The Art of a Manly Shave | The Ultimate Guide

Last Updated: Jan 8, 2024

I used to visit a barbershop weekly and still receive horrific shaving with ingrown hair, cuts, and irritations on my face. My skin grew dark and pimples all over. I had no solution for the terrible experience until I paid a visit to my grandfather, who gave one of his old wet shaving traditional razors. He taught me how to shave like a man and provided me with some great safety razor shaving tips that I will share with you today.

What Is Wet Shaving?

Wet shaving is more about the soap than the razor. A cake of soap with a brush made of a damp lather is essential to a manly shave skill. It may not take much of your time since you just take your soft brush, wet it using water, run it in a cup with soap cake while making sure you churn around the stroke to form soapy foam. After that, clash your face using the brush and shave.

Man receiving a shave on the cheek

Pros Of Wet Shaving:


It offers fast and smoother shaving specifically when using traditional shaving tools such as the brush, good foamy soap, and a classic sharp razor. Besides, you can use branded manual blades with multiple cutters that perfect the shaving without destroying your skin. It goes hand in hand when you use a pre-prep product that makes your hair soft.

Reduce the environmental effect

Traditional wet shaving has reduced waste. Traditional razors an be easily resharpened using the correct tools and by using double edge razors you have two blades at your disposal. Compared to cartridge razors which need new set of blades nearly every shave. Second, you shave on soaps, the traditional packages have less waste, unlike compressed gels that are in non-biodegradable containers.


You need to make use of warm water as this enhances foaming and softening of the hair. By taking the time to learn this skill you will achieve more comfortable and rewarding shaves overtime. Therefore, it is extremely important to choose the razors of the highest quality. Luckily, I have done some research on the best double edge razors as well as the best straight razors kits which should save you a lot of valuable time.


Wet shaving brings about scrubbing of the skin, which removes the dead layer facilitating smooth and fresh surfaces. This reduces the chances of infection and irritation to the skin over time.

Reduce cost

Over time you will see a reduction in the “running” cost of your shaving tools. Although when initially purchasing all of equipment you may be discouraged by the slightly higher price, you need to remember two things. Firstly you are paying for the quality of not only the tools but the shave itself. Secondly, the initial cost will pay back after a certain period of time thanks to the fact that you will no longer be paying for razor cartridges on a regular.

Man with half of face shaved

Cons Of Wet Shaving:

Higher (Initial) cost

More traditional razors, such as Double-Edge (DE) or straight razors, are priced slightly higher compared to their plastic counterparts. And like I mentioned before you are paying for the quality shave which will become cheaper overtime.

Scratches and cuts

With higher quality blades comes sharpness and with sharpness come nicks and cuts. Therfore its is recomeneded that a begginer goes for milder balde to practice with. This also applies to anyone who experiences irritable skin, which brings me onto my second point.

Razor sores and pain

If your skin is sensitive, irritation and burns are common, especially while using a blunt razor and inferior shaving prodcuts. You might reduce the risks of razor burn and irritation by improving shaving tools and your shaving routine/technique.

What is Electric Shaving?

It involves the use of electric shavers, no water, neither soap. Choosing the best electric shaver will give out excellent results. Either the wet or dry, foil or rotary shaving will do you right since your preference is the key.

Astronaut shaving in zero g
Astronaut Joe Engle Shaves in Zero Gravity Atmosphere – NASA

Personal preference on blades

Your blade preference comes about with your experience since men are habitual beings, although changing might benefit you. It might be challenging to switch from one blade style to another. Especially if you like using wet rotary blades or foil-based blade. Adjusting from old to modern shavers will offer you extra benefits as the newer models are more refined and are stuffed with helpful technology

Electric shaver blades

The blade formats come either in rotary or foil types, giving greater choice for different needs. The foil shaver consists of thin bent metal foil covering the cutting vanes. They operate by relocating in the conventional, back, and forward action around your skin, shaving the hair, once it enters the holes of the foil. It may be critical for you if your skin is perceptive to razor burn since it has a smoother surface which keeps the blades away from the surface of your skin.

However, you will find that rotary shavers contain revolving round blades held in three (on average) circular heads, working together corresponding to the shape of your face. The rotary blades also have guards that protect the skin from being cut while shaving the beard hair. Again, if you have sensitive skin and concentrate beard, choose these shavers.

Electric shaver price

All shavers have different prices. You will find that these are much higher than any of the manual, hand-held razors mentioned before. In general, the more technology and accessories come with the saver the higher price you will be paying. If you are looking for a technologically advanced shave with many options and great results paying this higher premium may be worth it for you.

Besides, it’s a good idea for you to research and know your skin needs and the features of the shavers. This is why I have compiled several lists that may help you with your needs.

Power source

Electric shavers can be battery powered and rechargeable, making it a fact of consideration while purchasing one. The rechargeable ones are commonly in use since they are portable and can either be powered cordless or plugged in.

Pros Of Electric shavers:

  • It’s convenient and speedy during shaving.
  • Minimum chances of razor burns.

