Traditional Wet Shaving

If anyone hasn't tried it, I highly recommend traditional wet shaving.

Ditch the chemical spray foam and cheap plastic disposable razor. Pick up a nice triple milled puck of shaving soap or tub of cream, a boar or badger hair brush, a straight razor or double edge safety razor, and a quality aftershave. The problem with those cheap multi-blade cartridges is that they actually tug the hair. Much better to have one very sharp, clean edge.

The difference is like night and day.

Closer shaves with no irritation. Much better for your skin and the environment. And more economical in the long run.

While the process to whip up a lather and make a few passes with the razor takes a little longer, it's much more enjoyable and relaxing. You'll feel like a million bucks. Fresh out of the barbershop. Great way to start the day.

There is a slight learning curve, but you will get the hang of it in no time. To me it's an essential manly skill just like knowing how to change a tire, split wood, sharpen a knife, etc.

There are some great online retailers of these products as they can be difficult to find in your local area.

I'm all ears if anyone has questions.

Cheers
 

Cartographer

Pelican
Gold Member
Been using a safety razor for 5+ years. It's probably around 1% of the cost of using the modern kind over the same period and works so much better. I haven't been shaving at all lately but if I start again I might have to get a straight razor. If you use one, do you have a strop or use the kind with replaceable blades?
 
Been using a safety razor for 5+ years. It's probably around 1% of the cost of using the modern kind over the same period and works so much better. I haven't been shaving at all lately but if I start again I might have to get a straight razor. If you use one, do you have a strop or use the kind with replaceable blades?
I've used a Dovo 5/8" straight razor and a strop, but lately have been using a Parker shavette that takes a regular DE blade snapped in half. It's a little shorter (less cutting edge) than the straight so easier to shave around some facial hair.
 

stugatz

Pelican
I use a Mach 3 clone (won't buy Gillette) with canned foam on days I have no time, but like shaving soap sticks, a boar brush, and an adjustable 1958 Gillette Fatboy for days I have time. (Compact shaving soap sticks are similar to regular pucks of soap, but you rub the stick all over your wet face and build a lather there, instead of in a bowl or a shaving scuttle. Scratchier and affordable boar brushes are best for face-lathering, don't have nearly the price point some of those beaver brushes do.)

I wanted to learn to straight shave, never did, ended up giving my father my first straight razor - and he became good enough at it to straight shave regularly. He now has a few more straight razors - some he found at thrift stores, some I bought for him secondhand. Stropping doesn't look that difficult, I should probably learn before he gets too old to teach me - he owns a regular strap strop, and one of those rigid "paddle" strops. He has an elderly man hone all of his razors for him once a year to restore the edges.

EDIT: Mentioned in an earlier post, but on my "full days" I use one of those shavettes, too - uses a DE blade snapped in half. I usually just use it for my upper lip, since I can't fit most razors up there.
 
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I use a safety razor simply because I’m cheap. I buy blades in bulk online for a fraction of what cartridges would cost. I’ve found that it doesn’t take much longer than a cartridge/foam shave. Another benefit is that wet shaving produces less waste from packaging.
 

Stadtaffe

Woodpecker
Orthodox
Gold Member
I use a Mach 3 clone (won't buy Gillette) with canned foam on days I have no time, but like shaving soap sticks, a boar brush, and an adjustable 1958 Gillette Fatboy for days I have time.
I use a Mach 3, but btw what's wrong with Gilette other than it's a multinational?

I use shaving soap out of a tube but skip the brushes. Like the brushes though.

It's true though, those double-edged razor blades would be better for the environment, I think they would just rust to nothing with the steel that they are made of. Stupidly sharp.

As to the holder, it seems there are two types for those kinds of blades, one which holds it like a disposable one with both edges showing, and another where you have to snap the thing in half. I think the latter is called a "cut throat" and there is also another variant made of a single piece of metal sharpened to a razor edge. Not sure what the terminology for the two types is.

I used the cut-throat type for many years but there were too many accidents, cutting into my face. I eventually decided that that was meant for barbers who were shaving another person, as the angles of the thing were just unsuited to using it on yourself in the mirror, completely counter-intuitive.

Probably you guys are talking about the other one which holds the double-edged blade like a disposable razor.
 

Elipe

Pelican
I do 2-pass shaving. First with an electric razor, then wet my beard with water and use an older Mach (from before Gillette ran that one ad, I need a new replacement). No shaving cream. I've only ever cut myself maybe once.
 
I use a Mach 3, but btw what's wrong with Gilette other than it's a multinational?

I use shaving soap out of a tube but skip the brushes. Like the brushes though.

It's true though, those double-edged razor blades would be better for the environment, I think they would just rust to nothing with the steel that they are made of. Stupidly sharp.

