Groom Like A Grownup – A Primer on Wet Shaving

So, we’ve covered clothing when it comes to style. But what about hygiene? Let’s talk a little about facial hair. As for me personally, I’ve had goatees, mustaches, full beards, and a fully bald face with sideburns. There was a long time where I rocked a full beard for two reasons: I was insecure about my face and shaving was such a chore. Over the years, I found confidence, a good woman, and a bigger sense of purpose – my kids.

Becoming a step-parent really whipped me into shape. It also caused me to actually want to start looking like a grownup. I cut my mohawk off. I shaved my beard. It sucked and it was tedious, but I had finally gotten to the point where I liked how I looked and wanted a better way to keep my facial hair in check. That’s when I got one of the best Valentine’s Day gifts ever: my safety razor.

This little gadget changed not only how I shaved, but why I shaved. Where it used to be a chore, now it’s a sort of ritual. I find it surprisingly calming now to have a nice shave. For me, a wet shave is a great way to take a break from everything and get my zen on.

It’s called a wet shave because you use hot water (either splashed on or with a hot towel) to moisten the skin and open up the pores, which makes for a closer shave.

Instead of shaving cream like most of you know it in an aerosol can, creams used for wet shaves come in tubes (like toothpaste) and you use a small mug or shave bowl to work the substance into a lather with a badger or boar hair brush. There are also puck shaped shave soaps that will fit into said mug or bowl and serve the same purpose.

Once you get a pasty lather going, you use your brush to spread this lather on your face. Then, you use your razor to shave the face. There’s a very organic feeling about this, for me in that moment, nothing matters but the shave.

And what a shave it is. I’ve found that using the single blade of a safety razor gets way closer shaves for me than a multi-blade cartridge razor ever did. So all that zen stuff aside, for a hairy guy like me, a safety razor just works better.

Now granted, you can’t just walk into most drug stores these days and find a double edge safety razor, but with the modern wonder of internet commerce means that’s not an issue. Browse websites like lavashingsoap.com or maggardrazors.com and you can find yourself a razor, blades, a brush, and a shave soap all for under $50. With the amount of shaves you can get out of this kit alone, you’d be paying twice as much for the multi-blade cartridge equivalent.

Overwhelmed? Don’t know where to start? For some real person advice, I’d recommend you go see your local barber. Vice City Barbershop’s Shawn Perkins has been a real resource for me personally, giving me tips & tricks as well as advice on technique and product recommendations (and a $15 hot towel shave when I want to treat myself).

I will say this: make time for your shave when converting to a wet shave, and use the internet as your resource. I highly recommend visiting r/wicked_edge on reddit.com for tips, tricks, and places to get supplies online.

Next time we get to the nitty gritty of how a safety razor can save you money and find you some more great deals on getting set up!

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Richard Buznego

Punk rock stepdad. Plays rock and roll, works retail, wears bow ties.

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