The Men's Room

Keep it “above” the skinline.

We’ve all seen the the shaving commercials, whether it is for wet-shaving (Gillette) or dry-shaving (Braun).  They are all promoting the same thing… a smooth, close shave.  Nothing wrong with that!  After all, I think we all can appreciate a  close shave, including myself!

Hair above the skinline

But what about those guys that suffer with irritated skin after such a close shave?  No worries, I’ve got you covered!

Because when it comes to shaving there is always an answer…

If you want a close shave without the irritation, keep the hair “above“the skin-line.  Try a pair of trimmers (Andis – T Outliners or Oster Taler, my favorite!), this gives your face the appearance of a very close shave but the hair is slightly above the skin.  The only downfall to this practice is that in order to keep this look, a daily trim is required.  However, in my opinion, shaving like this keeps the face looking smooth without the annoying appearance of discolored and frustrating ingrown hairs.

Side Note: After shaving… DO NOT use rubbing alcohol to cool the skin. Instead, rinse the face with cool water and apply an aftershave balm.

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26 Comments

  1. Eric Brown March 17, 2010 at 9:05 am

    Thanks for this post Craig. I am one who suffers with ingrown hairs and can attest that the Andis T Edgers are good for the close shave look. You have to be careful that you keep your edgers clean and sterilized (i.e. don’t cut someones hair with them and then immediately trim your face) because irritation and inflamation may result from bacteria left on the clipper blades.

    • Craig the Barber March 17, 2010 at 9:30 am

      Thanks for the comment, and the great tip Eric!

      • Eric Brown March 20, 2010 at 1:47 pm

        You’re welcome Craig.

  2. adrian May 20, 2010 at 10:14 pm

    I currently use this method to shave. Should I also use a preshave oil?

    • Craig the Barber May 20, 2010 at 11:00 pm

      Adrian thanks for the comment! You are on the right track! Electric shaving works even better with an electric shave solution, remember Lectric Shave? It’s purpose is to protect the skin while lifting the hairs for a closer shave. Here are two brands: Electric Shave Solution by Lab Series or Electric Pre-Shave Solution by Anthony Logistics.

  3. adrian May 23, 2010 at 11:57 am

    I will look into them. Thanks again.

  4. adrian August 3, 2010 at 11:08 pm

    Craig,
    For the past 2 months or so I have been using Lectric shave before I shave and I have thoroughly enjoyed the results. Since using the product my shave has been somewhat closer, my skin feels smoother, and there is less irritation and ingrown hairs! Thank you for your assistance.

    • Craig the Barber August 4, 2010 at 11:29 pm

      Adrian,

      Thank you for letting me know, that is a great success report!

      Glad I could help!

  5. Ariel September 21, 2010 at 12:27 pm

    Craig,

    I am currently using the Andis T-Outliner to shave and have been doing so for sometime. Although, I have minimized the amount of ingrown hair I get I still have more than I’d like.

    Do you know of a good sterilization product for this types of trimmers? Also, what other products, besides the electric pre-shave oil, should I use to prevent ingrown hairs?

    Thanks.

    • Craig the Barber September 22, 2010 at 9:37 am

      Ariel,

      You are using a great trimmer, one of my favorites! Andis, also makes a 5-in-1 disinfectant spray called “Cool Care Plus” that not only disinfects but also keeps the blades well lubricated. As far as an ingrown hair treatment product, I personally use 3-in1 Post Shave by Lab Series. However, there are many others, just keep in mind that if alcohol is in it, avoid it.

      Thanks for the question!

  6. Tom Crane June 25, 2012 at 4:21 pm

    Craig,
    First of all, THANKS for providing your expertise on many common grooming issues and for including several others in a very helpful dialogue.

    My two cents:

    Personally, I recommend laser hair removal for razor burn and ingrown hairs on the neck. I’m not an expert on this topic but I know it works great for me. It can be a bit pricey and may not be permanent but I reccomend people to talk to a hair removal pro for more info especially if they’ve tried other things and their ingrown hairs persist.

    Related Question: do you think exfoliating with some sort of scrub cleanser would reduce the chance of ingrown hairs? If so, should scrub be used before, immediately after, or perhaps 8 hours after shave? Lastly, do you recommend any particular facial scrubs?

    Thanks Craig!

    • Craig the Barber June 28, 2012 at 11:11 pm

      Great questions, thanks Tom!

      Firstly, laser hair removal is a fantastic option. If your pocket can handle the price, it certainly is well worth it! One thing to add however, is to make sure that proper research goes into choosing a reputable provider since many darker skinned candidates will not qualify.

      As for exfoliating, I would suggest 2-3 times per week. Before a shave is a great way to get a closer shave in many cases. But keep in mind that this practice should never be done on a freshly shaven face. So closer to 36-48 hrs after a shave is a safer choice. Exfoliating the face is definitely a proven method of helping to reduce the frequency of ingrown hairs breakouts. Here’s a link to a TMR article that has a few brands that I like! ~ http://www.themensroom.com/face/exfoliant-how-do-i-choose/

  7. Chris June 25, 2012 at 7:55 pm

    Craig,

    I have been using Andis T- Outliner for years now, and it has been amazing in reducing skin irritation and the discoloration as a result. My skin definitely looks smoother.
    You are right, the downfall is that I do have to shave every morning, but it is worth it!!

