How to Shave with a Safety Razor?


Every man needs to shave once in a while. There are many razors in the market, like cartridge razors, disposable razors, and safety razors. You probably know by now that using a safety razor is the best option since you get a close and smooth shave.

This guide will be on how to shave with a safety razor. Everyone knows the general rules. Don’t apply too much pressure and use short strokes. But what about beard prep beforehand? All these are essential steps that ensure a good shave.

There are also safety precautions that will save you from cutting yourself. No one needs to suffer an injury when doing a routine task like shaving. So, let’s get started. Before we dive into the guide, though, let’s explore what safety razors are.

Table of Contents

What Are Safety Razors?

Safety Razors

Safety razors were designed to make it easier to shave. It highly reduces any chances of cuts and also reduces irritation. That’s why safety razors are pretty great for those who have sensitive skin.

Not only that, as we mentioned, it’s supposed to be very easy to use. They are well-built shaving devices that house a sharp blade in the ‘razor head.’ In the early days, these were single-blade razors.

So, you shave with only one edge. Single edge razors are also called SE. Nowadays, double edge razors are more popular. They are called DE razors.

You will have a sturdy handle to which the head is attached. Most safety razors are a three-piece design. It will have the handle itself, base plate, and cap. The base plate and the cap together become the ‘head’ of the razor.

A razor blade is placed between the cap and base plate. The cap will have a threaded shaft that will go through the blade and into the base plate. Then it is attached to the handle keeping the whole thing together.

Basically, that’s how it works, and it’s pretty easy to set up and use. These razors truly are very high-quality. They are straightforward and cheap to use compared to cartridge razors as well.

No wonder so many people swear by these over-cartridge razors. Being easy to use doesn’t mean you can pick one up and become a pro in an instant. There is still some finesse required. But don’t worry, it’s all really simple. Let’s dive into how to shave with a safety razor.

How to Shave Using a Safety Razor?

Safety Razors

Shaving with a safety razor is pretty easy if you know the proper steps and techniques. Here is what you need to do.

Step 1 – Prepare Your Beard

Before you even touch the blade of the razor to your beard, you need to make sure that your beard itself is properly prepped. A little effort in prepping your beard will go a long way in giving you a very close and clean shave.

How do you prep your beard then? What you’re trying to achieve is to soften the beard to allow the blade to glide over it smoothly.

That’s why the ideal time to shave is right after a shower – especially a hot shower. By the time you finish a hot shower, the water has entered every nook and cranny of your beard and softened it. Plus, your skin and beard are now hydrated.

Not everyone will want to take a shower before they shave, though. And frankly, that isn’t even always practical. What you can do is run some hot water over your beard to soften it and then wipe it with a wet towel. This should do the trick.

Step 2 – Lather, Lather, and Lather

The next step is to get a proper lather going. Put a dollop of shaving cream onto a mug. Now soak your brush and swirl the shaving cream nicely till you get a rich lather.

Apply this all over your face and make sure to get everything. To finish up, you can do a couple of strokes to smoothen everything out. Use a swirling motion to apply the lather. That will give you the best results.

Step 3 – Shaving with a Safety Razor

You may have guessed; the two previous steps are basically preparation steps. Now comes the main part, which is the actual shave. To get a perfect shave with one of these safety razors, you need to keep in mind a couple of things.

We are going to break it down so you can understand it easily.

a. Hold the Razor at a 30-degree Angle

The angle you hold the razor at is pretty important since it will dictate how well the shave goes for you. Safety razors have a protective bar to help avoid cuts and nicks. Holding the blade at an angle will allow the blade to make direct contact with your skin.

b. Do Short Strokes

If you perform short strokes, there is less chance of you cutting yourself, and you get a better shave in general. It’s a more controlled and gradual way of shaving. Not only is it safer, but it also prevents clogs. Don’t try to remove all the hair in one go. Rather go for gradual beard removal.

c. Don’t Apply Any Pressure

A lot of first-time shavers tend to apply pressure when they shave. That isn’t something you should be doing, especially with a safety razor. The weight of the razor itself is enough to allow the blade to cut perfectly. Applying too much pressure can cut you.

d. Go with the Grain

Going with the grain means shaving in the direction of hair growth. This will ensure you feel no irritation and avoid ingrown hair as well. Some might say that going against the grain gives you a closer shave. But if you do a second run with the grain, you will still get a pretty close shave.

Step 4 – Finish up the Shave

Finish up the Shave

After shaving using the safety razor, you need to finish up. This bit is very simple but equally as important.

If you have been paying attention, you would remember that we suggested rinsing your face with hot water earlier. Now you need to rinse your face with cold water. Using cold water will close your pores.

Pat down your face to dry it, and then apply a nice aftershave. The thing to remember when picking out an aftershave is getting one that works for your skin type.

You won’t have a problem picking out the right one. There are a lot of aftershaves available for all different types of skin. There are even lotions or balm to moisturize your skin as well. And guess what? Some of them smell great.

Why Use a Safety Razor?

If you’re still not convinced why you should use a safety razor, there are a ton of benefits.

It’s Cheaper

Using a safety razor is cheaper than using a cartridge razor. The prices of razor blades are quite high. And that can add up quite quickly when you’re replacing the blades.

Using a safety razor will save you hundreds of dollars in the long run.

It Gives You Closer Shaves

One of the main reasons so many people prefer safety razors is because they can get you a very close shave. A straight blade razor is a perfect tool to get a smooth and close shave every time.

You Get Blade Choices

Since you have to buy blades for safety razors yourself, this inherently means that you get a choice of blades. It gives you the freedom to try out and pick a brand of razor blade that works for you.

It’s Environmentally Friendly

Unlike disposable or cartridge razors, you don’t need to dispose of these razors. Just replace the blades. This will create less waste. Which naturally means it’s better for the environment as a whole.

Tips to Get the Cleanest Shave

Cleanest Shave

Those were the basics of using a safety razor. As you can see, it isn’t all too difficult. You can get quite an easy shave with it.

Here are some extra tips:

  • Rinse the blade after three or four strokes. This will make sure it doesn’t clog.
  • To get the perfect angle, place the razor head directly on your face. Then check to see if the handle is parallel to the floor. Slowly lower the handle till the blade makes contact with your beard hair. You can also practice on your arm first if you aren’t confident the first time around.
  • Use a quality shaving cream and brush. You will thank yourself for buying a good quality shaving cream and brush. These things will make it much easier to get the perfect shave you desire.

Wrapping Up

There you have it. Now that you know how to shave with a safety razor, you can save some money and also get a smooth shave. It really isn’t all too difficult. Just make sure you do adequate prep beforehand and use the right technique when shaving.

Initially, there might be a bit of a learning curve, but you will quickly get the hang of it as you shave more and more. Once you master safety razors, you wouldn’t want to try anything else.