Today, we’re going a little old school. Although they may be what your grandfather used to shave his face long ago, using a safety razor offers significant advantages that modern forms of shaving simply can’t provide. Newer isn’t always better, and safety razors are a testament to that.
What benefits you may ask?
The Reduced Price
Well, for starters, using a safety razor will save you a large chunk of change in the long run. Walk into any store and an 8 pack of 4 blade cartridge razors will cost around $20. That’s a lot of money for something that will seemingly last a very short time. For those that are not mathematically inclined, that comes to $2.50 per cartridge.
How does that compare to the price of a safety razor? A standard safety razor will cost no more than $0.25. That’s a minimum savings of $2.25 per razor! If we factor in the “lifespan” of a safety razor (which will last several days longer than your standard 4 blade cartridge, you’ll save even more! A few bucks here and a few bucks there may not seem like a lot at first, but over the course of a year, two years, twenty years, that’s some serious moolah.
More Precise, Consistent Shave
Men today have no idea what they’re missing out on. They flock to the store and grab the newest, shiniest 5 blade razor that promises a close shave, or shell out handfuls of cash for an electric that doesn’t quite cut it.
Ingrown hairs, razor burn, redness, and irritation. They’re common today, but your grandfathers NEVER dealt with it.
All of these new age gadgets look cool, and brings in ridiculous sums of money for the shaving industry, but the effectiveness isn’t quite up to par with the older, more simplistic style of using a safety razor.
It’s because of the simplicity of the safety razor that makes it so effective. Instead of 3-5 small blades chewing up your face, a safety razor uses one blade, leaving a cleaner healthier looking skin after use.
Basics for Using a Safety Razor
Here’s how it works…
I’m going to outline the steps necessary to maximize the effectiveness of every shave you have from here on out. Ready?
Step #1 – Prep Your Facial Hair
Whether you’re using a safety razor, beard trimmer, disposable blade, etc this first step will always be the same. It’s important to prep your face before a shave to soften the hairs so that they cut easier and cause no irritation.
The easiest way to prep your facial hair is to shave immediately after stepping out of the shower. The humidity and increased temperature from the shower should soften and hydrate the facial hair enough for it to be shaved.
If you don’t have the opportunity to shower, wetting your face with some warm water or placing a hot towel on your face will be adequate enough to soften the hair.
Step #2 – The Lather Phase
Take a coffee mug and place about a nickel sized dollop of shaving cream at the bottom. Then, using your shaving brush, swirl the cream around to create a nice thick lather. Use the brush to apply the lather evenly across your face.
Step #3 – Time to Shave
Unlike using standard cartridge razors, using a safety razor requires a bit of technique and finesse. Once you gotten the hang of it though, you’ll be able to shave effortlessly with the help of a safety razor.
Keys to a successful shave;
- Use a very small amount of pressure
- Angle the blade away from the face (the more the better)
- Shave WITH the grain of your face
You won’t want to use much pressure (if any at all) because the weight of the safety razor will take care of that for you and too much pressure may lead to a cut.
The most difficult part is getting used to angling the blade. The best angle for a shave is somewhere in the 30-45 degree range. This may take some getting used to. An easy method for finding this angle is to put the razor head directly on your cheek, while the handle is parallel to the floor. Then, slowly lower the handle until the razor can cut your hair.
Pro Tip: Check out my on the best de blades here. I have nice list there to choose from to get you started.
Step #4 – Post Shave
Splash some cold water on your face to rinse it clean. The cold water will help close your pores. Then, liberally splash your favorite brand of aftershave on the shaved area. Voila! You’ve just given yourself the best shave you’ve ever had.
Sometimes, the old tried and true methods are also the most effective. Not only will using a safety razor save you a bundle, but it will provide a closeness that you won’t find with the standard cartridge blades that are used today. Hopefully, this short tutorial helped you make the decision to finally switch to using a safety razor. Good luck and happy shaving! You can check out our favorite safety razor here which is the Merkur 180.