Using your Safety Razor
Traditional safety razors are not difficult nor scary to use. By making sure you pick a mild safety razor and follow just a few simple and very logical guidelines, you will find that they are as simple and quick to use as a regular multi-blade razor from the supermarket, just much better.
If you are a first-timer, the most important is to make sure you choose to use a razor that is mild. That is, a razor that leaves less of the blade exposed allowing you to be more confident and a bit reckless. Here is a quick guide on how to easily pick your safety razor.
What makes a safety razor safe is its head, both the part that goes above the blade and the bar underneath it. They are the protective devices which make that only a small amount of the blade is exposed and that it comes in contact with the skin only at a given angle. If you own an aggressive type of razor, an adjustable which you use on an open grade, an open comb razor, or a slant bar type, all of which show more of the blade, you may need to be more careful while finding your rhythm, but you will quickly get there.
The Easy Guide to Using A Safety Razor
When it comes to shaving technique, there’s really no big difference between using a traditional safety razor and a commercial multi-blade razor. The basics are the same: understand in which direction your hair grows, hold your skin tight wherever needed, do the first passes going with the grain, rinse your blade after each pass, then if you want a closer sahve do the final passes go against the grain.
Stroke | Use short strokes. When you use a multi-blade razor you may be used to shaving using long strokes. This is possible with a multi-blade because the head of the blade pivots following the shape and curves of the face. Since the head of a safety razor is fixed, you need to compensate by using shorter strokes. Very logic.
Angle | Then it is important to control the angle at which the blade meets the skin. The angle to maintain is 30 degrees. Open the angle too much or too little and you will get nicked. This will become natural very quickly. An easy way to find the right angle is to position the razor against your face, with the handle at a 90-degree angle from the floor, and without applying any pressure tilt the razor downwards until the blade touches the skin. As soon as it does it, you know you´ve got the right angle.
Direction | Take your first passes with the grain, that is in the same direction in which your hair grows. When you shave with the grain, you reduce the chances of getting razor burn, ingrown hairs, and general skin irritation. And please make sure you do not shave with side to side motion, then you will certainly cut your self.
Pressure | Do not apply pressure when you shave, safety razors don’t require it. Be gentle with your strokes and let the weight of the razor do its work. If you feel that you need to apply pressure then you are either using a blade that is not sharp enough or a razor that is too light. Pressure can be easily controlled by how you hold the razor. Use your logic again: holding it too close to the head can put too much pressure, holding it too far will not give you enough control. Where to hold the razor from varies from razor to razor. An easy way to find out how far from the head to hold it is to find its balance point by placing it on your index finger, the point where it stays balanced on the finger is how far you should go. How to hold it it’s very personal, you need to find the right way of holding the razor by yourself. Here is a very good article that explains both.
Rinsing | Make sure you rinse the razor in between passes to unclog it from shaving product and hairs and leave the blade exposed again to do its job properly.
Also Good to Know
How to Care For Your Safety Razor | A good quality razor tolerates that just rinse the head and let it air dry still assembled without rusting. However, it is good to take it apart and rinse and dry the parts separately to properly remove dirt, hair and product residue. Some men even like to dip their razors in alcohol or give them a bubble bath to make them look as good as new. How often to clean it and how thorough fully depends on how you like it.
How often to replace the blades | There isn’t a standard as to when to replace the blades. The need to change them varies from man to man depending on the quality of the blade, their type of hair, how regularly you shave and preference. It is said that on average a razor lasts for about 7 shaves. However, many men used them for much longer. The rule of thumb should really be to change them as often as you feel that they are not doing the job of cleanly slicing through the hairs properly.
How to store the blades between shaves | Normally you may leave the blades in the razor in between shaves. But if you are planning not to use the razor for a long time, it is better to take the blade out to prevent corrosion.
How to dispose of the blades | Simply collect them in a jar or box and take them to your nearest recycling facility once it is full.