Shaving Myths Debunked: Should You Wet Shave in the Shower?

Shaving in the shower isn’t for everyone. Some men prefer it to sink shaving, while others scoff at the thought of shaving without much visual or auditory feedback.

There are many misconceptions about shower shaving, and we’re here to clear the air so you can make the best decision for yourself. Even if you’re a die-hard sink shaver, there are some instances – like needing to be at a work meeting pronto – where you don’t have the time to enjoy a long shave at the sink, but still want to get in a wet shave. When time is limited, a shower shave kills several birds with one stone. The trick is in the setup.

Below, we debunk several shower shaving myths and give you tips for shower shaving with finesse.

Note: If you are a novice wet shaver, we recommend first refining your technique at the sink, then moving to the shower once you’ve memorized the contours of your face and are confident in your shaving abilities.

See more articles in our Shaving Myths Debunked series here.


Myth: You’ll drop your razor because it’ll be too slippery.

Fact: Most DE razors have enough grip for a shower shave – and some even have knurling.

With a bit of practice, you can use just about any safety razor to shave in wet conditions. If you’re still worried, use a razor with a knurled handle, like the Muhle R89 Grande Closed Comb Safety Razor. Stay away from straight razors, since dropping one of these in the shower can mean losing a toe. Save straight razor shaving for the sink.


Myth: Your mirror will fog up and you won’t be able to see anything.

Fact: Fogless mirrors allow you to safely shave in the shower.

Not being able to see where you’re shaving is one of the biggest roadblocks to men trying out shower shaving.

While fogless mirrors don’t guarantee 100% visibility, they allow you to see where you’re making passes and negate the need to wipe off the mirror every few seconds. Upper West Collection’s No Fog Shower Mirror rotates and has an adjustable arm for easy positioning. This mirror even has an attached razor holder.

For extra insurance against fogging, do one of the following:

  • Rub bar soap or liquid soap on your mirror lightly.
  • Rub shampoo onto your mirror. Remove extra shampoo with a paper towel.
  • For longer-lasting defogging: make a vinegar mixture of one cup vinegar and one cup water. Spray the mixture onto the mirror and then wipe the mirror down. This method lasts for several days!

Myth: You can’t get any auditory feedback.

Fact: Turn off the water when you shave for excellent feedback.

Turn on the water and get shampoo, conditioner, and body wash done first. Save shaving for last. While you’re getting everything else cleaned up, the steam from the shower will open pores and soften facial hair so it’s more pliable during your shave. In fact, when hair is fully soaked with warm water for 3 minutes, cutting strength is reduced by at least 30%. Apply extra hair conditioner or shaving cream onto your face as you lather your hair and body for extra bristle softening.

Then, when you’re ready to shave, turn off the water. This will reduce the amount of fog as well produce excellent acoustics, since the hard wall surfaces of a bathroom, combined with a lack of soft furnishings, create a space that amplifies sound.


Myth: You’ll waste water.

Fact: Once again, just turn off the water when you shave.

If you prefer to have some water running to rinse your blade between passes, turn the water down to a trickle.


Myth: The shaving process will take too long.

Fact: Invest in a small shaving cubby to have everything where you need it, reducing prep and clean-up time.

A corner shaving cubby is petite enough not to get in the way, but spacious enough for all the essentials. Store your shaving cream, soap, scuttle, and pre-shave oil here. Shaving brushes and razors should be stored outside the shower in order to let them dry properly. Bring your brush and razor into the shower with you every time you shave.

How to Shave When You Have Acne

Whether you get the occasional zit or are struggling with adult acne, trying to shave with pimples may make wet shaving seem less art form and more balancing act. While shaving with acne is by no means easy, there are plenty of ways you can make the process less irritating for your skin.

Below, we’ve included tips for every step of your shaving routine. With a few adjustments (you may need to say goodbye to your shaving brush), you will see improvements in your skin and shave.

Preparation

Clean your skin

Take a warm shower before you begin shaving. The steam will soften your skin and facial hair. Pliable facial hair means you’ll encounter less tugging while shaving. Less tugging = less irritation, which is a major plus for acne-prone skin.

If you are unable to take a shower before you shave, warm a towel and place it on your face for 3 minutes to similar effect.

While in the shower, use a facial cleanser that removes excess oil without drying out your skin. Liquid soaps tend to be less drying than bar soaps. We’ve heard great things about Purpose Gentle Cleansing Wash, Clean & Clear Essentials Foaming Facial Cleanser, and Olay Foaming Face Wash (all recommended by Acne.org). Avoid washing your face with a washcloth or scrubber. Vigorous scrubbing will only irritate skin and exacerbate acne.

