The debate between hot water and cold water shaving goes back to the Victorian Era where warm water was a luxury and tedious to acquire. Although obtaining hot water today is as simple as turning on the faucet, the question, “Should I shave with hot or cold water?” is still pondered upon. Since wet shaving with hot water seems to be preferred by most men, let us look at the colder alternative and its pros and cons.
Pros of Cold-Water Shaving
- Causes less irritation. Most men who try a cold-water shave report less skin irritation and razor burns as well as less ingrown hair, fewer cuts and smoother skin. If you have very sensitive skin, cold shaving may be a great idea.
- Closer and better shave. Cold water causes your whiskers to stiffen, as opposed to hot water causing it to soften. Hot water causes hair to bend as the blade glides along which causes a longitudinal cut. With stiff hair, the cut is more transverse as hair stands upright which leads to a much closer shave. Consequently, most men say that cold water results into a better and cleaner shave.
- Cold water tends to be better for the skin. Warm water tends to dry out your skin and makes it puffy. Enthusiasts who are shaving with cold water also report that their skin feels smoother and more moisturized as pores stay “closed”.
- Cold-water shaves are refreshing. Cold shaving is invigorating and tends to wake you up better on a drowsy morning as compared to hot-water shaves. This is especially true if you live in warm and tropical climates. Although traditional shaving usually uses hot water, this contemporary take can definitely provide a more soothing effect.
- More friendly on razor blades. Continuous exposure to hot water makes the metal in your razor blade turn blunt more easily. Men who use cold water say that their blades last longer than when they use hot water.
Cons of Cold-water Shaving
- Shave may be more uncomfortable. The greatest reason as to why men prefer hot water over cold is the fact that it is a more comfortable wet shaving experience. Since the whiskers are stiff, it causes that undesirable tugging sensation when shaving with cold water. Also, most men find this process simply unappealing and less luxurious.
- Not good for cold weathers. If you are shaving at weathers below the freezing point of water, traditional shaving with cold water can be a horrendous idea. Warm water in this case just simply feels more comfortable and soothing.
Shaving with cold water vs. hot water: Which should you choose?
The answer to this question is simple: it depends on you. The issue of shaving with cold water or hot water, putting aside scientific and observational considerations is mainly a personal preference. Some men could never imagine shaving this way while others don’t even notice a significant difference between the two. Some men prefer to simply use lukewarm water. Go on any shaving forum and you will notice an array of contrasting opinions. Some men also prefer to cold shave with hot or cold water splashed afterwards. Others take a hot shower but culminate with a cold shave. Experiment while you shave and find out for yourself!