How to get the best shave of your life
With all of the commercials these days depicting the commercial multi-blade razors that look more like a cheese grater than something you'd want to drag across your face, shaving properly like a real man has been lost in time. Learning how to shave in this modern age is more about quickly removing hair and less about the fine art of a traditional shave. This leads to poor technique, poor results, and painful razor burn. It is this reason that many men have become dissatisfied with the products available for them to shave with, and traditional shaving is making a comeback. While learning how to shave with a safety razor may take some getting used to, it is guaranteed to give you the best results you have ever seen.
What you will need
First of all, you will need a safety razor. You can purchase these on the internet, or in some specialty stores such as Crabtree and Evelyn. I have found the best deals for safety razors on the internet.
Next, you will need some razor blades. My favorites are the Merkur double edge razor blades. They are made in Germany, work well, and seem to be manufactured very consistently. You can purchase sample packs of razor blades on the internet for under $10.
To prepare for your shave, you will need some shaving cream. Not the stuff that comes in an aerosol can and smells like an air freshener. True shaving cream should come in a tube or a tub, and be very thick - not foamy. However, if you feel like being even more classic, you can purchase some shaving soap and a badger hair shaving brush.
Finally, if you like, you can use some aftershave or post-shave balm to protect your skin when you are finished shaving.
Shaving Soap Lather
How to shave
Lets learn how to shave - specifically, how to shave with a safety razor - or to be more specific, how to get the best shave you have ever had.
First, you need to prepare for your shave. If the hair on your face is longer than 1/2", I recommend trimming it with some scissors until it is equal to or less than half an inch. This will make it easier to shave closely, and will protect your razor blade. Once your hair is the right length, you will need to apply your REAL shaving cream. To do this, put a quarter-sized amount of shaving cream in your palm, and add a little bit of water. Now, rub this mixture between your hands for at least 30 seconds, and you should end up with a handful of rich cream. If you decide to use a brush, place your shaving cream or shaving soap in a cup or mug, and swirl your wet brush over the shaving cream for around a minute until there is enough cream to cover your mug.
Next, fill your sink with hot water. Having a sink full of water to rinse off your blade with is easier and more efficient than running the faucet over the razor, and keeps the hair you remove floating in the sink instead of splashing all over the counter.
To shave, angle your safety razor as far away from your face as you can while still making contact with the blade. These razors are very sharp, and it does not take much for them to cut hair. Slowly drag the razor along your hair, making sure to first follow WITH the grain (growth pattern) of the hair.
If you missed a couple of hairs, do not go back and shave the same spot over again. Instead, once the blade has passed across each part of the area to be removed, making sure to follow the growth of the hair, you will come back and shave either across (sideways) or against the grain of the hair. This is what provides a baby's butt smooth feel when you are finished, and by only making two passes across any part of your face, it helps to reduce skin irritation. When you use a commercial razor, such as the Fusion, you automatically shave the same spot on your face FIVE times, every time you drag the razor. Razor burn is not fun.
Finally, when you have removed all of the hair to your liking, rinse your face with icy cold water. Cold water will close all of your pores and help prevent redness and ingrown hairs. Furthermore, cold water works better to rinse off any remaining shaving cream residue, while hot or warm water may make more lather on your skin. After your face is rinsed, you can apply an aftershave if you wish.
Advanced Shaving Techniques
Benefits of Shaving With a Safety Razor
The benefits of shaving with a safety razor are realized immediately by first time users. First of all, lets compare the costs.
A decent safety razor will cost around $15 - $20, and can cost as much as $200 depending on the style of razor you choose. This sounds incredibly expensive, but it is important to realize that these safety razors are made out of stainless steel, built to last a lifetime, and are virtually unbreakable. For $15, you can purchase a commercial razor that comes with a few cartridges. This seems like a good deal, except that those cartridges are built to last no longer than a month. Furthermore, the replacement cartridges cost as much, if not more, than the original razor purchase did. With safety razors, 50 double edge razor blades can be purchased for just under $10, which can last for up to 4 years. Now we're talking!
The next benefit of shaving with a safety razor is reducing the waste you create. Remember, shaving with traditional razors is very expensive. So expensive, in fact, that you might be tempted to just purchase a whole new razor each time you shave instead of paying for a couple of cartridges. This means you are throwing away tons of plastic over your lifetime. When you shave with a safety razor, the only waste you should ever have are the razor blades. These are metal, can be recycled, and are far less harmful to the planet than their plastic counterparts.
The greatest benefit of shaving with a safety razor: you will get the best shave of your life! These are the razors that your fathers, grandfathers, and the generations before them used to get a classic, clean look. Double edge safety razor blades are sharper than modern cartridges, and they reduce blade drag. Furthermore, when one side of your razor gets full of hair, just spin it around and you have a clean side to work with. These razor blades are also often platinum coated, and can last for a month or more if they are taken care of. The actual razor handle is much heavier than a modern plastic razor, which means the weight of the razor alone is enough to press against your face or body to remove hair - you never, ever have to apply pressure to get a good shave. The experience and results you achieve are less skin irritation, a closer shave, less waste, and a feeling of accomplishment because shaving with a classic tool such as a double sided safety razor is very manly.
Try it! I guarantee you will love the cost saving, and even more so, the results of this classic method of shaving. Men everywhere are switching to this method of shaving, and are vowing to never turn back to the modern, less effective method.
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