Squeeze pimples

Normally we wouldn’t recommend going anywhere near a pimple. But when you’ve got acne and need to shave, it’s more hygienic to pop the pimple yourself before the shave than to let the razor pop it for you. Popping a pimple pre-shave and cleaning up afterwards will reduce the amount and spread of bacteria on your face. If the razor pops your pimple, it’ll introduce bacteria to the rest of your skin.

To squeeze a pimple safely, reference this link.

Apply pre-shave – or not

There are plenty of men on both sides of the fence here. Pre-shave oil softens hair for a smoother shave, but Sharpologist argues it can clog pores. Our verdict? Try a non-comedogenic pre-shave oil (which doesn’t clog pores). If you find it too heavy, stop using it. You can also try a pre-shave lotion, which is lighter in consistency than oil. We like Edwin Jagger Hydrating Pre-Shave Lotion, designed with aloe vera to protect sensitive skin.

During the shave

Use an alcohol-free shaving cream

Alcohol is too drying for acne-prone skin. Use an alcohol-free shaving cream formulated for sensitive skin, like Taylor of Old Bond Street Jermyn Street Shaving Cream.

Never use old towels

Towels are breeding grounds for bacteria. If you’re using yesterday’s towel for today’s shave (without laundering it first), you’re just reintroducing bacteria to your face. Opt for a pack of barber towels, which are inexpensive and lint-free, so you can switch out towels every time you shave.

Don’t use a shaving brush

Like towels, shaving brushes are microbial hotbeds. Typically, cleaning a brush post-shave means simply rinsing with water, so the brush may still harbor bacteria the next time you use it. The solution? Apply shaving cream with your fingers. Suavecito makes a well-loved brushless shaving cream.

Say no to cartridge razors

More blades = more irritation. A 4-blade cartridge has 4 separate blades, each of which can lift and irritate skin, pop pimples, and make acne worse. A single blade razor – AKA a safety razor – with low aggressiveness (less of the blade is exposed) will give you a clean cut without traumatizing skin. The Feather AS-D2 is known for delivering a gentle yet effective shave, while the Merkur Progress offers 5 aggressiveness settings for personalized control.

Bypass pimples

Avoid shaving over pimples if possible. This can pop whiteheads as well as spread bacteria over already sensitive, freshly shaved skin. If you accidentally cut yourself, quickly apply a topical antibiotic or use a styptic pen to stop the bleeding.

Shave with the grain using light pressure

It’s true that shaving against the grain gets you a closer cut, but doing so with acne causes more nicks and irritation than it’s worth. Instead, shave with the grain with little to no pressure on the razor. Safety razors do not require much pressure to cleanly cut hair. In fact, pressing down on the razor will only produce more friction.

Rinse your razor with hot running water between passes.

After the shave

Disinfect the razor with rubbing alcohol

Eliminate all traces of bacteria by dousing your razor with rubbing alcohol. Remember to do this again before your next shave.

Clean and tone your skin

It’s important to remove all traces of shaving cream, as it can clog pores. Rinse your face with warm water, followed by cool water to close pores. Run an alum block over shaved areas, leave it on for a minute, and then rinse. Pat your face dry.

Instead of an alum block, you can try an alcohol-free astringent toner like Prospector Co. KC Atwood Aftershave Splash, which contains antiseptic witch hazel. If you use a salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide acne treatment, wait until your skin is dry for application.

2017 Grooming Artist Father’s Day Gift Guide

We owe a lot to our fathers. For many of us, they were the ones who showed us how to use a safety razor for the first time. They also stood by us during our less than palatable adolescent stages. So this year, let’s not buy him another tie for Father’s Day, shall we? Instead, let’s hone in on something he’ll love and actually use.

Read on for our Father’s Day gift suggestions for dad based on his interests.

The Golfer

Picnic at Ascot Golf Trunk Organizer, $45.99

If dad’s idea of the perfect day involves teeing it up on the green, the Picnic at Ascot Golf Trunk Organizer will have him doing it more carefree than ever. The Golf Trunk Organizer handles all the little bits and pieces involved with a round of golf, providing storage for shoes, spikes, gloves, balls, tees, and a towel. This way, he can focus on tackling the back nine rather than a golf ball gone rogue.

The Stylish Fitness Buff

Chronos, $99

There are plenty of fitness tracking watches out there. But let’s be honest – most of them are not that attractive for the fashionable crowd, or at least don’t disguise as an actual watch well. For the dad who likes to get his 10,000 steps in and track his daily fitness in style, we highly recommend  Chronos. It’s a smart disc that attaches to the back of any watch, effectively turning it into a smartwatch. So dad won’t have to give up his beloved Montblanc to track his fitness.