Cons Of Electric Shavers:

  • It’s expensive to charge and maintain.
  • Does not offer a close shave
  • Requires regular maintenance
Straight razor with brush and mug

Shaving tools

The Razor

Wet shaving involves the use of a cartridge razor or the more old school razor which is a more traditional style metal razor. Both types offer different benefits and they equally possess some drawbacks. There are two types of old-style razors;

Double-edge safety razor

They function similarly to the cartridge, although they are heavy. Contain a metal handle with two metal plates on the head where you loosen the uppermost plate and insert a razor beneath it. After that, you tighten the head to hold the blade firmly. It’s relatively cheap to maintain since one cutter can last up to two weeks by alternating the edges, and it saves soap. You will receive a better shave from your safety razor since you use little pressure allowing it to go on smoothly without hurting your skin. Here you will find the best double edge razors. Not many men (and women) fully understand how to shave with a safety razor so therefore some practices is recommended

Straight razor shaving

It’s a terrific metal piece that requires sharpening before using the right tools and technique. They need operating skills in order to achieve an excellent shave. It’s expensive to maintain, and a little care with it will result in bleeding cuts and nicks. If you are ready to learn new techniques on how to shave like a man, it might work for you. Have a look at the best straight razors kits if you are interested in this skill.

The blades

There are multiple variants of double edge blades that you can choose from, each poses a certain quality. However, its crucial to make use of a variation of them to know the one that suits you well. They have two-bladed sides such that you can alternate them hence saving on maintenance cost. They offer smooth and fine shaving without irritating the skin.

The Shaving Brush

A brush is a luxury for you if you aren’t aware of it. It normally hydrates the cutting cream making it thicker, forming an excellent foam for smooth shaving. The brushes come in two forms boar and badger;

The Boar Brush

This type of brush is generally cheaper compared to its counterpart. Thanks to the stiffer bristels in holds less water but may end up irritating your skin.

Badger brush

The badger is the more popular choice of the two as it is much softer to the touch and forms a much thicker foam across your whole beard.

Soaps and Creams

You can get them in different sizes, depending on your budget. However, the creams are either artificially made with questionable ingredients or traditionally formulated with natural components. Both options are scented which will provide you with lasting freshness throughout the day. Besides looking at the scent its is also a good idea to look the benefit the products provide as different formulations can result in a multitude of outcomes on your skin and beard. It is worth investing in high-quality safety razor shaving cream if you are looking for great results

Safety Razor Being Washed under tap

The Technique

Prep your beard

Beard preparation contributes a lot to your shaving. Therefore, prepare it well using warm water or wet it using a hot towel to soften the beard hairs. It will prevent you from irritation and cause a smooth feel after shaving.


Hydrate with water to reduce nicks and irritation while shaving. Usually, it will be helpful if you cut in the shower; if not, so use warm water to soften the hair for easy cutting. You need to prepare your face by washing off any dirt, dead skin, or oils. You also need to remember that shaving creams and soaps are designed to hydrate your skin so apply plenty.

Lather up

Take a mug and put a drop of shave cream, using a wet brush churn the cream to obtain a thick lather. Using your brush, apply the soapy cream on your face covering all the hairs. Caress well to ensure its distributed evenly on the face.

Man looking down at a straight razor

The shave

Check for Dull Blades

Check your blade well to ensure its not damaged or worn out as faded blades may not offer quality or safe shave; hence need for replacement of the cartridge or a sharpening

Shave with Light, Gentle Strokes

The safety razor weight is enough to offer exceptional shave; you should not apply any pressure. Just slide it gently on the face and it will cut-off the hair. Pressing it hard will cause cuts and irritation on the skin.

Rinse Your Blades Often

While shaving, hair may accumulate on the blades reducing their effectiveness; therefore, you should rinse it continuously after a short while. Besides, be careful as you clean since tapping your razor alongside the sink may damage it.

Shave Both with and Against the Grain

It will give a defined soft feel, although it’s risky since you can end up cutting your skin and causing ingrown hairs. You start shaving with the grain and after that against the grain, passing your razor gently more than once. The use of a multi-blade is recommended.

Edge with the Precision Trimmer.

Use a precision trimmer to remove the hard to reach the hair, for example under your nose.

Wan washing face in the bathroom

The Post-shave


Use clean cold water and rinse your face closing all opening pores on your face. Also, it helps to remove any loose hair left on the beard displaying out any unshaved hair. If there is, shave it keenly and rinse well.

Apply Moisturiser or Aftershave.

Using an aftershave lotion of your preference, nurse your face to reduce any irritation that may occur during shaving and give you skin smoother feel.


Have you ever thought how your grandfather kept his hair smart, his skin smooth, and an everlasting clean shave? The hilarious thing is that he most likely knew the art of a manly shave which is difficult to achieve with modern tools. Therefore, you ought to try the traditional way and see the immersive change on your skin. Now that you have read this article I hope you are more learn on how to shave like your grandpa.

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  1. Pingback: How to use a Straight Razor - The Ultimate Man Guide - Grooming Corp

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