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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 and women have never even tried this traditional method of shaving. Here at Primal Shave, we think those people 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:

MEN

i. Prepare your face

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 or splash your face with warm water.

ii. Lather up

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.

Shaving cream: Apply a small amount of shaving cream onto the brush. You'll want to apply enough to cover the length of a toothbrush.

Shaving soap: Hold the soap in one hand and use the brush in a circular motion to create a lather.

Now brush firmly on your face in a circle motion to produce a foamy lather across your face. 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/soap.

iii. The Perfect 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 safety 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

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.

 

WOMEN

i. Prepare your skin

The ideal time to shave is straight after a hot shower, or during a warm bath. The warm water opens up your pores and helps provide a close shave.

ii. Lather up

Use of a shaving brush can help here, and it feels great, but you can create a good lather using soap directly too. Creating a 'lather' on your skin will help avoid friction when you shave. If you're using a brush, soak the brush in warm water and shake off any excess.

With brush: Hold the soap in one hand and use the brush in a circular motion to create a lather. Brush this in a circular motion on the area you're preparing to shave until it's covered in a thick lather. The brush will help lift hairs from the surface of your skin too, producing an even cleaner shave.

Shaving soap: Hold the soap in one hand and brush in a circular motion against the area you're preparing to shave until it's covered in a thick lather.

Ensure you are always shaving with the assistance of this smooth lubricating lather. If necessary, you can repeat this step and apply more cream/soap.

iii. The Perfect 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 safety 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 against the grain with a second pass if you want a really close shave. A safety razor dramatically reduces irritation, but if you have particularly sensitive skin you may wish to avoid shaving against the grain.

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

Once you've finished shaving, rinse the razor to ensure hair build-up is removed. Cover the shaved area in cold water, this helps close pores and removes any leftover lather. Finally, if you've used a brush, give it a final rinse and shake off excess water. 

Want a shaving kit with a brush? The Primal Shave Safety Razor Starter Kit has everything you need to get started. The Primal One Safety Razor is also available to purchase on its own.