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I frequently have conversations with men (and women) who are thinking of making the switch from a cartridge razor to a more traditional safety razor. Because habits between the two types of shaving hardware can vary so widely, there are often questions that seek to bridge techniques from one form of shaving to the other. A very common comment, speaks to the shaving process differences between cartridge razor shaving and shaving with a safety razor:
With my cartridge razor, I typically shave in the shower. Can I shave in the shower with a safety razor? I currently like the convenience and the lack of necessary cleanup required when I shave in the shower. If I can’t shave in the shower with a safety razor, bummer. If it IS possible, what additional steps or considerations should be taken when shaving in the shower with a safety razor vs. a modern cartridge razor?
The short answer is that you can shave in the shower with your favorite safety razor. Many safety razor shavers prefer shaving in the shower for the following reasons:
If you are switching from cartridge razor shaving in the shower to safety razor shaving in the shower, there are a few things to consider when doing so.
First, safety razor shaving has a bit more of a learning curve. Before you jump headfirst into shaving in the shower with your new safety razor, be sure you have gotten far enough down the safety razor learning curve to know how supple your skin needs to be, how to shave at the right angle and how to avoid nicks and cuts. If you are already proficient at shaving with a safety razor, you can simply jump right in. If not, take a few weeks shaving at the mirror before jumping straight into the shower.
Second, if you’re shaving in the shower with a safety razor, I typically advise shavers to purchase a small shower mirror that will give them a view of their face. Cartridge razor shaving can be a bit more forgiving if you do it poorly, but safety razor shaving does require a bit more finesse. Having a mirror to help guide you, regardless of your skill level will significantly improve your shower shaving game.
Third, preparation can be a bit different when shaving in the shower. You can still use your shaving soap and a brush, but that can over complicate things. Many shower wet shavers will simply get their face nice and moistened by the heat of the shower’s water and use hand soap to build a “good enough” lather on the wet whiskers. Other shavers will simply use tube shaving cream on the face to lather up.
The preferred method is dependent on which works best for you. I have used all three options in the shower, but now prefer the tube method first, lathering up with hand soap second and shaving with a brush and shaving soap as my very last preferred option. When you do shave in the shower with a safety razor, you can re-lather and take the number of passes you are typically comfortable with.
Fourth, do not leave your razor in the shower when you are finished. Take it out and place it on a dry counter or preferably in your favorite razor stand. Leaving it in the shower will cause the razor blade to rust, significantly reducing its quality and usable life. It can also more quickly damage the razor itself and cause harmful bacteria to build up on both the razor and the razor blade. When you are cutting on facial skin, you certainly do not want to do so with a rusty blade that includes bacteria. It is not the best option for a hygienic shave.
If you are a women reading this and considering shaving your legs or bikini area with a safety razor in the shower, then these considerations will similarly work for you as well. In fact, as a general rule women safety razor shavers are more likely to shave in the shower and the tub than their male counterparts.
Are you a safety razor shaver that shaves in the shower? If so, what methods do you employ that create for a more enjoyable quality shave? Please leave your comments below.