you rush your shaving routine. The last thing you want to do, especially when you’re in a hurry, is cut your face and spend the extra time treating a razor nick!
To make your shave faster without sacrificing safety or quality:
- Shave after showering
- Use shaving cream or gel from a can
- Use a disposable razor
- Use a fresh razor or cartridge
- Shave with the grain
- Use steady strokes
- Prepare the night before
- Manage your expectations
If you follow all of these tips, you’ll be well on your way to shaving faster in no time. If you need a little more guidance, keep reading to see how each of these tips can speed up your shave time.
Shave right after showering
Showering creates the perfect conditions for shaving your face.
Warm water and humidity can soften facial hair and make it easier to shave, especially if you’re in a rush. Even if you aren’t actively scrubbing, exfoliating, or cleaning your face, it can do wonders for your face and facial hair.
If showering is already something you already do to get ready for your day, be sure to follow it up with a shave so that you don’t have to use a warm towel or warm water from the sink.
It may seem like a small adjustment, but shaving right after showering can streamline your shaving routine. Even if you need to skip washing or exfoliating your face, the warm water and air still prepare your beard for shaving.
Use shaving cream in a can
Shaving cream in a can, sometimes called “brushless” shaving cream, is an aerosolized form of shaving cream. Instead of using a brush to whip the shaving cream into a lather, the cream is dispensed from the can. From there, it is ready to be applied directly to your face.
Using brushless shaving cream eliminates the need to soak your brush in warm water before shaving. Additionally, the time it takes to lather your shaving cream is eliminated. The removal of these time-consuming steps can help you focus on what matters most: shaving.
There are a wide variety of different brushless shaving creams to try, from Aveeno to Proraso. If you find yourself in a pinch, you can also use shaving cream from a tube – just be sure to use more of it than usual so that your face and beard stay lubricated throughout the entire shaving process.
Use a disposable razor if needed
Safety razors are still viable if you need to shave quickly, but the learning curve is steep with a double- or single-edge safety razor. Because these razors give the user more variability in shaving angles, they can provide closer shaves. However, if you aren’t careful or you’re rushing, it’s easy to cut yourself.
Using a disposable razor instead of a safety razor can be a valuable tool if you’re trying to shave faster. The general idea is that you can move a little faster with your strokes because it is harder to cut yourself with a disposable razor. This, in turn, allows you to shave faster.
Unless you’re very confident in using a safety razor under stressful conditions like a fast shave, it might be best to ditch the safety razor and go for a disposable razor. Either way, just make sure that you wash the blade between passes – the last thing you want is for the blade to get covered up with debris and not be able to shave properly.
Use a fresh razor blade or cartridge
While it is possible to use an old razor blade or cartridge, the blade may not be as sharp, or it could be damaged. If either is true, you could end up spending more time trying to shave your face. Because the razor won’t cut as efficiently, you may have to make multiple passes – or worse, you may overcompensate by using too much pressure during your shave, which can lead to a cut!
Using a fresh, clean razor blade or cartridge is a simple way to shave faster. Because a new razor blade is sharper, it can cut hair more efficiently. As a result, you may need only one or two passes if you’re using a new razor blade or cartridge.
By switching to a brand-new razor blade or cartridge, you can easily cut down on time you spend shaving. And, while cartridges are more expensive than safety razor blades, it may be well worth the money if you’re in a hurry.
Go with the grain
While it might be tempting to go against the grain, shaving with the grain while you’re in a hurry is advised. If you try to shave against the grain and you’re facing a time crunch, you may cause more harm than good.
Instead, try doing one or two passes with the grain. You may not be able to eliminate stubble, but this might be a good thing, given how little time you may have for shaving. If you’re trying to make it out the door quickly, shaving with the grain allows you to keep the razor moving without getting caught or irritating your skin.
Shaving against the grain requires plenty of prep and a smooth, steady hand to work the razor. Typically, it also requires one or two passes with the grain before you can go against the grain. If you only have time for one or two passes, you don’t want to start an against the grain pass immediately.
It might seem like you’re saving time by jumping to the most aggressive pass, but you might cause irritation, ingrown hairs, or even a cut if you haven’t properly worked up to an against-the-grain shave.
Use long, steady strokes
When trying to shave faster, there is a natural tendency to use short, choppy strokes to lop off as much facial hair as possible. Be sure to fight this urge as much as possible!
While short passes with your razor seem satisfying, you can usually shave just as much hair in a long, steady pass.
The key here is efficiency. By taking long, steady strokes, you avoid having to shave the same spot multiple times. Use the areas on your face where there isn’t shaving cream as a guide to see where to make your next pass.
Don’t forget to wash your razor after each pass. If you neglect to do this step, your razor could get clogged with soap and hair, decreasing the efficiency of your shave and costing you additional to take it apart and clean it.
Prepare the night before
One of the biggest things you can do to shave faster is prepare everything you need the night before.
That means setting out your razor, changing the blade or cartridge, and having your shave soap and aftershave on the counter.
By preparing the night before, you give yourself more time to focus on just shaving rather than preparing to shave.
Adjust your expectations
One of the most helpful things you can do when shaving faster is adjusting your expectations for the shaving experience.
When you’re trying to shave faster, just know that the process is going to be different. Instead of hoping for the closest shave of your life, go into the situation knowing that that might not be possible. Aiming for a clean, professional look, rather than flawless, can do wonders for your mental state.
Because of the time crunch, the relaxing aspect of shaving might be eliminated. Additionally, you most likely won’t be able to achieve that “baby’s bottom” level of smoothness on your cheeks.
And all of that is okay!
If you can follow these tips and prepare as much as possible, you may find that your shaving routine gets faster without sacrificing quality or safety.