Getting started with wet shaving
Men shave for a clean facial look and it makes us look younger. Another side effect of shaving is that it gives a certain stereotype. You typically associate clean or trimmed faces with business people or people that are socially active. It shows that they take the time to care for themselves even if it is just in shaving.
Although there are several solutions to facial shaving, I wanted to share the technique of wet shaving using a double edged safety blade. In my past, I’ve used electronic razors as well. They were nice and quick, but they sometimes pinched the skin and caused irritation.
The reason I stuck with wet shaving is because it is gentle on the skin, and once you get the technique down and find a blade to match your skin, wet shaving is inexpensive.
These are the razors your granddad used. They are simple with one blade on each side. One blade was enough back then, but because razor companies had to continue outselling each other, they needed great marketing. They decided to sell the idea that having two blades, three blades, and even four blades are better than one. You know what? It worked.
Today, Gillette and Schick, are still market leaders and people continue buying their blades. I have no doubt that they continue to make quality products. My issue is that their blades are pretty expensive. One can end up spending $60 per year on shaving. With double edged safety razors, I spend $10 on 100 blades. Each blade lasts three shaves.
How to do it
Here’s what I learned wet shaving: First, check out how it works and the technique behind it. Mantic59 has a great video on wet shaving.
You won’t get the technique right the first time. It will take about 2 weeks for you to get the technique down and for your skin to get used to the blade. Don’t worry, muscle memory will take over and technique will become automatic with time. Don’t rush the process.
This really depends on your skin type. Everyone has different skin. When I started, I bought a sampler pack of razor blades from Ebay. They are also available on amazon. I did not like Derby, Shark, or Blue Bird blades. They felt dull, and would not cut the hairs properly. The blades that I did appreciate were the Gillette 7 O’clock and Feathers. Gillette 7 O’Clock were quite smooth and nice, but a little pricey. The Feathers are the sharpest blade that’s available on the market. They are Japanese blades and you can’t rush while shaving with them. They were my favorite blade, but they unfortunately dulled after two shaves.
I finally stumbled upon Astra blades, which were Russian made blades. I have been using Astra blades for the past four years. They are sharp, and they keep their edge for at least three shaves. They are quite cheap at $10 per 100 blades on Amazon. I recommend trying these blades.
A quality razor lasts a long time. You don’t need to spend a fortune. Spending about $40 for a great razor is worth it. I’ve been using the Edwin Jagger DE89bl razor for the past four years. It has a solid weight to it and has been great. There are no signs of rusting either.
Keep it simple. I found Van Der Hagen Glycerin Shave Soap to be quite moisturizing. You can find a single soap bar in Walmart and try it out. It has glycerin which moisturizes your skin, and it is inexpensive. I’ve used more expensive soap bars before but found no significant difference. One bar of soap lasts me at least half year.
I’m not a fan of foam soap that are in spray cans. They contain alcohol which dries your skin. In comparison, they are more expensive than the bar soap.
You won’t be able to lather shaving soap onto your face using your hands. You’ll need a brush. My recommendation is getting a badger brush to lather the soap onto your face. I got this one for $10 on amazon and it has been a champ for several years. No need to overspend here. If you’re just starting out, just get yourself the Van Der Hagen Premium Shave Set for $10. It is a great deal because you get a brush, soap, and a small bowl. I don’t use the bowl and instead lather the soap directly on your face. The brush included is a boar brush, but it really does not make that much of a difference. You can upgrade later to a softer badger brush.
Make sure you allow the brush to dry after shaving! Do not keep it wet. On cheaper brushes, the glue will disintegrates and hairs will start to fall out of the brush if it is kept wet. I made this mistake with my first boar brush.
If you’re interested, try out wet shaving. There is also straight razor shaving but I did not have the courage for that. Shaving with a safety double edged razor is good enough for me.
Originally published at www.basicdrop.com on February 1, 2016.