Chronos syncs with a smartphone app to also control music, notifications, and alerts using vibrations and LED.

The Globetrotter

G-Ro Luggage, $449

Whether dad takes regular business trips or enjoys jetsetting around the world, his face will light up when he receives the G-Ro Carry-On. Designed for the modern commuter, the carry-on innovates with saucer-sized, indestructible wheels that keep the bag streamlined on the outside. A four-stage telescopic handle is the longest in the industry, providing shock absorption that powers over uneven surfaces.

The inside is cavernous and comes with an optional charging station so dad can stay connected on the go.

The Sailor

Mizzen + Mane Dress Shirts, $125

Dad’s cabin cruiser is his second home, and he’ll frequently take it for a spin after work. But problems arise when his office button-up can’t stand the sweat and movement from nautical adventuring. Mizzen + Mane dress shirts are made from performance fabrics – polyester and spandex – to wick sweat quickly. And four-way stretch means he can helm the ship without being restricted by stiff clothing.

These shirts are also brilliant for the boardroom: no more embarrassing wet spots during presentations. If you’re really looking to treat dad, also pick up a few of their casual pieces, which range from henleys to short sleeves.

The Grooming Artist

RoyalShave Merkur 34C Chrome Safety Razor Set, $124.95

For your old man, shaving is a ritual he treasures each and every morning. Gift him beautifully made wet shaving products to add to his collection with the RoyalShave Merkur 34C Chrome Safety Razor Set. The set features Merkur’s classic 34C HD Safety Razor. Midweight construction applies just enough pressure for effortless passes, and the stubby handle enhances maneuverability. Two-piece construction allows dad to easily change blades and clean the razor.

RoyalShave Lemon Sandalwood Soap, a brush stand, a first grade badger brush, and a pack of Merkur blades make this gift set shave ready.

The Cook

Bison Airlighter, $79.95

As any dad who loves to grill knows, getting the coal lit is the most unappealing part of the BBQ process. Lighter fluid and newspaper don’t work well, and chimney starters are messy. Enter the Bison Airlighter, a precise way to get a grill, fireplace, or campfire started. The Bison Airlighter is a lighter and fan that ignites coal in 10 seconds – so your old man can get to the fun part faster.

The Handyman

InstruMMents 01 Dimensioning Instrument, $149

Dad may say he has all the tools he needs, but that won’t be the case once he lays his eyes upon the InstruMMents 01 Dimensioning Instrument. This sleek app-connected pen has a wheel on the end; roll the wheel across any surface (straight, curved, or contoured) and it’ll calculate the dimensions in any unit you need. The app then logs the info and allows you to access it anywhere as well as share it on the go.

In other words, InstruMMents 01 beats the tape measure at its own game.

The Sartorialist

Moore & Giles Fine Leather Eyeglass Case, $135

Dad always leaves the house looking like he just stepped out of a GQ fashion editorial, and he wore bespoke before it was cool. Instead of taking the risk of purchasing a piece he’ll never wear, opt for something that’ll care for what he already owns. The Moore & Giles Fine Leather Eyeglass Case comes in beautiful Titan Milled leather, and the suede interior is available in 5 colorways, so there’s sure to be one that suits his tastes.

This simple eyeglass case will hold his glasses in style.

Head Shaving with Safety Razors, Part 2: How to Shave Your Head

Welcome to Part 2 of Head Shaving with Safety Razors, featuring guest blogger Jon Wogoman of The Bald Nation! Last week Wogoman shared his journey into traditional shaving and head shaving. Today, he guides you through the complete process of shaving your head, with additional details on how to shave against the grain for those of you willing to try it. 

Enjoy!

What to expect

When you first start shaving your head, your skin will be extra sensitive to your razor and the outside elements because until now it’s been protected by your hair. The sensitivity level will be lower if you have been losing your hair and there isn’t a lot to shave off.

Some areas of your head may be tougher to shave than others, especially the little bumps and crevices of your scalp. In truth, being a good head shaver takes a lot of practice. You can read all the articles on head shaving you want, but practice is vital. Even with experience you will still sometimes get razor burn, cuts, and nicks – that’s just a part of shaving and always will be. However, the more experienced you are, the less likely you are to encounter irritation.

Angle, angle, angle. It’s all about the angle

I can’t stress enough the importance of angle. Angle is what can turn a great shave into a nightmare.

What is the correct angle to use when shaving your head with a safety razor? The area you are shaving will answer that question. A good starting point is always thirty degrees, and from there you can critique your angle as you see fit. Rest the razor flat against your skin and then lift the handle to thirty degrees. After doing this a couple of times you will be able to skip this step and start at the thirty degree mark.

