How to shave with a safety razor

A safety razor offers a crisp, clean shave, without the irritation you'd get from a multi-blade razor. Wet shaving has been around for decades, and yet some men have never even tried this traditional method of shaving. Here at Primal Shave, we think those men are missing out. Not only do safety razors provide a first class shave, but the razor itself will last for years and the blades are generally much better value than plastic razor cartridges.

But how do you shave with a safety razor?  It’s really quite simple if you follow these steps:

i. Prepare your face

Prepare face for shaving using hot water

Preparation is important. The ideal time to shave is straight after a hot shower, before you've dried your face. The heat opens up your pores and helps provide a close shave. Alternatively, hold the shaving brush under hot water and apply this to your face to wet and warm your skin.

ii. Lather up

lather up using shaving brush in circular motion

Use of a shaving brush is key here. Creating a 'lather' on your skin will help avoid friction when you shave. Rinse the brush in warm water and shake off excess water. Apply a small amount of shaving cream onto the brush. You'll want to apply enough to cover the length of a toothbrush. Brush firmly on your face in a circle motion to produce a foamy lather. This motion will help lift hairs from the surface of your skin too. Ensure you are always shaving with the assistance of this smooth lubricating lather. If necessary, you can repeat this step and apply more cream.

iii. The Perfect Shave

The perfet wet shave

Don’t apply pressure with the safety razor – you're more likely to cause razor burn and may nick yourself. This is a common mistake and can’t be emphasised enough in the quest for a perfect shave. A decent razor will be weighted to ensure minimal pressure is needed. Hold the razor at a slight 30 degree angle and allow the weight of the traditional razor to do all the work.

Shave with the hair grain on your first pass.  Use short strides to avoid hair build-up and rinse hairs from the razor regularly.  Re-apply the lather and shave across the grain with a second pass if you want a really close shave – but don't shave directly against the grain! A second pass is not recommended if your skin is particularly sensitive to razor burn or razor bumps.

Tip: Replace the blade every week to ensure you're always using a fresh razor-sharp blade. You can keep the used blades in a safe location and recycle in bulk.

iv. The finish

The finished wet shave

Once you've finished shaving, rinse the razor to ensure hair build-up is removed. Brush your face with cold water, this helps close pores and removes any leftover lather. Finally, give the brush a final rinse and shake off excess water. 

The Primal Shave Safety Razor Starter Kit has everything you need to get started.