As the name suggests, a safety razor is safer to use than typical shaving razors like straight or cut throat razors. This is usually the case because the razor has a protective device positioned perfectly between the skin and edge of the blade. The main aim of this protective device is to lessen the skill level needed for injury-free shaving. This also reduces the need to visit professional barber services which in general give us higher grooming standards.
Safety razors have been in existence for over a century (since 1880) when the term safety razor was patented. 136 years later, those razors still maintain the same design i.e. a handle attached to a head at right angles and a removable blade housed in the razor’s head. Safety razors have become increasingly popular in the recent past because of the increasing cost of modern razors and blade cartridges amongst other reasons.
Below are the main pros and cons for using safety razors
Pros of safety razors
- Cheap: they are cheaper than modern razors.
- Effective: they give a perfect smooth shave.
- Easy to use: you don’t need any special training/techniques to use a safety razor effectively.
- Safe: safety razors have a protective device that reduces risks of cuts significantly. They are considered safer than straight or cut throat razors.
- You need to replace the blade frequently.
Shaving With A Safety Razor: Important Steps To Consider
Having understood what a safety razor is, the pros and cons, let’s now shift our focus on how to shave with a safety razor. Although safety razors are straightforward, you need to be equipped some vital information to get the best out of them. If you’re keen on finding out this information, look no further. Below are important steps to follow when shaving with a safety razor.
Step 1: Perform a pre-shaving routine
To be able to get the best outcome every time you shave with your safety razor, you need to perform a good pre-shaving routine i.e. you need to shower before you shave to soften your beard and make shaving easier. Softening your beard also reduces your chances of cutting yourself and increases your chances of getting a perfect outcome. You should wash your beard with soap preferably glycerine soap because it does a perfect job removing dead skin and smoothing the skin.
Lather up with shaving cream afterwards using a badger hair brush to get a thin and even lather which is perfect for safe razor shaving. You should apply the shaving cream using the brush while making circular motions/patterns for a few minutes to ensure you beard is super soft and the lather penetrates everywhere and becomes opalescent. Finish your pre-shaving routine by smoothing out the lather with a few brush strokes.
Step 2: Master safety razor shaving
After finishing your pre-shaving routine, it’s time to start shaving. Position your safety razor to make a 30 degree angle with your skin. It’s absolutely important to position your razor this way to ensure a close shave free of nicks and cuts. You should also shave with (along) the grain. The grain is simply the direction in which your beard grows. Shaving along the grain is crucial on your 1st pass to avoid friction which results in irritation. In case you haven’t shaved your beard before using a razor, take a few minutes to discover the direction your beard follows by running your fingers over your beard. The direction with the least friction is your grain direction.
When you begin the actual shaving, shave gently using small strokes. Dip your razor frequently in warm water and swirl it around to dislodge the hairs that get stuck between the razor’s head and blade. It’s important to do this since clogged safety razors don’t produce perfect results. It’s also important to let the weight of the razor do majority of the work to avoid cuts. If you feel the need to press your razor downwards when shaving, your razor blades aren’t sharp enough or your razor is not heavy enough. This highlights the importance of buying a safety razor from a recognized brand.
It’s also advisable to hold and stretch your chin and cheeks skin slightly to make it easier for your razor to glide and produce the best possible outcome with minimal to no nicks and cuts. You also need to pay close attention to problematic areas such as the Adams apple, below the lips among other contoured regions on your face. You should take your time when shaving these places to get a better outcome and avoid cuts. Finish shaving with the second to third pass to have a perfect shave. When doing the second and third pass (if necessary), repeat the same procedure above.
Step 3: Perform a post-shave routine
Finish by rinsing your face thoroughly using warm water and then splash some cold water on your beard-area to close your pores. You should also clean and dry your safety razor properly. Remember to rub your razor with some alcohol or spirit since water causes rust which can cause irritation and serious infections. This cleaning routine will increase your blade’s longevity significantly. You should also clean and dry your brush. It is also important to apply an aftershave to tone your skin. Finish your post-shave routine by applying a moisturizer to hydrate your skin and reduce chances of irritation.