Robert Natali's Shaving Basics

Hairs That Go Bump
Dare to Prepare
Let Off a Little Steam
Stay Sharp, Never Dull
Shave With the Grain
Focus on Your Face
Bury the Dead Skin Cells
After Shave After Shave


The average man’s beard about grows two millimeters every day. Granted, you’re far better than average. Even so, you’ll probably shave about 20,000 times in your lifetime. Doesn’t it make sense to know what you’re doing?

There’s more to shaving than meets the beard. Our pure, high-performance shave products will help transform what was once a tedious, daily chore into a sublime, skin-enriching ritual. But there are other factors that can make or break a great shave. Whether you're routinely beset by the casualties of the blade or simply long for a sublime grooming experience, revere the beard and revel in the results.

The following tips will enhance your shaving experience…

Hairs That Go Bump in the Night (and Other Common Shaving Problems)

The four most common shaving problems are razor burn, nicks, ingrown hairs, and razor bumps. All can be avoided, if not eliminated, by using high-performance shave products and tweaking your technique. Here’s what causes them…

  • Razor burn or chafing is similar to a red rash. It comes from over-exfoliating—scraping away too many skin cells while shaving. This results from poor or no preparation, inferior shave products or a dull blade, for which you compensate by going over a patch of beard too many times. The symptoms include burning, stinging, itching, and redness.
  • An ingrown hair occurs when a hair is pushed back into its follicle and grows inward. The skin treats this hair as a foreign object, triggering an inflammatory response causing itchiness, rawness, and a blemish-like bump.
  • A razor bump occurs when a hair twists inward into another hair follicle. The skin treats this hair as a foreign object, resulting in a protective mass of tissue to form over the two follicles and adjoining hair. Similar to an ingrown hair, it causes itchiness, rawness, and a blemish-like bump.
  • Nicks and cuts come from poor or no preparation, careless shaving, inferior shave products, or all three. Shaving involves pressing a sharp blade against your skin. If your skin is unprotected, you are far more likely to cut yourself. That’s why we recommend using a pre-shave oil to coat and protect your skin, and a shave cream that creates a substantial cushion and buffer between skin and blade.

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Dare to Prepare

Prepping helps minimize and often eliminate the most common shaving hazards. On the other hand (the hand not holding the razor), lack of preparation can lead to several skin problems including premature aging. That’s because shaving exposes your skin to extreme irritation by scraping away too many surface cells, what’s known as over-exfoliating.

Exfoliation can compromise your skin’s acid mantle, the natural layer of oil and water that retains moisture and provides environmental protection. An imbalance can lead to inflamed, dehydrated and sensitized skin, resulting in fine lines, wrinkles, and sagging. That’s why it’s important to use shave products that protect, soothe, and balance skin.

Follow these simple prep steps for a better shave…

  • Cleanse face with warm water and a pure, natural pre-shave wash. In addition to removing dirt and dead skin cells that can impede razor flow, this step will help soften your beard, reducing blade resistance for a closer, more comfortable shave.
  • Follow with a pure, natural pre-shave oil to further reduce beard resistance, soften hairs and lift them safely away from skin. It also coats the skin, providing a protective layer and an optimal gliding surface for the razor.
  • After applying shave cream, pause briefly, allowing it to fully soften beard. Take this moment to glance at the futures market or yesterday’s sports scores. Or simply envision the day going your way.

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Let Off a Little Steam

Shaving in the shower or afterwards—never before—helps soften your beard, reducing blade resistance so the razor can glide easier and shave closer. (Our jars and bottles are made from durable plastic so you can use them safely in the shower.) For best results, make shaving the last part of your showering ritual.

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Stay Sharp, Never Dull

Always use a sharp razor blade. Dull blades will cause razor burn due to the extra pressure and strokes you use to compensate. If you shave every day, change your blade once a week—if not sooner. To minimize abrasion, we recommend a single blade. If you prep properfully and use pure, high-performance products, one blade's all you need.

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Shave With the Grain (You Won’t Complain)

There’s a little rebel in all of us, but don’t let it interfere with your shaving technique. Shave primarily in the direction of hair growth. If you have a heavy beard, you may want to shave against the grain as well, but keep it to a minimum to avoid razor burn, ingrown hairs, and razor bumps.

Pulling your skin tight, shave in long, even strokes. Be careful not to put too much pressure on the blade. Use pure, high-performance shave products and they’ll do most of the work for you. Save the toughest part of your beard (usually the neck) for last. This allows the shave cream to continue softening the more challenging areas. Avoid shaving over irritated or overly sensitive skin. Rinse the blade often.

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Focus on Your Face

Shaving isn’t brain surgery, but it helps to clear your mind and focus. After all, you’re pressing a sharp blade against your face. All it takes is one fleeting thought about a bad stock purchase to send your razor on a lethal slalom from cheek to chin. Unless you want Van Gogh as a nickname, be careful and pay attention. Don’t rush the experience—it’s quality face time.

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Bury the Dead Skin Cells

While you should never exfoliate just before or after shaving, it’s important to use a face scrub regularly to keep skin pores unclogged and strip away dead skin cells that can impede razor flow. Exfoliating also discourages razor bumps and ingrown hairs. Best of all, it reveals a fresh new layer of skin. If you shave in the morning, use a face scrub every other day as part of your evening skincare regimen. This will ensure ample time between exfoliation and your next shave.

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After Shave After Shave

Never put cologne on a freshly shaved face. Your skin may react negatively to the synthetic ingredients many contain. Instead, use a pure, natural after shave balm or lotion to soothe and condition skin. If you want to use cologne, spray it on your shoulders and away from your face.

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*Exfoliation may aggravate severe acne or certain chronic skin conditions. In that case, stick to gentle cleansing, and consult a dermatologist if problems persist.