After a month-long stint of growing out mustaches and beards, it's time to say goodbye to Movember and unruly facial hair everywhere.
If you do decide to shave it all off on December 1st, you better get prepared — your skin hasn't seen a razor in months, so now's the time to be careful and gentle.
We spoke with barber Duvall Lawton, one of the original barbers at Harry's flagship barbershop in New York City, to get some expert tips for getting rid of facial hair that's been growing for 30 days.
1. Trim your beard and mustache as close as possible. "If you have a big beard, I would trim it down so if there are any ingrown hairs, or a mole, or irritation to the skin you can see it before you start shaving," Lawton suggests.
2. Apply a hot towel to your face for about 30 seconds. This lets the pores open up, and softens your hair follicles, according to Lawton. Plus, it will feel indulgently good.
3. Lather on pre-shave oil and/or shaving cream and moisturize it into the skin. Let it sit for a few minutes to soften the hair.
4. Run the razor under warm water for 20 seconds. "The warm water actually heats up the razor, which makes the razor sharper," Lawton says. "When you take that first stroke, you'll feel a big difference when that razor is hot."
5. Shave with the grain, or the direction your hair is growing, to avoid razor burn or ingrown hairs. Avoid going over areas multiple times to keep irritation to a minimum.
6. After you're done shaving, combine some alcohol and cold water on a towel and place it on your face for 20 seconds to close up your pores. Store-bought astringents will also work.
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7. Keep your skin soft and massage some moisture back into your pores (it's been dried out with the hot and cold towels). Harry's barber Lawton recommends Musgo Real After Shave Balsam. "It's an aftershave balm. It has almond and jojoba oils, and is a great a treatment for dry and damaged skin," Lawton said.
Congratulations — you now have the closest shave of your life.
And if you're more of a barbershop guy, Harry's will be hosting a National Shave Day on Dec. 1 at select barbershops around the country. Find out more information and see if your local barbershop is participating here.
SEE ALSO: I Just Found A New Haircut Place