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How to Shave your Face - Wet Shaving Guide and Products
09-21-2014, 04:36 PM
Post: #1
Thumbs Up How to Shave your Face - Wet Shaving Guide and Products
This is a a full guide on how to shave your face. It is in itself a wet shaving guide, and it includes the method to use along with the wet shaving products. It would be great if this would also become a wet shaving discussion with contribution from the barbers in the forum and other shaving experts.

The manly art of shaving the face is a technique that has become a habitual nuisance to the common man instead of the pleasing ritual it once was. In the modern world, a man is often rushed into shaving his face and completes his task as if he was in a race with somebody, not caring if he runs into a few obstacles as long as he gets it done. This hurried state of mind is what often causes facial lacerations which sting and can produce an unwelcoming spot on the collar of a shirt. In addition to the hurried state of mind is the "cannot be bothered" state of mind whereby a man will forgo shaving until he is needed to do so, often for work or for a woman.

So what is the trick for bringing back the pleasure of shaving and being able to shave without scratching all of your face and ending up looking like Freddy? Well it is simple, slow down and take the time to complete your shave while following these next steps and tips to get an ultra close satisfying shave. This 'how to shave your face' guide is divided into four posts that follow each other below.
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09-21-2014, 04:41 PM
Post: #2
RE: How to Shave your Face - Wet Shaving Guide and Products
Starting the shaving ritual

So what is first? Take about ten minutes of your time in the morning to dedicate to a shave without interruptions so that you can slow down and do a good job. Next fill the sink with hot water, do not make it so hot that you scald your face but get at least a little steam. Splash this water on your face, this will open up your facial pores and help give you that close shave. It also moistens the face and so helps prevent cuts.

Shaving mug, brush and shaping soap

What next? Well it is time to select a shaving cream, reaching for the can of Gillette, think again. One of the best ways to make shaving a satisfying ritual is to use a shaving mug and brush (also known as a badger) with shaving soap. Having a shaving mug and genuine beaver hair brush is essential to the shaving ritual so throw out the can and make the switch. You can buy a wide variety of shaving supplies at Amazon and see some of the shaving reviews that are already posted in the shaving section of the forum.

So now you have your mug and brush, what about the soap. You can get any kind of shaving specific soap you want but any facial soap will do. If you have a sensitive face, try something with shea butter in it. Just never use regular body soap because it will dry out your face and make it feel tight. You can also choose a good shaving cream instead of a shaving soap.

Create and spread the lather

Okay now you have your brush, mug, and soap, now what? You have to make a lather for your face. To create an extra thick lather like you see in old movies wet your brush slightly with water and swirl it in the mug with the soap in it. If it is to wet it will not be thick and if it is to dry it will not create a lather at all. Using the right amount of water for a thick lather takes practice but eventually you will get the hang of it.

Coat the brush in the lather you created inside the mug and now spread the lather in the brush across your face on the areas to be shaved. Tae your time although this will take you a minute at most.

Type of razor to use

Great now you have the lather and you have smeared it on your face with the brush. It is time to take one step closer to the razor itself. What to use? With so many razors on the market it can be difficult deciding what to use. You could use a razor sharp straight edge or do as they did in medieval times and use a dagger but if you are afraid of slicing your face off use a straight razor. Use a straight razor with at least three blades but there is really no need for the twenty blade razors you might see on television. Remember though that this is the only face you will ever have in this life and so spend more than seventy cents on a razor and get one like Gillette three blades with aloe.

The only exception to the straight razor to buy is if you're buying a premium safety razor. Then a single blade coated in platinum will suffice and will cause less irritation than a three blade razor or a razor with more than two blades.

Using a straight razor does follow pretty much the same shaving method as described in the next step, only that the chance of cutting yourself with a straight razor increases. Having said that a straight razor will provide you an extremely close shave in the same manner as a single blade safety razor.
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09-21-2014, 04:44 PM
Post: #3
RE: How to Shave your Face - Wet Shaving Guide and Products
How to shave with a razor

Okay so the preparations are done, you have soap all over your face and a razor in hand it is time to finally put the blade to the face. Start in a downwardly direction at the sideburns and stop at the lower jaw. The best way to shave is to take long even strokes not short choppy ones which can cut the face. Continue in the downwardly direction overlapping strokes from the lower lip to the bottom of the chin until you get to the other side of the chin. Then again in a downwardly direction from the side burns to the lower jaw. Next tackle the upper lip starting from the left and going to the right in a downwardly direction using even strokes.

