How to use a Double-Edged Safety Razor – Part 2
Here’s where all your new-found shaving knowledge gets put to use, shaving with a single blade safety razor.
But first you’ll need a double edge razor and blade. There are actually quite a few sources for razors, at several price points. And while you may find an inexpensive razor at your local chemist, this is one area where you should spend some money for a quality product if you can. Look for an all-metal razor thats comparatively heavy, 2oz. (56 grams) or more. The most popular, well-built razors come from companies like Merkur, Edwin Jagger, and Muhle. You can also get adjustable razors that change the amount of blade exposure to the skin to suit different conditions, but they are more expensive and typically used by the more experienced shavers.
And as you may have learned, all razor blades are not made the same. There are different grindings, coatings, and metallurgy’s so it pays to get several different brands to try. It may take some experimentation to find out which brands work best for you.
You already know to prepare your face carefully and make a good lather. Now it comes down to shave technique. Remember you’re learning a new skill, so take the time to develop the attributes to be successful. You’re going to develop a muscle memory to hold the razor correctly. Place the razor against your face with the razor’s handle parallel to the floor. Then tilt the razor down until the blade comes in contact with the skin. Now shave straight down, about an inch for each stroke. Shave at a pace that’s comfortable to you: if you’re unsure of yourself start at about 1 stroke per half-second and adjust to suit. And remember to let the weight of the razor do the work–don’t press down! It’s often beneficial to divide your face into flat segments, like a diamond, shaving each segment to avoid twists and turns.
Shave straight down, relather, then repeat the straight down shave. Don’t concern yourself with getting a particularly close shave at this point: go for just looking presentable. Do this for a week or so, then if you wish you can try for a straight up pass. Or if you’re getting comfortable with your new skills, go ahead and try shaving with and across the grain of your face as you did with a cartridge razor.
Mantic59 – The Shaving Tutor