How to Shave with a Safety Razor | Step By Step Guideline
Hey Wet Shaving Fanatics, I thought it would be appropriate for me to tell you my story about how I came to love safety razor shaving. Some of you already know the value of having a quality shave regimen, but for those of you that are still researching wet-shaving to find out if wet-shaving is for you here’s my story.
In the beginning I hated shaving with a passion. And my hate was attributed mostly to fact that every time I shaved, I would have the most horrendous out-breaks of irritation and ingrown hairs. Now at the time, I had no clue why I would get so irritated from shaving. I assumed it was maybe a skin allergy or something.
However; I did know one thing for sure, and that’s that I was never going to shave with a razor ever again. I heard from other people that shaving with clippers/trimmers were good for avoiding razor bumps, so I followed suit. Of course I never got a clean shave with those machines, but that problem was miniscule in comparison to the shamefully embarrassing amount irritation on my face from razor shaving.
It wasn’t until several years later, when I was hired as a seasonal shaving consultant for The Art of Shaving, I began to become reformed. My manager hated the fact that I wasn’t clean shaven for every shift as much as I hated razor shaving. He kept trying to explain to me how safety razor shaving works, but I refused to listen.
My manager finally compelled me to try safety razor shaving after a couple of months of persistence. He insisted on disproving my “black men can’t shave with razors” theory, so I eagerly accepted his challenge in hopes to prove him wrong and shut him up. It also wasn’t a bad idea to learn how to use them. Since it our store sold so many safety razors, customers were walking in all the time asking loads of questions about them.
So I took it home, along with a small kit that included: Preshave Oil, Sandlewood Shaving Cream, A Pure Badger Brush, and some super silky Sandlewood Aftershave Balm. I resolved that since I began balding very young and my facial grows in small segregated patches, growing hair of any kind above my neck is not an option, so it would be nice to get a closer shave, and shave less often. I took a chance!
I followed the process exactly the way he showed me: Prepare, Lather, Shave, Moisturize-The Art of Shaving’s “4 Elements to the Perfect Shave.” I held my safety razor at the perfect angle, made sure to not press the blade, passed with short but well precise strokes with-the-grain first, and the results were unbelievable.
My face was so smooth and felt so good after the shave. In fact, my face hasn’t felt that good since I was 15 years old, but that day it felt great. I knew that the true sign that I have finally found something special would be two-day test. Most of my severe irritation would appear several days after the shave when the whiskers were growing back, but four days passed and I did not have a single issue. I was born again!!
Since that glorious day, I have learned so much more about shaving, and I want you to have as much information as you can stand. I am now a ‘Shaving Purist.’
How to Shave with a Safety Razor?
I wanna try old school shaving, but I don’t know how to shave with a safety razor !
I heard this statement hundreds of times from my customers. I suppose the safety razor looks a little intimidating, or difficult to use, but there’s really absolutely nothing to be afraid of. With just a few small tips, you can experience all of the benefits and pleasure of shaving with the best safety razor. It’s not only easy to do, but it’s also one of the best weapons to use in the fight against irritation.
I know of those benefits firsthand. Before I even knew that safety razors and shaving brushes existed, I used to get embarrassingly irritated from shaving with multi-blades, shaving gels and foams. So, if you’re in a similar situation, you really can’t go wrong with the safety. Now let’s get down to business!
How to shave with a Safety Razor in 4 steps
- Step 1: First you want to load your blade by unscrewing either the head, or the tail of your razor. It will vary depending on what style doubled edge you’re using. Remove the plate and place the blade on the post and screw the head or tail back snug. This is the general concept of how to load a blade in most safety razors.
- Step 2: After the blade is loaded and you’re all lathered up, hold the razor handle in the air at a 30-45-degree angle about two inches from where you intend to make your first pass with-the-grain. Now, slowly bring the blade to the skin. Do not press the blade firmly against the skin. It is unnecessary and can cause razor burn. This is about the angle you want to hold the razor at throughout the shave.
- Step 3: From there, you can pass the grain two ways, either with short precise strokes, or long sweeping strokes. Short strokes are quick, progressive, 1 inch strokes across the face. Long strokes are long continuous strokes across the face. Both have their benefits, so you’re free to choose either. Just be sure to be mindful of the angle and keep a light touch. I find myself using a combination of both methods throughout my shave.
- Step 4: Finally, make your first pass with-the-grain. With-the-grain is the direction in which your hairs grow naturally. Try to work directionally, shaving up to down, left to right. Around the chin gets a little tricky, but that’s nothing practice can’t solve. Also, if you make a habit of shaving in the same pattern every shave, you will shorten the time you spend shaving significantly. Muscle memory is your friend! I normally shave my head and face in about 12 minutes using this method.
That’s pretty much there is to it. Some of you over achievers will probably like to make a 1 or 2 more passes. If that’s you and you want to make a pass across-the-grain, or against, just simply re-lather, and repeat steps 3-4 accordingly. I hope this little tutorial was helpful!
Related post: Best razor for bikini zone. (This article is for our female readers, boys! stay away! )