Now let us handle the neck. Suppress the impulse to start on the lower part of the neck and work upward toward the chin. Instead start at the lower part of the chin and work down to the lower part of the neck. Always follow the natural grain (direction) of the hair on your face when shaving at first. You can instinctively see the direction of growth of your facial hair by letting your facial hair grow for 3 to 5 days and then looking at it in the mirror.

Alright now you have shaved your face but it is not as close as you would like. To get the ultra close shave that was promised follow the same procedure as before but working in an upward motion very slowly and carefully. Remember to always go over your face once in the downward direction and if your face can handle the ultra close shave then you can go against the grain after you have followed the grain. Also remember to apply a second coat of lather between the first shave and the second.
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09-21-2014, 04:48 PM
Post: #4
RE: How to Shave your Face - Wet Shaving Guide and Products
Finishing your shaving ritual

Now the act of shaving the face is complete but the final touches are still needed. Rinse your face of any left over lather with cold water. The cold water will close your pores and prevents shaving bumps. Rinse the whole area that you shaved with the cold water. Then release the water from the sink and wash your equipment under the facet and wash down your whiskers so as to be a proper gentleman. Pat dry your face with a soft towel. Never rub dry your face since it will irritate the skin and make you all red. So now you are shaved and clean and dry.

What next, aftershave? Not! Most after shaves are as gentle as rubbing alcohol and burn the face. Instead use a moisturizer or a moisturising after shave like the Nivea for Men after shave balm to replenish your face and not make it feel tight all day. Don't get carried away by how much a after shave stings or burns when you apply it, just make sure that it contains moisturizing ingredients so as to give your skin that extra fresh start of the day without feeling like your face is on fire!

Congratulations on that manly shave

That is it. You have finished your ultra close manly ritual shave. The satisfaction of a clean face washes over you and envelopes the senses. Just remember these simple rules and tips and your shaving will stop looking like a horror film and you will save money at the dry cleaners since you will not have stained collars anymore. What more can a man want from a ritual than a clean smooth face and more money in his pocket? Nothing so start shaving the right way now.
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09-21-2014, 04:50 PM
Post: #5
RE: How to Shave your Face - Wet Shaving Guide and Products
Wet shaving products to use

Reserved to list later the recommended brands of wet shaving products, together with mods recommended product links.
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09-23-2014, 02:27 PM
Post: #6
RE: How to Shave your Face - Wet Shaving Guide and Products
Thank you so much for this guide and it really blends in with this section. I think shaving with a razor for most of us is more like the morning inconvenience than anything else. I know as for myself that i really did not enjoy it until recently when i started reading the forum and paying more attention to it.
Also the right shaving products make a world of a difference without a doubt. The difference between a disposable razor and a merkur razor just to name one is huge. I guess most of us grow with a cheap safety razor in one hand and some cheap shaving gel in the other and never really get to think if things can get better or be a little more fun. This guide makes the steps clear and all so it is perfect for the noobs. Myself included Big Grin
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10-02-2014, 11:55 AM
Post: #7
Wet shaving 101
Now this is the kind wet shaving guide that serves as an internet resource! Wet shaving looks like an easy process, and it sure is, but it needs to follow a method so that one can really enjoy it thoroughly instead of seeing the daily shaving as a chore.

I got your private message with the shaving products and I will also post other wet shaving products recommended by other mods so that we can have a good list of recommended wet shaving products.

It should be said that one needs to experiment with how much lather he wants to create and use. Some guys prefer a thin layer of lather while others like a rich creamy lather. What I do not recommended though is to pile on massive amounts of lather so that you end up not knowing even where your lips are LOL The amount of optimal lather to use is more of a trial and error thing, but that's what makes it even more fun when starting to wet shave.

I'm one of the admins of this forum. Any questions/issue? Contact me directly or any of the moderators. We welcome any feedback to improve our community.

You can also check out our forum's BEST HAIR PRODUCTS FOR MEN thread to read opinions and useful information on men's hair products.
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10-06-2014, 12:52 PM
Post: #8
RE: How to Shave your Face - Wet Shaving Guide and Products
So guys... are disposable safety razors razors any good then for this traditional wet shaving? i like how you have structured this shaving guide. So start preparing the face and then lather up. Shave by following the grain of the hairs which i take is the direction of how the hair grows... right?

