There are few things in life that one can do everyday to make themselves feel like a king at such good value than wet shaving. A wet shave is an art form that seems to have been lost amongst men born after the 50’s, though new brands like Harry’s are targeting millennials with success.
The problem with wet shaving is it can leave your skin red and sore, and if you’re very unlucky can cause spotting from razor burn. Thankfully you can do a number of things to make shaving more comfortable, relaxing and enjoyable.
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The problem is that multi cartridge blades are very expensive, and shaving foam from a can is full of chemicals which can leave your skin feeling sore, but it doesn’t have to be like this if you invest in tooling up properly.
You need a proper badger shaving brush, a shaving soap and bowl and a good quality razor – this is personal to you but you can go down the route of a straight edge razor, double edge razor, or a good quality weighted razor handle that takes commercially available blades like Gillette Fusion or Mach 3. The latter choice is quicker to shave with as the single bladed straight edge and double edge razors require more passes to get a smooth shave, that said they will give you a closer shave once you’ve finished and can cause less irritation and are cheaper to ‘run’. But be careful though, they also lack a safety guard so its easier to cut yourself.
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Preparation is key, both for yourself and your tool. You need to wash your chin and neck with hot water. This makes the stubble softer and stand up ensuring a closer shave. For your tools, fill the bathroom sink with hot water and leave the shaving brush to soak for a few second to warm up.
Take the brush out of the water and shake of the some of the excess. Lather it up with the shaving soap and in circling motions apply the brush to the face. The longer you use the brush – the softer the beard will become (After a couple of shaves you will get use to how long you need).
With the your chosen shaving tool, start with short, downward motions on the top of the face from one side to the other, then the same on the neck – this is an area where many people get irritation so to avoid this use the shaving brush a little bit longer than you would think. This is referred to as the first pass.
The second pass is done by moving the blade from the ear to the mouth following the curve of the chin. After each pass shaving cream should be re-applied.
The third pass (if needed) sees you going more directly against the grain. Your may want to avoids going directly against the grain as this can cause razor burn. , It is normal to have certain areas, such as the chin, that require a triple going over, if this is the case then the area can be done in isolation.
Post shave is as important as the shave itself. Without proper hydration after the shave the skin will undoubtedly feel uncomfortable so find a moisturiser or aftershave that you like the feel and smell of.
This article is a rework of one originally written by the author for their blog An Aspiring Gent.