Recently, people seem less keen on the normal hurried dry shave with shaver, and the classic wet shave might be returning to our grooming routines. And, with shaving technology the slickest and most advanced it’s ever been, we think it’s time to pick out some tools for the perfect wet shave.
In our opinion, the wet shave is something of an art, or maybe a ritual. Either way, it’s a great way to get a close, smooth shave with fewer cuts and scratches.
What is a wet shave?
In short, a wet shave is a shave that involves water, some kind of lathering medium, such as a shaving soap or cream, possibly a shaving brush, and of course, a razor.
Traditionally, the idea of a wet shave conjures up images of nostalgic images of a classic barber shop, maybe in an old Western film, or tucked down a smoggy London alley. A skilled barber is probably running a cut-throat straight razor down your jaw with immaculate precision.
Of course, these days you don’t have to use a potentially deadly weapon on your face while half asleep in the morning to have a proper wet shave. Although, if you’re the kind of stylish daredevil who likes a cut throat razor, we do salute you.
Thankfully, we have plenty of cutting edge (no pun intended) shaving tech, so there’s something for everyone.
How to prepare for a wet shave
Hot water is the key first step in preparing for any shave. Getting your skin warm and moist helps open the pores and clear away dry skin and dirt which gets caught in facial hair, even just stubble. Rinsing or soaking your face with hot water also softens the hairs, making them easier for a razor to slice through. That’s why the best time to shave is right after you get out of the shower.
You can also reach for a pre-shave treatment such as a lotion, balm or oil, particularly if you’re battling some particularly stubborn stubble, as this softens tough hairs. Massage the product in and leave it for a minute to let the magic happen, then rinse it off, or simply apply shaving cream or soap over the top.
How to wet shave properly
Building a brilliant wet shave routine is a process, and practice makes perfect. Luckily for you, we’ve put together a step-by-step guide to help you on your way. Follow these steps and see where your razor takes you...
1. Dampen shaving brush
If the hair on your shaving brush is synthetic, you only need to briefly wet it in warm water. However, if it’s made of natural hair, you should soak it for about a minute. Then shake off the excess water and prepare to lather!
2. Lather up
With your shaving soap or foam, build up a nice thick lather using back and forth motions rather than circles, as this can damage the bristles. When the lather is thick and creamy, apply it evenly to your face, stroking upwards to help the hairs stand upright.
3. Don’t fight your facial hair, tame it
Run your razor under a hot tap before you start shaving. The dampness and heat help it glide seamlessly over your skin. While shaving, go slow, use small movements, and follow the grain (the direction your hair grows in). Experiment with angles to find what works best for your face. Never press too hard on your skin during a wet shave, which should be a slick and smooth experience.
4. Double rinse, pat down and moisturise
Rinse your face twice, first with warm water to wash away any hairs and then with cool water to close your pores. Pat your face dry with a towel rather than rubbing to keep your skin smooth and comfortable. Finally, apply some aftershave balm and leave it to soak in, before following with your regular moisturiser.
What is the best wet shave razor to use for a smooth shave?
For a truly classic-feeling wet shave, you can opt for our Classic Double Edge Razor, or our Quattro Vintage Edition Razor. These beautiful vintage-style razors will leave your skin perfectly smooth, especially when paired with our vintage shaving brush and soap and bowl.
For sensitive skin, try our Hydro 5 Skin Protection Razor, which protects skin and prevents irritation for a gloriously smooth shave. When you’re taming a few days worth of stubble, reach for the Hydro 5 Comfort Skin Reset Razor to achieve the closest possible shave, even after a week of growth.