So you want a closer shave, eh? Reckon you can do it just like your barber does? Well of course you can…
But before you get carried away and go slathering shaving soap everywhere, there’s a few things you should know. Safety razors can take some getting used to, so here are some useful tips and tricks to help you get started.
What’s the best safety razor to start with?
First off, it’s not just about the razor itself. You’ll definitely want to get some good-quality shaving cream or soap to smooth the way for your razor. This is especially important when shaving with a safety razor as the lather protects your skin from the blade.
The soap or cream is best applied with a brush – not just because it feels great and makes you look like a Hollywood tough guy, but also because it lifts hairs up and makes sure they’re completely covered.
Then you’ll need a razor. Obviously.
As there’s a bit of a knack to using a safety razor, it’s best to go for a tame one for starters. That doesn’t mean you have to compromise on style though: safety razors for beginners still look the part.
So what features do you need in your first safety razor?
– Good balance – so that you don’t end up applying too much pressure and cause a bloodbath
– A handle with a solid grip – remembering that you should only hold the end of it between your thumb and fingertips
– A head that offers protection – so you can’t cause too much damage while you’re learning the ropes
How much should I pay for my safety razor?
Price might also play a role in helping you decide which razor to opt for. Some safety razors are real things of beauty and can cost a pretty penny. You can spend over £300 if you’re shopping at the top end of the market. We’re not kidding.
So you might want not to invest in anything too pricey, just in case you decide to go back to a regular razor after giving it a whirl.
Luckily, you can find high-quality, reliable safety razors for closer to £10 or £15 nowadays. That’s pretty good value for a smooth, barber-style shave in the comfort of your own bathroom.
But if you still need convincing…
Why shave with a safety razor?
– You can decide how close a shave you get. Want some stubble leaving? Just use a light touch. Fancy being Mr Smooth? Apply a bit more pressure.
– Irritation is less likely: a sharper blade means fewer strokes
– They cut through thick hair with much less effort, so you won’t get the same kind of dragging and clogging you do with regular razors.
– The replacement blades are cheaper than they are for cartridge razors, for example, so you can certainly treat yourself to a nice new blade for each shave.
Which safety razor should I choose next?
Of course, if you and your new safety razor get on famously, there’s no reason why you can’t stick with it. A trusty razor is worth its weight in gold.
But some people choose to graduate onto something a bit more specialised once they’ve mastered the art of safety razor shaving. There are adjustable safety razors, ones with slanted heads, various safety features, travel razors and even ones made out of titanium or stainless steel. Some manufacturers offer artisan-made safety razors that are entirely customisable, come in various weights and can be engraved. And if you want to look achingly cool and professional, you could always try a vintage cut throat razor.
So yeah, the options go on and on. For now, it’s probably best to keep it simple until you’ve gotten a feel for it.