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by Paul Koutras December 27, 2016

Safety razor shaving. If you haven't heard of it yet its certainly worth looking into. The truth of the matter is that safety razors have been around a very long time. Modern cartridge razors came from the want for a disposable razor system. It was also very appealing to the shaving industry because it provided a much more lucrative venture due to the cost of having to constantly replace the product. What was marketed as an improvement in reality was far from that. 

But it has multiple blades

Advertising has us believe that the more blades the better. This is not true. Look at barber shop straight razor shaves. Single blade but it gives you the best shave around. Multiple blade systems damage the upper surface of the skin causing irritation and ingrown hairs.

Safety razors are different and require a little practice but once mastered you'll never look back

Safety Razor Basics

If you are taking the plunge into the world of safety razor shaving here are a few items you'll need to get started.

  1. A safety razor
  2. A shaving bowl
  3. A shaving brush
  4. Shaving Soap
  5. A pre-shave oil is optional but can help out with moisturizing and protection/glide

Now what?

As with many things, prep work is critical to the final product.

You'll want to either shave after a warm shower or after putting a warm towel on your face. This will ensure you facial hair is soft and give you the best result.

Next you'll want to make sure you get a nice full, even lather on your face. This is a critical step so you'll want to spend the time getting good at it. You can check out our post on how to achieve a great lather here.

Here are some areas to focus on to get the best shave.

Change your blades often

Using a good quality blade is always a good start. These blades will usually net you about a half dozen shaves but this can vary greatly due to personal preference. When it feels dull to you, then its likely time to change it up.

With the grain, not against

Even though you might be tempted to go against the grain to get a better shave, don't. Go with the grain and if you need a better result you should make a second or even third pass over the area. Just make sure you still have enough lather on you.

Shaving technique

Like mentioned earlier, the technique for shaving this way will be different and will require a little practice to find what works best for you. The two things to focus on are angle and pressure. 

You are looking for a gentle angle used with short strokes. Its not a race so no need to go quickly or make long passes. Relax and enjoy the experience.

Due to the way cartridge razors are designed you will likely be use to applying more pressure than needed to get an adequate shave. That extra pressure isn't needed here. The safety razors are noticeably heavier so let it do the work.

Close the pores

When you are done, rinse off with warm water and follow it up with cold water before toweling it off. This will help to close up the pores. 

The missing link

If you feel like your skin needs some extra moisturizing or if you feel like you need a little more glide then a pre-shave oil might be the missing ingredient. It goes on before the soap lather and sits as an additional barrier removing friction, adding additional glide, and moisturizing. The great thing about shaving oil is it will partially absorb into to your skin so when you are all done, it will still be there to help moisturize long after the shave is done.


It might seem like a lot but give it a few days and you'll be shaving like a pro getting the best shaves of your life.


Paul Koutras
Paul Koutras

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