As everything else, shaving has adapted to the times. Due to limited time in the morning between waking up and going to work, most men have let themselves driven by aggressive marketing campaigns and the fine art of how to wet shave was almost lost on the way. Recently, though, together with the appearance of modern barbershops, men start rediscovering the lost art of wet shaving.
Advantages of the wet shave
- Comfort. Once you get the technique right, shaving with a straight razor or a safety razor will be as comfortable as any other way of shaving. Of course you could also use an electric razor, because many models have the ability to wet shave, but the traditional way is using a straight or safety razor.
- Cost reduction. Cartridge razors are good and bad, but all of them need to be changed pretty frequently. This can add up to a pretty large sum of money over a year. Safety blades, on the other hand, are at about 10% of the cost of some cartridges. The best option, though, is to buy a straight razor. There are no disposables. You only have to sharpen the blade and you’re good to go.
- Reduction of environmental impact. Unlike cartridges, that contain different materials, that will ultimately contribute to pollution, safety blades are simple metal blades that are easy to recycle.
- Safety Razor. If you learn how to wet shave with a safety razor, you’re going to reduce you’re shaving time dramatically as you refine your technique. Once you see how easy it is, and how smooth the results are, you will probably stick with this tool.
- Straight Razor. This is another way of performing a wet shave. It will also produce great results, but the technique is a bit more difficult to master, and there always is the risk of cutting yourself, especially when you learn to use this tool.
- Shaving Brush. If you never used a shaving brush, you’ll probably be impressed by how easy it is to spread the lather perfectly. With a shaving brush, it will be much easier to cover your face evenly and soften the hairs.
- Jack Black Shave Brush
- Baxter of California Best Badger Shave Brush
- Taylor of Old Bond Street Pure Badger Shaving Brush
- Prepare your beard. The main thing that you have to keep in mind while preparing your beard for the shave, is softening your hairs as much as possible. In this way, the shave will be much smoother and the risk of skin irritation decreases dramatically. Always shave after taking a hot shower. The hot water will soften your hairs and open your pores. If this is not possible, at least hold a hot towel for few minutes over your beard. This will mimic the effect of the hot shower.
- Apply lather. After softening your hairs, prepare a thick lather and apply it evenly on your face, using a shaving brush. Apply the lather by using circular motions. In this way you’ll spread it as evenly as possible and you will make sure that your hairs are standing up, waiting to be cut off comfortably.
- The shave.Shaving with a safety razor is somewhat different compared to disposable razors and electric razors. But once you get accustomed to the technique, you’ll benefit of a close and comfortable shave. If you never used a safety razor, it might be tricky at first, but always remember to: not use excessive pressure, hold the blade at a 30 degree angle on your face and shave with the grain.
- Post shave. Finish your shave off by rinsing your face off with some cold water an applying either an aftershave or a moisturizer. The cold water will close your pores, and prevent dust from entering them. If you have sensitive skin I recommend using a moisturizer. It will keep your skin well hydrated and prevent razor burn.
I hope this guide was helpful. You now know exactly how to wet shave. Practice your technique so you can benefit of a wet shave every morning before work.