The angle will change depending on what part of your head you are shaving. When I’m shaving, my angle is anywhere from fifteen to thirty degrees, depending on where I’m shaving and which safety razor I’m using for the night.

The process

The top

I always start at the top of my head with the razor at a thirty degree angle. Beginning at the hair line, I shave front to back against the grain in small, fluid strokes. After I complete the first pass I re-lather and shave again, keeping the same angle the whole time. Then I slowly run my first fingers over the top of my head and feel for parts I missed. I spot shave these areas and move on.

Where the top curves into the sides

Before I shave the sides of my head, I concentrate on the area where the top curves into the sides. This area takes a lot of focus because you’re shaving at a continuous angle of twenty to thirty degrees. It was one of the hardest areas for me to learn. If you don’t keep your razor at that continuous angle, you will cut yourself every time.

The sides

The sides of my head are the next area I shave. The sides are a little easier since they’re pretty much a straight shot from top to bottom. I keep the angle of my razor at a strict thirty degrees every time.

The back of your head

The biggest area to shave is the back of my head, and has taken the longest to master. I start at the top of the back of my head, keeping my razor at a twenty to thirty degree angle, and shave from the top down in short, fluid strokes. I re-lather and complete the process again if needed.

Should you shave against the grain?

There is a lot of controversy surrounding the idea of shaving against the grain. There are many supporters on both sides of the fence. It is a personal choice, but keep in mind that shaving against the grain can lead to more irritation and ingrown hairs.

I’m going to talk about my experience shaving against the grain. I decided years ago that I wanted a smooth head in all directions. I did a lot of debating on whether or not I should shave against the grain and ultimately decided to try it. My scalp was extra sensitive the first couple of times, but a couple of weeks the sensitivity level decreased and felt no different.

How to shave against the grain

Expect a learning curve when shaving your head against the grain. The angles and directions of your safety razor change a little bit (although stay the same for the most part). The one section of your head that you don’t have to shave is the top, since you already shaved against the grain the first time around.

The sides

Start at the sides. Begin at the bottom of one side, turning your razor upside down and shaving from the bottom up at a thirty degree angle. Make small, fluid strokes and be careful because now you are pulling the skin instead of pushing the skin.

On the second pass, you will want to shave sideways from back to front in a twenty to thirty degree angle with the razor upside down. Shave both sides the same way with the same angle.

Where the top curves into the sides

The top portion of your head that curves into the sides is an area that I once again shave separately. This area is tricky when shaving with the grain, and even trickier when shaving against the grain. With your razor upside down at a twenty degree angle, shave upwards, keeping the same angle but contouring the head at the same time. Remember be extra careful, and if you need to make very small strokes to complete this section without injury, so be it.

The back of your head

The last section that usually takes the longest is the back of my head. Starting from the bottom with the razor turned upside down at a twenty five to thirty five degree angle, shave upwards in small, fluid strokes. Take as much time as you need and make as many passes as you need, but remember more passes may equal more irritation. Just some food for thought.

That’s my whole shaving routine. This routine may seem very long and daunting, but it’s actually not. My entire shaving routine usually takes around fifteen to thirty minutes. Wet shaving, especially on your head, is something you take your time to do.

There are a few things I want to point out to you before I go:

  • Always remember that shaving your head with a safety razor is not a chore – it’s pleasurable when done the right way.
  • Always pull the skin tight on the area you are shaving to avoid injury.
  • Never change the angle of your razor while shaving. Always stop to change the angle and continue. Changing the angle of your razor mid stroke can cause serious injury.
  • Use good pre- and post- routine products such as pre-shave oil, which should be applied before your shaving soap or cream to give your razor added glide. And don’t forget a good aftershave splash/balm or both.
  • Find a quality moisturizer to keep your skin well hydrated.

Once again, I would like to thank RoyalShave.Com for this opportunity to talk to you about the art form of head shaving with a safety razor. If you have any questions you can find me @Thebaldnation on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest.

You can also visit my blog TheBaldNation.Com for reviews on shaving soaps and creams, shaving oils, beard care products, and razors as well as bald-related t-shirt reviews. You can email me TheBaldNation@OutLook.Com Love your product and you will love the results. Thank you and have a #Baldtastic day!

 

Visit all of my website projects:

(1.) TheBaldNation.com
(2.) TheBaldNationPortfolio for 6 week shave projects
(3.) TheBaldNationBaldQuotes
(4.) TheSubscriptionShaveBoxProject
(5.) TheDESafetyRazorProject
(6.) TheVanVulayProject

 

-TheBaldNation-

%d bloggers like this: