Wet shaving is not as inaccessible as some might believe. It’s not some magical thing that is available only to the privileged few. The only thing keeping this out of most male’s daily rituals is the fact that rubbing an electric razor on one’s face is considered faster and more convenient.
Now, you might be asking, why do I need to learn all that when I can just rub my face and end up looking semi-decently shaved? Well, I can’t tell you why YOU would do it, but for me, I’ve never had a closer, non-irritating shave in my life. In addition, I’ve yet to find something as relaxing as properly prepping my face and creating lather, then indulging in a wet shave. Finally, I find that shaving has given me some time to get away from it all and focus on a task that our forefathers engaged in. I’ve also found that I’ve broken out in pimples a lot less than shaving the normal way.
Of course, it’s not for me to decide if this is for you. You’ll have to see if it’s your cup of tea, so to speak.
If you’re still reading, then a part of you might have been intrigued by wet shaving. So let’s go into what it is. Essentially, as the name implies, you shave with a lot of moisture. That means that your face will be perpetually wet during the whole phase. This has many benefits and I’m sure you can find better articles that will explain it to you.
In a nutshell, wet shaving can be broken down into a few steps: the prep, the lather, and the shave. I’ll go into each one briefly.
The prep is where you prepare your beard for shaving. Hair softens as it absorbs water, so you soak your beard in warm water to make it soft and easier to cut. There are others who do all sorts of things like wrapping their face in a towel and more. While I enjoy a hot towel as much as the next guy, I just take a nice warm shower and find that it does all the prep I need.
The lather is using the soap and a badger hair brush to create a thick cream which you will slather (or even whip) on your face. This makes a protective layer on your face that will prevent you from cutting yourself and facilitate a smooth shave. (Note: Unfortunately, shaving cream just will not do for me as I have yet to find one that provides as good a shave as a proper shaving soap and brush.)
Finally the shave itself. You take your blade of choice, and shave with the grain (the direction your hair is growing) for the first pass, across the grain for the next, and against the grain last. In between each pass, you apply more cream and wet your face some more.
Wet shaving is as much a skill as riding a bike. There are many things to learn such as the angle of the blade in relation to your face, the way your hair grows, how to properly create lather with your brush and soap of choice, the list goes on.
It may or may not be an easy ride for you, some people will pick it up slower than others. Regardless, here are some things that I think everyone will experience at some point:
- You will nick yourself at one point or another.
- You will end up throwing away some good soap because you made too much lather.
- You will cringe when you end up making one pass too many and experience razor burn.
- You will learn what direction your hair grows.
- You will celebrate when everything you learned just comes together to form one awesome mosaic of shaving perfection.
On that note, I think I’ll be ending this short mini-blog with a few announcements. Expect to have a few more shaving articles on this blog, more in-depth information about it, as well as reviews of some of the better products I’ve tried.
Finally, If you want to try wet shaving but don’t know where to get the necessary equipment in the Philippines, I’d like to direct you to the PhilShaveShop on E-bay. These guys have always been consistently awesome and provide some really good equipment at reasonable prices. And no, I don’t get any money from them or will receive anything for this endorsement. I’m endorsing them because I really believe they’re a good online shop with quality products.