When you first get into wet shaving, there are many acronyms and terminologies that may lead to confusion. At times it may feel like you have been let into a military compound or require the need to speak in a different language. For most men, their education in shaving only consisted of shower, shave and deodorant. It was an easy three-step process where most of the items could be acquired directly from a single aisle at the grocery or convenience store. But, many of the best ingredients for a truly classic shave have been lost to the lay person, including basic terminologies, definitions and acronyms. Fortunately, we have tried to distill most of the wet shaving terms here in a single post. 

General Wet Shaving Terminology

Balm – This is somewhat of a catch-all term, referring to nearly any cream or lotion that may be used in both pre and post-shave routines. Balms can include skin recovery serums, moisturizers, beard oils and pre-shave oils. Balms generally are semi-solid and can typically be used as cross-functional. For instance, I can use the same beard oil as a pre-shave oil, if I so desire.

Barbicide – A commonly used antiseptic for cleaning shaving supplies. Originally developed by Gillette in the 1940s, it is still used as a sterilizing agent in hospitals. Barbicides are particularly helpful in cleansing used razor heads for use by other individuals as they can remove some of the downsides inherent in blood-borne pathogens.

Classic Shave – Typically involving the use of a straight razor or safety razor, the classic shave avoids the use of multi-blade cartridges and electric shavers. Today’s shavers generally use clsssic shave techniques to avoid things like razor bumps and razor burn that are more typically caused by other methods of shaving. The term classic shaving is often used interchangeably with “wet shaving” and “traditional shaving.” While there are slight differences between these terms, they are all very closely connected and usually refer to the same thing.

Double-Edge Safety Razor – Also referred to as DE safety razor or simply DE razors, these razors can come in one, two and three piece sets. All allow for the shaver to interchange a double-edge safety razor blade that includes two usable, sharp edges. For a real shave, a safety razor is usually the desired weapon of choice among discerning shavers.

Faceturbating— The act of not being able to stop touching one’s face due to extreme smoothness.

Grain – Every face is different. No two men have hair that grows the same direction for the same patch on their face. The “grain” typically refers to the direction of hair growth on your face, which can change drastically as you change locations. Understanding your own facial hair growth patterns will allow you to draft your own wet shaving face map. This will give you the right shaving direction for your first, second and third shave passes.

Shave Brush – Whipping-up and applying a proper lather is best achieved through the use of a quality wet shaving brush. Brushes help to both whip up the lather, but they are also very effective at exfoliating the skin and hair follicles as well as cleansing the skin prior to cutting the hair follicles. There are many considerations in choosing the right shave brush — the true three-in-one tool for the expert wet shaver.

Strop – For those most masculine cutthroat straight shavers among us, the strop provides a rare glimpse into a time when cowboys and bandits were a more regular sight. Typically made of leather or linen, the strop is used as a sharpening instrument for the straight razor shaver. A few passes against a quality strop and the straight razor achieves ultimate sharpness. Strops have become a more rare site these days, even among barber shops as other forms of razor use have taken hold.

Styptic Pencil – Used for stopping bleeding in nicks, cuts and weepers produced from a classic wet shave, the styptic or hemostatic pencil is designed to both stop bleeding and disinfect the wound.


Wet Shaving Acronyms

Straight and Safety Razor Acronyms

  • DE: Double Edge
  • SE: Single Edge
  • OC: Open Comb
  • CC: Closed Comb
  • OCMM: GEM Open Comb MicroMatic single edge razor
  • SB: Safety Bar
  • SR: Straight Razor
  • TTO: Twist/Turn To Open

General Wet Shaving Acronyms

  • WTG: With the Grain
  • XTG: Across the Grain
  • ATG: Against the Grain
  • HTT: Hot Towel Treatment or Hanging Hair Test, depending on the context of the discussion.
  • BBS: Baby Butt Smooth
  • BSS: Baby Smooth Shave
  • CCS: Close Comfortable Shave
  • DFS: Damn/Darn Fine Shave
  • AD’s: Acquisition Disorders
  • HAD: Hone Acquisition Disorder
  • RAD: Razor Acquisition Disorder
  • SAD: Strop Acquisition Disorder
  • SBAD: Shaving Brush Acquisition Disorder
  • SCAD: Shaving Cream Acquisition Disorder
  • SRAD: Safety Razor Acquisition Disorder
  • SSAD: Shaving Soap Acquisition Disorder
  • SoS: Shower or Shave (of the day)
  • SOTD: Shave of the Day
  • SOTN: Shave of the Night
  • NGA: Newbie Give-Away

Wet Shaving Product Acronyms 

  • A/S: Aftershave
  • ASB: Aftershave Balm
  • ASM: After Shave Milk
  • EdC: Eau de Cologne
  • EdT: Eau de Toilette
  • PS: PreShave
  • PSB: PreShave Balm
  • PSO: PreShave Oil
  • SC: Shaving Cream
  • SS: Shaving Soap
  • CA:Cyanoacrylate aka Super Glue
  • CP: Cold Process soapmaking
  • EO: Essential Oil
  • FO: Fragrance Oil
  • ISZ: Iced SubZero
  • MUG: Menthol Users Group
  • VIBR: Clubman Virgin Island Bay Rum

Wet Shaving Brand Acronyms 

  • 3T’s: Taylors, Truefitt & Hill, and Trumpers.
  • AdP: Acqua Di Parma
  • AOS: Art of Shaving
  • AV: Aqua Velva
  • B&BW: Bath and Body Works
  • CC: Captains Choice
  • C&E: Crabtree and Evelyn
  • C&S: Czech & Speake
  • CRS: Cyril R. Salter
  • DRH: D.R Harris
  • DVH: De Vergulde Hand
  • GFT: Geo F. Trumper
  • GIT: Green Irish Tweed
  • HBS: Honeybee Sue
  • IP’s: Israeli Personna
  • KMF: Kiss My Face
  • MB: Mama Beard
  • MdC: Martin de Candre
  • MWF: Mitchell’s Wool Fat
  • PdP: Pre de Provence
  • QED: QEDUsa
  • RMWS: Robert’s Method of Wet Shaving aka Method Shaving
  • RR: RazoRock
  • SCS: Saint Charles Shave
  • SFS: Scottish Fine Soaps
  • T&H: Truefitt and Hill
  • TBS: The Body Shop
  • TGN: The Golden Nib
  • TGR: The Gentleman’s Refinery
  • TGQ: The Gentlemens Quarter
  • TOBS: Taylor’s of Old Bond Street
  • TRSC/RSC: The Real Shaving Company
  • TSD: The Shave Den
  • VDH: Van Der Hagen

Razor & Brush Acronyms 

  • BRW: Bob’s Razor Works
  • EJ: Edwin Jagger
  • ER: Ever Ready
  • HD: Merkur Heavy Duty Safety Razor
  • HMW: High Mountain White
  • NDC: No Date Code
  • NOS: New Old Stock
  • SRD: Straight Razor Designs
  • SS: Gilette SuperSpeed
  • TI: Thiers Issard
  • W&B: Wade and Butcher

Shaving Forums Acronyms 

  • B&B: Badger and Blade
  • SMF: Shave My Face
  • SRP: Straight Razor Place
  • TOS: The Original Safety
  • TSD: The Shave Den
  • TSN: The Shave Nook

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