How to transition your shave from winter to summer

When the mining company my father worked for would go into its annual August shut down, he would carpe diem and grow what became his signature off-duty goatee, a 1990s favourite that I'd say is due for a comeback. It's a reminder that the changing of the seasons provides the perfect opportunity to revive your morning shave.

For advice on how to transition your shave from winter to summer, I called up my local facial hair expert Chris Hammell. He's the owner of Town Barber, which has two Toronto locations that offer both shaves and haircuts. Hammell says that, unlike my father, many of his clients choose to wear their facial hair longer during the winter, keeping it in line with a clipper and then switch to wet shaves in the summer.

To prep for the big reveal, Hammell recommends taking some baby steps. "You would never take a razor to a full beard unless you're in a barbershop," he says. "You definitely want to buzz it down first." For best results, give skin some time to breathe by buzzing it shorter the day before you do a wet shave, either at home or at a barbershop.

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And no matter the season, Hammell says technique should always be the same. "You want to use as much heat as possible, like water or steam, during the shave and then after you finish up you want to use cold water to close up your pores again," he says. Come August, that chilly splash will be a favourite ritual.

What to try

J.M. Fraser's Shaving Cream, $25 at Town Barber.

Hammell recommends using this cream with a brush for the best lather.

Gillette3, $10 at mass retailers.

This new razor from Gillette boasts a handle that won't slip when it's wet.

House 99 by David Beckham Greater Look Face Moisturizer, $30 through

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Soothe freshly shaven skin with David Beckham's debut moisturizer that strengthens as well as hydrates without adding any shine.


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