As you get into wet shaving, you will start to develop your own personal shave routine. Most of my techniques are a combination of trial and error, as well as tips I have picked up from watching many great YouTube videos. I thought it would be cool to share my standard routine that I have been using for a few years now.
This is all about setting you up for conditions of success. Don’t underestimate the importance of this part and is often the most overlooked step. If we were building a house, the preparation stage would be the foundation of the home.
- Skin: Properly hydrate your skin prior to shaving. Ideally you want to shave right after a shower when your skin is properly hydrated and your facial hair is softened.
- Brush/Razor: Soak your shave brush and DE Razor in your sink filled with warm or hot water. I do this while I’m showering.
Build your lather and apply it to your face. There are a few ways to build a good lather,
depending on your preference you may choose to use the following methods.
- Face Lather: Load your shaving bush and build the lather on your face using a circular motion.
- Bowl or Scuttle: Build your lather in a shave bowl or scuttle.
- Hand/Palm Lather: Build your lather in the palm of your hand.
There are many techniques when it comes to the actual shave and your trial and error will dictate your own process and what works best for you. I always recommend growing your facial hair out for a few days before your first DE shave. This way you can visually see and feel your growth patterns to plan your approach. Whether you shave with the grain, across or against the grain or some combination of the three, I highly recommend you check out this Interactive Whisker Map or read this article on thecloseshave.com. My shaves typically take 2-3 passes.
Once you are done shaving, remove the excess lather off of your face. I like to use a warm wash cloth.
It’s always good to sterilize and close your pores after a shave. I like using Potassium Alum for this, which is a natural antiseptic. Wet your face, wet the Alum and rub your Alum on your fac
e, wait 15-30 seconds and wash your face. Here is a great video by Michael Freedberg. You will feel some stinging, which means it’s working.
For the grand finale I apply a facial moisturizer, post shave balm or aftershave balm for proper hydration. If moisturizer isn’t your thing, there are some excellent aftershave splashes that come in some amazing scents. I switch it up from day to day depending on my mood.
Probably my least favorite part, but a little work here goes a long way. Taking good care of your gear will ensure you get many happy years with it.
- Brush: It’s always a good idea to dry your shave brush by swirling it on a clean dry towel and then place it in a brush stand hanging upside-down. This will prevent excess water from sitting within your knot, which can cause your handle or knot to prematurely breakdown.
- Razor: Remove razor blade, rinse and dry your safety razor, for the ultimate cleaning technique, clean with soap and a soft bristle tooth brush. I do this once per week.
- Blade: Carefully dry your razor blade on a towel and put somewhere safe for the next day’s use or place in a sharps container or blade bank if you are done with it.
- Soap: Let your soap air dry without the lid to prevent mold or mildew.
Again, this is my personal wet shaving process and this may or may not work for you. Many other wet shavers have a pre shave step where they use a pre shave oil, cream, lotion or gel providing lubrication and cushion that prevents cuts and helps to achieve that perfect shave. Either way you will have to play around with your own techniques.