It’s not generally a question we ask ourselves each time we shave in front of the mirror during the morning. Heck, we’re more likely to enjoy the goodness of the experience rather than think about the reasons why.
But among those suffering from depression, this question particularly feels relevant. That’s because shaving can be an important recovery tool for getting the depressed individual to start caring for himself.
Mental health professionals often look at a person’s self-care as an indicator for wellness. In this context, self-care means having the ability to take care of one’s own daily needs. One particular aspect of this is daily grooming and among men, that includes shaving.
But when one is depressed, self-care becomes difficult to do. It’s too tiring and draining to go through all the motions of washing and shaving yourself. That’s why depressed men often neglect their beards, leaving them unkempt along with the rest of their hair. They’re too drained to take care of themselves.
Among the homeless here in America where there is a high prevalence of mental health issues, being unshaven is a common sight. With all the problems that they’re facing, least of which not having a home to go to, having a shave is a luxury that they can’t bring themselves to do.
The reason for this is because depression usually affects the frontal lobes. This part of our brain is responsible for our problem-solving and reasoning skills, among others. Because it’s impaired in depressed individuals, they have difficulty functioning and performing basic routine tasks like grooming and shaving one's self.
That’s why depressed people usually fall out of their routine. Among other things, their planning and prioritizing skills become impaired. That’s why being unable to do their personal hygiene is a red flag for depressive disorders.
Poor mental health means you spend less time on your appearance. This can be a vicious cycle, where because you feel ugly about yourself, your mental health declines. Being able to keep yourself clean and fresh can be the boost you need.
Benefits of Shaving
This is where the benefits of giving someone a shave can come in.
A shave might not seem like a major life-changing event, but it can make a big difference in the way someone sees themselves. For a homeless man, a cut and a shave can do wonders with how he feels because once he starts feeling good about himself, he will have more to look forward to.
You feel much better about yourself when you’ve shave. You’re able to smile knowing that you’re trying to look the best you can. This confidence can impact your mental health greatly.
This is because the act of shaving sets the mind in motion to get better. It helps that we associate it with our childhood memories of our dads shaving in the mornings. It reinforces the brain with positive energy for work.
Our brain also associates a better appearance with success. How we perceive ourselves also influences our moods. We feel good when we look good. Cleaning ourselves up can spark a level of self-care and self-investment which is often lacking among the depressed homeless.
Shaving is Hygienic
It’s also a hygienic way of getting rid of parasites that might be living on unwashed and unruly beards. It’s also a way of removing the dead skin cells on your face so that the skin can breathe.
Remember the article that said beards have more bacteria than a dog’s fur? Well, shaving can get rid of that too. A lot of pimples and acne are caused by bacteria build-up. Becoming clean-shaven is one strategy to keep your skin smooth and pimple-free.
Random Shaving Acts of Kindness
If you google the internet, there are many examples of how the simple act of shaving can do wonders for the depressed or the homeless.
You’ve got the story of a police officer helping a man get shaved which had the happy ending where the homeless man was able to get a job at a local McDonalds. Or the Aussie barber who gives homeless people a free haircut and shave, making them feel good.
It’s just a small thing but it can do a lot for these people struggling with depression.
So if you’re looking to give a free shave, we recommend that you pick up a Naked Armor Shavette.
A shavette razor looks like a straight razor in that it could be a folding blade (like a Western style straight razor) or a fixed blade (like the oriental Kamisori straight razor). The only difference? It uses a disposable blade.
This can be really handy since you won’t have to strop the blade. Just swap in a new blade when the current one gets dull. Now if you’ve never really tried out a shavette before, it’s really just the same as using a straight razor.
Using a Shavette
First, always remember to prep the face by warming it up with a hot moist towel and applying shaving lather to your facial hair.
Hold the shavette very lightly and position it at a 30-degree angle from the skin. Any degree higher than that, the odds of you nicking your client become higher.
Start with a sideburn; begin from the top and use small light strokes to go down. To make the shaving area more flat, stretch the skin using your free hand. This will make shaving easier.
Shave by following the cheek down to the jawline, then moving towards the mouth. Use really small strokes and be patient. Once you are done on one side, move on to the other side.
Depending on your preference, you can shave in two to three passes. On the first pass, shave lightly. Apply lather and then shave again. Most skilled straight razor users will often shave against the grain of their facial hair on the second or third pass. For general grooming, however, we recommend that you stick to shaving along the grain.
Always use an aftershave when you’re done shaving. Not only does it closes the pores, but it also kills the remaining skin bacteria which can cause acne breakouts.
So there you go. Shaving is easy with a shavette. Go make someone’s day by giving him a free shave.
If you want to check out our other razors, visit our site.
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