Help me lessen my shaving frequency.
July 9, 2006 3:51 PM   Subscribe

I hate shaving! Thankfully I don't have the same problem as some other men which requires me to shave every day, but even at every second day it's a hassle. Is there anything simple I can do to slow my facial hair growth so that I need only shave, say, once a week at most?
posted by Effigy2000 to Health & Fitness (31 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Grow a beard?
posted by Mwongozi at 3:52 PM on July 9, 2006

I hated shaving as well until I started shaving in the shower... Get yourself a fog-free mirror for the shower. Not only is shaving less of a hassle, since the shower is already part of my daily grooming routine, but all that water and steam make shaving easier in the shower. Plus no sink to clean up!
posted by Robot Johnny at 3:56 PM on July 9, 2006

Try Aveeno Positively Smooth moisturizer -- don't know how it would work for men, but probably the same as for women. It slows hair growth.
posted by theredpen at 4:01 PM on July 9, 2006

So while he still has to shave as many times (every day for him when he's keeping it clean) he did reduce the time it takes to shave by a lot. He read an article and switched to using baby oil. It was worse at first (the first 3 or 4 days) and then the skin started feeling not only firmer but softer as well. After his shower it takes less than two minutes to be completely done. He hasn't moved on to water only as the oil suits him just fine. So spread the word. Shaving cream is a racket. or something.
posted by nadawi at 4:03 PM on July 9, 2006

I hate shaving.

But I'm learning to appreciate taking the time to spoil myself with a good shave.

I suggest giving the old double-edge safety razor style a go. Purchase a cheap Merkur HD holder, a cheap boar's bristle shaving brush, some moderately-cheap Body Shop shaving cream, and a pack of cheap Wilkenson Sword double-edged blades, and seeing how that does you.

If it turns out you like spoiling yourself with the hot-shower shave routine with cheap-ass DE system, you'll find you really like spoiling yourself with a good bladeholder, brush, cream, and blades.

If not, then you should probably buy a good electric razor and simply suffer the fate of your male sex. Take comfort: at least you're never pressured to wear high heels!
posted by five fresh fish at 4:13 PM on July 9, 2006

BTW, go do a search for "wet shaving." A wealth of information awaits your eyes.
posted by five fresh fish at 4:14 PM on July 9, 2006

Use cheap disposable razors (the *gasp* two-bladers) and screw the shaving cream. The key is speed.
posted by reklaw at 4:33 PM on July 9, 2006

If all you're trying to do is avoid shaving, I recommend using electric hair clippers - its extremely fast, safe and easy. The downside is that it looks like you shaved two days ago which can be trouble if your work is picky about facial hair.
posted by Tryptophan-5ht at 4:45 PM on July 9, 2006

Shave acoustic on monday, skip tuesday, shave electric on wednesday, and you're good until the weekend. Repeat.
posted by furtive at 5:13 PM on July 9, 2006

I hate shaving too. When I can get away with it, I shave on monday, and let it grow out the rest of the week. Friday its starting to look pretty shaggy, especially my neck, but fuck anyone who mentions it.

Anyway, when I couldn't get away with that (ie, school + work), I'd shave every other day after showers. I had it down to about a minute for a decent shave with a Mach 3 before I gave up & all but stopped. Now I just do it when it itches.
posted by devilsbrigade at 5:18 PM on July 9, 2006

Anyway, the moral of the lesson is, learn to shave fast & efficiently. Do a side at a time... go down the side of your face first, then up, then your jaw once towards your chin, then up your neck, and depending on how brave you are, down your neck (this is the only time I've ever cut myself when I'm shaving quickly). Then do the other side. Find some time in there for the mustache - that's the thing that I notice starts looking bad after even a day for me.
posted by devilsbrigade at 5:20 PM on July 9, 2006

If you work somewhere fairly casual, you can get away with not shaving a day or three. Lots of hunky guys on TV have that permanent 2nd day after shaving look. Also second the beard thing.
posted by rikschell at 5:30 PM on July 9, 2006

I shave after I shower before I turn the water off. It's soft enough from the hot water that I don't use any sort of cream, lotion or oil. I then do any extra clean up after I get out and in front of the mirror.
posted by stavrogin at 6:27 PM on July 9, 2006

I'm speculating here as I've never tried it, but I wonder if any dudes wax their face like a girl will wax her legs? Theoretically you would only have to wax every few weeks.

Or nair on the face, though I've heard some nasty things about that.
posted by blahtsk at 7:04 PM on July 9, 2006

You could try Magic Extra Strength Shaving Powder, which is a depilatory favored by black men whose beard hairs are very thick and curly, and tend to become painfully ingrown with daily shaving. The powder is quite alkaline; you mix it with a few drops of water, apply the paste to your face for 5 to 7 minutes, and it breaks down the beard hairs, so that you can wipe them off with a spatula. The stubble that grows back in a few days will have finer ends than the sharply cut stubble of razor cut hairs, and it will take a day or two longer for the stubble to show than it would after shaving, as the hairs tend to break off in the follicle, as they do with any depilatory product.

