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  The Shave Consultation

Consultation is an essential part of any grooming service, and is particularly important when shaving because of the risks associated with the use of razors. Another important factor is to establish whether a suspected infection or infestation is present that could prevent carrying out the shave service.

This is the best time to determine whether a wet or dry shaving method may be more appropriate. Ask your client whether there are areas they find difficult to shave. Also, if they have identified any problems areas they face in their own shaving experience at home.

Take time to discuss the client's requirements with him. It is essential that careful consideration be given to each of the following factors before any lather is applied to the face, because once applied it is very hard to make a proper assessment of the skin.

  • What does the client want?
  • Does he want a comfortable shave or a close shave?
  • Does he have a moustache, a beard or sideburns? If so, does he wish to keep them?
  • Is the skin sensitive?
  • Look for signs of broken skin, abnormalities on the skin, such as skin tags and scarring and any unusual beard growth patterns.

Hair Growth Patterns

It is important to determine growth pattern before lathering up as you have to shave with the grain, that is, in the direction of growth. Shaving with the grain removes approximately 80% of the hair length. Shaving against the grain first can cause razor burn, ingrown hair and skin irritation. Not only that, it can be very uncomfortable for a client because it causes the razor to drag against full strength of the beard.

If the client requires a close shave or the beard is extra thick and tough. shaving against to direction of the growth can be carried out during the second shave. After the first shave the hair shaft is shorter and the risk of the hair folding back on itself into the the skin is greatly reduced.

Some clients have very strong growth patterns in their beard such as a hair whorls. In this case, shave by following the direction of the hair growth around the whorl.

Texture And Density

The texture of a beard will be different between each client and may be fine, medium or coarse. Fine hair is easy to shave because it creates little resistance on the razor. Younger men often have fine textured beard hair with a lighter density; this often changes as he gets older. Coarse hair can be very difficult to shave and requires a lot more preparation, massaging, heat and oil to soften the beard before shaving. Sometimes if the texture and the density is extremely thick you might have to repeatedly apply the hot towels and massage the beard area for longer to ensure that the hair is softened as much as possible before shaving.

Within your consultation also make a note of the following:

  • facial features, such as dimples, scarring or moles
  • the mouth area
  • the width at the top of the lip
  • the area underneath the nose and underneath the lip
  • the shape of the jaw line and the chin
  • is there a prominent Adam's apple

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