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?
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Can you Shave in the Shower with a Safety 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:
- Shaving in the shower is more convenient. When you shave in the shower, you do not have the same type of cleanup you will typically incur if you shave at the mirror and over the sink.
- Shaving in the Shower is Convenient. You can knock out two birds with one stone. Facial hair preparation with hot water is done simultaneously while you shave. However, while it can be more convenient, shaving in the shower is not exactly great on the environment.
Considerations When Shaving in the Shower with a Safety Razor
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.
Get a Shower Mirror
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.
Shave Prep is Different in the Shower
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.
Remove the Razor from the Shower
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.
Is Shaving in the Shower Bad for the Environment?
Whether your a man or a woman, there is a high likelihood at least part of your regular grooming routine involves some type of hair removal, using some type of razor. The process and procedure of how you take the time to remove said hair can vary widely.
For some, the daily shave routine includes a bar of soap and a basic cartridge razor while taking a hot shower. For others, a badger hair shaving brush, some high quality shave soap and a safety razor are more typical.
Whatever your routine, it may be important to understand the environmental impact of your daily shave routine and how your habits may be contributing to the problem and not the solution.
There is a segment of the population of both men and women who leave their cartridge razor in the shower, allowing them the convenience and comfort of shaving while they shower. Some do so with the aid of mirrors in the shower and some do so simply by feel. In one sense, this is likely to be considered the ultimate experience of a true wet shave.
However, that extra five, ten or fifteen minutes you spend shaving in the shower, is leading to extra running time on the shower head. Regardless of whether or not you consider yourself a tree-hugging hippie, this practice will do more than hurt the environment. Depending on where you live, a lack of conservation on how you shower can also have a significant impact on your water bill, further adding to the overall cost of shaving with a cartridge razor vs. the cost savings of a more traditional safety razor.
Being water-conservation minded when it comes to shaving in the shower (for both the environment and your pocketbook) is one other reason to switch from a cartridge razor to a safety razor.
One other benefit from not shaving in the shower is staying more sanitary as well as the need to change out the blade less frequently. Razors that remain in the shower are:
- More likely to accumulate bacteria. A wet razor that resides in the shower–especially if more people use that shower than who own the razor–is more likely to accumulate the bacteria that can cause things like razor bumps and razor burn.
- More likely to rust more quickly. More rust means a shorter blade longevity. Shorter blade longevity means you will be changing out those cartridges more frequently. While the shave clubs may the greater frequency of purchases, it’s again less-than-ideal for your own finances.
It could certainly be an option to stop storing the razor in the shower or to simply stop shaving in the shower altogether. We suggest the latter. We also suggest giving a safety razor a try.
Shave in the Shower Like a Boss
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.