Going to a barbershop and getting your beard styled is an amazing experience, but sometimes you either don’t have the money or you want to get that same kind of experience at home. Nothing is better than shaving in your own bathroom, keeps you comfortable and in your own space. So, how would you like to be able to give yourself that same great quality shave?

The first, and most important step, preparation. A lot of people like to overlook the prep of the shaving process, even though this is a crucial part! If you prep yourself correctly, your skin will be cleansed, pores opened, and skin soft. If you want a smooth shave, make sure to do it after or at the tail end of a hot shower. This softens the beard and opens pores, but if you don’t have time to shower, a hot towel and some water can be used for the same effect. Make sure to have a high quality shave cream, one that is glycerin based, and DO NOT go for products with menthol. It will close your pores and make the beard hair stiff. If you’re like me and have sensitive skin, you may want to use an oil that can be applied pre-shave that will soften your beard and prevent razor burn. Use a badger shaving brush to apply the shaving cream, doing it in a circular motion. It will help create a good lather, and even exfoliate your skin!

The next step is the main show, the crucial shave! If you prepped correctly, your beard hair and skin will be properly lubricated. Razor burn and ingrown hairs can come as the result of poor lubrication and a less-than-ready blade. A sharp blade is just as important; it will make the experience a quick, close, and comfortable shave. With your free hand, pull the area of the skin that you are about to shave tight and gently glide the razor over the area. Do not apply pressure, and rinse the blade often of the hair and shaving cream mixture. Also make sure to shave with the grain, not against it, to avoid razor burn or ingrown hairs. If you accidentally cut yourself, make sure to put pressure to the area to stop the bleeding, and clean it thoroughly.

The final step of getting that great shave is closing up your pores and rinsing your face with some cool water. When drying your face, gently pat with a soft cloth, and you can use a nice aftershave balm as well. I would advise against using any products that have alcohol in them, this could dry out your skin. Using a good aftershave will help heal and moisturize the skin.

Shaving is not magic and you don’t need to be a pro to get that amazing shave. You can give yourself a great shave at home if you follow the steps above, and you’ll look fresh every time you do it. Now get out there and become a shaving master!

Get more tips on beard and hair care here!