If you’re looking to shave with a safety razor for the first time, then don’t worry. As long as you’re willing to take care and go slow, then everything will go fine and you’ll have smooth skin in no time. So, let’s look at how you can shave with a safety razor.
If you’ve never used a safety razor before, then you need to be aware of just how sharp they can be. Their sharpness will depend on the blade that you use in them. You can check out which blades I recommend that you use at the best razor blades list.
For beginners, I recommend a more mild blade – only more experienced shavers should be using very sharp blades in their safety razor. You’ll need; safety razor, shaving cream and/or shaving soap & brush, aftershave oil and some good razor blades.
How to Shave with a Safety Razor
1) Wash first
When using a safety razor, you need to make sure that your skin is prepped and ready to be shaved. This is why many people find the best time to shave with a safety razor is after a shower. If you don’t want to take a shower, then you’ll at least have to wash your face with warm water beforehand.
Some people find that before wet shaving, it helps to use a face wash on your skin. This can help to rid yourself of any excess oils and dirt that’s built up over time, and will reduce the risk of razor bumps and skin irritation. You can also opt to apply some kind of pre-shave oil here if you want to, thought it’s not a necessity.
2) Apply your cream
Although shaving gel is a great idea to use with a cartridge razor, it’s not good for using with a safety razor. You’re much better off using either a shaving cream that you can apply by hand, or even better is to use a shaving soap and a shaving brush to apply it. Shaving soaps are filled with fatty acids that allow your razor to pass over your skin easily and smoothly – they’re typically quite cheap, too.
Whilst a shaving brush isn’t a must, they can definitely make for a more comfortable shave. It’ll soften your facial hair and can allow you to get a closer and smoother shave overall.
3) Use a fresh razor
Before you get started with the actual shaving itself, you need to make sure that you’ve got your razor prepared and ready. Safety razors will generally last a few shaves before you have to change the blade – this will depend on the quality of the blades that you’re using. Cheaper razor blades, I wouldn’t use more than 3 or 4 times before replacing the blade. However with more expensive and better quality blades, you can you them for 6 or even 7 shaves before replacing them.
4) Maintain a 30 degree angle
When you use a cartridge razor, there’s not much method to it and you can be as rough as you want, as it’s very difficult to cut yourself with one. However with a safety razor, it’s very easy to cut yourself, and you need to be much more careful. When you’re shaving, you’re going to want to maintain a 30 degree angle out from your skin.
You can do this by first holding the safety razor parallel to your skin, then holding it at a 90 degree angle, so the top of the razor is touching you. You need to be shaving at a 1/3 of the way between the two, so at a 30 degrees angle. This is just an average – don’t worry too much if you’re a little less or a little more than this.
5) Pull your skin tight
Depending on the area you’re shaving, you might have to pull your skin to make sure that it’s tight and easy for a razor to pass over. This is especially true for areas like your mustache, where you can pull your top lip down to make things tighter and easier to shave. Yes, you might pull some funny faces whilst doing this, but it will allow you to get a smoother shave.
6) Go with, across then against.
When you’re shaving, you always want to start with going with the grain first – this is the direction that your hair is growing in. Doing this is a must for those with sensitive skin, as it will allow you to avoid any irritation. After you’ve done this, then you can choose to go across the grain in your second pass – this is basically sidewards, neither with or against. Finally, to get a really close shave, you’ll want to shave against the grain completely to get as close to the skin as possible.
One of the worst mistakes that people make when they’re first using a safety razor is not rinsing it out. You can get away with this with a manual cartridge razor, but if you do it with a safety razor, it will irritate your skin. Work on one small patch, and pass over it once only. Then, rinse your razor and move to the next patch.
The aftercare of using a safety razor is as important as your pre-shave ritual. The first thing you must do is splash yourself with COLD water! This will help to calm your skin down, and close your pores after your shave. When this is done, you can then apply an aftershave balm, which will also help you ensure that your skin stays smooth and not inflamed.
That’s about it! A very basic guide showing you how to use your safety razor for the first time, even if you’ve never used one before. Switching to a safety razor is a great idea if you’re trying to save cash and help the environment, but it does take a little more care than a regular shave. So, as long as you’ve got the time to invest, there’s no reason why you can’t get the perfect shave.