How To Get The Perfect Classic Shave

classic shave

How To Get The Perfect Classic Shave

Getting a “classic shave” means stepping away from your quickly executed, disposable razor-quality shave using canned shaving cream. A classic shave is an experience and daily ritual men of many generations have enjoyed. You can enjoy your shave, too. The keys to that lie in having the right implements and knowing how to execute a luxurious shaving experience from start to finish.

What You Will Need for a Classic Shave

For a truly timeless shave, you will need several items:

Once you have these items on hand, fill a sink full of hot water. Ensure it is not scalding, but nicely hot and steamy. The best time to shave is after you have had a hot shower.

While you are filling the sink, allow your shaving brush to soak in the water.

Prepping Your Skin

Simpsons Shaving Brush - Berkeley 46 Pure Badger
Berkeley 46 Pure Badger

Splash enough hot water on your freshly showered face to keep it very wet. It is important to ensure your face stays well hydrated and warm throughout the shave.

Take your shaving brush out of the hot water and hold it upside down until all of the excess water has flowed out. Swirl the warm, wet-tipped brush on the surface of the shaving cream in circular motions. Do this until white lather appears. You will need sufficient shaving cream, but not too much. When you have done a few classic shaves, you will know how much cream is right for your shave.

Paint the lather onto your face using an up and down motion. Ensure all of the areas you will be shaving are covered with cream. The layer of shaving cream should be thick and opaque. Put down your shaving brush and replace it in your hand with the razor.

Executing Your Classic Shave

Edwin Jagger 3D Laser Diamond DE3D14BL
Edwin Jagger 3D Laser Diamond DE3D14BL

Shave in the direction of hair growth. That means you shave with your whiskers, not against them. If you are using a safety razor for the first time, you must remember that safety razors require slow, light-handed application. Do not stroke it heavily across your skin in rapid movements, like you do with a disposable razor. Part of the experience of the classic shave is in appreciating the slow, relaxing movements.

You will need to pay attention to your hair’s growth pattern while shaving to avoid cuts and razor burn. Unlike with a disposable razor, a safety razor requires greater care and attention to the growth patterns. Also remember to rinse your safety razor frequently, between each pass if needed. Your whiskers may require two passes over each area, to ensure a close shave.

After the Shave

Once your shave is complete, rinse your face with cold water. Using cold water closes your facial pores. Pat your face dry with a towel.

Rinse your razor and shaving brush very well to ensure all lather and residue are removed. Shake the shaving brush dry and store it using a shaving brush drip stand. Never store your delicate shaving brush on its side. Bristles need to air dry and this is done by hanging the brush from the drip stand. Properly maintained, your shaving brush can last more than 20 years.

Taylor of Old Bond Street Aftershave Lotion - Eton College
Aftershave Lotion for a perfect classic shave

Finish your classic shave with a non-alcohol after-shave lotion or moisturizer. Moisturizer meant for after your shave will not sting and bring tears to your eyes like traditional after-shave made with alcohol.  Follow the methods of wet shaving with the appropriate products listed and you are guaranteed to have a perfect classic shave.

How Shaving With The Grain Just Might Work For You

How Shaving With The Grain Just Might Work For You

Many men try to shave against the grain to gain their closest shave. Even though this method cuts the hair as close to the skin as possible, it also causes problems for the skin. Razor bumps, skin irritation and even cuts can result.

About Shaving Against the Grain

Shaving against the grain causes the razor to pull at the hair before cutting it. That is why going against growth pattern produces such a close shave. But this tugging can damage hair and skin. It causes those ingrown hairs and razor bumps, resulting in swelling and redness on your face that you can probably happily live without.

Many men have skin that does fine with shaving against the growth pattern. But others suffer from it and have to make the choice between a really close shave today with those red bumps tomorrow, or shaving with growth as nature and invention intended.

