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Wet Shave Knowledge

Wet shaving is the traditional way of shaving where one keeps their skin wet during the shave.

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Wet Shaving Advice

  • Dec 2, 2009
  • by
Repeat after me: preparation and reduction, preparation and reduction.

Most people don't prepare for a shave adequately; they splash on some water for a couple seconds and then slap on some goo from a can and expect to get a decent shave out of it. Some people can...most can't. The fact is that it can take up to three minutes to fully hydrate the face before a shave. Shave after showering if you can. If not, wash your face with a gentle facial soap (not a freakin' body bar or deodorant soap!) and lots and lots of the hottest water you're comfortable with.

And for gods sake, use a decent lather. Just about anything out of pressurized can won't cut it. The propellent causes little pockets of air in the cream or gel which will dry out the skin. Then they have to put in artificial lubricants to try to make up for it (more chemicals on your face, meh). Use something from a squeeze tube or better yet a traditional shave cream or soap that you use a shaving brush with. You'll be *amazed* at the difference.

OK so you've got a decent lather going. Now you're going to reduce the beard in stages instead of trying to get everything all at once. Shave--using as little pressure as possible on the razor--in the direction your hair grows in (with the "grain"). Don't try to get every last hair at this point, the idea is to comfortably knock down the worst of it. Take your time and use relatively short strokes--maybe an inch or so at a time. Rinse with hot water and relather. Now shave *across* the grain (90 degree angle) to knock down a little more beard. Rinse with hot water and relather. This time shave across the grain from the opposite direction. Rinse with hot water and relather. Now shave against the grain. After getting the hang of this technique you can start working on short-cuts: maybe you don't need that second cross-grain pass or you don't need that last against-grain pass after all, for example.

OK you're done shaving. Rinse again with hot water, thoroughly. You want to get off any gel or cream residue that still might be on the face (some gels stick to your face like grim death and will clog your pores and give you ingrown hairs or shaving bumps if you're not careful). Now go ahead and splash on some cool water to start sealing the pores. Finish with an aftershave that doesn't have alcohol as the 1st ingredient.

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December 03, 2009
I like it great review, I am sure this will answer many questions out there for beginners and those who just can't seem to get it right. I have to point TeamAWAC your way on this one this is what he was looking for from me. Good work.
December 02, 2009
Nice review! Very interesting to read about an old school form of shaving. I'm curious though, why do you choose to wet shave when there are electric razors out there? This form of shaving does sound neat though, and almost like an art form. Thanks for sharing! :)
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About this topic


For traditional wet shaving, there are two types of manual razors: straight razor and safety razors. Safety razors are further subdivided into double-edged razors, single edge, injector razors, cartridge razors and disposable razors.

Straight razors are still made today, notably by Dovo, Zowada Razors, Thiers Issard, and Feather. Shaving with these razors requires some practice but one can pick up the art very quickly. Once it was more commonplace but now is seen mostly in use in barber shops wielded by a skilled barber. However, there is a growing movement of men finding simpler is better, and are returning to traditional double edge and straight razors with great success.

While straight razors give a good shave, the invention of the double-edged razor offered freedom from the task of sharpening and honing the razor. Double-edge razors are also readily available and are still made by Merkur in Germany, Kiwishaver in New Zealand, and Feather in Japan. Double-edge razors are named so because the blade that they use has two sharp edges. Cartridge razors are the most expensive type as the blades are designed only to fit the razors of the manufacturer. Current multi-bladed cartridge manufacturers attempt to differentiate themselves by having more or fewer blades than their competitors, each arguing that their product gives a greater shave quality at a more affordable price.

Before wet shaving, a lathering or lubricating agent such as cream, soap, gel, foam or oil is normally ...
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