Also would u say that shaving gel can be used with this wet shaving guide? i know it kind of kills the point of going all traditional with the old styling of shaving. But can we adapt the method and steps to a less expensive situation where razors are disposable and the shaving cream is instead a shaving gel? Huh
Thanks for the guide and for any replies to my questions! Smile
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10-07-2014, 09:17 AM
Post: #9
RE: How to Shave your Face - Wet Shaving Guide and Products
Can we use the wet shaving method to shave the head? Same shaving products, same technique and same frequency. Is it doable?
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10-15-2014, 07:20 AM
Post: #10
RE: How to Shave your Face - Wet Shaving Guide and Products
I am posting below a reply I just gave in another shaving thread. I took some time to write up more on shaving tips and wet shaving.

I agree that if you browse online or magazines there is a lot of bad advice on shaving. That's the best thing of a forum like this one where you have barbers and other shaving specialists to share the knowledge! Smile

FYI Once upon a time, shaving was an art handed down from father to son. This was necessary, as the implements used to shave, the straight razor and later the safety razor, could injure a person fairly severely if they weren't used properly. With two innovations all that changed. Cartridge and disposable razors and canned shaving cream pretty much killed the necessity to teach anyone how to shave. These days many guys shave with sloppy form and cut themselves trying to achieve a close shave. It's not that you can't get a perfect shave, it's just that it takes some skill and method to do so. That's what I will try to explain below.

Two types of mens shaving

In my case I have sensitive skin so I have to be careful when shaving so I don't get skin irritation. Now everyone is different, everyone has different skin, different hair, different expectations for a shave. There are basically 2 methods of shaving, dry and wet.

Dry shaving generally involves using an electric razor. There are a few non-electric mechanical razors. There are also a few electric razors that can be used wet or dry. My experience with dry shaving is good and I have posted some electric razor reviews in the shavers and trimmers section. The shaving results provided by the electric razors when it came to getting a good shave have ranged from really good to poor, and you will have to pay a good amount of bucks if you want a high quality shave.

Wet shaving however, is more of an art like I explained in the wet shaving guide. Wet shaving involves water, preferably lots of it. Now remember, everyone is different, so everyone needs to experiment to find what does and does not work for him or her. The following should be looked upon as tips or guidelines, not the end all of shaving.

Wet shaving style

Give yourself plenty of time. One of the reasons we get bad shaves is that we think of shaving as a necessary chore rather than a pleasant part of starting our day. A quick shave is a bad shave.

Wash with soap and hot water. Shower before shaving if possible. This softens the hair, gets rid of the oil coating it, lubricates the skin somewhat and opens the pores. If you can shave in the shower great if not, then wet the area to shave down again with hot water before lathering up. You want to keep it as wet as possible.

Use a good shaving cream or gel. Have a look at this shaving gels post for some good shaving gels. Some people will claim that the best stuff to use is European shaving cream that comes in tins and that it must be applied with a badger hair shaving brush. I think that's a bit over-rated but it is true that the brush helps to apply a good amount of foam, exfoliates the skin, makes the hairs stand up as well as lubricates and moisturizes the skin. Some people recommend exfoliating before shaving. Everyone has their own opinion about the best stuff to use to shave. Some people like to use shaving oils, which can be hard to find. Others use baby oil. Still others prefer a particular gel or cream or soap.

The purpose of whatever you use as shaving gel, cream or soap is to soften the whiskers or hair, lubricate the skin to protect against nicks and irritation, and hold the cut whiskers. The advantage to using a brush would be that the whiskers and hairs would stand up and be separated. You might not do that as well applying the foam by hand. I personally like the gels. I use one of the Nivea for Men shaving gels and you also have some good shaving gels with Neutrogena and Edge especially for sensitive skin (my specialty so to speak Big Grin). You want a product that produces foam so that it lubricates, protects, and hangs around until you are finished through, but you also want a foam that washes off you and the razor easily, too. A gunked up razor doesn't work very well.

Type of shaving razor

Next, lets talk about razors a little. The type of razor you use is partly dependent on personal preference, but partly on hair and skin type. Now, many people will tell you to avoid disposable razors and go with either cartridge or safety razors. In the end it's all about the type of razor that you are most comfortable with. I use either a cartridge or a disposable, usually double bladed but also single blade and I will also use a safety razor stick when I feel like going for that old style of shaving. Once again experimentation will be your best guide and there is no truly unique best shaving razor for men.

If you have curly hair, coarse hair, or have sensitive skin, you might want to stick with a single blade razor. The theory behind the double-bladed and triple-blade razors is that you get a closer shave because the first blade bends the hair and pulls it out a little so the following blades get a lower cut. This system does work and I get a closer shave with a double blade and more blades, but it can result in the hair being cut below the skin level and growing the wrong direction resulting in a painful, red bump that can easily get infected. This is called a shaving bump or razor bump. They can happen to anyone, but people with coarse or curly hair and certain skin types are more prone to them. This is why black guys tend to be prone to razor bumps. Also anything more than a single blade will irritate the skin if you have sensitive skin. If you have curly facial hair or have sensitive facial skin, you might want to avoid the multi-blade razors.

