For six weeks, Men’s Fitness associate editor Matt Caputo had been growing out a full-on beard. At first it seemed like a nice change of pace, but now he’s itching to rid the hairy, face-hugging alien that’s taken over his face. Enter the master barbers of The Art of Shaving.
If you find yourself in a similar (prickly) situation, follow these tips from barbers Israel Leon and Gabriel Davidov to go from scruffy to smooth:
Mow Down Your Beard
Use an electric shaver (without the guard) to lower the length into something a little more manageable. Continue to prep your face by rinsing it with hot water (to open the pores) and applying a pre-shave oil to minimize irritation.
Invest in a Power Razor
Obviously a straight razor provides the closest shave possible, but a power razor (Israel recommends the Gillette Fusion ProGlide) works well because the vibrations help guide the hairs to the blade.
Go Down and Out
When shaving your mustache and chin area, shave with the grain, using short, downward strokes. When you get to your neck, flip the razor upside-down and shave against the grain, using upward strokes. For your jawline, go from chin to ear using outward strokes.
For more close-shave trade secrets—like tackling the tricky crevice underneath your bottom lip—click on the video.