How to Shave With a Safety Razor:
Part 1 of 3: Assembling Your Razor
1. Unscrew the head and comb from the handle. Double-edged razors come in three parts the head, which covers the razor blade; the comb, which fits between the head and the handle; and the handle itself, which you hold as you shave. Hold onto the head and comb as you unscrew the handle. This will unlock all three parts of your razor.
2. Fit a sharp razor blade between the head and comb. Place a razor blade between the head and the comb, making sure to line up all three holes in the head, razor blade, and comb.
3. Fasten the razor blade between by screwing the the head and the handle together. Tighten the razor blade to its mooring between the head and the comb and you’re ready to start shaving.
Part 2 of 3: Developing a Pre-Shave Routine
1. Wash your face with warm water and facial soap or scrub. Over time, your face accumulates dead skin. Removing that layer of dead skin on your epidermis by washing before you take a razor to your skin often, if not always, results in a better shave. Scrubs, which contain small abrasives, do a particularly good job of sloughing off dead skin.
2.Work in a small amount of pre-shave cream into your beard. A small dab of pre-shave cream softens the beard while prepping the surface of the skin for repeated contact with a blade.
3. Draw some warm water in your sink for your shave. Warm water feels especially nice on the skin. It also does a good job of clearing away stubble and gunk from between your safety razor when you clean it in between passes.
4. Lather up your shaving cream and apply it over your entire beard, making sure not to wash away any pre-shave cream.
- Start with a little dab of shaving soap, a wet shaving brush, and a shaving mug. Start working the shaving soap around in circular motions using your brush. Apply small amounts of water as necessary.
- Mix your shaving soap vigorously for anywhere from 30 seconds to one and a half minutes, until the soap has been whipped up into an opalescent lather.
- Take the lathered shaving soap and work it into your beard with your brush. Use a gentle circular pattern to do this. Using a brush to apply the lather to your face further softens your beard and ensures that the lather has penetrated every available portion of your face. When the lather is all worked into your beard, smooth it out with a few strokes of your brush.
Part 3 of 3: Mastering the Shave
1. Wet your safety razor and position it at about a 30° angle to your skin. Submerge your safety razor in the hot water and then position it at about a 30° angle. This angle ensures a close shave but doesn’t produce a lot of nicks and cuts.
2. On the first pass, always shave with the grain. The direction in which the hairs of your beard grow out of your skin is called the grain. Shaving in the same direction as your hair grows “with the grain” chops off less beard, but is very forgiving. On your first pass, always go with the grain.
- If you’ve never shaved before, it will take some time to get to know the direction your beard. Every man’s grain is different, and often changes depending on the hair’s position on the face.
3. Frequently dip your razor into the bath of warm water and swirl it around. This dislodges hair and other gunk that gets caught in between the head, the blade, and the comb. Needless to say, a clogged safety razor will produce a less satisfying shave than a clean one.
4. Shave using small strokes, letting the weight of the safety razor do most of the work. Use small strokes, making sure not to press down with your razor onto skin. The weight of your razor should be doing most of the work. If you feel like you need to press down with your razor onto skin in order to shave, either your blades aren’t sharp enough or your razor isn’t heavy enough.
5. Hold your skin tight to promote easier shaving. Holding your skin tight makes it easier for the razor blade to glide over your skin’s surface. Holding your upper lip down, your lower lip up, as well as the skin beneath your jawline will give you a closer shave without as many nicks.
6. Pay special attention to problem areas. Problem areas are areas that often produce nicks, cuts, irritation and redness. For many men, these areas include the above and below the lips, beneath the jawline, or any other place on the face that is contoured instead of flat. When shaving these areas, take your time and shave against the grain. Be patient and willing to take several passes instead of trying to remove all stubble with the first pass.
7. Wet your face, apply another thin coat of cream, and take a second pass. The aim of the first pass is to remove most of your stubble, although there will still be some noticeable patches. The aim of the second pass is to shave away any remaining stubble without causing cuts or irritation.
8. Repeat this general process as many times as necessary to produce a clean shave. All men have different beards and desire different shaves. Shave until you’ve achieved your desired level of closeness, keeping in mind that each extra pass you make increases your chance of producing nicks and irritation.
9. Hydrate your skin with moisturizer. You’ve just poked and prodded your skin, tugging at and lumping off hair. In order to keep your face as healthy as possible, give it some nourishment in the form of moisturizer. Your skin will thank you.