Safety Razor Shaving - A Guide On Why And How To Shave With A Safety Razor
Until recently, traditional shaving techniques such as shaving with a safety razor or a straight razor had become a dying art. In the years before the mid 1960s, the fine tradition of double-edged safety razor shaving was passed down to each generation proudly by their fathers before them as a rite of passage to manhood.
Nowadays due to intelligent marketing campaigns and an influx of advertising, sadly many men are only accustomed to the cheap disposable shaving products, so the practice of safety razor shaving had decreased. These new and ‘innovative’ shaving products, despite speeding up the shaving process and adding more convenience to the equation, are now responsible for an increasing number of skin ailments. Electric razors and the latest multiple blade contraptions of today irritate the skin more than is ever needed, leaving ingrown hairs, razor bumps, razor burn and skin redness in their wake. Thankfully the male ritual of shaving with a safety razor has made a glorious comeback with men of all ages, nationalities and backgrounds.
Up to date, smart looking safety razors like the one in the image the uber cool, the German made Muhle R106 is a huge seller worldwide. It gives a close, comfortable shave time after time.
The Benefits of Shaving with a Safety Razor
The are a huge number of benefits to safety razor shaving and an even bigger number of reasons for picking up this skilled and traditional way of shaving.
Safety Razor Shaving Reduces Cost
Although admittedly a safety razor will sometimes cost more than one of its five bladed modern counter parts, in the long run a safety razor will prove itself to be a cheaper financial alternative. This is down to the pricing strategy of today’s shaving companies. Here the strategy employed today is to provide a razor at a cheap, affordable and even loss leading cost and then charge an excess on the shaving blades used.
Today, a pack of four Gillette Fusion Blades can set you back as much as £13.00 for some razors and will last just under a month, whereas ten safety razor blades cost from £3.50 for 10. On that basis it’s not hard to see how safety razor shaving will certainly benefit your pocket in the long run.
Safety Razor Shaving Benefits The Environment
This is due to the fact you’ll use three times less razor cartridges by using a safety razor, there’ll be less waste for you to dispose of. Secondly, due to the fact safety razor blades are made of a single metal razor blade, they can be easily recycled unlike today’s modern razor cartridges that are a mixture of plastic and metal.
Safety Razor Shaving Provides Better More Consistent Shaves
Today’s modern razors and electric shavers are no match for a double-edged safety razor. This is due to the very design of modern cartridge razors. Here the blades in a multi blade cartridge are each positioned to gradually extend toward your beard unlike a safety razor. These cartridges achieve their closeness by stretching the skin with a layer of rubberised ‘microfins’, then by lifting the hair and slicing it off at a point slightly below the surface of the skin. It is this overzealous closeness that causes many of today’s skin and shaving problems as when shaved too closely, cut hair can grow painfully into the upper layers of the epidermis. Once the hair follicles begin to do this, there is a high chance of causing ingrown hairs, razor bumps and razor burn. These problems are severely reduced and even removed all together by shaving with a good quality safety razor. This will provide better more consistent shaves and will leave your skin in excellent condition every time as a safety razor cut hairs directly at the skins surface.
How to Shave With A Safety Razor
You can watch our How To Shave with a Safety Razor video tutorial. In this video Brain demonstrates how to achieve a smooth shave with a safety razor.
You can follow these steps below to achieve a close, comfortable shave with safety razor:
1. Firstly wash the face with hot water or a apply a warm towel. Alternatively many people recommend shaving straight after coming out of the shower. Both these methods work well and will help open the skin and hair pores allowing for a closer, more comfortable shave.
2. After this has been done, apply a generous amount of pre-shave oil or pre-shave soap or gel to the area you wish to shave. Using a good quality pre-shave treatment will help reduce the friction between the safety razor and the skin, helping it to glide more effectively allowing for a closer shave, whilst protecting the skin at all times.
3. Next, ensure that you have a fresh razor blade in your safety razor. Most safety razor blades can last for 5-7 close, comfortable, tug-free shaves, due to their sharpness and the fact you can use both sides of a safety razor. Ensure that you change the blade at least weekly to guarantee a close, gentle shaving experience.
4. Next ensure that you have put a generous amount of shaving cream or shaving soap on to your face. It is best to do this with a synthetic shaving brush as these types of brushes have an extremely high water retention capability and can create an all round well formed shaving lather quickly and easily. Ensure that whilst applying shaving cream you lather the face in a circular motion, this ensures that you lubricate the skin properly and get under beard stubble.
5. The single biggest mistake committed by those new to safety razor shaving is to apply too much pressure with the razor. Whilst this isn’t a problem for cartridge razors, this can be very painful with a safety razor. A good quality safety razor will have been developed and designed to have an even weight distribution to allow for a balanced shave, this means that very little pressure is needed. Most nicks and cuts occur at the beginning of a safety razor shave, to prevent this allow the safety razor bar to contact the skin first and then lift the razor to the desired angle, then begin your forward motion.
6. Next and still applying very little added pressure, hold the safety razor loosely in your hand and allow it to glide across the skins surface without pressing it into the skin when shaving. Throughout the shave strive to maintain a thirty degree blade angle relative to the skin. Whilst this maybe difficult to keep up round the more difficult areas of the face, such as: ear lobes, nose and chin, it is still the optimum angle at which to safety razor shave and you’ll see and feel the results. Next, hold the razor firmly and direct it where you want it to go. Beard bristles must be tackled using short strokes of 25-30 mm at a time, whilst finer hair can be removed using slightly longer sweeping strokes.
7. After shaving, wash the shaved area thoroughly with warm water to remove all traces of shaving cream. Then splash the face with cold water to close the pores, finally apply a
light moisturiser or skin food on the skin. This is needed as the protective layers of the skin and nourishing minerals are removed during the shaving process, using a premium quality moisturiser or skin food will help the skin retain more of its moisture and allow it to regenerate faster.
8. Finally remember to take your time whilst shaving with a safety razor.
Follow these guidelines on how to shave with a safety razor and you’ll soon pick up the habits and the skills you’ll need to pull of an effortless shave. Remember, you must still remember to take your time as careful diligence will always result in a comfortable, smooth yet close shave.
We want to help you get a great shave every single time, if you have any questions or need some help, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
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