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How To Shave With A Safety Razor – A Comprehensive Guide

How To Shave With A Safety Razor – A Comprehensive Guide

For generations, the safety razor reigned supreme, offering a close, comfortable shave. In recent decades, cartridge razors promised convenience, but often at the cost of irritation and a less satisfying shave experience.

However, we have recently witnessed a resurgence of traditional wet shaving, thereby paving the way for the comeback of a Safety Razor. But the question of the hour is, “How do you use it?” “Are there special techniques involved?”

With proper knowledge and a little practice, you can master the art of “barber-shop quality” shaving at home, saving money and time. This guide will explore all the details about shaving with a safety razor for beginners.

Your Safety Razor Essentials

Before you plunge headfirst into knowing how to shave with a safety razor, it's vital to get the essentials in order.

Here’s what you need:

For the razor

When talking about safety razors, the classic option that’s been revered for decades is the Double-Edged (DE) razor. The characteristic of this razor is it features a single, replaceable blade between two guard plates.

Safety razors like DE razors are designed, so the exposed blade comes in contact with the facial hair, trimming it down, while the guard plates prevent risks of cutting the skin. As for the materials, safety razors are available in brass, titanium, and stainless steel options.

For the blade

When you pick up a safety razor, you’ll need good-quality, sharp-edged DE blades to ensure a clean shave without interruptions in the middle. Usually, for beginners, start with the featherweight or milder blade until you get the hang of it.

For the accessory items

Using a safety razor involves the “wet shaving” technique, so you’d need shaving cream/foam, a shaving brush, and a bowl/mug. You might consider investing in a styptic pencil to prevent the risks of minor nicks and cuts on the skin.

Pre-Shaving Guidelines

To be fair, shaving, especially wet shaving, using a safety razor, isn’t a simple and direct process. You have to build up the rhythm to reach the finale. Think of it as a quick warm-up before the actual sprint.

A Proper Pre-Shaving Ritual also softens your beard for a smoother glide of the razor and prepares your skin for a close and comfortable shave.

Here’s what you need to prioritise:

Warm Shower or Wash your Face

Before the actual shave, it's vital that you clean your face with warm water to open the pores and soften your beard. To prevent ingrown hair or infection risks, clean the face with some face wash to get rid of the dirt and oil.

Apply a Pre-Shave Oil

This is an optional step you might consider doing for smoother results. Especially great for people with coarse or rough beards or dry skin, the application of pre-shave oil softens the beard and moisturises it. The extra lubrication usually produces a cleaner shave without roughness on the underlying skin.

Lather Up

The most crucial shaving step with a safety razor is lathering up the skin with a Shaving Cream/Foam/Soap. The steps are simple:

  • Wet your shaving brush with some normal or lukewarm water.
  • You can apply the shaving foam on the beard or lather the brush with it.
  • Apply the lather on the face in a uniform and circular motion.
  • Let the lather sit briefly or directly shave the beard using the safety razor. 

More on that in the next section.

How to Shave Face Using a Safety Razor?

This is likely what landed you here on this page, so let us get things in order and break down the individual steps for better understanding:

The Angle

When using a safety razor to shave your facial hair, the angle you hold the razor makes all the difference. The ideal is holding it at a 30-degree angle to your face.

For visuals, imagine that you are resting the flat edge of the handle on the face, and the blade part of the razor is slightly bent forward for a smoother glide.

Short Strokes, Light Pressure

Unlike the Standard Cartridge Razors, safety razors aren’t meant to be used with heavy pressure. Instead, you need to move the blades in the direction of your facial hair growth in gentle strokes. Ideally, use 1-2 inch strokes and shave with the grain (direction in which your hair grows).

Doing this for the first pass ensures a cleaner shave without inflicting unnecessary irritation on the skin.

Stretch and Shave

For the nooks and crevices where a direct glide of the razor isn’t possible, you need to stretch your skin taut and then apply the razor. This explains why it's vital to shave in front of a mirror for better visibility.

Second and Third Pass

Depending on the coarseness of your beard, you can consider a second and third pass with the safety razor. This cleans up the edges well, making your skin smooth and “bump-free”.
Usually, when it's your second pass, tilt the Razor at a 90-degree angle to your first pass. This should cover the sensitive areas that weren’t covered in the first pass.

Rinse and Pat Dry

Once you've shaved, the last step is to rinse your face to remove any remnant shaving cream or foam. Use cold water in this step to also close the pores on the skin.

After-Shave Ritual

Proper aftercare after shaving soothes irritated skin and moisturises it. You can opt for an alum block or an aftershave to tap on the skin lightly to soothe the irritation. Follow it up with your regular moisturiser. This replenishes the moisture and leaves the skin feeling comfortable. These shaving tips for men are paramount in maintaining the optimal quality of facial hair without dryness or damage.

Checkout a Post Shave Balm that soothes the skin after every shave.

Final Words

Shaving with a safety razor is a skill that takes practice and patience. Don't get discouraged if you don't achieve a perfect shave immediately. With time and proper technique, you'll master the art of the shave and experience a smoother, more comfortable shave than ever before. 

Ready to get your hands on all the Shaving Goodies and Essentials? Explore Bombay Shaving Company for all your shaving and men’s grooming needs!


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