  8. idans21 July 29, 2012 at 10:23 pm

    Hey great article. I also deal with the same irration and breakouts even with an electric shaver. So I’ve bought the Andis Experience GTX trimmer. It’s a very powerful trimmer. However it sometimes pulls or nicks sometimes especially around bumps/acne.

    Any suggestions and what’s your feedback regarding the GTX as a trimmer for my specific purposes?

  9. ZJ August 5, 2013 at 11:05 pm

    Im going to try Electrolysis as it is permanent hair removal…it takes longer than laser but its safer for dark skin folks and is permanent.. i tried everything with razors and nothing works and the Andis clippers are great but they leave stubble even if others cant see the stubble I ust like the very smooth feel of a real close shave that you can get with Andis Clippers

  10. Cortney Strayhorn February 8, 2015 at 10:25 am

    Craig,
    I’m just recently stopped using the straight and safety razor cause of a little irritation on my neck. Started back with Andis my results were better. What would you suggest I continue using the Andis?

    • Craig the Barber February 8, 2015 at 3:09 pm

      Hi Cortney, that’s great that you chose to find an altrernative way to shave that produced beter results. I woulds personally stick with the Andis trimmer and also finish the shave with an aftershave balm like 3-in-1 Post Shave by Lab Series (http://amzn.to/1A3h9NW) that helps to prevent any future irritation. Good job!

  11. Emmanuel December 2, 2015 at 11:36 am

    Karmin is my preference

  12. Alex Robinson April 21, 2016 at 7:11 am

    Hello,

    Site is great. I have experienced darkened skin when using the Andis T Blade trimmer when trimming my beard. How can I avoid this?

    Thanks in advance

    • Craig the Barber April 21, 2016 at 1:08 pm

      Thanks Alex! Great question. After you shave your face, are you applying anything afterwards to cool the skin. If so, make sure it does not contain alcohol. Alcohol, can harden and also darken your skin. If not please share what you are doing, so I can be of further assistance!

      Also here are a few helpful articles that may help:
      Help! The Skin On My Face Is Darkening… Is this From SHAVING? – http://ow.ly/4mXosa
      So, your skin is already dark from shaving… – http://ow.ly/4mXovN
      Alcohol. Works as a drink, but not on your face! – http://ow.ly/4mXozU

      • Alex Robinson April 27, 2016 at 6:26 am

        Wow. Thanks for the quick response Craig. I would wet my face with cold water, dry it, then use palmer’s cocoa butter. i stopped using cocoa butter recently and started using corel on my face. I’m not sure if those products contain alcohol, but I’ll double-check. I will also check out your suggestions here.

        Looks like the Curel lotion has alcohol in it. Pretty surprised at that. Made an appointment with a dermatologist today. Let’s see how it goes.

        Thanks,
        Alex

  13. Alex Robinson April 26, 2016 at 9:48 am

    Wow. Thanks for the quick response Craig. I would wet my face with cold water, dry it, then use palmer’s cocoa butter. i stopped using cocoa butter recently and started using corel on my face. I’m not sure if those products contain alcohol, but I’ll double-check. I will also check out your suggestions here.

    Thanks again,
    Alex

  14. Alex Robinson April 27, 2016 at 6:25 am

    Looks like the Curel lotion has alcohol in it. Pretty surprised at that. Made an appointment with a dermatologist today. Let’s see how it goes.

    Thanks,
    Alex

  15. Andrew July 15, 2017 at 11:36 pm

    Craig,

    I’m having great results with zero ingrowns after letting it all grow for about a month and then trimmers only below the jaw line. I didn’t know this would be possible for me.

    I picked up a cheap Norelco Groomsman for body sculpting, but it doesn’t cut very close. On the upside, it seems pretty safe from cutting. I’d like to find a more professional grade update to that for face and body trimming.

    I have the Peanut, and I’m just very careful with it, but I’d like to move into something like the T Outliner or Taler or T Finisher (what’s the Teqie like in comparison?), depending on which one is the safest for skin and most forgiving (no pinch, no cut).

    Do these have rounded tips on the teeth, or are they just so close together, that they’re unlikely to grab skin?

    Also, is there an equivalent blade for the 76 clipper that would be safe like this, that can be used pressed against the skin without worry? I know the 76 is a bit heavy for that kind of work, but I have access to one, so it’s good to have options.

    Sorry for so many questions! But I don’t want to get one thing and then end up wanting something else.

    • Craig the Barber August 27, 2017 at 12:20 am

      Great questions Andrew! Unfortunately, I have never tried the Teqie however, I am confident that you will have no issue with the Andis T-Outliner or Oster Talers. The Classic 76 is a great pair of clippers, but I have never had consistently clean & close results from trimming along the neckline. I do hope this helps!

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