Getting the best shave of your life starts before you pick up your razor. After you’ve soaked your brush and prepared your face, you’re ready to build and apply lather to your face and neck.
Finding The Correct Blade Angle
Unlike Cartridge Razors, when using a safety razor you have to find the correct blade angle. Cartridge Razor’s blades are placed in the cartridge at a fixed angle, and while it’s easy, it doesn’t give you the flexibility you have with a DE Safety Razor. You can experiment later, but to start off with, try a 30 degree angle.
- Put the curved head of the razor on your face. with the handle sticking straight out.
- Rotate the handle downwards, pivoting the curved head on your face until you’ve reached about a 30 degree angle
- This is the correct angle to start with, you can Experiment as you go along.
Your gear is set up, your face is lathered, you’ve got your blade angle, and you know your face’s grain, so you’re ready to get started shaving! Most people like to start at the sideburns, and most sideburns grain points downward. This is where I recommend taking your first stroke. Here are some tips:
- Go slow – Your first wet shave shouldn’t happen in the morning when you’re running late for work. Take your time to do it right.
- Hold the razor close to the head, to have more control. DE Razors have short handles for a reason.
- Take SHORT Strokes – Don’t try to shave your whole face with one stroke. Each stroke should only be an inch or two, max.
- Rinse between strokes – Take a stroke with the 1st side of your razor, rotate, take a stroke with the other side, then rinse and repeat.
- Don’t shave the same part of your face twice without reapplying lather, and even then, avoid multiple passes.
Remember, this is a 2 or 3 pass shave. When you first get started, I recommend only making the WTG and XTG passes.
- Pass 1: With The Grain (WTG)
- Pass 2: Across The Grain (XTG)
- Pass 3 Against The Grain (ATG)
Rinse your face after each pass, then feel it. You’ll be able to feel your progress! Even as an experienced shaver, I only make 3 passes on certain areas of my face. Sometimes, my third pass is another XTG pass, from the opposite direction.
Nicks and Cuts
You’re going to nick your face. Don’t worry, you won’t bleed out! When you’re done shaving, tear off a small piece of toilet paper and stick it to the nick. A few minutes later, you’ll never be able to tell you nicked your face. Don’t worry, it won’t hurt.
Some people like to use a styptic pencil or an alum block to stop the bleeding, but I find that a small piece of TP works better, with no stinging.