Shaving tips

When you actually shave your face, here are a few tips. The longer shaving foam stays on your face, the softer it makes the whiskers, so save your problems areas to last. The hairs on your chin and upper lip tend to be thicker and more numerous, so save them to the end of the shave.

Start out and work towards the center. Don't change direction in the middle of a stroke as this can cause nicks. This is what you mentioned is done in the commercials but which any regular guy will cut his face left and right with it lol

Now some places recommend long strokes, while others recommend short. I personally like long strokes if I can do them. The general recommendation is to use downward strokes on the cheeks and jaw, upward on the throat. I usually do my throat twice, once each direction.

It's also a good idea to stretch the skin taunt before shaving it. I usually don't stretch the skin unless it is hard to do like the upper lip, or the crease on the back of my head, and then I still try to be careful, as stretching the skin increases your chances for the ingrown hair shaving bumps.

Rinse the razor after each stroke. Most places recommend hot water for this, however some guys find that hot water increases their likelihood for razor burns, so it's bets you use warm water or even cool water if you are getting irritation or razor burns.

If you use a multi-blade cartridge or disposable razor, you might want to keep a toothpick or small square of cardboard around. The space between the blades will get clogged with dead skin, hair and shaving goop and it may not rinse cleanly. Hit the side of the sink a couple of times to automatically remove any of the clogged hairs and dead skin from the blades so that you can continue shaving.

Use sharp blades, if you feel it pull the whiskers, stop and get a new cartridge or razors. Dull blades increase the chances of accidents and definitely won't give you a clean shave. Also, no pressure should be used. Let the razor do the work.

Shaving with the grain means shaving in the direction the hair grows. Shaving against the grain means going the other way. You get a closer shave going against the grain, but you irritate the skin more. If you are shaving your face for the first time using the method and tips I am posting, stick with with the grain on your first go. I usually shave twice, once with the grain, then once against it. I do the same with my throat. However I will quickly re-apply some shaving gel to the areas I'm about to shave against the grain and this is a tip I recommend you to also follow, as it lubricates the skin prior to shaving against the grain. When you are finished, feel for any missed areas. If it is a small area, wet the razor well and go back over it carefully. If it is larger, re-lather the area and shave.

After shaving, I usually wash with warm water and soap, then rinse in cold water. If there are any nicks, treat with a septic pen. Afterwards I use a moisturizing aftershave and you can check some good aftershaves in this aftershaves thread for some of the aftershaves I recommend. Whatever you choose I would recommend avoiding any alcohol-based aftershaves as it will clean any cuts or irritation, but it will also dry out the skin.

The cool water rinse will close your pores and just plain feels good. Pat rather than rub when you towel after the rinse. Done!


(10-06-2014 12:52 PM)Machado Wrote:  So guys... are disposable safety razors razors any good then for this traditional wet shaving? i like how you have structured this shaving guide. So start preparing the face and then lather up. Shave by following the grain of the hairs which i take is the direction of how the hair grows... right?

Also would u say that shaving gel can be used with this wet shaving guide? i know it kind of kills the point of going all traditional with the old styling of shaving. But can we adapt the method and steps to a less expensive situation where razors are disposable and the shaving cream is instead a shaving gel? Huh
Thanks for the guide and for any replies to my questions! Smile

Yes you can wet shave with any cheap razor you want. You can use shaving cream, gel, soap or whatever you want. Actually if you really anted to do it in the old style of wet shaving, you would use a shaving soap, place it in the bowl and brush with the badger to create lather to then apply to your face.

(10-07-2014 09:17 AM)Vladimir Wrote:  Can we use the wet shaving method to shave the head? Same shaving products, same technique and same frequency. Is it doable?

Yes it would be the same for head shaving. Just be careful with shaving against the grain as there will be parts of your head that you cannot see and shaving against the grain with no vision is risky. I would at least start my head shaving with a single blade safety razor or disposable razor so that it decreases the risk of cuts and nicks.
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10-17-2014, 08:26 AM
Post: #11
RE: How to Shave your Face - Wet Shaving Guide and Products
Great guide. As much as many of us seem to think that we can shave we can all pick up different tips to improve the shaving experience.

I was just given a disposable razor and a can of shaving foam back when I learn how to shave. The learning experience was fast and almost natural but I always knew that I was missing something. Irritated face and every once in a while having bumps is a sign that my razor shaving could do with an improvement. I was already on my way to improving and learning how to shave better, but all the answers in this forum and this shaving guide are bang on the money.

