Is It Better To Shave Before Or After A Shower?

August 12, 2018

Is It Better To Shave Before Or After A Shower?

Shaving is a pleasurable experience, but not for everyone. Most men I know look forward to it as an essential part of their morning routine, but there’s still a significant portion of the male population that dreads it like the plague.

Like Watchmen and V for Vendetta creator, Alan Moore. “Shaving every morning, that’s nightmarish.”, he recalled his childhood. “I spent my teenage years covered in tiny little bits of toilet paper.”

Understandably so. After all, who hasn’t gone through the same childhood experience of shaving for the first time and failing at it. Those horrid nicks, razor burns and cuts not only turn our faces into ravaged battlefields but also worsen skin conditions such as acne. For a teenager, that’s almost like a death sentence.

I didn’t even start shaving until I got married. And only because my wife insisted on it. So when I started shaving, I didn’t know shit whether I should shave before or after a shower.

As it turns out, there are benefits to shaving before or after a shower.


Shaving Before The Shower

If you’ve got soft hair with open skin pores, then shaving before a shower is the best way to go.

Before shaving, wet your facial hair for about 3-5 minutes, then apply a warm wet washcloth. The warm moisture helps to soak your whiskers, reducing its hair strength by about 80%.

It will also help to open up your skin pores and softens those bristly beards for easy and smooth shaving.

Shaving before a shower is probably the most convenient and quick way to get a clean mug because all you need is a good shaving soap or cream and an electric shaver.

Electric shavers work pretty well on damp hair. Shaving freshly showered hair, on the other hand, would require a traditional straight edge razor.

Shaving After The Shower

However, if you’ve got dry hair-and believe me, most of us will get it when we become older- shaving after a shower is the best way to get a great shave.

There are scientific and health reasons for this. When you swipe a sharp razor over dry skin, you are doing a deep exfoliation.

It means you’re removing skin hair follicles and exposing the skin to bacterial contact. You are also more likely to experience mild to severe skin irritation which can result in discomfort which can ruin your day.

Who likes this? No one of course.

But when you shower with warm water, your skin relaxes, pores open up, and the shafts of hair follicles become soft.

This makes it easy for a straight edge razor to glide over for a close shave. Let’s not hide a thing here; there are several advantages you get when you shave after showering.

shaving with a straight razor
  • Less tugging and pulling of hair roots – Because a straight edge razor cuts close to the skin, the hair cuts are precise and clean.
  • Exfoliation - A warm shower removes excess oils and dead skin cells which help make a close shave.

  • Better hygiene- Clean skin means less transfer of bacteria over your skin. When showering, all the bacteria are cleaned out leaving behind smooth and healthy skin.

The only downside to all of this is that you will have to wash your face again to remove all the hairs that may be stuck on it.

Therefore, you must spend more time cleaning yourself after shaving or else those tiny hairs will settle on the collar of your shirt and irritate you all day long.

shaving after shower

So, Is It Better to Shave Before or After a Shower?

I can’t really say which one is best for you. But you shouldn’t be confused by now on what to pick. Whether you want to shave before or after taking a shower is a choice that depends on your hair condition and preference.

The secret here is to understand what your hair needs. Remember if you have dry hair, it is good to soften it first by washing it with warm water and using a straight edge razor to give you a clean shave. If you’ve got soft hair, any modern razor and a good shaving soap will do the trick.

knowing the right shaving method

Shaving your Head

When it comes to shaving your head, it is best to shave it when it's soft and wet. That means washing it with warm water to open up the skin pores and make the hair easier to shave.

Use a straight edge razor to minimize accidental cuts, burns, and nicks. I recommend that you go to the barber for this as they have extensive experience in using the straight razor to give a clean shave.

Pubic, Bikini And Legs

Don’t shave dry on these body parts. It’s more hygienic to shave legs and the pubic area during or after a hot shower. Not only will the hair be easier to manage and dispose of, but it also won’t cause skin irritation.

Chest, Armpits Or Hair On Other Areas

shaving armpit hair

For the same reasons as above. Although, you’re always free to do otherwise.

What About The Temperature Of Water?

Water temperature can play a role in determining how clean your shave will be.

Hot water has steam that opens up pores and softens your skin. Too long under the hot shower, however, will cause your hair to become dry and your skin to prune out.  

Cold water, meanwhile, can make your hair look shiny and healthy.

I say, it depends on how you want to shave. If you’re using an electric razor, using cold water will stiffen up the whiskers so that razor can shave through the hair quickly. If you’re using a straight edge razor, then you need to warm the water so that the hair will soften to allow the razor’s fine edge to shave it cleanly.


So, to reiterate, the answer to whether one should shave before or after taking a shower will depend on your need condition, hair type, and personal preference.

Regardless of whatever method you choose, remember to do proper pre and after-shave care. Happy Shaving!


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