How you groom is just as much a part of your personal style as the clothes on your back. Is it time to raise the bar? If so, shaving with a double-edge safety razor can be a real game changer. Sure, it’s an old-school manly art and there’s a bit of a learning curve. But once you get the hang of it you’ll be able to give yourself the closest most comfortable shave with the least amount of nicks, cuts and ingrown hairs. A double-edge shave can elevate your smoothness the same way wearing a perfectly tailored suit, a new pair of shades or an artfully broken in pair of boots can. Of course, achieving that kind effortless cool takes a little effort.
How To Choose Your Safety Razor
Hands down, a stylish safety razor will look a hell of a lot better displayed in your bathroom than a plastic disposable. And the blades are cheaper too! Here’s what you’ll need to consider before purchasing. Double-edge shaving is a lot like hitting a golf ball. Your natural instinct is to step up to the tee and swing with all your might, which never works. You’ll drive a lot further when you let the club do the work. The same goes for using a safety razor. Applying just the right amount of pressure and positioning the blade at a 30-degree angle is the key to a super close, nick-free shave. It takes practice, a light touch and choosing a razor that feels right in your hand. Read Grooming Lounge’s full tutorial on choosing double-edge, safety and straight razors or you follow this primer.
- Pick a handle that fits well in your hand. If you have extra-large paws, you may need a razor with a longer handle. Wet shaving can get slippery so grab a handle that’s easy to grip. Remember the blade is sharp. If you’re not yet a double-edge shaving master, choose a razor that has a little weight making it easier to hold steady.
- Choose the right razor head. This step is important. A closed comb shaving head is best for beginners and guys with sensitive skin. For more experienced shavers, an open bar lets more hair though and works best on thicker beards. An adjustable head allows for a bent blade that will get every last hair and allows you to alter the closeness of your shave.
- Change the blade often. Double-edge razor blades are made of superior stainless steel. They’re sharp! They’re also more sanitary and cheaper to replace than disposable cartridges. When it loses it’s luster, change it out. Every three to four shaves should do it depending on how thick your beard is.
How To Use Your Safety Razor
Double-edge shaving is much different than dragging the old Bic across your face. Slow down and enjoy the experience. Now that you’ve upgraded to the right safety razor and you’re ready with a fresh blade it’s time to prep the skin. Start by using a facial scrub twice a week. Exfoliating will get rid of the dead skin cells, deep clean pores and free ingrown hairs. A good scrub allows for a closer shave and improves the efficacy of all your other skincare products. Beard oil comes next. If you’re new to the double-edge shaving game, you’ll appreciate a high-quality formulation like Grooming Lounge Beard Master Shave Oil. It lifts beard hairs away from the skin, and the see-through super slick oil provides a nice glide allowing newbies to see exactly what they’re shaving. Packed with nourishing botanicals, it’s enough all on its own or you can cocktail it with Beard Destroyer Shave Cream. Applying it with a shaving brush will also help raise facial hairs priming your mug for the shave of your life.
- Let the razor do the work. Simply hold it up to your face. And using the weight of the razor, not brute force, take gentle, consistent strokes. Applying pressure to get rid of troublesome hairs, means you may need to change the blade angle or use a heavier razor. Always shave in the direction your beard grows.
- Rinse the blade after each swipe. Double-edge razors only utilize one blade and they tend to get clogged easily. Always go with the grain of your beard and avoid repeat passes over the same area.
- Hold the razor at a 30-degree angle. Unlike cartridge razors that have a set blade angle, double-edge razors require you to maintain a proper angle on your own. This can be the toughest part for guys to get used to as too little of an angle, and you won’t get any hairs, but too steep will tear the hair and possibly the skin. To get comfortable, start by holding the razor against your skin at a 90-degree angle and slowly tilt it down until the blade makes contact with your facial hair.
- Pull the skin taught. By stretching your skin, your facial hair stands up even more allowing the blade to pass through more easily. Any blemishes hanging around are also smoothed out and the blade is able to make more consistent contact with the skin minimizing the risk of nicks and cuts.
- Rinse and treat. Splash your face with cool water and admire your handy work. Nicks, cuts and shaving irritation will happen. Keep a styptic pencil to stop the bleeding and Grooming Lounge The Shavior to treat painful shaving bumps and ingrown hairs. Follow that up with a moisturizing, alcohol-free post-shaving balm or lotion.