If you are not an adrenaline junkie and want to focus on shaving with the grain, don’t fret. You can still get a very close shave through this method. The trick is just in knowing how.

shaving with the grain

Shaving with the Grain: How to Get Your Closest Shave

To get your best shave with the grain, you will first need to obtain a double-edged safety razor. There are a multitude of these to choose from at The Original Shave Company. It is just a matter of choosing the right one for your grip and style.

Edwin Jagger 3D Laser Diamond DE3D14BL
Edwin Jagger DE3D14BL

Safety razors are not dragged across skin. Unlike disposable razors from the grocery store, these razors are designed to glide across your skin. This provides a great shave without razor bumps and irritation that multi-blade cartridge razors can cause.

One thing you have to remember with a safety razor is that you must change the blades frequently enough to keep them sharp. Many people overuse throwaway cartridge razors by bearing down harder on the skin, but that will not work with safety razors.

The next step is to determine which direction your hairs are growing. When you have a slight outgrowth or five o’clock shadow, run your hand across your face to note this growth direction. You need to do this for all areas of your face like your cheeks, jawline, under your nose, chin and neck, as hair does not grow in one direction throughout your entire face. Mentally “map” your growth in your mind, so you know the pattern when shaving cream is covering your skin. Eventually, this mapping will become second nature to you and you will not have to think about it each time you are shaving with the grain.

Taylor of Old Bond Street Pre-Shave Oil
Taylor of Old Bond Street

To start shaving with the grain, first use warm water to wash your face and open your pores. A nice, warm shower can be great for this. Apply pre-shave oil, gel or lotion to moisturize and protect your skin while softening facial hair.

Apply shaving cream to your face, preferably using a badger hair brush. Then, with your hair growth map in mind, gently glide the safety razor over your skin. Rinse the razor or flip to the other side for a second pass on each pathway through the shaving cream. Remember to go slowly when shaving with the grain and not bear down. When your shave is completed, use a quality after shave lotion to protect and moisturize your skin.

Remember that if you want to obtain the closest shave and don’t want to shave often, going against the grain might be the best way for you to go.  However, this is not recommended for those with sensitive skin because it will produce results that could irritate and cut your skin.

How to avoid razor burn when wet shaving

How to avoid razor burn when wet shaving

Edwin Jagger Safety Razor DE86BL
Edwin Jagger Safety Razor DE86BL

Razor burn can be a real pain, not to mention a distraction for anyone having a face-to-face conversation with you after tell-tale red, angry bumps appear. Knowing how to avoid razor burn when wet shaving usually involves just taking extra care as part of your shaving regimen.

The most frequent causes of razor burn include:

  • Shaving too quickly
  • Using too much pressure on the razor
  • Not hydrating your skin well enough before shaving
  • Using dull razor blades
  • Using shaving products that irritate your skin
  • Making a second or third shaving pass on your skin without re-applying shaving cream

How to Avoid Razor Burn During a Wet Shave

To know how to avoid razor burn when wet shaving, simply consider which of the above causes you are guilty of committing during your shaving regimen. This “reverse engineering” to correct the root issue will help you enjoy a much better wet shave each time, without razor burn.

Once you determine your wet shaving problem areas and potential causes of razor burn, simply apply these remedies below to improve your wet shaving experience.

Shaving Too Quickly
If you are guilty of shaving as quickly as you can, making quick strokes across your face as if you are in a race with the clock, you need to slow your roll. Just add some extra time to your morning or pre-event routine to do things right, at the right speed. Your skin will thank you.

Applying Too Much Pressure on the Razor
Bearing down too hard on the razor is a common mistake for men during wet shaving. You are likely more used to using an inexpensive disposable razor, the type that require extra pressure for a close shave to be achieved. But an authentic wet shave using a safety razor, Mach-3 or Fusion razor does not require heavy pressure. Let the razor do all of the work, as you slowly glide it over your skin with light strokes. Do not drag it across your face.

