Shaving Before or After Sauna (Which Is Best for Heat & Steam?)

While some people just view shaving as something they have to do, others take it very seriously. If you’re a sauna aficionado, maybe you’ve thought about marrying the two activities for the ultimate sauna/shave session. But should you shave before or after the sauna?

Shaving after the sauna has many benefits and is preferable to shaving just before. Steam helps debris leave your skin cells more easily and softens the beard hair, allowing for a less irritating experience. For the closest shave, use a fresh razor, and make sure to work up a good lather with a shaving soap or cream, ideally with a shaving brush.

For some, saunas and shaving go hand in hand. Keep reading for all the reasons you could get your best shave ever post-sauna!

Is it better to shave before or after using the sauna?

It’s pretty commonly known that you should shave after the shower – not before. Are saunas the same way?

It’s better to shave after the sauna. Steam softens your hair by lifting hair cuticles and helps debris leave your skin cells. Shaving after a sauna is also a great way to end a session and extend your self-care for a little longer.

Steam has been used for relaxation for thousands of years. But it also has surprising health benefits for your skin.

Steam brings extra blood circulation to your skin which will build collagen and elastin. 

It also allows skin products to penetrate more deeply, so your shaving cream will be put to even better use than usual. Couple that with lifted hair cuticles and your beard doesn’t stand a chance!

For your post-sauna shave, make sure to use a fresh razor and high-quality shaving soap or cream. A shaving brush will allow you to create the best lather possible for your shave.

Check out this resource to get your best shave ever!

How does heat affect the skin and hair?

Saunas are hot, hot, hot – so it’s important to know how that heat will affect your skin and hair.

Contrary to popular belief, heat doesn’t open your pores. However, it makes your skin cells more flexible so debris can leave them more easily. Hot water isn’t recommended, but the steam from your sauna will help melt oil trapped in your pores. Heat damage only happens to hair at temperatures above what the sauna reaches.

You know how when you wash your face, water that feels okay on your hands seems to feel scolding on your face? This is because your face isn’t designed to handle hot water. 

But there’s no need to hurt yourself! The heat in the air of the sauna will let debris leave your face more easily.

Heat damage to hair is more so done by curling irons than by hot air, so you don’t have to worry about that.

How does steam affect the skin and hair?

Saunas have two main components: heat and steam. You’ve probably heard of facial steamers or noticed how good your skin feels in the steam of the shower. 

Steam helps soothe irritated skin while shaving and melts oils that are trapped in the skin. It also lifts hair cuticles, softening the hair.

Hair is made up of a bunch of cuticles that are layered on top of each other. By lifting the cuticles, the hair is able to bend more easily, making for a smoother shave.

There’s a reason that facial steamers are so popular, why barbers steam your face while they shave your beard, and why spas put a hot towel over your face. Steam is great for the skin! It is gentle enough not to hurt you, but the moisture and heat work wonders.

3 reasons it is better to shave after the sauna

Now that you know all the magic that steam and heat do for your hair, it might seem obvious that saunas are a great way to up your shaving game. Let’s talk about why it’s better to shave after the sauna.

It is better to shave after the sauna because:

  • Steam soothes irritated skin
  • Steam lifts hair cuticles to soften the hair
  • Shaving after the sauna is a great way to complete a sauna session

Let’s dive into each of these reasons in more detail!

Steam soothes irritated skin

Steam does a lot for skin!

It allows products to absorb into your skin better, so your shaving cream will have an added effect.

While oils and cream add moisture to your skin, the only way to hydrate it is with water. Steam gives your skin cells hydration, which prepares them for moisture afterward.

The extra blood circulation that steam induces will also help your skin build elastin and collagen, making your skin look more plump, firm, and young.

Steam lifts hair cuticles to soften the hair

Steam opens up your hair cuticles and lets products absorb deep into the hair. This lets your shaving cream penetrate your hair and lets the kinks of your beard bend and stretch more easily.

Steaming your beard anywhere from 10-30 minutes should suffice, which, conveniently. is just as long as a sauna session!

Shaving after the sauna is a great way to complete a sauna session

Nothing feels better than taking care of yourself after the sauna. We eat and drink certain things like electrolytes to complete our sessions. Some people stretch. Others take a shower or meditate. 

Another thing you can do to extend the self-care of the sauna is to shave! Nothing will make you feel sharper than a post-sauna shave. 

Shaving is something that a lot of people do mindlessly, but you can choose to make it an intentional act of self-care and pride by adding it to your sauna routine.

Potential benefits of shaving before the sauna

Clearly, saunas are great for shaving. The steam and heat are great for your skin and beard, and shaving after the sauna can make you feel amazing. But what about shaving before the sauna?

Reasons to shave before the sauna include:

  • You would look your best in the sauna
  • You can focus on relaxing
  • You don’t have to worry about bringing shaving supplies

Can you shave inside a sauna or steam room?

Saunas and shaving are a match made in heaven. But what about combining them completely?

Some public saunas and steam rooms have sinks in them dedicated to shaving. If you have a home sauna, you can put in your own sink! However, because your blood vessels dilate in the sauna, if you nicked yourself it would bleed quite a bit.

Your blood vessels dilate in the sauna. This means that a nick would bleed a lot more in the sauna than outside the sauna. And since it’s so important to keep saunas sanitary, that can pose some problems.