How often you shave depends on your desired facial hair appearance, genetics, and the comfort of your skin. You should only shave once every few days as it allows your skin to heal fully. Men who prefer smooth skin can shave daily, but the proper steps must be taken.
In today’s guide, we will go over shave frequency, genetics, desired facial hair styles, and how to prevent common ailments of over-shaving such as razor burn, ingrown hairs, and dry skin.
We will also suggest a few shaving products that have a measurable impact on the comfort of the shave and the appearance of your skin.
Desired Facial Hair Style
How often you shave will, of course, determine the look you desire.
- Hair Free Face (Daily Shaving): If you desire close, clean-looking results, you’ll need to shave daily. However, to do so, you must prepare your skin properly while employing the proper shaving techniques. This includes wetting the facial hair, applying a thick lather, and using a reliably sharp razor blade. Equally important to the shave is the aftercare regimen. Shaving drys out the skin, so you must moisturize your skin with an aftershave balm or face lotion. Moisturizing helps protect the skin’s natural moisture barrier and reduces irritation and dry skin.
- Light Stubble (3 or 4 times per Week): This is the frequency at which most men shave. By shaving every other day, you give your skin time to heal if you have sensitive to dry skin, it’s important to give your skin time to rest before shaving again.
- Moderate Stubble (Weekly): Shaving once a week is ideal for those men whose facial hair grows thin or those who prefer to have stubble. However, clogging may occur if you shave weekly with a multi-blade razor. Therefore, consider using a single-blade or open comb safety razor, as they are less likely to clog. Weekly Shaving also saves considerably on your grooming expenses.
- Heavy Stubble to Full Beard (Greater than One Week): Shaving less than once a week will result in significant beard growth for most men. With this long between Shaving, you may want to consider using a beard trimmer to maintain facial hair. Additionally, other products will be recommended to be worked into your facial hair, such as a beard conditioner to prevent dryness.
In addition to the desired facial hair style, genetics also play a role in determining how often you should shave. For example, some men have naturally thick facial hair that may require daily Shaving that’ll still provide them with a sufficient stubble appearance, whereas others may have much more sparse facial hair growth that’ll require less frequent Shaving.
Diet & Lifestyle
To a much lesser extent, diet and lifestyle may impact the rate of facial hair growth. As published by the Harvard Medical School obesity can significantly lower testosterone:
Obesity lowers testosterone levels. For example, a 2007 study of 1,667 men ages 40 and above found that each one-point increase in BMI was associated with a 2% decrease in testosterone. In addition, a 2008 study of 1,862 men ages 30 and above found that waist circumference was an even stronger predictor of low testosterone levels than BMI. A four-inch increase in waist size increased a man’s odds of having a low testosterone level by 75%; for comparison, 10 years of aging increased the odds by only 36%. All in all, waist circumference was the strongest single predictor of developing symptoms of testosterone deficiency. And if you doubt these two American studies, just consider Australian research that found almost one in every seven obese men could benefit from testosterone replacement, a rate more than four times higher than in nonobese men.https://www.health.harvard.edu/mens-health/obesity-unhealthy-and-unmanly
Why does this matter?
As stated by MedicalNewsToday, “low testosterone can adversely affect beard growth.”
A healthy lifestyle can determine how quickly your beard grows and, as a byproduct, may determine how frequently you need to pick up the razor to save.
The tool you use to shave your face can also impact how often you need to shave. Here are a few common razor types and how often they should be used:
- Multi-Blade Razors (Cartridge Razors, Disposable Razors): Multi-blade razors provide a close shave due to hysteresis (lift-and-cut). When used daily, there is quite a bit of stress on the skin, requiring adequate preparation and technique. This means using both an emollient-rich shaving cream paired with an aftershave. We recommend using this type of razor every other day for effective and comfortable results.
- Single Blade Razors (Safety Razors, Straight Razors): Single-blade razors such as safety, straight, and hybrid razors can be used for daily shaving. These razors don’t cut nearly as close to the skin and reduce the risk of razor burn or bumps. However, proper preparation and technique must be followed.
- Electric Trimmers (Electric Shaver, Stubble Trimmer): Electric shavers, stubble trimmers, and beard trimmers work well when used daily on short and dry facial hair. A shorter facial hair length will reduce the chance of tugging or pulling as the hair is clipped. Shaving daily will also allow for smooth results.
Common Ailments of Shaving too Much
Here are common problems that you may encounter if you shave too frequently:
Ingrown hairs often occur when a cartridge razor is passed against the grain. This causes the hair to be cut just below the skin’s surface. As the hair regrows, it cannot cleanly exit the skin and becomes ingrown. Frequent shaving isn’t a cause of razor bumps; poor shaving technique is. Razor bumps are common in men with dense or curly facial hair.
A variety of factors can cause razor burn. How often you shave may be one leading cause of razor burn. This is typically a result of your skin becoming too dry or sensitive. Other common causes of razor burn include:
- A dull razor blade
- Too much pressure applied when shaving
- Poor shaving supplies
When you shave every day, your skin cannot retain moisture and will dry out. Therefore, either a hydrating aftershave balm or face moisturizer must be applied immediately after you have finished shaving. This will help to reduce irritation or tightness of freshly shaved skin.
If you accidentally cut yourself while shaving, bacteria may enter the wound and cause an infection. Minor cuts and nicks are often a result of poor shaving technique or a dull razor blade.
Consider These Additional Products When Shaving
You must rely on well-made products for your shaving routine when shaving every day. Here are a few categories of products to consider:
- Pre-shave Treatment: Pre-shave oils and creams provide lubrication, allowing the razor blade to glide easier on the skin. This can help reduce irritation while shaving.
- Sharp Razor Blades: A dull razor blade increases irritation by tugging the hair follicle root when cut. Sharp blades allow for fewer passes and a cleaner cut. Make sure that you replace your razor blades often. Consider a safety razor if you aren’t willing to incur the costs of expensive cartridge refills.
- Shaving Cream: Shaving cream is one of the most important parts of the shaving routine. Well-made shaving cream will retain both moisture and heat in your skin. This allows for a comfortable shaving experience.
- Aftershave: Not all aftershaves sting and dry out your skin. Aftershave balms disinfect and moisturize your skin to reduce tightness, redness, and discomfort.
Preparation is Important
No matter how often you shave, preparation is important. When possible, take a warm shower before shaving. This will help swell and soften facial hair, allowing the razor blade to cut through hair with less effort.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is shaving every day bad for your skin?
Shaving daily can be bad for your skin if you don’t take the proper steps to prepare and protect your skin. Using a sharp blade, good shaving cream, and applying a moisturizer after shaving will help prevent irritation and dryness. However, by not doing so, you open your skin to inflammation.
Will shaving more often increase facial hair growth?
Shaving frequently will not cause your beard to grow faster or thicker. This common myth has been disproven several times. It appears thicker because hair is tapered, with the thickest part at the base of the hair follicle. As the hair grows, it tapers to a thinner tip. You remove the tapered portion of the hair when you shave, leaving the thicker base. This is why it appears thicker. Additionally, men begin shaving during puberty, when new facial hair grows and often at a quicker rate.
Always look at your skin for guidance, whether shaving daily or only once a week. If it is beginning to show signs of dryness or irritation, then you must make the appropriate changes.
We hope this guide will help you strike the right balance of frequency and comfort when shaving.