Your beard hair is as stubborn as copper wire, and your cartridge razor has long since surrendered? Then it’s time for a real shave – a traditional wet shave with a safety razor or straight razor!
Find out how to accomplish the perfect shave:
The shaving instruments must first be prepared to make your shave as successful as possible. With your safety razor, it is sufficient to insert a new blade. If you want to use a straight razor for shaving, you have to strop it first. We have already explained how this works in this blog.
If you have already taken care of your straight razor or safety razor, then it is time for the preparation of your facial skin.
It is a good idea first to wash your skin with a gentle cleanser. This will remove dirt, sebum, and dead skin. Washing your face with warm water will also help relax the skin.
For the complete barbershop experience, wipe your skin with some shaving oil and apply a hot towel on your face. You will soothe the skin, and your beard hair will soften.
Prepping your beard
It is necessary that you first prep your beard hair so that your straight razor or safety razor glides accurately over your skin.
The classic variation is to whip up shaving soap. Hold your shaving brush briefly under warm water and then whip up a rich lather in the crucible with circular movements. To prevent breaking brush hair, avoid bending the brush. When the lather has reached a luxurious consistency, it is ready to be applied to your face. Of course, you can use shaving foam, shaving cream, or a shaving oil instead.
When applying shaving lather, it is best to start with your moustache and chin – they are the critical areas for shaving and require a little extra time to soften the stiff hair. Then work your way over to your neck and cheeks until your whole face is covered with lather. Give the lather 5 minutes to soften your beard hair thoroughly.
Now, it is getting serious. The shave begins! While shaving with safety razors is particularly easy to learn, there is a learning curve when working with a straight razor. But don’t be frightened, with a little concentration and motivation you will have mastered it quickly.
With the traditional wet shave, your straight razor should be set to an angle of about 30 degrees. Use your free hand to straighten the skin so that you can always work on a flat surface. With short strokes, you first take care of the smooth areas such as the cheeks or neck. Always remember to start the shave with the grain and make sure that you move the straight razor towards the cutting edge – never along it. It gets a bit more complicated at the chin and jaw – here you show off your funniest grimaces to tighten your skin so that no skin folds get in your way. After a few strokes, you can wipe your straight razor off with a soft cloth or hold it briefly under running water to free it from hair and soap residue.
Beware! Do not touch the cutting edge of your straight razor!
After you have finished your shave, clean your straight razor thoroughly and wipe it dry with a soft cloth. Store it open in a well-ventilated, dry place.
Safety Razor Shaving
The traditional wet shave with a safety razor does not differ much from shaving with a cartridge razor. Here, you also pull your skin tight and let the safety razor glide over your face without any pressure. When the blade gap has filled up with lather and hair, you can use the other side of the razor before you rinse it under warm water. Please make sure to always move the safety razor towards the cutting edge and never along it – otherwise you could injure yourself.
Usually, it’s enough if you do one shaving pass with the grain, ut some of our customers prefer doing a second pass against the grain as well.
When you have finished shaving, wash the safety razor carefully with warm water and dry it.
After shaving, wash the lather off your face with cold water. Your skin pores close and protect the skin from bacteria. Now dab your face dry with a clean towel. To further refresh and disinfect your skin, we recommend applying an aftershave. This way you make sure that no irritation, pimples, or redness appear. Once the alcohol has evaporated, your skin is ready for a good portion of lotion. The moisturizer takes care of your facial skin and completes your shave. Last but not least, remove soap residue from your brush by rinsing it under warm water. Then gently shake the excess water out of it over the sink and let it dry.
You’ve mastered it! You shaved as men have done for centuries. You are now part of a very illustrious circle of gentlemen.