10 Common Newbie Mistakes that Wet Shavers Make

July 12, 2020 6 min read

10 Common Newbie Mistakes that Wet Shavers Make

Naked Armor

You never forget the first time you start wet shaving.

Published by Naked Armor

Young man shaving for the first time

Your first shave is a significant milestone in your life because you’ve graduated from merely admiring your dad’s wet shaving techniques every morning to doing your very own real wet shave. It marks your passage to adulthood.

And yet it’s not exactly a Hallmark kind of moment. Because for newbies, they can be prone to committing mistakes. Heck, even shaving pros have been known to have some occasional foul-ups. But among newbies, if these mistakes are not corrected early on, it’ll make the experience unpleasant enough for them to abandon it later on.

So in order to make your passage into adult grooming more pleasant and comfortable, here are the top 10 common newbie mistakes that wet shavers should not be making.

Not Showering Before Shaving

Almost all bad shaves begin with bad skin prep. Not showering before shaving is one example. Since you are using a sharp blade to scrape off your whiskers, you should always take time to give your skin moisture so that it remains supple.

You’ve all seen how master barbers prep up their clients. In traditional wet shaving, barbers wrap a warm moist towel around their client’s face. It works, but really, the best way to get your skin ready for the razor is to take a hot shower.

The hot water and steam will open up your pores, which will make it easier for the pre-shave oil and cream to penetrate your skin. It’ll also clean your skin, which really helps in making the skin smooth and clear for shaving.

Always shower or wet your face before shaving. It'll help get your skin ready for the razor.

Not Applying Shave Oil

For newbies, we really recommend that you put on a pre-shave oil before shaving. It helps prep the skin by restoring some of the moisture and oil that was stripped off while showering. Shave oils also contain essential oils which help nourish the skin and prepare it for shaving. For best results, use an all natural pre-shave oil, preferably one with argan and jojoba oil. Your skin will thank you for that.

More importantly, the thin layer of shave oil on your skin helps act as a protective barrier to lessen blade friction and allow the razor blade to smoothly glide when shaving your whiskers. It’ll protect your skin from irritation and razor rash, especially if you have sensitive skin.

A pre-shave oil helps lessen blade friction and allows the razor to glide smoothly on your skin.

Not Using a Shaving Brush Properly

It’s not about painting your face with lather; that’s why you’re using a shaving brush, not a make-up brush. Use the brush to work the lather into your whiskers, instead of just swiping it over your mug.

Work the lather in swirling motions, taking time to make sure that the lather reaches the skin underneath your facial hair. This way, the skin absorbs whatever natural oils your shaving lather has, while at the same time, coating the whiskers thickly in lather so that it stands up and ready to be shaved. And on that note…

Not Applying Thick Lather

When wet shaving, quantity and quality matters. In order to get a comfortable and luxurious shaving experience, you need to have lather that’s thick and creamy meringue-like. Like we noted earlier, a thick lather helps with making sure that the whiskers are stiff and ready to be shaved off.

The type of shaving soap also matters in creating lather. We recommend using all organic, natural shaving soaps because they generally have high glycerin content which makes it even better at protecting your skin from irritation caused by blade friction.

A thick lather makes sure that the whiskers are stiff and ready for shaving.

Not Letting the Lather Set Properly

You need to commit to a slower pace in order to get all the wet shaving benefits. This means taking the time to let the lather set on your face so that the stubble is fully coated with lather and the skin absorbs all the nutrients from the lather. Let the lather set for 2-3 minutes, although stretching it to 5 minutes is just about fine as well.

Shaving Against the Grain

For newbies, this is one of the wet shaving basics: do not shave against the grain.

Dragging the razor opposite the direction of your hair growth may give you an instant, gratifying sensation of getting a close shave, but did you know that it can also cause ingrown hairs?

There is such a thing as shaving too closely, and that’s what happens when you shave against the grain. The hair is cut so short that the remaining strand recedes into the pore. When the skin replenishes its topmost layer, it covers the pore so that it prevents the hair from growing out.

What happens instead is that it grows inward. And that is how you get razor bumps.

If you're a newbie, always shave with the grain.

Too Much Pressure on the Razor

Probably the most common—and most serious—problem for a new wet shaver is using too much pressure on the razor.

Contrary to what you may think, pressing hard on the razor won’t get you more of your stubble. The blade works efficiently when it’s cutting across a flat surface. But pressing down too much creates a “ditch” on the skin surface that can cause irritation and an uneven shave.

So don’t press hard. Let the razor’s weight do the shaving for you.

Probably the most common—and most serious—problem for a new wet shaver is using too much pressure on the razor.

— Derek Dodds, Naked Armor Founder

Being Impatient

There’s a reason why they call it the art of wet shaving. There are steps for you to follow, almost like a ritual, so that you can maximize the benefits of a proper shave.

You need to work slowly and carefully. Go through your mug piece by piece. Savor the feel and the sound of the blade shaving off your stubble. Becoming mindful this way also works best for your mental health. It clears out all the mental detritus and makes you prepared to meet your day.

Not Using the Right Razor

Use a single blade razor, not a cartridge razor. Whether you use a safety razor or a straight razor, a single blade minimizes blade friction when shaving. In multi-blade cartridges, the number of blades means that the blade friction also increases everytime it shaves the skin. This can heighten razor burn.

Also, the gaps in the cartridge razor can tug hairs. This makes shaving uncomfortable. But if you use a safety or a straight razor, it won’ tug your whiskers. It’ll even cut them even more easily.

A safety razor or a straight razor are the only ones that can give a close shave with less or no skin irritation.

Not Using Aftershave

Skipping an aftershave routine is a cardinal sin in wet shaving. An aftershave is important because it closes the skin pores and the micro-cuts that result from shaving. That’s because it has astringent properties that make sure skin germs won’t get into the cuts and you get to have a clean and safe shave.

Aftershaves close the the skin pores and the micro-cuts that you got from shaving.

Have a Luxurious Wet Shave Experience with Naked Armor

Invest in a high-quality straight razor. Derek Dodds, the founder of Naked Armor, says that "Cheap straight razors will either be dull from the get-go or go dull after a few shaves. That's why you are always better off investing in a great blade."

Here at Naked Armor, our blades are designed in between a full hollow and half hollow grind. This makes them versatile for all kinds of hair textures and types and can easily be used by a newbie or a pro.

Naked Armor's Solomon Straight Razor (Brown)

Naked Armor's Solomon Straight Razor (Black)

Naked Armor's Bela Straight Razor

Naked Armor's Merlin Straight Razor

Remember: The quality of the shaving tool matters. Why do you think master barbers love their heirloom straight razors?

For more high-quality, luxury straight razors, check out our site.

 



Essential Naked Armor Reads

The Newbie Guide to Straight Razor Shaving
Wet Shaving Tips and Tricks for Men
The Solomon Straight Razor Review by MMA Fighter

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How to Shave for Better Results


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