Wednesday, 11 August 2010

A Close Shave

When it comes to male grooming, Notting Hill's Carter and Bond is, without a doubt, the best place in town. With a highly-knowledgeable and friendly staff, Carter and Bond furthermore offer the ultimate experience thanks to a huge level of skill and use of the finest tools and products.

Having been treated to a sleek haircut where luxurious products such as the Pashana American Bay Rum Hair and Scalp Tonic revitalized our hair, 7TH MAN can honestly say we're huge fans.

What's more, while we got our hair coiffed, we were lucky enough to receive some shaving tips courtesy of Carter and Bond's in-house barber Mustafa:


● Wash the face before shaving to remove impurities which prevent the hair shafts from absorbing water – soaps tend to dry out the skin so use a facial cleanser or mild scrub

● Have a bath or shower before you shave as this will open the pores, soften stubble and make it easier to cut. Better still, shave whilst in the bath or shower.


● Use an ‘undercoat’ of shaving oil or the legendary Proraso Pre Shave Cream beneath your chosen cream or soap. This will make for a smoother, more comfortable shave by giving both extra lubrication and protection.

● Lather up with a good quality shaving cream or soap. These not only lubricate the skin, improving razor glide, but also prevent stubble from drying out and becoming tough as you shave.

● Avoid gels and foams that use synthetic perfumes, artificial colours, preservatives, alcohol and toxic propellants to generate an artificially rich lather. These not only dehydrate the skin but provide little lubrication or protection The fact that they are applied cold also means they close the pores causing the hair to stiffen.


● To get the best out of your razor use light, gentle strokes, letting the razor do the work. Little strokes help prevent skin irritation.

● Shave in the direction of growth. Going against the grain can cause razor burn
and ingrown hair. However, hair on the neck can grow upwards so the correct shaving direction for this area may well be upwards.

● Use your fingertips to check if you’ve missed any areas as you shave. It’s easier to feel for patches of hair when the skin is wet.

● Leave the toughest stubble until last – usually on the chin and beneath the nose – and start on the cheeks. This way the cream will have longer to soften up the difficult areas.

● Try to have a day or weekend off from shaving whenever possible to give the face maximum time to recover.

● If you have sensitive skin or suffer from razor burn then try shaving in the evening rather than the morning. This way instead of exposing just shaved skin to the elements this will give the face time to rest overnight.


● Always use a sharp blade. Unless your preference is for a traditional safety or open razor we recommend using the Gillette Sensor or Mach3 swivel head blades. There really is no need for more than a three blade razor and for those with sensitivity, razor burn or ingrown hair, the more blades the greater the likelihood of irritation.

● Rinse your blade regularly during shaving to prevent a build up of hair and shaving cream that will diminish performance.

● Maximize the life and sharpness of blades by rinsing thoroughly after shaving with very hot water and then drying carefully with a towel in the direction of the blades
(i.e. not the direction that would tear the towel). This simple ‘stropping’ action can massively extend blade life.

Shaving Brushes

● A shaving brush not only feels great but its action lifts the beard and ensures that each hair is thoroughly lubricated with shaving cream.

● Badger hair retains water like no other making it ideal for shaving use. Bristle hair brushes are slightly coarser and less effective but cheaper, whilst synthetic hair brushes have come on a long way

● After use, once excess water has been shaken off hang the brush to dry with hair facing downward so that water and suds do not seep into the handle where they can damage the bonding of the hairs.

Post Shave

● Rinse face thoroughly and end with a few splashes of cold water to close the pores.

● Apply a post shave balm or moisturiser to soothe the face, lock in hydration, protect from the elements and encourage new skin cell growth. Post shave products tend to have antiseptic and astringent qualities not usually found in ordinary moisturisers.

● Avoid splashing aftershave directly onto the face after shaving. The fragrance may be nice but aftershave is very dehydrating. If you want to smell nice then you should use Eau de Toilette, applied to the base of the neck and/or the shoulders.

For more on Carter and Bond, Click here.


  1. nice shaving information

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