Get that old-fashioned clean close shave…. on your legs and other parts.
So you’ve probably never set foot in a barber shop and maybe the last time you saw a classy three-piece shaving kit was on Grandpa’s bathroom counter. Women want as close a shave as guys do, but on their legs and bikini line. Those traditional “men’s only” shaving tools aren’t just for guys.
You may be able to get away with a few quick swipes of a cheap, plastic razor blade that’s clearly becoming dull to get rid of hair in a hurry, but that can lead to irritation. Safety razor shaving takes time and precision, and you end up with way better results. The idea of using a brush and soap instead of a can of shaving cream is also appealing.
Take wet shaving, for example. Wet shaving essentially means using a safety razor, a shaving brush, and shaving soap, and maybe a few other supplies at the end of your routine, like a post shave balm.
Types & Features of Safety Razors
Safety razors, also known as double-edged or DE razors are reloaded with fresh blades. The heads of safety razors generally fall into two types: open comb or closed comb. Open comb lifts and straightens the hairs for a close shave and closed comb razors provide protection with a bar in front of the edge.
Benefits of Wet Shaving
1. Baby’s bottom-like skin
Wet shaving with a good (moisturizing) soap or high-quality cream can soften and protect the skin. Plus, there’s less instance of razor burn, cuts or ingrown hair.
Shaving cream and shaving soap each serve the same purpose: to soften the hairs and protect your skin from the razor blade. A good lathering cream or soap provides a layer of cushion and lubrication. Opt for the good stuff (browse our selection here). Artisan and higher quality shaving creams and soaps contain beneficial ingredients like natural oils, Shea butter and/or Aloe Vera that will help soothe the skin. Shaving soap comes in many forms: triple-milled, hard soap, semi-hard soap or a cream/soap hybrid. Triple-milled soaps tend to be thicker and produce the densest lather.
Safety razors have benefits over cartridge style. They tend to have more weight, which means they do much of the work rather than having to press down on your skin like when using cartridge razors. A single blade safety razor clogs less and offers a better cut in just one pass which is what helps avoid irritation and ingrown hairs.
2. It Costs Less
Using a high-quality blade along with the razor handle you’ve picked out, gives you the best shave and since the blades are so sharp, they will last much longer.
3. Less Environmental Impact
Traditional wet shaving itself is eco-friendly. Your purchase of handle, blade and shaving brush will last far longer than boxes of plastic razors and razor heads and they produce less waste.
4. It’s More Fun
Although it takes more care and caution than using a quick cartridge blade, it can be more fun. Work up the biggest lather possible from your new pot of soap and brush it on if you choose to use soap or smooth on a luxuriously scented lathering cream from a tube.
How to use your DE Razor for a Great Shave
- Shave in the direction in which hair grows promotes less irritation; shaving against the grain gives the smoothest shave.
- Be especially careful around knees, shins and ankles (if you’ve got nick scars to show for it, you’re already aware of this). The heads on these razors don’t pivot so you have to maintain a proper angle whether it’s on your legs or your bikini line.
- Don’t press too hard on the razor – let it do the work. These blades are sharp!
- Exfoliate beforehand, choose a quality shaving cream/soap, and use a good balm afterward.
Just because a product has been traditionally marketed towards men there’s nothing to stop women from using DE razors and their related products too. After all, everyone has body hair. There are razors and creams/soaps to fit your budget if you choose to go for simpler (inexpensive) products when starting out.
Razors range in price from $14 – $650 and soaps and creams from $8 – $60. Various types of kits are available, from a two-piece brush and soap set to a five-piece kit containing a razor, blade, soap and brush and can cost anywhere from about $18 up to $500. The type of soap you choose will determine whether or not you need a brush. Bar soaps don’t require a brush to apply (lather with your hands and apply) but bowl/pot soaps do.
The time it takes to master the art of the traditional wet shaving experience can vary. Some people might get it down in a month; some may take a couple months longer. It’s important to follow the steps closely and pay close attention to the proper angle the razor is held at in order to get a proper shave. There are lots of videos online to show guide you through the process.
It can be intimidating at first, but give it time and you just might find that shaving stops being a dreaded chore – and becomes a treasured hobby!