As to the holder, it seems there are two types for those kinds of blades, one which holds it like a disposable one with both edges showing, and another where you have to snap the thing in half. I think the latter is called a "cut throat" and there is also another variant made of a single piece of metal sharpened to a razor edge. Not sure what the terminology for the two types is.

I used the cut-throat type for many years but there were too many accidents, cutting into my face. I eventually decided that that was meant for barbers who were shaving another person, as the angles of the thing were just unsuited to using it on yourself in the mirror, completely counter-intuitive.

Probably you guys are talking about the other one which holds the double-edged blade like a disposable razor.
Good stuff.

Gillette had a had targeting "toxic masculinity" which was essentially a slap in the face to every straight male out there trying to be a regular male. After that stint I used up my Gillette stuff and never touched it again.

I use a Wilkinson double sided safety razor. All metal construction, sharp quality blades, and butterfly opening style. It does the job.
 

Izad

Pigeon
My razor is double edged stainless steel. Shaving soap is better than foam but like all things you need to be careful and look at reviews beforehand.
 

DeWoken

Robin
I just thought I'd point out that the straight razor is usually considered to be significantly more challenging than the DE safety razor. Beginners are usually recommended to start with the DE and work on their face prep, lather prep, as well as getting a sense for their beard growth map.

While some may eventually feel the calling of the straight razor there is plenty to learn in traditional shaving without having the worry of an unprotected vorpal blade at your throat. I haven't ever taken the plunge but I am attracted to the lo-tech aspect of it: the stones, the longevity. Factories are required to pump out DE blades, whereas SRs are often made by artisan blade smiths.

Single-edge razors are also popular, platforms include: Schick Injector, Gem, and Feather Artist Club (which is mainly a shavette system). There might be more. The SE blades are sturdier and therefore more rigid and longer lived.

As I've recommended before, Badger & Blade Forum is a great shaving resource.
 
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MichaelWitcoff

Hummingbird
Orthodox
I’ve been using a brush and puck soap for years, huge fan. Safety razor cut me though (for shaving my head since I never shave my beard) so I sadly use the disposables - but that said, the 6-blade cartridge on a Dollar Shave Club handle is the best I’ve ever used. These things are great.
 

DeWoken

Robin
I’ve been using a brush and puck soap for years, huge fan. Safety razor cut me though (for shaving my head since I never shave my beard) so I sadly use the disposables - but that said, the 6-blade cartridge on a Dollar Shave Club handle is the best I’ve ever used. These things are great.
If you keep your stubble short (shaving at least every 5 days?) you do prep properly, and you learn how to use the safety razor correctly it shouldn't be a problem. Do you follow the golden rule of shaving immediately after a shower for hydration?

Sometimes people do combo shaves where they use more than one razor. The crown area often has really tough hair, growing in a few different directions. In such places it might be a good idea to do the later strokes with the disposable. The DE razor has the advantage of not clogging up as easily, so it does better with the initial strokes which would clog and dull your disposable (assuming you had significant growth). Open comb safety razors are even more clog proof.

Things that will give you cuts are skin irregularities that you hadn't noticed as well as wielding the razor with too much speed or pressure. A certain amount of speed with the razor can be helpful to cutting, and result in a shave with less irritation, but in sensitive areas I don't think you want to use that technique. So it helps to have an idea of the lay of the land.

Another aspect is angle. If the angle of the blade to your skin is shallow (handle more towards perpendicular to the skin) the chance of cuts is greatly reduced since the blade is either not-touching or barely-touching the skin. Several shallow angle, light strokes - maybe with quick re-lathering - can be quite effective ("buffing").

To get all parts of the head properly an extra mirror and a flashlight are indispensable to me. Also, if I have rough feeling shoulders I don't attempt a headshave that day.

Happy shaves, bro!
 
It was one of my goto creams for years. No complaints. They are relatively cheap in terms of high end shave creams.
Same. First 'real' shave soap I used way back in the day. Cheap and readily available in most drug / grocery stores. They revamped their line a few years ago to include different scents with more natural ingredients.

I found the original green to be a good choice for warm weather with the eucalyptus / menthol combo.

Nowadays I much prefer Speick cream and aftershave (which is essentially the German Proraso).
 
It takes time and skill and investment up front. Nobody wants to take the time to develop specialized skills these days. We just want to pull something out of a box and be able to use it right the first time without reading the directions. We also don't want to buy anything "expensive," so much so that we'd rather by ridiculously expensive Gillette cartridges over and over instead of buying a great straight razor for $100 ONCE. The world is full of lazy idiots. That's why wet shaving fell out of fashion.
 
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