Safety razors are old-school tools, but they are the secret to a comfortable shave while also being surprisingly easy to use. Cartridge razors can also be impressive, but they can hurt sensitive skin and be quite expensive. Straight razors look slick and cool but are difficult and terrifying to use. Well, you might ask – what is the middle ground? Safety razors. Here’s how and why to use one.
The single razor blade reduces your facial hair slower than a five-blade cartridge would do. Regardless, you still get a smooth face but without irritation and ingrown hairs.
Safety razors glide smoothly across your skin, and unlike a cartridge razor, they don’t tug on your whiskers.
Additionally, the replacement blades are incredibly cheap, also making the safety razor very affordable.
And let’s face it: a safety razor is pretty damn cool. You will love the feeling of holding a true classic like a Merkur 34C.
How to Load a Blade
There are three distinct types of safety razors, all easy to load.
An old Gillette vintage safety razor is an excellent example of a three-piece razor. To load the blade, unscrew the handle; then, take apart the top piece and the safety bar. Load a blade into the top part, place the safety bar, and screw the handle back.
In order to detach the top of the razor, loosen the knob at the bottom. Load the blade, insert the top, and tighten the knob on the handle.
Open the flaps at the top by twisting the handle. Load the blade and twist the handle in the opposite direction to close up the flaps.
Prepping Your Skin
Before shaving, you should loosen the whiskers on your face and open up your pores by using steam. You can easily do this by shaving while taking a hot shower. If you prefer to shave outside, soak a towel in hot water and hold it against your face for a few minutes to create the same effect.
If you have a shaving brush, use it because it will generate a thicker lather while exfoliating the skin. Take your time to wet your brush properly in hot water, load it with a good amount of soap and lather your face.
The Essential Part: Shaving
Finding the best angle and pressure for your skin is a trial and error process since everyone has a different skin type. However, after you get used to it, it’s pretty straightforward; don’t worry!
Try to aim for a 30-35 degree angle between the razor and your skin.
Don’t apply too much pressure. The key is to use the weight of the safety razor.
Make sure to avoid dragging the razor across a large portion of your face. Use small strokes!
If it’s your first time shaving that day, always shave with the grain.
If you want an extra close shave and your skin isn’t too sensitive, reapply lather and repeat the same process. This time, either shave across or against the grain.
Wipe down your face with a warm towel to soothe your skin. Then, cool the towel and hold it against your skin to close the pores.
To finish your session in a luxurious way, use an alum block. Before rubbing it on your face, make sure to run it under warm water so that it can tone and clear your pores. It’ll also stop any nicks from bleeding.
You can find a wide selection of wet shaving products at the New England Shaving Company store online.