Wet Shaving For Beginners

Wet Shaving For Beginners

It's been years since I heard the term "wet shaving". It sounded intriguing so I did a little bit of research. But when I realized you need those scary looking double edge razors, I was out. 

A couple of years later I'm here with a moderate wet shaving collection. 
How did it happen? Read on and see for yourself. 

Wet Shaving For Beginners

Okay, so what is wet shaving?

You can guess this from the name, but in case there’s any doubt, wet shaving basically means shaving with water. I.e. not using an electrical razor. For a traditional wet shave, you’ll also need some form of shaving soap or cream, to effectively lather your face, and a shaving brush, traditionally made with either badger or boar hairs. A traditional wet shave uses a single bladed razor and can either be done with a straight razor or with a safety razor. From the Traditional Shaving Company

Now that we know what it is, why would anyone want to do it?

This is actually a simple one. It's very cost effective. I mean, yes, it can get out of control and you end with 40 shaving soaps, a shaving cream, 4 expensive shaving brushes and about 8 special DEs (double edge razor) and maybe even one SE (single edge razor). I am not talking from experiences. Noo ... Kinda. 

But not only it's cost-effective, it's also more environmentally friendly than shaving with cartridges and less irritating

I, personally went into it for the cost-effectiveness and in a surge of a zero waste movement. 

Wet Shaving For Beginners


Just a couple of things. 

  • One is a double edge razor (I wouldn't suggest jumping right into SE territory because well, that's hardcore), 
  • a shaving soap or cream and a
  • couple of blades

You will also need to get a proper aftershave routine. It can be as simple as a nice body lotion to a more extensive - a toner, some calming cream or aftershave lotion. 

Wet Shaving For Beginners
A pack of blades and two shaving soaps

Let me get this out before we continue - I hated shaving. I seriously loathed it. I hated the cartridge razors and how badly they shaved. Plus my hair would get always ingrown. It wasn't pretty and for me, it wasn't worth it. So I switched to an epilator which didn't really help. 

And then I discovered wet shaving. 

My first purchase contained a shaving brush with a lather bowl (the Omega-S shaving brush), an alum stick (to stop the possible cuts from bleeding), a set of two blade packs (each with 5 blades in it) and a double-edged razor

Wet Shaving For Beginners


It took me four days of thinking it through before I purchased my first DE. That's a lot of time for me. I usually just google search it for a bit (an hour max) and then buy it. 
But no, this one was such a new territory for me, that I had to find all the pros and cons of each razor I was interested in. Plus I didn't want to pay for customs so I had to purchase within Europe. 

  1. Since I'm a lady, the most important thing was that the razor should have a long handle. And that's because legs are further apart than your face is and you need to be comfortable while shaving your legs. I mean, some people prefer short handles even for leg shaving, but for beginners, it's probably best to start with a long handle. 
  2. Then, the second criteria it had to have was, well, it had to be pretty. I didn't plan on buying another one so this one really had to have everything. 
  3. And the last one was that it had to have a closed comb. Why? Because closed combs are less aggressive than open ones (which lift the hair for an easier shave - which is a great thing for coarser hair).

I picked the Edwin Jagger Pearl Effect (Lilac) DE Razor. 
And if you are curious it has the same head as the D89. 

Wet Shaving For Beginners


Picking a good brush is important because it helps you with lathering your soap up. Or cream, whatever works for you. 
I picked an Omega S-Brush Pro S10108 because it's synthetic and I wasn't willing to purchase an expensive brush for something I didn't even know it would work for me. 

Luckily it works really great for how I lather my soaps. And what I enjoy the most - it's really gentle. It feels so much better than a badger brush which is a tad rougher (but lathers some soaps quicker).

Again, it's a personal preference, but synthetic brushes are an in-between world when it comes to performance vs price. 


Most people jump right into the Wet shaving world with a new set of razor, brush and soap. But the best advice I got, was get to know your razor with what you already use. 
If you're using a shaving cream in a can, use it until you master the technique of shaving. 
I mean, it can get really overwhelming having to master all these new things at the same time. Lots of people ditch wet shaving just because of it. 

