Bizarrely, shaving is a topic that generates lots of rumours, half-truths, and myths.
For instance, it’s often claimed that hair grows back thicker and darker after shaving, and that sharp razor blades will result in more nicks and cuts.
But is there any truth to any of this? With over 115 years’ experience in the shaving business, we’ve learnt a thing or two about male grooming, so we’ve taken a closer look at ten common shaving myths to uncover the truth.
Myth 1: Hair Grows Back Thicker, Darker and Faster After Shaving
If old wives ever did sit around telling shaving tales, this would be number one. Hair growth, thickness and colour are controlled by genes, not by how often you shave.
This myth likely originates from the fact that the first little bit of facial hair that grows back after a shave will be healthier than the longer hair you removed. This can give the illusion thicker, darker facial hair. What’s more, when you shave, you’re left with blunt ends of hair that can naturally look thicker and darker than what was there before.
Myth 2: You Should Only Let a Barber Trim Your Beard
When you’ve got access to the innovative technology and superior comfort of Gillette razors, you don’t need to pay for a barber to trim your beard. In fact, today, guys have plenty of tools at their disposal to craft the look they want from the comfort of their own bathroom:
- Experience the soothing sensation of a hot towel shave in your own bathroom with the GilletteLabs Heated Razor
- Benefit from a razor that mimics the movements of a barber’s hand with the Fusion5 ProGlide with FlexBall technology
- Trim evenly, shave closely and edge precisely with the Gillette Beard Trimmer.
Myth 3: Facial Hair Doesn’t Need to be Washed as Often
Some say that facial hair doesn’t need washing as often as the hair on your head. But think about it – if you’re washing your hair every day but neglecting your moustache and beard, you’ll soon notice a difference in the way it looks and feels.
Wash your beard as often as you wash your hair, and always wash your facial hair before shaving to make it softer so it’s easier for your razor to cut through.
Myth 4: Your Beard Coverage Will Be Complete by Age 20
If you’ve reached your 20s and are worrying you’re going to be stuck with a patchy beard for the rest of your life, then relax. There’s no reason to be concerned.
Facial hair can get thicker and fill out as you get older – some guys aren’t even ready to shave by their early 20s, so be patient.
Myth 5: Using Multiple Skincare Products Causes Spots
Using lots of different skin care products that aren’t right for your skin type can lead to a build-up of spots, but if you’re using the right kind of products, you shouldn’t have any issues.
A shaving gel or foam is an essential part of wet shaving to help your razor glide comfortably over your skin, and we recommend always using an aftershave lotion or balm as part of your post-shave routine.
Our SkinGuard Sensitive range includes a gel and foam especially for sensitive skin, and our Aftershave Balm will be a little kinder to your skin than a lotion. Both are worth trying if you’re struggling with your skin.
Your skin might look like it’s breaking out if you’re not shaving in the right way, as this can lead to razor bumps and ingrown hairs that look like spots. Make gentle, downward strokes with your razor to avoid this.
Myth 6: Stress Makes You Go Grey Quicker
Stress can contribute to you going grey, but it won’t be the only factor. Genetics also play a big part, so if your dad or grandad went grey young, it’s likely you will too – even if you happen to be the most zen guy around.
It’s true that facial hair tends to go grey faster than the hair on your head. This is because your beard and ‘tache grow at a much faster rate, so any greys will come through quicker.
Myth 7: Razor Blades Should Be Changed Weekly
How fast a razor blade gets dull depends on several things: the quality of the blade, the way it’s made, how often you shave, whether you’ve prepared first with shaving gel or foam, and how you care for your blade after each shave.
After years of observing thousands of men shave, we know that everyone’s a little different and that men should ultimately trust their own feeling about when it’s time to change a blade.
Changing razor blades once a week is probably unnecessary if you’re using a high-quality blade. In fact, one of Gillette’s best blades can give men up to a month of shaves*.
Myth 8: Shaving Makes Your Skin Dry and Flaky
If you’re being rough with your skin when you’re shaving, for instance by going over the same area with your razor repeatedly, then you might find yourself with dry, flaky skin, and what feels like a scratchy, uncomfortable beard. The good news, however, is that this isn’t anything to do with shaving per se, but is instead the result of a poor shaving technique.
There’s a fantastic range of multi-blade razors available from Gillette, such as our Fusion5 collection, which features five anti-friction blades to capture virtually every hair on your face for a seriously close, precise shave. This means you don’t have to keep shaving the same part of your face.
Even if you’re making light, gentle strokes, always moisturise when you’re finished to help keep dry, flaky skin at bay. Read more about combatting dry skin here.
Myth 9: Real Men Don’t Shave Below the Neck
Whether you call it manscaping or body grooming, below-the-neck shaves have many, many fans. One survey by Gillette showed that nearly 4 in 10 men keep it trimmed or bare down there. Also, a rogue 7% said they’ve done their manscaping with the razor their flatmate uses for his face…come on, guys.
When it comes to shaving your chest, armpits, pubic area and even your legs, using our All Purpose Styler and Beard Trimmer is a much better option – just make sure you use different blades for your face and body…
Myth 10: Newer, Sharper Blades Cause More Nicks and Cuts
Try the opposite: older razors or ones with damaged blades are more likely to cause saving cuts. The duller the blade, the more pressure you need to use when you’re shaving, which is how those nicks and cuts happen.
If it feels like the blade is tugging at your skin, or the shave doesn’t feel as close as usual, that’s a sign it’s probably time to change blades.
One easy way to ensure the perfect shave and avoid the guesswork is to sign up for a Gillette shaving subscription for a regular stock of fresh, sharp replacement blades delivered straight to your door, so you can say goodbye to dull blades for good.
*Based on three to four shaves per week.