How To Shave Without A Razor: 4 Great Alternatives
If razors aren’t your thing, that’s totally fine. There are plenty of other ways to manage your whiskers without a blade. Some of them you can do at home and some of them you’ll want to see a professional for -- at least until you feel comfortable performing facial hair removal on your own.
Why Shave Without a Razor?
Some men with sensitive skin find that razors frequently cause irritation. They prefer alternative methods of hair removal, particularly those that last longer than a shave.
Duration plays a major role as well. If you find that your facial hair grows back very quickly, you might not look forward to shaving every other day. Some methods of hair removal will work for weeks, saving you time in the morning and allowing you to get a few more minutes of shut eye.
Some men simply dislike the way they look with facial hair. If your hair grows fine or patchy, you might prefer to stick with the clean shaven look indefinitely. Permanent hair removal methods can help you achieve that look for the long haul.
Waxing is the most popular alternative to shaving, and it isn’t difficult to find great professional waxing services. Many salons and spas, including salons that specialize in manicures, have professional waxers on staff. As long as your facial hair is at least ¼ of an inch long, you’re a candidate for waxing.
During a waxing session, the aesthetician will prep your face. Some aestheticians offer numbing cream. If you’ve never been waxed before and you don’t know what to expect, don’t be shy to ask. You can be numbed enough to dull the sensation.
The aesthetician will use either hard wax or soft wax to remove your hair. The wax is warmed in a special electric pot and applied to your face with a disposable applicator. Hard wax is left to dry on its own. Soft wax requires a fabric strip to be placed on top. The wax will solidify to this strip.
Once the wax has hardened on a section of your face, it’s pulled in the opposite direction of hair growth to remove the hair from the root. The process is completed section by section until your face is completely free of hair. Then, your aesthetician will remove any remaining wax and treat your skin with a soothing oil that can be used to minimize the risk of ingrown hairs. You’ll have a much smoother face than you’d normally have post-shave because waxing removes hair in a very different manner.
Your wax will last anywhere from two to eight weeks, depending on how fast your hair grows. Unlike shaving, which cuts the hair at the middle of the shaft, waxing removes the hair from the root. The follicle needs to create a new hair, and when that hair emerges, it will be soft and tapered at the tip. It won’t come back in blunt and harsh, and you may not even notice when it starts to come back.
Waxing can damage the hair follicle over time, which can either be a good thing or a bad thing. If you prefer a smooth face, you won’t mind if the damage to your follicles over time reduces the overall amount of hair you can grow. If you like to change things up, you may not want to wax frequently. The occasional wax won’t do a tremendous amount of damage, but long term waxing can render enough follicles useless to give you a patchy beard should you decide to stop.
Epilating isn’t as popular as waxing, mostly because people tend to regard it as more painful. An epilator is a device that looks like an electric razor, but it doesn’t cut the hair. It functions as hundreds of tiny tweezers, grabbing hair and plucking it out from the root. It’s performing the same function as waxing, but it’s doing it so much slower. Waxing removes hundreds of hairs in a single second. Epilating takes much longer.
An epilator is a good choice for a man who wants the results of waxing from home, without the messy and complicated process of a wax. It’s much better for a beginner than buying a waxing kit. There are some areas, like from your jawbone to your neck, where waxing can be exceedingly difficult. These areas are much easier for an epilator to access, making it an excellent supplementary tool.
3. Laser Hair Removal
Laser hair removal can be a bit expensive, but it’s designed to be a permanent solution to unwanted hair growth. If you have a patchier beard and you’ve decided that the answer is to get rid of it, rather than using prescription products to attempt to thicken it, then laser hair removal would be a good option for you.
During laser hair removal, a laser emits a special type of light that the pigment in your hair shafts readily absorbs. It absorbs the light as heat, and that heat burns the hair follicle. These burns are not visible on the surface of your skin. This burn will damage the follicle that produces the hair, and it will damage it significantly more than waxing or epilating.
Laser hair removal usually requires several treatments before permanent results will be seen. It can be expensive to keep up with, but when you’re done you’re done. Your hair will never come back, leaving your face eternally smooth.
4. Depilatory Cream
Depilatory cream probably isn’t the best alternative solution to shaving your face. It is, however, a great alternative solution for removing hair from your chest, back, and shoulders. Since areas like your back and your shoulders are harder to reach with a razor, you might find yourself enlisting your wife to come give you a hand when you want to shave them. Depilatory creams will allow you to remove the hair without any help.
Simply spread the hair removal cream on your unwanted body hair and leave it on for the duration suggested on the packaging. Usually, this is about ten minutes. When you’re done, wipe it off and take a shower.
Depilatory creams work by dissolving your hair. They contain special chemicals that target keratin, the material that comprises the structure of your hair. After they’ve broken the hair down, it melts away from the skin. These creams work well, but it’s worth noting that they don’t smell very good. Use them in an area with proper ventilation. You might want to wait out on the porch until it’s time to wash them away.
Some people with sensitive skin find that depilatory creams cause adverse reactions. Try a small test patch on your arm before applying the cream to your whole body. If you don’t notice any redness or stinging sensations when you wipe the patch off, you’re probably safe to continue.
Shaving might be the most common way to remove facial hair, but it isn’t the only way. If you prefer to be clean shaven most of the time, using a method that will provide you with a longer lasting result will make your life a little more convenient.
Don’t forget that shaving doesn’t have to be a task though -- a good shaving session with a hot lather can easily turn into your new favorite self-care routine. Just something to think about! (But we’ll admit, we’re just a bit biased on the subject!)