Stubble is, like, so yesterday. Nowadays, it’s all about big beards or jutting jaws, with a growing trend towards the latter. Leading the charge for cleaner chins is Murdock, the engagingly old-school group of barbers with shops in Soho, Covent Garden and Shoreditch. We asked Matthew Jessop, the go-to man at their Soho branch – down in the basement of Liberty – how to get serious about shaving.

Matthew is right, obviously, to point out: ‘The ultimate shave is still a professional one with a cut-throat, since a barber can dictate the angle of the blade, and it’s a full 45-minute service.’ But he’s full of handy tips on how to make sure you’re doing it properly at home. ‘Preparation is key,’ he says. ‘Even using the most advanced razor blade, you still need to prep the skin.’ Here are his six simple stages to sort your stubble.

How to shave properly

You’ll need

  • What you’ll need:
  • Hot water
  • Facial wash
  • Pre-shave oil
  • Shaving cream
  • Post-shave balm
  • Quality shaving brush
  • Quality razor
  • Flannel, towel

‘Work with the grain, shaving in the direction the hair is pointing’

  • 1

    Soak the towel for a short while under running water, wring, and wet the skin.

  • 2

    Then apply facial wash. You don’t want any grit or dead skin to remain in the pores, because that can irritate the skin.

  • 3

    Dry your skin by gently patting with a towel.

  • 4

    Apply a liberal dose of pre-shave oil. It’s a traditional and natural softener of hair and skin.

  • 5

    Mix two thirds boiling water and one third cold, and dip a flannel or small towel into it. Squeeze out the excess water.

  • 6

    Apply it to your face for a minute or two, depending on how much facial hair you have.

  • 7

    Badger hair is very porous, so loosen your shaving brush in the warm water and let the water drip out.

  • 8

    Then scoop out a ‘Werther’s Original-sized dollop’ of shaving cream…

  • 9

    work into a lather…

  • 10

    …and apply to the face.

  • 11

    Pull the skin to open the pores and release the hair. Shave methodically.

  • 12

    Work with the grain, shaving in the direction the hair is pointing.

  • 13

    Cool with a cold towel

  • 14

    Make sure you avoid the classic mistake: don’t put cologne on recently shaved skin.

Murdock Soho, 18 Monmouth St, WC2H 9HB (020 3393 7946;


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