Shaving Should Be a Fancy Ritual
Shaving is more than just personal hygiene, it’s an art. Or it could be. If you’ve used aerosol shaving cream and a disposable razor, you’ve certainly left room for improvement. With the wrong tools, shaving can feel like a painful chore—literally, if you’re concerned about razor scratches, cuts, and stings. That’s why real self-care experts recommend a process called “wet shaving” – a little more unusual, a little old-fashioned, and much more enjoyable. And it only takes a few tools and a little know-how to get started.
Why wet shaving is better
Wet shaving involves using a shaving brush and shaving soap or cream, as well as a small amount of warm water to create a luxurious lather that you apply to your skin before shaving. You can continue to use your disposable razors with it if you like, but true fans will opt for an old-school safety razor. Together, they provide a closer shave — as Bolin Webb notes , “because wet shaving gets you closer to the skin, you actually cut the hairs to a shorter length. This means you can go longer between shaves.”
You’ll also get a better shave – the foam will soften your beard and make your skin more hydrated, allowing the blade to move more smoothly over it. And if you choose a safety razor, you’ll experience less irritation and fewer ingrown hairs than with cartridges or electric shavers. As West Coast Shaving explains: “If you use a razor with a 5-blade cartridge and pass over the face three times, you expose one area of skin with 15 blade strokes. By comparison, if you use a safety razor, you only expose your skin to one blade at a time. The fewer times you scratch your face with a blade, the happier it will be.”
Apart from these practical considerations, there is also value in the ritual, and a wet shave can definitely be one for you – a little respite during the day, during which you can carefully focus on the task at hand. Using a fancy shaving cream, a soft brush, and your favorite smelling aftershave can be an enjoyable experience at minimal cost (although, as with any other hobby, you can certainly spend more if you want to). No one will be worse off if he turns his daily work into something he really enjoys.
What do you need to get started
Safety razor. A safety razor differs from a cartridge razor in that it has only one blade, while a cartridge razor has three to six. Safety razors are mostly made of metal and will last many years compared to their disposable cartridge counterparts. Costs can range from $20 to several hundred dollars, but Bib & Tucker writes , “While the razor itself is more expensive at first, safety razors should last for years.” Over time, a safety razor with replaceable blades is likely to become cheaper and last much longer than disposable cartridges.
Shaving brush. According to menswear advice website He Spoke Style , when used with shaving cream (as opposed to a lather or gel), the shaving brush forms a richer, thicker lather that softens and lifts the hair you shave, as well as exfoliating. leather. There are different types of bristles for shaving brushes, but they are usually made from natural fibers such as boar, badger, beaver, and horsehair, although synthetic alternatives do exist. Everything will work, so it all comes down to what material you like the most to feel on your skin.
after shaving. There are three types of aftershave; balms, gels and lotions. They all serve the same purpose: they soothe and moisturize the skin after shaving. Even though its properties are similar to a high-quality shaving cream, aftershave is still an important part of the equation. The Gentleman’s Gazette writes : “Unlike other shaving products, aftershave lotions last longer because they are not rinsed off immediately (like shaving cream).” The site recommends using a balm over a gel and avoiding lotions altogether. This is because balms have a lower alcohol content, and alcohol not only dries out the skin, but also causes a burning sensation if you manage to cut yourself along the way.
How to get the right wet shave
Performing a wet shave is a relatively simple process. First, lather by adding a drop of shaving cream to a small bowl along with about a teaspoon of water. Using a brush, whip the cream into a light, thick foam. Use a brush to apply it evenly on your face. Make sure you cover all areas you want to shave and leave the lather on your face for a minute or so (or as directed on the label) to soften the hair and make it stand up.
Then gently run a safety razor over the soapy areas of your face in the direction of your hair growth (to reduce the sting of the razor). To determine the direction of your hair growth, the groomers at Supply recommend the following : “Take a business card, credit card, or even the back of a comb and run it lightly through each strand of hair. Hair growing with the grain will feel like you’re just combing it into place. Hair that grows against hair growth will feel like you are pulling your hair follicles vertically.” Beard and Blade Supply Co. recommends running the razor at a 30° angle to the skin, which “opens the blade away from the stubble and allows the razor to work effectively.” Shave in short, repetitive strokes of 1 to 3 centimeters, rinsing the blade often to avoid clogging the razor with hair. Repeat if desired for a closer shave.
Finally, rinse off any remaining lather and immediately apply an aftershave to soothe and hydrate your skin.