Wet Shaving 101




          If you've pruchased razors lately, you've probably noticed how expensive they have gotten. $32.99 for a pack of 8 cartridges boasting "Proglide Power." Insanity! Why are they so expensive? It has a lot to do with the marketing of these items. Professional athletes and advertising costs usually end up meaning a more expensive product. This instructable is going to be an extensive "How to" guide that will walk you through all aspects of shaving the old fashioned way with a double edged safety razor.
           Why make the switch? If you've got acne, chances are sliding 3,4 or even 5 blades accross your face isn't helping. Not to mention shaving bumps, ingrown hairs, red irritiation, razor burn and cost are all associated with these cartridge style razors.. Both men and women use the techniques illustrated in the guide. Did I mention a quality safety razor blade can cost you about .09 cents? It'll out perform any marketed cartridge on the market too.
 Check out http://www.secretguidetoshaving.com/ for more about tradition shaving!

Step 1: Prepare Your Face.

         This is a vital step a lot of nontraditional shavers totally neglect. You're going to want to prep your skin. Think about it. You're about to run a blade sharper than any surgeon's scalpel accross your skin. You're going to want it to be well lubricated, and moist.
         You've probably seen products on the market marketed as "pre shave." Don't bother with them. The best pre-shave you will ever have the opportunity to use is available at home. It's homemade and a lot of us don't even know about it.
         Oil oil has been used for over five thousand years as a beauty product. Take four parts olive oil, and one part baby oil and put them in a bottle. Shake it up. You've got a preshave oil that will out perform any available product on the market. Not to mention, it probably costs you virtually nothing. If you've got a special recipe, add it at http://www.secretguidetoshaving.com/  
Wet Shaving 101

Step 2: Get a Hot Washcloth

Run some hot water on a wash cloth. You want it to be pretty hot, but don't burn your face. You're going to put this on your face. It is going to soften up all the hairs that are about to get shaved. Wet Shaving 101

Step 3: Oil Up Your Face

Take your homemade oil and put about a dime sized amount in your hand. Not too much, it goes a long way. Massage it in all over your face. Concentrate to really work it into the hair over the areas that you are about to shave. If its not going on smooth, add some water.Wet Shaving 101Wet Shaving 101

Step 4: Soak the Brush

Gather your materials. You're going to need a bowl, a brush, some shaving soap and hot water. Start by running hot water over the bowl and brush. Also, put a wash cloth in the sink, you're going to need it for cleaning up later on.

Step 5: Step 2

Shake out the excess water in the bowl. Add about a one inch blob of shaving cream into the hot bowl. My last tube lasted me three months.

Step 6: Step 3

Shake out the brush. Make sure its not to saturated with water otherwise you'll have a very water shaving lather! Place the brush in the bowl. 

Step 7: Step 4

Start to swirl the brush around in the bowl.

Step 8: Step 5

Keep swirling until you have a fine mixture like the one in the picture below.

Step 9: Step 6

Add a little bit of water to the bowl until you have a thick creamy lather. When you pull the brush out it should resemble the picture below.

Step 10: Work the Lather on the Skin

Start to work the lather on the skin. Brush it around in random directions, really make sure you're coating all of the hairs on your face.Wet Shaving 101

Step 11: Keep Working That Lather

Keep working that lather all over the face.

Step 12: You Want a Nice Coat

Cover that face up. You've got plenty of lather. Concentrate and make sure all the hairs are covered, from every angel. Circular motions really are the best.  Don't forget the neck!

Step 13: Get Your Blade and Razor

Lets go over how to exactly load your new razor with a blade. Now I want to stop here for a minute and talk about how SHARP these blades are. if you've ever used a utility knife to cut something, you know its pretty sharp right? Well these shaving razor blades make them look like butter knifes. These things are insanely sharp, so do us all a favor, and touch touch the edge. The steps are pretty simple. Open the fresh balde, disassemble the razor, put it in, tighten it up. 

Step 14: Get a Grip

Grip it comfortably. This may be like a fork in my instance.

Step 15: Put the Razor on the Skin

Place the blade on your skin. Do not push down. Do not add force to the stroke! Let the blade do the work. Keep the blade parallel to the floor.

Step 16: Bring the Razor Down

Bring the razor down.

Step 17: First Sweep Complete

You've completed the first sweep! You'll still notice that the skin isn't super smooth. This is just one of three passes you'll do. Keep working up to down on the lather covered areas. 

Step 18: Don't Forget to Rinse the Razor

Rinse the razor every one or two passes. You don't want it to get clogged up with hair and lather!

Step 19: Work Around the Chin and Nose

Work down around the chin and nose. Remember, don't add pressure.

