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8 Ways to Hack Your Shave

Despite what seem like rough odds, you can save money—and your face—at the same time. Here are 8 tried-and-true methods for hacking your shave.

1. In a pinch, olive oil or hair conditioner make serviceable shaving agents—better than bar soap or body wash.

2. Wetness is the enemy of sharpness, so after rinsing your razor clean, make sure you hang it somewhere to dry completely. Add a few drops of an anticorrosive agent (like the HYD for Men Razor Shield), and you’ll add weeks to your blade’s life.

3. Get a vintage safety razor online or at a flea market and give it an overnight soak in one part water, one part white vinegar to clean it out. You’ll have a close shave every time—for mere pennies.

4. If a safety razor doesn’t suit you, undercut the blade industry by getting razors delivered directly to you (try Harry’s or Dollar Shave Club).

5. Have a styptic pencil or alum block handy for nicks and cuts. They’re more reliable than other remedies, and for about $2, you’ll be set for years. In a pinch, you can even use a dab of lip balm.

6. Post-shave, always douse your face with cold, not hot, water.

7. Avoid aftershaves with too much skin-drying alcohol. This now-outdated custom dates back to the days when barbers shaved entire towns with the same (potentially dirty) blade. Sometimes the best aftershave is your everyday moisturizer.

8. Hold that shave altogether. Apparently women—well, Aussies, at least—find men with “heavy stubble” (10 days’ growth), most attractive.

—Darren Reidy

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