Introduction: How to Shave With a Safety Razor.
This is a guide to help anyone who wants to learn the proper technique for shaving with a safety razor. This will help you have a quicker and smoother shave, while also avoiding injuries that are common to shaving with a safety razor. This method of shaving typically takes me 3-8 minutes to completely shave my face when I have up to 3 or 4 days of facial hair. Longer facial hair tends to take more time, but can still be removed with ease using a safety razor.
Safety concerns – It is easy to get cut while shaving due to
the nature of the tools. To prevent this be sure that your face is wet and that you have a sharp blade.
What you need - 1 brush, 1 safety razor with blade, 1 mug, soap, and a cloth.
Step 1: Wash or Rinse Your Face With Warm Water.
Wash or rinse your face with warm water. This will help make the shave smoother and helps the skin contour to the blade.
Step 2: Wet the Brush Under Warm Water.
Start by wetting the brush under warm water. This will allow the brush to become smooth and make it easier to apply a lather to your face.
Step 3: Create a Lather.
Create a Lather. This is done by using the mug with soap in it and the brush. Take the brush and mix the soap in a circular motion to create a lather.
Step 4: Apply the Lather to Your Face.
Apply the Lather to your face. This is done by gathering the lather on the brush and wiping on your face. Be sure to cover every area you want to shave.
Step 5: Shave Above the Jaw.
Shave above the jaw. Take your safety razor and rinse under warm water to maintain a comfortable shave. Start shaving by placing the razor at approximately 45 degrees to your skin. Slowly pull the razor in the same direction as your hair. This lowers the chance of cutting yourself and should feel smooth. Shaving will collect hair and lather in the razor. When done, rinse the razor off to remove the lather and hair.
Step 6: Shave Below the Jaw.
Shave below the jaw. Start by pointing the chin up. This keeps the skin taut and helps keep the shave smooth. Place the razor on your neck and move in the direction of the hair. This will feel smoother and makes cuts less likely. Use extra caution around the Adam’s apple, as this area isn’t quite as smooth and is prone to cuts.
Step 7: Shave Along the Jaw.
Shave along the jaw. Remove the line of hair along the jaw by placing the safety razor below the ear and moving towards the chin. Use caution to prevent cutting yourself, since the jaw may not be as wide the blade and increases the chance of cutting yourself. Shave below your chin by pointing your chin upwards and gently moving the blade down the neck.
Step 8: Shave the Upper Lip.
Shave the upper lip. Pull your lips down to maintain a taut upper lip. Slowly pull the razor down the lip, starting below the nose. Take extra caution when you get to the lips, as it is an uneven surface and is another likely area to get cut.
Step 9: Shave the Lower Lip.
Shave the lower lip. Relax the mouth and place the razor just below the lower lip. Slowly pull the razor down towards the chin. Look for missed hairs around the mouth and remove them with the razor if found.
Step 10: Inspect Your Face to Determine If There Are Any Stray Hairs.
Inspect your face to determine if there are any stray hairs. If there are, place more lather on your face and slowly move the razor along your face to remove the stray hairs.
Step 11: Clean Off Your Face.
Clean off your face. If there are no stray hairs, wipe of the excess lather with a towel and inspect your newly clean shaven face.
Step 12: Clean Up.
Clean up. Rinse off and wash the razor to prevent any lather from caking on and to remove hairs. Wash off the brush to keep the bristles soft and put away.
Step 13: Troubleshooting.
If the razor feels like it is tugging on your hairs, check to see if the razor is either clogged or dull. If the razor is clogged, open the razor head and remove the blade to rinse it off. If the blade is dull, simply replace it.
6 years ago
I have been shaving every day for about 70 years.
I would suggest that the lather should be opaque when you apply it to your face. Not thickly but your skin should not be visible through it. Otherwise it may dry before you have finished a pass.
The individual bubbles should not be visible. If they are, your lather is too wet. It should be a smooth, even, white like meringue or whipped cream.
You will have to apply your razor at the optimum angle to your face - approximately 30 degrees. but it will vary. Put the razor against your face with the handle sticking out at 90 degrees. Slowly lower it until you feel the blade just touching your skin. Shave away using little or no pressure.!
Count on three passes for the best shave,
1. With the grain (direction of growth) of your beard. Usually down the face.
2. Across the grain either way.
3. Against the grain usually up the face.
And then a little touch up determined by feel. This can be done with only water and the slickness the lather deposited on your skin.
Enjoy. It is a very pleasurable and relaxing way to start your day.
6 years ago
I've been using a safety razor for 10+ years. I used to run a site that sold safety razors and these are the two tips people consistently told me were the most helpful.
First, when applying the lather to your face, your last strokes with the brush should be against the grain of your hair. This will make the hairs stand up instead of being flattened against your face. If you shave every day, this won't make a huge difference, but if you are lazy like me and only shave every few days, this helps you get a clean shave with fewer passes.
Another tip is to use light pressure. Multi-blade cartridge razors have much more resistance, so you get used to having to press harder when shaving. With a safety razor, you only have one cutting edge so you won't need to press as hard. Press too hard and you are asking for nicks or razor burn. If you find yourself using too much pressure, try changing your grip so you are holding the razor with your fingertips down at the end of the handle (away from the blade.) When you hold it like this, it makes it difficult to apply to much pressure and allows the weight of the razor to do all the work.
6 years ago
Great Instructable primer for traditional wet shaving. The only caveat I would add is this; If you are already using a cartridge razor I would start with the brush and soap (or soft cream) and get the feel for it. Then start in with a new razor.
Typically your first three to five lathers will be a bit of an adventure and possibly frustrating. Never fear. You will just 'get it' soon. A good lather will be well hydrated but not foamy or 'broken'. You are looking for a dense lather with tiny bubbles in it rather than a lather you would wash your hands with. Just google wet shaving forums to find all you could possibly want to know about it.
Kudos to the author for publishing this. Traditional wet shaving is the way to go and you won't switch back.
6 years ago
@DIY Hacks etc: You realy should take the step. I was thinking about it for some years, and made the step about a half year ago. I did not cut myself since than.
Sorry, I am lying, I cut myself the first day at the camping with my multi blade razor. I thought that was handy to take with me LOL.
6 years ago
I have been thinking about switching to a safety razor just because they are a lot cheaper than the multi blade razors.
Reply 6 years ago
I would recommend it, in blades along I've saved far more money just using the safety razor.