Downside is that the stuff is highly alkaline, and you can chemically burn your face if you leave it on too long; follow directions carefully. You might have a combination of skin and beard hair where your skin is too sensitive to the powder too be left on long enough to chemically soften the hairs enough to be easily removed. Some guys find that pre-conditioning and/or post conditioning, or using alternative formulations helps them tolerate the depilatory powder.

But these powders are all less irritating than the depilatory products made for women's legs; whatever you do, don't experiment with using those on your face!
posted by paulsc at 7:15 PM on July 9, 2006 [3 favorites]

To slow beard growth, you could try an orchiectomy. There are chemical treatments used by some prostate cancer patients. Talk to your doctor about Depo-Provera.
posted by RussHy at 7:37 PM on July 9, 2006

laser hair removal? google search it.
posted by chefscotticus at 8:08 PM on July 9, 2006

did i just write "google search"?
posted by chefscotticus at 8:09 PM on July 9, 2006

You meant "Google® brand search" I'm sure.
posted by kindall at 9:47 PM on July 9, 2006

I'd love to find more information on this. If I could grow a decent beard, I TOTALLY would, because I hate shaving. I end up shaving 2 times a week, leading to serious scruff-factor, but I'm just way too lazy to get up early enough to shave in the morning, and I feel like shaving at night is a sort of no-point exercise, since you've already got stubble again the next morning. I seriously contemplated laser hair removal, but then realized that if I'm getting ANYWHERE lasered, I should probably start with the butt hair. :)
posted by antifuse at 1:42 AM on July 10, 2006

You may have to resign yourself to shaving daily eventually, but it can be a fast, easy process. I recommend the mach 3 razor, btw.

I shave in the shower. I wash first, then shampoo. By this time my beard is pretty soft from the water on my face. I smear some of the suds from shampooing on my beard and shave. No mirror required, I know what my face is shaped like. And I can easily do a 'feel' test to see if I missed anywhere. Shaving shouldn't take more then 20-30 seconds once you get good at it.
posted by JamesMessick at 5:22 AM on July 10, 2006

I'm in the same boat: hate shaving; need to shave only every second day. I've reached a compromise: I now shave every day but I do it with an electric razor. It takes no more than 30 seconds because the hair's so short that the razor meets little to no resisistance.

A nice side-effect of this is that there's none of that burning sensation on my face that I get if I shave after two or three days.

Another tip, and this seems to go against what I've been taught, and in retrospect sounds kind of gross, is this: I shave before i get into the shower in the morning. I think the bit of oil that works its way onto my usually very dry face overnight helps to move the razor around.
posted by ChuckLeChuck at 7:22 AM on July 10, 2006

ChuckLeChuck: The manual for my electric razor specifically said "Shave before washing your face or taking a shower,
as skin tends [sic] swell after washing." - so there ya go. :) I also like having that nice smooth skin to wash in the shower instead of prickly beard hairs.
posted by antifuse at 8:30 AM on July 10, 2006

I don't like shaving either, so I shave without any cream. I can shave in under 30 seconds, so it doesn't become a hassle.

There was a metafilter FPP earlier that talked about the 'conspiracy of shaving cream'... but the only good point is that putting cream on our face costs you money and time.

Just get yourself a standard single blade razor, and get on with it.
posted by triolus at 9:56 AM on July 10, 2006

Do NOT use an epilator your lady is using on her legs...
posted by dragonsi55 at 3:42 PM on July 10, 2006

I wonder if any dudes wax their face like a girl will wax her legs?

I have a friend who is a professional esthetician and she says no. Please, no.
posted by thejanna at 11:54 AM on July 11, 2006

Here's one person's experience with laser beard removal.

My personal solution has been twofold: a good Braun electric shaver and an indifference to looking scruffy if I skip a day.
posted by Zed_Lopez at 12:15 PM on July 12, 2006

Not even death can keep your hair from growing.

I read the aforementioned article on the myth of shaving cream and its true. I need about 90 seconds with the hot water on and my brilliant battery powered Fusion.
posted by allkindsoftime at 3:59 PM on July 12, 2006

Not even death can keep your hair from growing.

Not quite. And that laser hair removal sounds like a good idea for me - I'm light skinned with dark hair. Sign me up! :)
posted by antifuse at 1:00 AM on July 13, 2006

I've not had any more laser treatments since the first two, by the way. My beard's a lot thinner now and a lot of the dark hairs are gone (the white hairs will never go), so I am pretty happy with it the way it is.

A lot of people report patchy results, though, so pick your laserer carefully.
posted by kindall at 3:21 PM on July 15, 2006

If you have to shave, you may as well enjoy the experience. I started shaving with safety razor, brush, and shaving soap or cream, and now I actually look forward to the morning shave. I was shaving MWF, but now I shave every day but Sunday and take that day off only reluctantly. I've collected everything I've learned in one long post, that I regularly augment and revise as I learn more. Take a look. It might hep.
posted by LeisureGuy at 3:19 PM on August 5, 2006

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