Shaving Made Easy/Chapter 13
INSTRUCTIONS TO BEGINNERS.
If you are a young man, just beginning to shave, it is important that you commence right. It is quite as easy to learn the right way as the wrong way. Do not entertain the idea that it is a difficult matter for one to shave himself—for there is nothing difficult about it when you know how. You may have previously tried and failed, but if you will now follow the instructions contained in this book, there is no reason why shaving may not be performed without further difficulties.
THE RIGHT WAY TO HOLD THE RAZOR.
The accompanying illustration shows the position in which the razor should be held. It will be observed that the handle is thrown well back past the heel. The first three fingers rest on the back of the blade, with the little finger over the crook at the end, and the thumb on the side of the blade, near the middle. In this position, with the handle acting as a balance, the razor will be under perfect control, and there will be little danger of cutting oneself. This position can be maintained throughout most of the process of shaving, although it may be necessary to change it slightly while shaving certain parts, as for instance the neck, under the jaw. But whatever the position, endeavor to have the razor at all times under perfect control. The position here indicated, is the one we should certainly advise the beginner to adopt, but if a man, from long continued use has formed the habit of holding the razor in a different way, any change will prove difficult and may not be advisable.
Owing no doubt largely to individual temperament, there is considerable variation in the manner of using the razor, with different persons. Some find a long slow stroke best, while others make it short and quick. Each man must suit the stroke to his own convenience. But certain principles are applicable to everybody. In the first place you should begin with a slow even stroke, gradually increasing it as you gain better control of the razor. Speed will develop naturally with practice.
Hold the razor quite flat upon the face. Do not pull the razor directly down against the beard, but hold it obliquely to the direction of movement. In general shave in the direction of the growth of the beard, like this:
Shaving against the growth pulls the hairs and thus irritates the skin, and if the beard is heavy and wiry the edge of the blade is quite liable to catch in the hairs and be deflected inward and cut the face.
The mirror should hang between two windows if possible, so that when you look into it the light will fall directly upon both sides of your face. You will then be able to get a good reflection of either side. Remove the collar. To prevent soiling the shirt, place a towel around the neck in an easy, comfortable manner, pinning it at the side.