Step 20: Hit the Other Side of the Face

Hit the other side of the face now. The neck can be a little tricky, just take your time.

Step 21: Relather

Lather up your face again. We're going to do an accross the grain shave now.

Step 22: Across the Grain

We're going to refine the previous shave by going accross the grain. This time you're going to want to keep the razor perpendicular to the floor. Again, do not add pressure. Let the blade cut.

Step 23: Relather

Apply another coat of lather to the face and prepare for the final step!

Step 24: Against the Grain

This can be the most tricky. Make sure your face is well lathered and well lubricated. Keep the blade parallel, but move bottom to top. I usually work from my neck up. Repeat this all over the face where you have hair.

Step 25: Post Shave?

I personally do not use aftershave products. They often contain alchol which is terrible for your skin. The preshave you used should be more than enough. When you get good enough, you won't have any irritation or razor burn on your face. Space some warm water, followed by cold water on your face. If you like, have a washcloth in the freezer and hold it on your face. If you'd like to add something to this section, comment on my blog at

Step 26: Common Questions

How long does this take?!

It takes me about 5 minutes from start to finish. I save time on this daily routine because I only have to do it every other day to maintain a clean shaven appearance.

Is it worth it?
The blades cost about 9 cents an edge.

What other benefits are there for DE shaving?
If you've got acne, give it a try. It'll likely clear it up. I haven't had any ingrown hairs or razor bumps either since I've started using this method.  Plus, it naturally exfoliates my skin keeping it almost perfect.

My full time shaving blog is at http://www.secretguidetoshaving.com/Here you will find everything you'll ever want to know about shaving and keeping a clear complexion.

Participated in the
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    26 Discussions


    3 years ago on Introduction

    I clicked on the website and it says the domain is for sale.


    3 years ago on Introduction

    If I may, I would like to selfishly plug my wet shaving blog. Wetshaveacademy.com has everything you need to know to get started in the wet shaving community.


    4 years ago on Step 20

    It should be noted this is only ONE method. Many get great shaves without pre-shave oil, brushes, or shaving cream from a tube.


    4 years ago on Introduction

    i use mug of suds and Wilkinson Sword blades but just bought a straight razor and am starting to learn with that


    5 years ago

    I second the witch hazel. It feels good and helps heal any nicks. I've recently made the switch to a safety razor and love it. Great instructable


    8 years ago on Introduction

    Your lather looks a bit thin and bubbly on your face, are you sure you worked that enough? Though, I suppose if your get a comfortable shave then do what works.

    I have a very coarse beard and have been shaving with a Feather DE and Feather Blades for about 2 years. I could NEVER go back to disposable shaving. When I travel, I use cheapo BIC single bladed disposables, as I find them the closest to DE that will actually be allowed on a plane.

    The only difference between your procedure and mine is that I lather on face (take less time and I find I get a better lather, plus it FORCES me to work it into my face more). I also use witch hazel as an aftershave and then apply a post shave lotion (one that does NOT have alcohol in it).

    I've never used Shark blades, how do you like them? What do they compare to?

    1 reply

    Hello. Lather is pretty thick and creamy in the picture. Might be a photography issue. Shark blades are among the best. They aren't as sharp as the feather blades. It's a preference I suppose.


    8 years ago on Introduction

    Thanks, this is a great instructable! It's given me a great idea for a Christmas present too :3


    8 years ago on Introduction

    younger people, especially those going through puberty and starting to get facial hair shouldn't actually use oil on their face. it causes them to break out in more spots. crazy i know.

    4 replies

    No. If you want to maintain a clean & clear complexion, it's important to keep the oils on your face in balance. Go and strip all of the oils off with a harsh product, and your skin will hyperproduce sebum, leading to more acne.

    as you know i can only speak for myself, but when i was young and started shaving, if i used any sort of oil on my face i broke out in spots. maybe it was an allergic reaction, but it didnt affect anywhere else i applied the oil? maybe you can shed some light on this for me?

    that is true but thats why you are supposed to used a skin balancing formula and repairing/skin nourishing lotion. I have never ever had any acne problems after using the products.

    They were all natural and only cost about $5 usd a bottle. The bottle would last me about a year.

    Love this ible. I tend to have extremely course and thick facial hair that clogs my razors easily.


    8 years ago on Step 5

    could you possibly take this picture again but on a dark background? I can't see how much you are squeezing out b/c it blends with the sink


    8 years ago on Introduction

    I'm a girl but this is so nicely explained that I wish I could give it a try :(

    Weird, I've never wished I had a beard before Oo

    1 reply

    8 years ago on Introduction

    shaving after a shower helps alot because it softens the hair which can be done instead of using the oil

    1 reply