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Face Shaving Tips

How to Shave a Coarse Beard

How to Shave a Coarse Beard
Writer and expert5 years ago
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Tough beard hair can be, well, tough to shave. Facial hair that feels dry and coarse can be tricky to get a razor through, often leaving you with painful shaving cuts or razor burn after your shave.

Knowing how to soften coarse beard hair can help you to enjoy a more comfortable shave, as well as improving the overall look and feel of your facial hair.

Here’s everything you need to know about shaving a coarse beard:

How to Soften Coarse Beard Hair

Facial hair can become dry and coarse if it isn’t kept properly nourished and hydrated, which can cause the skin underneath it to become itchy, flaky and irritated.

how to shave a coarse beard

Washing your beard regularly can help to keep it feeling soft and healthy - use shampoo and conditioner on it each time you wash the hair on your head. If your beard hair is especially coarse, try rubbing a little olive oil from your kitchen cupboard into it in between washes to soften it even more.

It’s important to keep the skin underneath your beard in good condition too. Try to get into the habit of a consistent daily skincare routine that includes exfoliating and cleansing to remove excess oil, bacteria and dead skin cells from your face.

After shaving, use a hydrating post-shave product like the Gillette Aftershave Balm to keep any remaining facial hair nourished and your skin feeling wonderfully soothed.

What’s the Best Beard Trimmer for Coarse Hair?

Regular trimming is also important for keeping coarse facial hair in the best possible condition, and the Gillette All Purpose Styler and Beard Trimmer is a great tool to use.

The Styler is 100% waterproof, so you can trim your beard hair while you’re in the shower to soften it further. Using a beard trimmer before going in with your razor means coarse hair is less likely to get tangled, and it’ll be much easier to manage for a more comfortable shave.

When you’ve trimmed your beard down to a much shorter length (you can choose from three interchangeable combs of 2mm, 4mm or 6mm), use the Fusion5 ProGlide Razor Blade that comes with your All Purpose Styler to give yourself a close shave. With five anti-friction blades, Fusion5 ProGlide is designed to get virtually every hair.

How to Shave a Tough Beard

Using the right razor blade is just one part of the equation - you’ll also need to adapt your shaving technique if you’re dealing with especially coarse beard hair.

Firstly, you need to apply shaving gel all over the area you’re planning to shave to help soften your facial hair. Let it soak in for a minute or two before going in with your razor - brush your teeth while you wait to speed up your morning routine.

man preparing to shave a coarse beard

Start by shaving your chin, cheeks and sideburns, letting your shaving gel soak in to the hair on your upper lip and around your mouth longest, as the hair that grows here is often the toughest. This is because this is where facial hair tends to grow first, whereas newer facial hair is usually softer and finer.

Shave with the grain (in the same direction that your facial hair grows) rather than against it. This will help to stop coarser hairs from getting stuck in your blade and will leave you with a more comfortable finish.

Always make sure the blade you’re using is sharp before you start. Although a Fusion5 ProGlide blade is included with every Gillette Styler, it will dull over time, and dull blades are more likely to lead to painful nicks and cuts. By signing up for a Gillette shaving subscription, you can get fresh, sharp blades delivered to your door. Learn more about Gillette’s shave club.

If you have sensitive skin, try the Gillette SkinGuard Sensitive Razor instead. It’s designed to absorb some of the pressure from your hand while you shave to reduce the risk of nicks and cuts, and there’s extra lubrication between the blade and your skin for even more comfort.

Whatever your skin type and however long or coarse your beard is, Gillette can deliver the precision and performance you need from every shave.

Writer and expert
View Gillette's profile