The neck can be particularly difficult to shave. It’s a sensitive area. Some people have trouble with razor burn, redness, and pain. Others get nicks, cuts, and ingrown hairs. And some just can’t seem to get a close shave.
Luckily, getting a better shave on your neck can be done. You just need to arm yourself with good products (like Cremo) and some specialized shaving knowledge.
Gathering the Right Tools
You may think that “a razor is a razor” but if you are plagued with problems when shaving your neck, you may need to reconsider your choice of shaving tools. Some razors are better than others with specific purposes. Plus, if you are rocking a beard, you’ll want to take care when shaping and trimming it.
If you’re using the typical multi-blade cartridge razor, and you have difficulty with razor burn or nicks, your best bet to reduce irritation may be to use a cartridge with fewer blades. Multi-blade cartridge razors can “overshave” a sensitive area like the neck quite easily, so it’s worth making a strategic retreat from the “razor blade wars.”
In fact, the old school single blade safety razor might be your best solution here. One of the things you can do to further reduce irritation when shaving on sensitive areas like the neck is to combine a “gentle” safety razor (one with a smaller gap between the blade edge and the razor’s safety bar) with a high performance razor blade that is sharpened to a higher specification. While that might sound complicated, a quick internet search should unveil several options.
No matter what cartridge or blade you use, don’t keep it beyond its useful life. A fresh, sharp blade edge can do wonders for preventing trouble.
If you have a beard, you’re going to want an electric trimmer to keep it tidy while not irritating the neck. Get a trimmer with a built-in adjustable guard that allows you to set the length of cut. This is important for a couple reasons: you can get an even level of stubble (different parts may grow at different rates), and you can adjust the length of the beard hair “borders” to make shaving the rest of the neck easier.
You also want to look for a trimmer with a motor that does not heat up dramatically. Hot trimmer blades can irritate the skin and cause redness.
Lotions, Creams, And Balms
Along with the shaving “hardware”, you need to consider some upgraded shaving “software” as well. Investing in better products will give you better results.
Get a cleansing product specifically made to wash the face--no deodorant or body bars here, please! A face wash (like Cremo Face Wash) is specially formulated to clean and hydrate the skin while not stripping away too much of the skin’s natural oils — which are vital for a comfortable shave.
Plus, a good shave cream will help both lubricate and protect the skin during shaving. Nothing out of a pressurized can! The propellant can dry out the skin. Cremo offers a number of excellent shave creams that will get the job done without watching a cloud of foam go down the drain.
For the finishing touch, use a good aftershave balm (without alcohol as the first ingredient) to calm and protect the skin after shaving.
Tips for Shaving Your Neck
Now that you have your “hardware” and “software”, it’s time to tackle the shave itself. Although these tips concentrate on the neck, many of the concepts can be applied to shaving other areas too. Here are 12 tips for getting a better shave on the neck:
Tip #1 - Understand How The Hair On Your Neck Grows
Understanding how the hair grows on your neck is essential to overcoming shaving problems there. The direction(s) the hairs grow in– the “grain” of the beard– can be completely counterintuitive when it comes to the neck. It can even grow in a circular pattern.
Map out how yours grows. Let your beard grow out for a day or so then lightly stroke your fingertips over your beard in different directions to determine the grain of the beard. Some directions will feel rough, other directions will feel smoother. The direction that is the smoothest is the direction of your beard grain. You can also use a credit card or a thick piece of paper, the grain should be the direction with the quietest sound. Don’t be surprised if the grain changes direction on different parts of the neck.
Use a mapping aid like this one:
Writing arrows in the direction of growth in each box will help you understand how to best shave those areas.
Tip #2 - Careful Preparation
Properly preparing the skin of the neck before shaving is often overlooked. You want to make the neck gets thoroughly cleaned with hot water. If ingrown hairs on the neck are an issue for you, give that area a good scrubbing with a washcloth before putting razor to skin.
Some have found that applying a pre-shave oil on the neck helps reduce redness and irritation. However, others find that pre-shave oils tend to clog pores, increasing the likelihood of ingrown hairs. Give it a try to see if it works for you. Simply cleanse the neck, apply the oil, and then apply your shaving cream.
