Back in the day, men took pride in the art of shaving. If they’re not doing it in their home, they’re most certainly getting it done from their trusted barbershop. You may wonder why your grandpa goes to all the trouble just for a shave, but in reality, shaving can be a very relaxing experience if you do it right.
That’s not to say that dry shaving or mainstream shaving (using a good-in-can and cartridge razor) is terrible. It just so happens that traditional shaving or wet shaving offers an elevated shaving experience, and it can do wonders for your skin health.
What Happens When You Shave?
To fully understand how one’s shaving routine is better than the other, you need to learn the whole dynamics of a shaving experience first.
Shaving is the act of cutting facial hair with the use of a razor. When you shave, the metal blade that passes your skin not only cuts through the hair but also scrapes off the outer layer of your skin. To make each pass a smoother glide, you lather up with shaving cream to prevent any cuts.
One of the reasons why you experience skin irritation are the synthetic materials and chemicals used in canned shaving creams. These chemicals can be tough on your skin, causing dryness, itchiness, or even rash.
Another cause of skin irritation is the razor you’re using. It’s easy to believe the promise of the advertisements that, “the more blade a razor cartridge has, the better the shaving experience becomes”. You’ll learn later on that this is just a marketing ploy for you to buy their newest product.
Tools Used for Traditional Wet Shaving
Before diving more in-depth, here are some of the tools you need to get started:
- Glycerin shaving soap or cream
- Shaving bowl
- Shaving brush
- A straight edge or double edge (DE) safety razor
- Hot and cold water
The list may look overwhelming and time-consuming at first, but once you experience the relaxing effect of this routine, you’re going to want to do it every single day. If you’re on the market for shaving paraphernalia, you can find most of these tools at the Shaving Time UK store for an affordable price.
If all of these are starting to make sense and if you’re tired of the nicks, bumps, and burns you get each time you shave, here are three reasons why wet shaving can help you protect your skin against irritation:
Provides for A Closer and Gentler Shave
As mentioned earlier, each time you repeatedly pass a blade through your facial hair, it removes a layer of your skin, leaving the inner layers of your skin exposed and more sensitive to irritants. If you’re using a five-blade cartridge when you shave, that means each swipe is equivalent to five passes on your skin. Repeated motions using this kind of razor cartridges are the culprits as to why your skin gets irritated after shaving.
Unlike what huge razor companies say, you only need a single-blade razor to get the job done. Using a straight edge or a DE safety razor is more than enough to give you a close shave.
Wet shaving is also gentler on your skin since you’ll be using glycerin-based shaving cream. The common problem with using canned shaving cream, it often leaves your skin dry. Glycerin is excellent at keeping your skin moisturized as you shave.
Prevents Razor Burns, Bumps, And Irritation
Men have opted to grow their beards instead of shaving them frequently because of the annoying skin irritation that usually comes with mainstream shaving.
The problem with mainstream shaving is that each time you lather up your beard, the chemicals in a canned shaving cream weakens the hair to make it easier to cut. Using a multi-blade razor, it stretches the hair from the roots before it’ll cut. When this happens, the hair that was left springs back to the follicle, thus creating the pervasive problem of ingrown hair.
With traditional shaving, the process of applying a mixture of hot water and shaving soap prepares your facial hair by removing the outer layer causing the hair to lift from its roots. In this process, you avoid the springing back motion of the facial hair when you shave. This is why traditional shaving can help you prevent skin irritation that is usually inevitable with mainstream shaving.
Relaxes and Exfoliates Your Skin
At first, you may feel a little too overwhelmed with traditional wet shaving. And the fact that you’re going to be using a straight edge or safety razor can be quite terrifying. But with practice, you’ll be able to enjoy the whole experience.
Wet shaving can give your skin a relaxing and exfoliating experience. It’s known for a fact that hot water can help the muscles relax. Since you’ll be using hot water in lathering your shaving soap, it’ll be going to give you a Zen feeling which you rarely experience when you’re rushing to shave.
Combined with the cleansing effect of your shaving cream, you can use a brush to lather up your beard and exfoliates facial skin dirt in a gentle and calming motion.
As shaving techniques changed over the years, modern gentlemen like you may have forgotten the art of shaving. Those changes can also come with discomforting side-effects, like razor burns and facial hair ingrown. Considering shaving in the traditional way takes your shaving sessions to the next level which helps you care for your skin.
Images from MMSCENE PORTRAITS: Blake Carr by Jon Wong – See the full story here