Men, according to Tristan Walker, your method of shaving needs a more refreshing approach.
Walker, the former director of business development for Foursquare, shared his tips on the art of perfecting a clean shave in this trusty guide, Shaving Like a 1900s Gentlemen.
Walker wants to help rid four o’clock shadows and bikini lines of the shaving industry’s dirty little secret—razor bumps—through his high-end shaving kit, Bevel that includes a skincare line infused with organic ingredients.
Razor bumps are a common skin issue amid curly-haired men and four out of five Black men said Walker. Similar to ingrown hairs, they are trapped hair follicles that grow underneath the skin, but are marked by whiteheads and skin discoloration.
According to Walker, preventing razor bumps lies in your shaving technique, specifically, a deft 30 degree angle and a few lush accoutrements.
Nix-Free, Smooth Skin
Bevel is a five-part system that bills the razor as the hero said Walker. It features a classic take on the art of shaving—a brass steel razor circa 1900s, with curved edges that makes for a precise, nix-free shave.
Bevel’s accompanying four piece skin care line is clinically tested by dermatologists to reduce razor bumps said Walker. And with regular use, he alleges, men will notice smoother, irritation-free skin.
The line’s skincare products are infused with organic ingredients such as aloe vera juice, shea butter and sweet almond extract.
The restoring balm includes lemon peel and lactic and salicylic acids to combat hyperpigmentation, a common result of razor bumps among Black men.
Tea tree and castor seed oils are also enriched within the line for hydration.
Good Bye Razor Bumps?
A Bronx native, Walker experienced the pesky skin condition during his teen years when he began using all types of hair removal products like depilatory creams and electric clippers to rid his stubble.
“Most of these shaving issues are a result of using the wrong grooming tools and products,” said Walker. “Using the wrong product can cause curly, coarse hairs to curl back into the skin. [That] causes major damage like ingrown hairs. That’s not a good look.”
Walker’s razor bumps persisted for years despite using countless of products. Frustrated, he launched Bevel through his flagship Walker & Company Brand in December of last year after receiving a $2.4 million investment from Ben Horowitz of Andreessen Horowitz and Nas.
While Walker primes his dive into the shaving industry, a market that boasts an annual revenue of $13 billion, women everywhere anticipate the joy of rubbing their guys smooth face sans razor bumps.
Step One: 30 Degree Technique
"Always use the 30 degree technique," said Tristan Walker. Before you start, hold the razor at a 30 degree angle. Here’s how:
a. Grab your Bevel razor and hold the logo on the head of the razor against your skin.
b. Start tilting the handle until the blade just touches your skin. Do not apply pressure. Be easy. That’s close enough. That’s your 30 degree angle.
Step Two: With the Grain
"Always shave in the direction your hair grows," said Tristan Walker. This is called “with the grain.” Check to see how it grows on both your face and neck before starting. Shaving with the grain will help prevent irritation and bumps.
Step Three: Wet Shave
"Never shave over dry or bare skin," said Tristan Walker. A wet shave is more ideal for men who have sensitive skin and typically suffer from razor burns, razor bumps and skin irritation. Re-lather as needed.
Step Four: Patience Is A Virtue
"Never speed shave," said Tristan Walker. He advises men to take their time focusing on applying pressure as opposed to rushing. You’ll avoid nicks and irritation this way.
Step Five: Keep It Clean
"Never use a blade more than three times," warns Tristan Walker. He advises men to regularly run their blades under hot water and lie it on its side to air dry. "Keep it fresh," he said.
Step Six: Steam & Priming Oil
"Take a hot shower before you shave to open up the pores and soften the hair," said Tristan Walker. A shower is the best but you can also start your shave by holding a damp, hot towel against your skin for at least one minute. Immediately after a hot shower (or hot towel treatment), message a nickel-sized amount of priming oil onto your skin. No need to rinse it off.
Step Seven: Lather
"Soak your brush bristles in the hot running water for about 20 seconds," said Tristan Walker. Give it one strong flick to remove excess water. You’ll need the remaining water to create the lather. Squeeze a nickel-sized amount of shave cream onto the brush. Apply the shave cream in a strong circular motion. Use a bit of speed and pressure to whip up a foamy lather. Set the brush with the leftover cream aside. You might need some more later.
Step Eight: Shaving
"Remember to maintain your 30 degree angle and do not apply pressure," said Tristan Walker. The weight of the Bevel razor head will do the work for you. In short glides, shave in the same direction your hair grows. Rinse your Bevel razor with hot water after every few glides to remove excess lather. When done, rinse your face with warm water and feel around to see if the first pass was close enough for you. If not, run it back for a second pass. Just make sure you lather up again first. When done, rinse your Bevel razor in hot water and set it on its side to dry.
Step Nine: Restore
"Rinse your skin with cold water to close your pore," said Tristan Walker. Don’t rub, gently pat dry with a clean towel. Rub a nickel-sized amount of restoring balm into your skin.