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How to Wet Shave Properly with a Straight Razor

June 16, 2019 5 min read

How to Wet Shave Properly with a Straight Razor

Naked Armor

Remember how fascinating and easy it looked when Dad was lathering his beard every morning?

Published by Naked Armor

For most of us, it was our first introduction to wet shaving. Some of us even had the pleasure of helping our dads lather their beard. It looked cool and so adult that we couldn’t wait until we tried it out ourselves.

Years after, when it became our turn to start wet shaving, some of us might find out that it wasn’t as fun as we thought it was. Some might be even frustrated with the results enough to swear off wet shaving and settle for dry shaving with an electric razor instead.

But if you really want a close shave, nothing beats wet shaving with a straight razor. It’s a much smoother and comfortable shaving experience. It reduces the risk of in-grown hairs. It’s also cost-effective.

Most first-time wet shavers go through shaving without anyone guiding them. That’s why it’s easy to make mistakes that result in getting a poor shave.

So for this week’s post, we’re going to give you a detailed guide on how to wet shave properly with a straight razor.

Why a straight razor, particularly?

Because it’s really the best tool to use to get a clean and close shave, bar none.

A straight razor when handled correctly, covers more area per stroke, and reduces razor bumps. It also helps exfoliate the skin since the shaving motion also scrapes away dead skin cells.

Now that we’ve got that out of the way, here are our steps to wet shaving properly with a straight razor.

Wet your Beard Properly
Put on the Lather Lavishly
Map the Face into 6 Areas
Hold the Razor Properly
Shave it Area by Area
Splash an Aftershave

Wet your Beard Properly

Beard preparation is always important in wet shaving. One needs to get it soft and manageable so that shaving it off will be easy. And to do this, you need to get it wet- hence, the term wet shaving.

You can do this by taking a hot shower or by draping a warm moist towel over your face for five minutes. The heat and moisture opens the hair follicles up and softens the hair cuticle, so that it’s easy to shave off the hair closely to its roots.

You would also less likely tug the wet hair- a painful experience- when shaving. This reduces the chances of getting razor burn which is what happens when your skin becomes irritated after shaving.

Put on the Lather Lavishly

Lathering is the distinctive feature in wet shaving. The lather acts as a buffer against blade friction, reducing discomfort while making it easy for the razor blade to glide and shave off your facial hair.

So the more lather you put on, the better it will be for your shaving experience. Always re-lather a spot before you make a pass over it again. Not only is shaving lather rich in glycerin but it also contains natural essential oils that help nourish your skin. Re-lathering also lessens skin irritation by constantly exposing the skin to the nourishing effects of the essential oils in the lather.

Never use a bath soap to create lather. Always use a shave soap because they are specifically produced for shaving purposes. A bath soap doesn’t have the proper amount of glycerin to make the
shaving easy and comfortable. They also usually contain synthetic ingredients that may irritate your skin even after shaving.

Map the Face into Six Areas

Now we come to the fun part. After applying lather liberally to the bottom half of your face, map out the surface into six areas, using your finger to trace the areas. You should have six areas: the right and left cheeks, the upper and lower chin, and the right and left lower jaw.

It should look like this:

Map out the Beard Lines

Mapping an outline of your beard allows you to shave it off step by step. Wet shaving is never a race. One needs to take time shaving it because, after all, a straight razor is very sharp and it can easily cause a very bloody accident in careless hands.

Hold the Razor Properly

That’s why one needs to learn how to hold a razor properly. Whether you are a newbie or a professional wet shaver, one needs to learn how to use a straight razor well.

Shaving experts recommend that the razor must be held at 30 degrees. Anything higher, and the risks for cutting one self will increase. Anything lower and one might not be able to shave closely at all.

Holding a straight razor requires practice; nobody gets it perfectly the first time around. So it’s quite normal to get some accidental cuts and nicks during your first try at wet shaving using a straight razor. Just don’t be frustrated and quit. Rome wasn’t built in a day. The longer you continue using it, the better you’ll become in wielding it.

Shave it Area by Area

Pick a side to start with. If you’re a rightie, you should be comfortable with starting on the right cheek. Begin with your left hand drawing the skin upward to create a smooth surface. Gently hold the straight razor in a firm grip and shave downward across half of the right cheek. Move your fingers down, then pull the skin upward and continue the shaving.

Once the right cheek is finished, tilt your head left and back to expose the skin under the right jaw. Keep the skin tight by pulling with your fingers and continue shaving based on your beard’s grain ( or the natural direction of the hair.)

Once you’re done, do it again on the left side. Use your left hand to pull skin and use your right hand to shave. Then tilt your head to the right and back, and shave your lower left jaw.

Once you’re done, work on your upper lip. Stretch your upper lip downward and slowly shave downward.

Continue to your lower chin by lifting the lower lip upward before shaving. Then you tilt your head back to elevate the skin. Draw the skin upward to make it tight and shave again.

Always remember to shave along the grain. This means shaving downward because that’s usually the direction of the hair growth.

For newbies, a single pass is usually enough but if you want to do it again to get a closer shave, do it the second time across the grain. Shaving across the grain simply means shaving from the side of your cheek towards your mouth and nose.

Remember to always rinse the blade every pass. Not only is it hygienic, but it will also keep the lather residue off from the blade which can lessen its razor sharpness.

Splash an Aftershave

When you’re done shaving, put on a splash of aftershave. The aftershave helps seal the microabrasions in the skin which are caused by shaving. Since most aftershaves also contain natural oils with astringent properties, it can keep off acne-causing bacteria off your newly shaven face.

Aftershaves are an important aspect of wet shaving. Never skip them.

Luxury Shaving

And when you’re looking for the best kind of straight razor for your wet shaving needs, you need not go elsewhere.

Here at Naked Armor, we make it our mission to create a luxurious shaving experience by producing great, high quality straight razors and wet shaving products.

Our straight razors are made from Japanese stainless steel and valuable wood handles while our assortment of wet shaving products are sourced sustainably and produced organically.

For more of our products, check out our site.


Other Essential Naked Armor Reads


10 Essential Wet Shaving Tips For Men
Wet Shaving Tips and Tricks for Men
How To Hold A Straight Razor

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Learn How To Wet Shave Video Series



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