Beginner's Guide to Wet Shaving
Whether this is your first introduction to wet shaving or you’re experienced (but still trying to perfect your technique), our guide will walk you through every step of the shaving process. We’ll go over proper technique - resolving common shaving issues - and the best products for any budget.
First, you’ll need to choose the right razor. If you are a beginner, a cartridge razor is perfect to start with. Cartridge razors have very little learning curve and will allow you to practice proper shaving techniques. If you are more experienced with shaving and have practiced with cartridge razors, then you can move to a safety razor. The Muhle R89 is an excellent first safety razor and is simple to use. When starting out, use a mild blade and work your way up to a sharper blade to avoid cutting yourself until you have the technique down. While the safety razor takes more time and practice, it can actually resolve many common shaving issues such as redness, irritation, and cuts or nicks. Safety Razors, also known as Double-Edge (DE), only have one blade, while cartridge razors have three to six. Fewer blades and strokes means less trauma on your skin. If you’re unsure if a cartridge or safety razor is right for you check out our blog on Safety Razors vs. Cartridge Razors. Regardless of which razor you use, proper technique makes all the difference. Pay close attention to the direction your hair grows, and start shaving with the grain. Your hair can grow in different directions, especially around your neck - knowing the direction of growth will help you properly shave with the grain or against the grain.
Next, select a shaving brush. This traditional wet shaving tool is vital to achieve an exceptionally close and comfortable shave. Shaving brushes are important for two reasons. First, they allow you to whip together a rich and creamy lather from both shaving soaps and shaving creams to get the right consistency. Second, they lift the hair from your face allowing the razor to get more direct, close contact. Shaving brushes are usually made from badger hair and include different grades of quality. If you are just starting out and don't want to spend too much, start with a lower-grade bristle, such as Best Badger or Pure Badger. These brushes have a lower price point, but still offer a quality shave. If you have the budget, you can upgrade to Silvertip, for the softest and most flexible bristle. If you are looking for a Vegan option, synthetic brushes are now available in high-quality, comfortable synthetic fibers. They are also more durable than badger hair and require less maintenance. This article on Shaving Brushes is a great resource for the different types of shaving brushes for any budget. To learn more about how to care for and use your shaving brush, read this article on How to Use a Shaving Brush.
Once you have all of the right tools and products, you can start the shaving process. Preparing your skin and hair is the first step. The right pre-shave products can make all the difference in achieving a comfortable and close shave. A pre-shave routine can be simple, but highly effective. Either shower before you shave or wash your face with warm water to open your pores and soften the skin. If you have sensitive skin, you may want to incorporate a pre-shave lotion to protect the skin while shaving. If you’re looking to save a little money, shaving cream can also work as a pre-shave to moisturize and provide a protective barrier for your skin.
Shaving Cream or Soap
Next, decide between Shaving Cream or Shaving Soap. For beginners, we recommend starting with a cream. Shaving creams do not usually require added water, and they allow you to create a rich lather more easily than with soap. Creams are also more moisturizing and hydrating on the skin, which can be helpful for beginners. If you are using a shaving soap, make sure to add water as needed to create the perfect creamy consistency to avoid nicks and cuts. Whether you are using a cream or soap, whip your shaving brush in circular motions until you have achieved a rich and creamy lather. If you have sensitive skin, the Jermyn Street Collection by Taylor of Old Bond Street is perfect for you. This collection was specifically formulated for those with sensitive skin and includes a gentle, allergen-free fragrance that works with any skin type.
Once you have finished shaving, there is one last step: aftershave. A proper aftershave process can help reduce irritation or redness and help your skin recover. For those new to shaving, we recommend an aftershave balm, as they are more gentle and nourishing for your skin. Most traditional aftershaves contain alcohol to seal the pores and provide an invigorating feeling. However, alcohol dries out the skin and may not work best for new shavers. For those who have dry, sensitive skin choose an aftershave that hydrates and replenishes the lost moisture. A moisturizing face lotion also works as an effective aftershave and helps you save on cost.
Developing a precise technique, like many things, takes time and practice. However, with a little time and effort your hard work will pay off. Practice your technique and make sure to carefully select the products that are best for your hair and skin. You’ll be rewarded with an enjoyable and effortless shaving experience.
If you'd like to know more about shaving and grooming, head over to our blog for more resources.