You’ve finally gotten rid of that cheap cartridge razor that failed to give you the close shave you wanted, and among your wedding gifts, you received a shiny new safety razor. Safety razors provide a much better shave and can drastically improve your daily shaving routine, but to the novice, using a safety razor can lead to an unsatisfying shave, full of nicks and cuts. Read on for a few tips on using that safety razor.
1. Don’t take the blade for granted.
You may own a classic Thiers Issard razor, but the blade is what makes contact with your face. A dull blade is a dull blade, regardless of your other equipment. Generally, a good quality safety razor blade will last you about a week of great shaves, assuming you shave daily. If you try to extend a blade’s use or purchase cheap, bargain blades, you’re in for some rough shaves and plenty of irritation.
Fortunately, blades for safety razors are relatively cost-effective. The highest quality blades will cost on average less than 50 cents a week, which is cheaper and more cost-effective than other shaving supplies. Buy great blades and change at least once a week.
2. Don’t apply pressure.
This is the most common mistake for new safety razor owners, often as a result of using cartridge razors for so long. Many novices will push down on the blade with the intention of getting a closer shave. All you’ll really do is remove the top layer of skin, which is more commonly known as razor burn.
Unlike cartridge razors, safety razors require no added pressure. It has enough weight on its own to exert the necessary pressure. Allow the blade to glide across your skin on its own. Getting a closer shave is a matter of making multiple passes over your stubble.
3. Maintain your angles.
Instead of scraping over your facial hair, focus on keeping a 30-degree angle relative to your skin. This won’t be easy, especially around the nose and ear lobes, but 30 degrees is the best angle for tackling those whiskers. You’ll reduce the razor burn and get a much cleaner shave.
4. Figure out what strokes work best for you.
Some shave with long, sweeping strokes while others prefer short strokes. Go with what works best for you and your particular beard conditions. Men with coarser or thicker beards often prefer shorter strokes, while those with fine, sparse beards can get away with long, smooth strokes. Many favor the short-stroke as it allows you to focus on the blade angle and amount of pressure.