I do think that the wet shaving experience should perhaps be left for sundays or weekends when there is more time to get all dapper. I at least have too little time in the morning to be lathering my own foal and taking my time to shave with a good razor. Disposable and gel is how it works for me but I do also like to wet shave and enjoy a clean shaven look. Both of both worlds imo Smile
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10-17-2014, 12:23 PM
Post: #12
RE: How to Shave your Face - Wet Shaving Guide and Products
(10-15-2014 07:20 AM)Sunset Wrote:  Yes you can wet shave with any cheap razor you want. You can use shaving cream, gel, soap or whatever you want. Actually if you really anted to do it in the old style of wet shaving, you would use a shaving soap, place it in the bowl and brush with the badger to create lather to then apply to your face.

it would be awesome if you could post some good wet shaving razors. Sam actually goes for good disposable razors.

another question... you mention shaving soap so that then means we can use any soap to shave our faces?? i looked around and the shaving soaps i saw were not expensive but if i can use some bathroom soap i have in the house then even better. My problem is that a bathroom soap dries my skin and is same like the shampoo does to the scalp. Yet you say that the face needs to be moisturized and lubricated to shave... but regular soap dries the skin?? or is a shaving soap different to the regular bathroom soaps?

sorry if the question has been answered before but i am confused as hell with the soaps.
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10-23-2014, 07:45 AM
Post: #13
RE: How to Shave your Face - Wet Shaving Guide and Products
This is the best shaving guide. Thanks for this.

is there any way to trim the hair with the razor alone and without the need for an electric trimmer? I saw some of the beard trimmers and I am curious to know if there is the cheap and manual razor option rather than buying the beard trimmer by itself. Also when leaving some hair on the beard it would be great if there was a way to be shaving and then continue using the razor to quickly trim the beard hair.
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10-28-2014, 01:11 PM
Post: #14
RE: How to Shave your Face - Wet Shaving Guide and Products
can I ask you if there are any differences for black men and wet shaving? I saw you posted in other threads of razor bumps which is common among black guys. What would you change from this method of wet shaving for black men? would you keep it the same?
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11-18-2014, 12:31 PM
Post: #15
RE: How to Shave your Face - Wet Shaving Guide and Products
To Sunset or anyone else, is this wet shaving guide also of use for straight razor shaving? I saw another forum member posted about his wet shaving setup with a straight razor and I am growing curious about giving it a go for something like the weekends as I mentioned in my earlier post.

So can we use this guide for straight razor shaving? If not where then would you modify the shaving process from safety razor shaving?
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11-18-2014, 03:18 PM
Post: #16
RE: How to Shave your Face - Wet Shaving Guide and Products
(11-18-2014 12:31 PM)Lordius Wrote:  To Sunset or anyone else, is this wet shaving guide also of use for straight razor shaving? I saw another forum member posted about his wet shaving setup with a straight razor and I am growing curious about giving it a go for something like the weekends as I mentioned in my earlier post.

So can we use this guide for straight razor shaving? If not where then would you modify the shaving process from safety razor shaving?

It's the same process for a safety razor and straight razor. The only difference is that a straight razor requires some more care when shaving and getting accustomed to stretching the skin prior to shaving a given section. But it all soon becomes very instinctive and natural.

No fear of slicing your throat open as I read in another thread lol The material from which straight razors are made is not consistent enough to cut deep into the skin, much less if you're not trying to purposely slice your throat.
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11-27-2014, 09:47 PM
Post: #17
RE: How to Shave your Face - Wet Shaving Guide and Products
I have sensitive/acne prone skin. There's tiny little pimples here and there that come and go and then some red bumps too.

Would you guys recommend dry or wet shaving for me? Most of my life I've used an electric razor just because of its convenience, but after my electric razor recently broke I've been giving wet shaving a thought.
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03-12-2015, 01:33 AM
Post: #18
RE: How to Shave your Face - Wet Shaving Guide and Products
Nice guide I'm sure I'll float around this section to find out some more great stories and tips.
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03-13-2015, 07:48 AM
Post: #19
RE: How to Shave your Face - Wet Shaving Guide and Products
I use Gillette Fusion on my sensitive skin and that is ok for me, but before shaving I must shower so that my facial hair is softer and easier to shave, which then avoids irritating my sensitive skin.
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10-18-2016, 10:53 PM
Post: #20
RE: How to Shave your Face - Wet Shaving Guide and Products
I assume the tips here are applicable for electric razor users?
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