man shaving before the shower

Should you shave before or after you shower?

We run through the advantages and disadvantages of shaving before and after you hit the shower

It makes perfect sense to shave at around the same time that you shower, as most of us need a warm, wet environment in order to enjoy a close, comfortable shave. What is somewhat less obvious, however, is whether we should shave before or after showering, with lots of men choosing to shake up their standard morning routine by ditching the traditional, post-shower shave.

This is a question worth pondering, because whether you decide to shave before or after you hit the shower can have as much impact on the quality of your shave as your choice of razor and shaving foam. 

We’ll do a deep-dive on the topic of shaving prior to showering, before giving the option of shaving after showering the same treatment. As you might have guessed, there is no right or wrong answer here: this is something that ultimately comes down to individual preferences.

Check out our shaving guide for general advice on how to achieve a smooth, close, pain-free shave.

Shaving before showering

Let’s kick off with the break from tradition: shaving before showering!

Electric shavers are themselves a break from tradition - and a very popular one at that. We recommend that, if you have decided to break with one tradition by putting down the razor blade and opting instead for an electric model, you break with another - if you haven’t already - by swapping the post-shower for a pre-shower shave.

This is, quite simply, because most electric shavers work best on dry hair; it is often harder to manage your hair with an electric model if your hair is wet or even slightly damp.

Shaving before you shower can also work best if you are trimming your beard; it is often easier to remove your bristly beard hair with an electric shaver. You can then wash off any shaving cream and stray hairs that remain on your neck and face in the shower, avoiding itchy hairs sitting in your shirt collar and causing irritation. 

Showering after you shave will remove any debris on your face, which will help protect against infection if you have cut yourself whilst shaving.

Finally, opting for a dry shave tends to be more time-efficient than going for a post-shower shave - which is ideal if you are strapped for time in the morning.

Round-up

  • This method works best if you prefer to use electric shavers
  • It tends to be more time-efficient
  • Bear in mind, however, that shaving your face while your skin is dry can increase the risk of skin irritation - so go slowly and carefully, and finish up with our post-shave balm!

Shaving after showering

And now for the time-honoured tradition that many men continue to observe and even swear by: the classic post-shower shave. Let’s explore what this ritual for the ages has to offer.

Shaving after showering is widely regarded as the superior of the two methods. This is because the hot shower water cleanses your skin: the steam opens up your pores, flushing out the dirt that has accumulated since your last shower, and causes your hair follicles to soften - making it easier for you to enjoy a closer, more comfortable shave, with fewer passes.

For this reason, shaving after you shower may be the best option if you have sensitive skin, or if you frequently suffer from razor burn and bumps. For further information on how to avoid razor bumps and get rid of them, consult our article on the subject, and be sure to use our Sensitive Shaving Foam and Sensitive Post-Shave Balm if you feel that your skin is a little on the sensitive side.

Shaving after you shower can also be much less messy than shaving beforehand, as you can wash your face and apply your exfoliating face scrub whilst in the shower, reducing the amount of clean-up at your sink.

Round-up

  • This method often works best if you have suffer from sensitive skin and razor bumps
  • It can help you achieve a closer shave
  • It can reduce the risk of skin irritation
  • It can be much less messy than a pre-shower shave

‘Wait. Is it actually best if I shave in the shower?’

No article on this subject would be complete without exploring the possibility of ditching the stale before/after shower dichotomy and instead opting for a radical alternative: shaving in the shower. And if you’re feeling really adventurous, you could even contemplate giving up shaving altogether - if you decide to venture down this path, be sure to check out our beard maintenance guide for tips on how to keep your beard looking sharp.

Shaving whilst in the shower is a quick, convenient and comfortable way to shave. The steam and heat in the shower open your pores and soften your hair, making it an ideal environment for a close shave - and a particularly ideal place to shave if you have sensitive skin. The running water will also rinse off stray hairs, stubble and shaving cream from your body.

We recommend using either a conventional razor or a waterproof electric shaver if you decide to try this method; straight razors and double-edged safety razors, however, are not the appropriate tools to use and can even prove dangerous in an enclosed place such as a shower.