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Wet Shaving vs Dry Shaving and How to Wet Shave

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February 9, 2017

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Shaving Tips

There is a not-so-quiet war going on in the world of hygiene. The debate between dry and wet shaving is ever so heated. It’s simply rubbing people raw, no pun intended. Though there is no perfect way for everyone to shave, wet shaving is in vogue at the moment. Straight razors and fancy foam blends are bringing passion back to wet shaving and attracting attention, but let’s look at your options.

a close-up on a razor blade

Why You Should Dry Shave

Are you in a hurry? Wearing something that will be destroyed if you get it wet? Dry shaves, usually with an electric razor, as perfect for quick touch ups and morning once-overs. For those in a rush out the door, a dry shave may be a better option.

So long as you have an electric razor and some sort of moisturizer, dry shaving won’t hurt your skin more than any other type of shaving in the long run. Finding the right moisturizer for your skin type may take you a bit of time, but it is time well invested. Well maintained skin makes for a quicker, easier shave.

Another big perk of dry shaving is convenience. There’s usually very little clean up involved other than a quick wipe with a damp cloth. While this is great for those in a hurry, it’s also a good thing for those who simply want the job to be done and over with. There are some people who just do not enjoy shaving, and that’s alright.

Though it is very advisable to invest in a few different types of dry and wet shaving blades before you decide you are in that crowd. Many people who dislike shaving have been brought around by trying the opposite type of shaving that they were using. Try everything you can, but dry shaving is mostly used for convenience’s sake.

Why You Should Wet Shave

several shaving razor heads

Wet shaving is any sort of shaving that involves the issuance of water or any other fluid on the face to help smooth the razor’s touch. It gives an extremely close shave and, with practice, does less damage to the skin than dry shaving will in the short run.

Its one downside is that it can be messy and take a while. For those who beat their own foam, this means mixing it and blending it to their preference. Even for those who are working out of commercial gel or foam bins, the mess is still considerable.

This process may take a bit longer for those who are still mastering shaving, too. Not only do you have to remove the hair, but you must be certain to remove every last bit of foam, water or gel that you are using for the shave. It is rather unsightly to wander around with a glob of green gel stuck to you, after all.

There is also something of “community” forming around wet shaving. There are forums to discuss foam recipes, detailed lists describing stropping and stropping belts, and even monthly mail-order razor sampling kits. With the recent rise in popularity of wet shaving, it’s easy to find someone not only to show you how but to do it with style.

How to Wet Shave

a close-up on a rasierpinsel with foam

In this section, we’ll go over a basic wet shaving experience. Depending on what razor you use, what sort of liquid base you put on, and what area of the body you are shaving your experience may vary.

#1. Sharpen Your Razor

Whether using a straight razor or a cheap disposable razor from your local discount department store, a sharp razor is absolutely required. Dull razors are the ones that slice, sometimes even through a protective gel layer. The only thing more dangerous than a dull knife is a dull razor.

#2. Wash the Area You Want to Shave

No matter what area you intend to shave, it must be clean. Scrubbing up the area keeps the razor from scraping dirt into your pores while shaving. This means fewer blackheads as a result of shaving and cleaner skin.

#3. Stir Up Your Wet Base

Or shake it up if it happens to be a gel. If only using water, we recommend the usage of a moisturizer afterward as if you were shaving dry.

#4. Apply Your Base

Apply your base liberally. No, really, slop it on there! You should look like you’ve just dumped that part of your body in your chosen wet base. It should be absolutely soaked with it. One of the biggest problems new wet shavers do is to skimp on the lubrication product. Remember that this is protecting your skin from an incredibly sharp blade, even if it is a sharp blade hidden in a cheap plastic box.

#5. Use Proper Shaving Movements

Shave in long, smooth strokes. The natural reaction is to clip along the skin rather like you would when snipping a dog’s fur. Remember that you are shaving, not cutting or trimming. Also remember that you are dealing with hair, usually fairly short and coarse hair. This means that if you are too strong-handed with it, you will only hurt yourself. Take your time and practice in places that the general public won’t see if you nick yourself. There is a learning curb to all of this. It takes time.

#6. Pat Yourself Dry

Use a lint free towel to pat yourself down. It is better to use something with microfiber if possible since microfiber rarely has a large amount of lint. Never use a hair dryer or other heat-based drying implement that hoses your freshly de-haired body part down with hot air. This dries out your skin very quick and causes a good amount of itching.

#7. Clean Up

a young shaved man looking in the mirror

Clean your razors and sharpen them once more. Make certain that they go into their cases as dry as you can get them. A wet razor is a rusty one. Finish clean up and admire yourself!

All the above wet shaving tips are useful, especially if you are new at this, and you don’t have a lot of shaving experience. Make sure you follow all these steps. If you want, you can even leave us a comment in the section below to let us know how well these tricks worked for you.

Image sources: 1, 2, 3, 4

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