What do I need to start Traditional Wet Shaving?

What do I need to start traditional wet shaving?

Want to start wet shaving but as a beginner don't know where to start? If you're ready to up your shaving routine, traditional wet shaving is the way to go. 

This classic method not only delivers a superior shave but also transforms the mundane task into a luxurious ritual. Here's what you need to start your journey into wet shaving, focusing on the essential gear such as the safety razorshaving brush, and shaving soap.

Why Choose Traditional Wet Shaving? 

Before diving into the gear you need to get started, let's briefly discuss why traditional wet shaving is worth the switch. 

Wet shaving offers a closer, more comfortable shave, reduces skin irritation, and is often more cost-effective in the long run compared to disposable razors. Plus, it's an environmentally friendly option due to the reduced waste from disposable cartridges...

Choosing a safety razor

Safety Razor | Agent Shave

The cornerstone of traditional wet shaving is the safety razor. Unlike disposable razors, safety razors are designed to last a lifetime with replaceable blades. Here’s why a safety razor is a must-have:

  • Closer Shave: The single, sharp blade cuts hair at skin level, providing a smoother shave. 
  • Reduced Irritation: Fewer blades mean less friction and less irritation. 
  • Cost-Effective: While the initial investment is higher, replacement blades are significantly cheaper than cartridge refills.

Forget multi-blade disposables – the double edge safety razor is an item of beauty. Your Dad or Grandpa would have certainly used one and if you are lucky enough, may even still have one!

Invented in 1901 by King Camp Gillette the safety razor holds a disposable double edge razor blade – with a protective device positioned between the edge of the blade and the skin. Initially the aim was to reduce the amount of skill required for injury free shaving.

The safety razor generally consists of two parts; the handle and the headpiece. The headpiece houses the razor blade, which has limitless options. Variations in razor head designs include straight safety bar, open comb (toothed) bar, adjustable razors, and slant bar razors.

If you are completely new to traditional wet shaving and looking to buy a safety razor for the first time; keep it simple – look for a fixed, closed comb razor that is mild to medium aggressiveness. When choosing a safety razor, consider the handle length, weight, and aggressiveness (how much of the blade is exposed). Popular choices include the Merkur 34c Safety Razor for beginners and the Rockwell R1 Safety Razor for a balance of quality and affordability.

If you are not quite ready to take the plunge, why not try a Leaf Shave razor? The multi-blade without plastic, making it a sustainable and eco-friendly way of wet shaving.

Which shaving brush is best?

Shaving Brush | Agent Shave | Wet Shaving Supplies UK

A good shaving brush is the key to an outstanding shave! Not only is the shaving brush effective for applying shaving soap or cream it acts as an exfoliator. The shaving brush lifts facial hair before a shave, requiring less pressure from the razor.

In traditional wet shaving, the shaving brush is used to work shaving soap into a lather, then applying to the face or neck to be shaved.

Many new shavers ask, which shaving brush is best? Here’s what to look for:

  • Badger Hair Brushes: Known for their superior water retention and softness, they create a luxurious lather.
  • Boar Hair Brushes: Stiffer than badger hair, these brushes offer excellent exfoliation and soften with use.
  • Synthetic Brushes: A great vegan option, synthetic brushes have improved dramatically and can now rival natural hair in performance.

In recent years there has been a resounding shift from shaving brush makers to produce a more environmentally friendly shaving brush, with the quality of synthetic brushes now on a par and in many cases outperforming badger shaving brushes. Many shavers favour a synthetic brush as they find a stiffer brush easier for lathering hard shaving soaps.

Agent Shave we no longer only stock badger brushes and offer a range of synthetic shaving brushes to suit every budget from brands OmegaPhoenix Artisan Accoutrements and Razorock.

What Shaving Soap do I use?

Shaving Soap | Agent Shave | Wet Shaving Supplies Uk

Shaving soap is another key component of wet shaving. Unlike commercial shaving creams, traditional shaving soaps are designed to provide a thick, lubricating lather. Here’s why shaving soap is essential: 

  • Superior Lather: A good shaving soap creates a rich, protective lather that cushions the skin. 
  • Skin Benefits: Many shaving soaps contain natural ingredients that nourish and moisturise the skin. 
  • Variety of Scents: From classic sandalwood to refreshing eucalyptus, there’s a scent to suit every preference. 

Many traditional shaving soaps and creams are produced in small batches by artisans with a passion for wet shaving. Common shaving gels or foam on the market are full of chemicals, so the artisan soap-makers have striven to produce shaving soaps that are suitable for sensitive skin, protects and moisturises.

The luxurious, voluminous lather these shaving soaps produce is a joy in itself – with long lasting scents, making shaving a pleasure and most certainly not a chore!

To use shaving soap, you’ll need to load your shaving brush with soap by swirling it on the soap puck. Then, either lather directly on your face or use a shaving bowl to build up a rich, creamy lather.

Additional Tips for a Perfect Wet Shave:

  • Prep your skin: Always start by washing your face with warm water to soften the hair and open up your pores.
  • Use pre-shave oil: This can add an extra layer of lubrication, making the shave smoother and reducing the risk of nicks and cuts. 
  • Maintain shaving hardware: Rinse your safety razor thoroughly after each use, and periodically clean your shaving brush to ensure longevity and optimal performance.

Starting with traditional wet shaving may require an initial investment in quality shaving gear like a safety razor, shaving brush, and shaving soap, but the benefits are well worth it. You'll enjoy a closer shave, less skin irritation, and a more enjoyable shaving experience. Embrace the art of wet shaving and transform your daily routine into a luxurious ritual.

There has never been a better time to start traditional wet shaving, good luck agents – enjoy the journey!