Tip #3 - Lather The Neck First
If you lather your neck first and shave it last, you will give the stubble the longest possible time to hydrate and soften, which should improve your chances of a good shave.
Tip #4 - Shave Efficiently
Your initial shave strokes need to be with the grain, without repeating strokes. Don’t worry about getting every bit of hair at first. Just concentrate with light strokes that overlap very slightly. Resist the urge to shave the same spot over and over again. Please.
Tip #5 - Shave In “Passes”
After you have shaved your face and neck with the grain, you can briefly rinse with warm water then re-lather and shave across the grain. If you want to try to get a closer shave, you can rinse and re-lather again. This time shave across the grain from the opposite direction. Reducing the stubble in stages is the key take-away here.
Many people try to shave against the grain. but this should be attempted carefully, particularly on the neck. For some people, the neck is just too sensitive.
Tip #6 - Flatten The Skin (But Do Not Over-Stretch!)
The neck is a surface of curves and angles. Many shavers will tilt their head upwards to pull the skin of the neck taut. This may help, but it doesn’t really flatten the area. Instead, try leaning forward and tilting your head back slightly.
Another way to flatten the area under the jaw is to tilt your head down. You may look like a bullfrog, but some people find it useful to get to hard-to-reach areas.
What about the Adam’s Apple? There are a couple things you can do to shave that area too. One is to swallow and try to hold the swallow. You won’t be able to actually hold it for more than a moment or two, but it should be long enough to take a shaving stroke. Or you can try to carefully slide the skin over the Adam’s Apple to one side--be careful not to over-stretch it though.
Tip #7 - Take Shorter Strokes With The Razor
Shorter strokes with the razor may also help cover flatter areas more consistently.
Tip #8 - Put NO Pressure On The Razor
Modern cartridge razors are engineered to partially compensate for too much pressure on the skin (but only to a certain extent). If you’re using an old-school razor, you’re going to have to remember to use little to no pressure on the razor. No matter what kind of razor you use, holding the razor at the very bottom of the handle will usually help reduce the amount of pressure of the blade on the skin. You can also try holding the razor by its center-of-gravity (balance point) but this may not work well with every razor.
Tip #9 - Try Some “Advanced” Shaving Tricks on Small Areas
It may be for not for everyone, but if you have small areas of stubble or rough patches on the neck, you can try shave techniques like “J-Hooking” or “Blade Buffing” to cover those areas without re-shaving–and possibly getting irritation–over a wider area.
Tip #10 - Try Using Cold Water Instead Of Hot
Some shavers experience noticeable improvement by using cold water instead of hot. Warm water brings blood flow closer to the surface of the skin, making redness and nicks more likely. To combat this, try preparing with warm water followed by a cold water shave. Then try a complete cold water routine to see if there is a difference. Experiment to see the difference.
Tip #11 - Thoroughly Clean the Neck After Shaving
Thoroughly rinsing the neck with warm water after shaving (but before applying aftershave) may help remove any lingering lather residue that might clog pores--something particularly important to clean away for those prone to ingrown hairs. You can even take it one step further. After the warm water rinse, soak a cotton pad in a hydrosol, skin toner, or even some witch hazel, then wipe down the neck. You may be surprised what the pad picks up. Follow with a brief cool water rinse and then apply an aftershave product.
Tip #12 - Settle for Less?
Do you really need that “baby’s butt smooth” neck? Maybe it’s time to skip that third pass and go for looking “presentable.”
Shave better with Cremo
Of course, to get the best shave possible, we suggest using Cremo Shave Cream for obvious reasons. It’s rich and concentrated with impossibly slick molecules which create an ideal surface for your razor to glide over. It’s been highlighted in numerous men’s grooming articles and blogs, and it’s won numerous coveted grooming product awards.
Cremo Company offers virtually everything you need to upgrade your complete grooming routine, from head to toe. Body wash, shampoo, beard and face care, colognes and more. Learn more at www.cremocompany.com
Everything is designed to astonishingly superior standards for today’s discerning gentleman. So stay handsome. The crown has you covered.