Taylor of Old Bond Street Pre-Shave OilNot Hydrating Your Skin Before Shaving
Every shave should begin with a warm water wash, preferably in a shower before shaving. This warm water relaxes your skin, opens pores, softens hairs and makes the hairs stand up. All of this is very important toward preventing drag of the razor on your skin. Hydrated hairs are also easier for the razor to cut, providing for a close shave.

Even better than just a warm water wash is an exfoliation before shaving and application of a quality pre-shave oil. Pre-shave oil hydrates the skin, softens hairs and helps the razor glide smoothly over the skin’s surface.

Using Dull Blades
You should change your razor blades approximately every week to ten days, depending upon how often you shave. Whether you shave your entire face or just clean up edges around a beard also determines duration of your razor blades’ quality. It is important to use sharp, clean blades.

Using Shaving Products that Irritate Your Skin
Quality shaving creams, gels and soaps are the key to a better, closer wet shaving experience without skin irritation. Edwin Jagger, Taylor of Old Bond Street, BAUM.BE, Colonel Ichabod Conk and other quality brands are made from ingredients that improve the quality of your skin, rather than causing irritation.

Making Additional Passes with Your Razor Without Fresh Shaving Cream
Anytime your razor is applied to your skin, the skin should be protected using a quality shaving cream or soap. Do not rely on residue from a first pass of the razor to protect your skin on additional passes. By using a shaving brush, re-applying shaving cream is quick and easy during your wet shave.

How to avoid razor burn

To ensure your wet shaving experience is razor burn and irritation free, ensure your shaving kit or medicine cabinet is well stocked with fresh razor blades, shaving cream, pre-shave oil and other products from the

What to consider when shaving against the grain

Shaving Against the Grain

What to consider when shaving against the grain

Safety Razor ShavingEvery man has that moment while shaving, of feeling the razor catch on some hairs as he accidentally drags the razor against his hair growth pattern, known as “the grain.” Shaving against the grain can be downright frightening, as images of cuts and ingrown hairs invade your imagination.

While many men debate whether shaving against the grain should ever occur, others frequently use this method to gain a closer shave. Properly managed, shaving against the grain can actually produce good results.

Cons of Shaving Against the Grain

Besides fear, there are downsides to shaving against hair growth. That is, there are downsides if you are not properly executing a good shave against the grain. So everything comes down to technique with “cons” being the side effect of improper method.

The results of a poorly performed against-the-grain shave include:

  • Razor burn
  • Ingrown hairs
  • Ripping of hair from the follicle
  • Skin irritation
  • Skin redness
  • Small cuts

Again, none of these problems occur if shaving against hair growth patterns is properly achieved.

Shaving against the grain

Steps for Shaving Against the Grain

If you are committed to gaining a closer shave by going against the grain, there are some steps to doing this properly. By following these simple guidelines, you will enjoy your best-ever shaving results. But follow the pointers to the letter, so you can avoid the ugly results of rushing the process.

  • Ensure your razor blades are sharp.
  • Warm your face. Before shaving, use a hot towel or simply take a hot shower. This will warm your face just like you have seen barbers doing on television or experienced in an old fashioned barber shop, yourself.
  • Exfoliate. If you are in the shower warming your face, use that time to exfoliate your skin. Use a simple exfoliation scrub.
  • Apply your favorite pre shave oil. Pre shave oil prepares the skin, hydrates it and softens hairs to prepare them for easier cutting by the razor.
  • Use a three-pass shave. A three-pass shave involves shaving with the grain for the first pass. Reapply shaving cream to the shaved areas and shave across hair growth patterns for the second pass. Lather one more time with shaving cream and shave against hair growth.
  • Apply after shave moisturizing gel or lotion.

So the keys of shaving against hair growth pattern include proper skin preparation, proper use of the three-pass shave, and using a sharp razor blade.

Regardless of whether you choose to shave using a safety razor, Fusion razor, Mach-3 or straight razor, you can shave against the grain. Just take it slowly, follow the steps and enjoy your closest shave ever.  Not quite comfortable with shaving against the grain yet?  Don’t worry, you can practice the best tips of shaving with the grain until you are comfortable.