How to shave with a safety razor without cutting yourself

How to wet shave with a double edge safety razor.

Somewhere along the way probably in the 70’s came the popularity of disposable razors and shaving foam out of an aerosol can. The traditional double sided razor and brush got left behind and mostly forgotten about. The truth be known that it actually gives a lot cleaner shave with less rash and razor burn. The action of applying the cream with a brush actually makes a far smoother lather with less of your product.

So there you have it. Let go back to the old-fashioned double-edged razor and brush that your Granddad used to use…

In this day and age of thinking of the environment and recycling the safety, the razor is by far better for the environment. You theoretically only will need one razor, the brush will last you a long time. The only consumables are the steel blades and the cream or soaps.

The steel blades are very easily recycled at home; the soaps are in very minimal packaging and the creams the same. Nothing like the large plastic packaging you have to fight your way into to get the disposable razors out of. Especially the multi-blade razors with changeable cartridge heads have hard plastic cases as well. And how many times do you buy the wrong spare cartridge heads…

Ok, so you have gone out a bought a kit, DE razor, brush, cream or soap. Now you need to set aside a little extra time for your first shave. You don’t want to rush the first time you use a DE Razor. You may find you will have to try a few different blades as they are different in sharpness and cutting ability. This is the only drawback is finding the best blade for you, you will have a few nicks and cuts while you choose.

The hardest part of using a safety razor is getting out of the habit of applying pressure on to your face with the razor like you do with a disposable razor. As I mentioned earlier you will get a few cuts till you learn this new technique.

New single blade shaving technique

Prep your beard/whiskers for shaving. You must wet your face with warm/hot water and leave wet. This is important as it softens and causes less irritation after you have shaved. We haven’t mentioned much about the shaving brush but it does actually come with different bristles. If you are a vegetarian you will want to go with the synthetic brush. If you are allergic to animal hair you might want to go with these and not just uncomfortable with using animals hairs.

If you are ok using animal hair badger hair is considered to give the closest shave and produces a better lather. Next would be Horse and Boar bristles, these don’t soak up water so easily but are cheaper and a good starting brush.

Lather up.

This is very simple but you will find your own way with quantities and cream up a lather. When applying the lather to your face do so in a circular motion and make sure you cover all the parts of your face that you want to shave.

The Shave

As I mentioned earlier these razors require a slightly more delicate technique than you will be used to with disposables, don’t apply any pressure initially. Do a few light stroke on your cheeks going with the grain (down your face). The next tricky bit is the angle of the razor again hold it almost flat against your face and slowly do light stroke moving the angle out until the razor starts to cut your hairs. It will probably take a few shaves until you get a feel for it. A bit like when you started shaving…

If you want a really close shave you can lather up a second time and go against the grain but I would leave this for a while until you haven’t had any nicks for a while… You can shave a second time and just go with the grain again and get a very close shave anyway, but you must remember to lather, it helps massively with reducing irritation and redness. The best angle for the razor is around 30 to 45 degrees, you find that using the technique mentioned above.

Post Shave

Now you must close your pores after the warm water has opened them. You can do this simply by rinsing your face in cold water job done. This will help reduce irritation and leave your skin looking healthy. Finally pat dry your face with a towel, this also helps reduce irritation.


This is not a vanity product and actually should be used, it helps heal and moisturise your skin after a shave. Avoid alcohol based ones as they are the ones that will give you that classic burning sensation you are probably familiar with.

Final steps

Clean your razor and brush and store the brush bristle up so it can air dry.

Good luck

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