So, which one should you get? 

  • Soap is very economical. You pick one and you can use it for years. Some types are harder to lather than others. There are so many scents and options to choose from. What are the downsides? Well, when you want to try another soap and you're not even close to finishing your first pluck. And then you end with 40 soaps. Ahem. There's nothing wrong with that, just be prepared.
  • Creams are a tad more expensive on the long run as they get used up quicker (so you'll be able to switch brands or scents quicker). But they are easier to lather. 
  • Sticks are a world in between. They are inexpensive, easy to lather and will last you a long time. But why aren't they recommended more? Because no artisanal soap creator makes them. They are sub-par for the snobs out there. But they do their job well and some people like them. 

Once you know what you're doing with your razor, you are ready to learn how to lather. 
I really enjoy the Marco method of lathering. It's a simple one - wet your brush for about 40 seconds, shake it once (that depends on the type of your brush, as synthetics retain more water), and swirl it in a bowl with your shaving soap for at least 40 seconds. Now you can continue lathering in a bowl without the soap for another minute or two. You end with a bunch of thick, creamy foam that is perfect for shaving. If you have no idea what I'm talking about - here's a video on how to do it.

I have a bunch of soaps. I love soaps. But later I have realized that I prefer the cream soaps like Proraso is. I found it in a discount store for a really funny price (1,80€) which made me a bit mad at the time since I paid about 8€ for it online. But it lathers nicely and has a nice, fresh scent. 
I think if this would have been my first shaving soap, I'd stick to it.

But instead I tried many more soaps, some of them full-sized (Haslinger which is a nice soap but nothing special), some of them were sample sized.

Wet Shaving For Beginners


There are many techniques out there but I'll outline some of the basic information for all beginners out there.
  • If you need, do a prep before it (if you have coarse hair). You can also take a shower before.
  • Apply the lather. Make it a nice, even layer. You can't overdo it.
  • Take your razor and at an angle of 30° slowly and gently pull the razor on your skin with the growth of the hair. Don't push it down and don't pull it sideways. 
  • You can shave all the lathered parts. When the razor starts to pull a bit, turn it the other way around. And then when it starts pulling/has pilled too much lather on it, put it under hot water to wash the hair and lather off.
  • Re-lather. Re-apply.
  • Shave across the grain. 
  • Re-lather. Re-apply.
  • Shave against the grain of the hair. 
  • Check if you have missed any spots. 
  • Wash off the remaining lather from your skin. Do a cold/hot water splash.
  • If you cut yourself, apply an alum stick on the wound (put the stick under water and swype it across the cut). Wash it off after about 2 minutes. It will close up the cut.
  • Apply an aftershave toner/lotion. 
Congratulations now your skin is super smooth and hair free! 

I prefer shaving with the grain and then two times against. It gives me perfectly smooth legs without any ingrown hair or irritation. 
If you're having trouble shaving, try mapping your hair. See where it grows which side. And keep that in mind when you shave. 

If you want to see some shaving tips in action, you can check this Youtuber that talks about them:

And before we go, there's one last thing to mention ... 


Some people like to change it after each shave, but for us ladies, that's not really a must. I could do a full shave (legs, bikini, sometimes face) about 7 times before I had to ditch the blade. 
But you will see when it's time when it starts tugging or skipping. At that point, you can try to use it once more (to see if it's just a coincidence of it's really time to switch blades) or ditch it. 

Someone once told me that he could use one blade for 20 shaves and that somewhere at the 9th shave there was some light pulling and after that, the shaves just got better. So what I'm trying to say is give the blade another chance before throwing it away.


Giftsandcare - I got my first products from it. UK site.
Shaving.ie - inexpensive products with OK shipping. From Europe.
ShaveLounge - I got a starting kit for my brother from them. UK seller.
Maggard Razors - everyone knows them. I got my soap samples from them. USA Seller.

That's it for the beginner's tips and tricks. Let me know in the comments below if this post was helpful. 

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