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How to Shave with a Safety Razor


In this article we are going to offer you some advice on how to shave with a safety razor. For most of the contributors and writers here at the Shaving Emporium, this is by far, our favourite method of shaving. Shaving is a daily ritual for many men in the United Kingdom, and it's important to ensure that this grooming routine not only leaves you looking sharp but also takes care of your skin. 

If you're seeking a clean, close shave while reducing your environmental footprint, switching to a safety razor is a fantastic choice. In this guide, we'll walk you through the art of shaving with a safety razor, offering tips and techniques that will keep your skin smooth and irritation-free.

Why Choose a Safety Razor?

Before we dive into the how-to, let's discuss the 'why.' Safety razors have gained popularity in recent years for various reasons, including their cost-effectiveness, sustainability, and the quality of shave they provide. Here's why you should consider making the switch. All you need is:

  • Cost-Effective: Safety razors may have a higher upfront cost, but the long-term savings are substantial. The replacement blades are much cheaper than cartridge razor refills.
  • Sustainability: Safety razors are eco-friendly. The blades are typically made of metal and can be recycled, reducing plastic waste.
  • Close Shave: Safety razors offer a close and precise shave, reducing the chance of ingrown hairs and razor bumps.

Some men prefer to use a shaving soap rather than a cream.

Step by Step Method for Wet Shaving with a Safety Razor

Now, let's dive into the step-by-step guide on how to shave with a safety razor in the UK.

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  1. Preparation - Start your shaving routine with proper preparation. Soften your facial hair by taking a hot shower or using a warm, damp towel on your face. This helps open up the pores and makes shaving more comfortable. Now, ideally you should actually use something like a hot towel to soften and raise the bristles. That is what a barber will do, but in reality most of us just don't have the time to do that every morning. The best time to wet shave is just when out of the shower as the steam will have helped soften the bristles. Whatever method you use, the starting point is to wet the face and get it ready for the next phase.
  2. Choose the Right Products - Opt for high-quality shaving products, including a shaving cream or soap. These products help lubricate your skin, allowing the razor to glide smoothly. In the UK, you can find various brands that offer quality shaving creams suitable for safety razors.
  3. Lather Up - Create a rich, thick lather using your shaving cream or soap. Apply it evenly to your face, ensuring complete coverage. This provides the necessary cushion and protection for your skin.
  4. Hold the Razor Properly - Grasp the safety razor firmly but not too tightly. The angle of the blade should be about 30 degrees to your skin. This angle ensures a close shave without excessive pressure.
  5. Shave with the Grain - Always start by shaving with the direction of hair growth. This minimizes irritation and reduces the risk of nicks and cuts. In most cases, this means shaving downward.
  6. Maintain a Light Touch - Don't press the razor into your skin. The weight of the razor should be enough to cut through the hair. Applying too much pressure can cause irritation and nicks.
  7. Rinse Frequently - Rinse the razor under warm water after every few strokes to remove hair and shaving cream. This keeps the blade clean and sharp.
  8. Re-Lather and Shave Against the Grain (Optional) - If you desire an extra-close shave, you can re-lather and shave against the grain. Be cautious when doing this, as it may increase the risk of irritation.
  9. Aftercare - After you've achieved a smooth shave, rinse your face with cold water to close the pores. Apply an alcohol-free aftershave balm or lotion to soothe and moisturise your skin.
  10. Blade Disposal - Safely dispose of your used safety razor blades. Many UK recycling centers accept razor blades, but be sure to check your local guidelines.

Use a Shaving Cream or Shaving Soap with your safety razor

Different people have different preferences and some guys will use a shaving cream, whereas others, like using a soap with their safety razor. So the question really to answer is what is the difference.

Shaving Cream

  • This is by far the most convenient method of applying a lubricant to the skin
  • It can be applied using the hand or by using a shaving brush
  • It is slightly more expensive than shaving soap on a like for like basis
  • It is fast as you don't need to create a lather and as such ready to use instantly

Shaving Soap

  • This is by far the most convenient method of applying a lubricant to the skin
  • You do need to use a brush to get a good lather
  • It is slightly cheaper than buying a shaving cream
  • It is more time consuming as you have to build up a lather
  • Many users prefer this traditional method

The choice really does come down to personal preference. Many men start out with a cream and then decide to try shaving soap. To use soap you will need to invest in a good quality shaving brush of which there are many to choose from, and you will need something like a shaving mug or bowl to whip the lather in.

Shaving with a safety razor in the UK is not only cost-effective and eco-friendly but also delivers a high-quality shaving experience. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can achieve a close, comfortable shave while minimizing skin irritation. So, embrace the art of safety razor shaving and enjoy a smooth, eco-conscious grooming routine.

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Thanks for visiting the Shaving Emporium website. This is a shaving website aimed at readers in the UK and Ireland. We are experienced experts and have included lots of information about shaving and grooming, and we have also completed detailed research that helps us write our product reviews. We like to have our information as up to date as possible.

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