WET SHAVING GUIDE
Today I will cover some of the do’s and don’ts of wet shaving
So, what is wet-shaving?
Wet shaving means using water in the process of shaving. Before the advent of the electric razor in the 1960s, and the creation of shaving foam in a can.
You needed to create your lather using shaving soap/cream with a shaving brush and shaving mug, to effectively create a rich lather for your face.
So that’s the meaning out of the way. Now I will cover some of the dos and don’ts of wet shaving for people new to this method.
Some might be shaving for their first time or maybe making a transition from electric razors to manual. Perhaps you have grown tired of your monster beard and are looking for a new look.
In any case, there are some common do’s and don’ts new wet shavers make all the time. So, let’s get shaving.
PREPARATION IS KEY
Good preparation is key in getting a good shave. Most people shave just after waking up, so wake your skin up before you shave.
Having a shower or using a warm face cloth will help soften the skin and hair you intend to shave. Washing with warm water and a soap specifically made for the face, while using your fingers in a circular motion to move the skin around.
This also can help in the preparation process. Applying pre-shave balm before your lather is also helpful in getting the best possible shave.
Skipping the preparation process will not yield you the results you deserve.
It takes a couple of minutes to get the skin ready to shave, giving you results that will last long into your day. Don’t rush the shave, trying to shave in under 60 seconds won’t end well.
Shaving dry is possibly the most painful way to shave, running a blade across your skin with no barrier to aid the blade. This will cause you razor burn, ingrown hairs and discomfort.
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IMPORTANCE OF A GOOD BARRIER
A good barrier is something that helps the blade glide across the face, with little effort making your experience more satisfying while improving your post-shave results.
Products like pre-shave balms/creams, Quality shaving soaps/cream or shaving oil all work well. Don’t go down to the supermarket and buy a can of pressurized shaving foam.
This might seem the cheap way to go for someone learning how to wet shave, but it may be the worst decision you could make. The only thing this will do will produce a large blob of goo in your hand that won’t do what it’s meant to do.
The foam in a can needs a propellant to foam, which will dry out the skin. So the manufactures add artificial lubricants to try to make up for it. Most of the ingredients in shaving foam have nothing to do with shaving, like stabilizers and preservatives.
That’s a lot of ingredients just to create a simple lather. Shaving soap might be a bit more expensive initially but it will yield better results and last much longer than the can of foam, working out cheaper in the long run. It’s your skin, make the right choice.
WITH THE GRAIN
So, this is a simple but important fact about shaving
Always go with the grain.
This means you see the direction of the hair growth and glide the blade in that direction as best you can. Try to make a mental map of which way the hair goes.
Good tip! let about 3 days of hair growth to see what direction it goes.
Different areas have different growth directions, so studying the growth direction, will help you Shave with the grain reducing discomfort. 90% of ingrown hairs are a direct result of shaving against the grain.
It doesn’t make your shave super close as a fellow barber tried to explain to me once. it only causes discomfort and ingrown hairs, which are caused when the blade cuts the hair shorter than the skin level.
The hair will curl backwards or grows sideways into the skin of the hair follicle. Getting inflamed and turning into them red bumps we all know.
If you want to get that extra close feel then cross shaving is a method that will give a smoother finish.
Cross shaving is when you shave at 90 degrees in the direction of the hair growth after your initial shave.
SOFT AND GENTLE
A common problem is using too much pressure on the razor. I see this in new wet shavers and people shaving in general.
I don’t know where it comes from, but at the start, we are all guilty of putting too much pressure when putting the blade to the face. How much pressure do I use? As little as possible is the answer.
let the razor blade do the work your just there to guide it. The more pressure you use doesn’t mean you’re getting a closer shave.
It just means you’re more likely to remove a layer of skin. Sounds painful? it is. Razor blades work most efficient when gliding on a flat surface.
Pressing down creates an indentation that can cause the blade to work less efficiently than it’s meant to and cause razor related problems.
All the bits and gadgets on the modern razor cartridges are they’re for that simple reason of keeping the blade level. But you don’t need all that. Just go soft and gentle.
YOU ALREADY SHAVED THAT
This is a common habit we all have. Shaving an area already shaved. Running the razor numerous times over the same spot.
This can be related to a lot of skin irritation problems people have. We don’t realize that we are shaving an area dry, which as we know from above is not a good practice to try.
New shavers should make an effort not to do this, and if another pass is needed that they get in the habit of re-lathering before shaving again.
Having a shaving mug and brush makes this easy to do. People who already wet shave, if your guilty of this, try breaking the habit and try to make an effort to re-lather for another pass.
your strokes should slightly overlap but not too much into the previously shaved area. Try this method and see if it reduces skin irritation and increases your enjoyment of shaving.
Wet shaving is a huge area to explore, with lots of interesting products to use and tools to shave with. Shaving should be an enjoyable experience giving us that look and feel-good factor.
Finding the right combination that works for you to get the best shave is a journey itself.
Passing your shaving knowledge onto your children is a tradition long since gone. Let’s try to get it back.
Hopefully, the few bits of information above will help in some way as a guide.
Have a look at some of the product options on shaveshop.ie
Thanks for reading