The Ultimate Guide to a Safety Razor for Beginners
If you want to switch to a safety razor, you're in the right place. Before we start, if you're worried that safety razors might be too complicated, don't fret! With great power comes great responsibility - and of course, an irresistibly smooth face!
This guide will walk you through everything you need to know about using a safety razor, from choosing the right one for your needs to getting the perfect shave. Keep reading to learn more about safety razors for beginners. After reading this article, you'll be a boss at using a safety razor.
Are You Ready to Make the Switch to a Safety Razor?
If you're considering a switch, you may already know the benefits of using a safety razor. Just in case you're still on the fence, let's quickly review all the awesome perks of a safety razor that'll leave your face feeling smooth and you feeling confident.
Safety Razors Are Eco-friendly
Safety razors use plastic-free disposable razor blades. Switching to a safety razor (from a plastic cartridge razor) is an excellent way to reduce your environmental footprint and save money in the long run.
Budget-friendly: Save Some Serious Cash
Disposable safety razor blades are much more affordable than cartridge razors (a few cents compared to a few dollars- a big difference in the long run!). Plus, you won't need to buy new cartridges or handles every few weeks.
Ditch the Razor Burn from Disposable Razors
Safety razors also provide a much closer shave than other razors, so you'll get a smooth and comfortable shave every time, even if you have sensitive skin. With the proper technique, you can even prevent razor burns and ingrown hairs (alleluia!).
A Personalized Experience from Start to Finish
Unlike a cartridge razor with plastic disposable blades, you can customize your shave to the tiniest detail with a safety razor. You can make shaving with a safety razor your own, from the razor blade type and razor head to the razor features and shaving technique.
Feel and Look Great
Using a safety razor will make you feel like a true old-school individual straight out of a vintage shaving commercial.
But wait, are there any downsides to a safety razor?
We get it. Throwing out all the sunshiney benefits without a reality check can make you skeptical. So what's the catch? Well, safety razors require a bit more skill and technique to master. You'll need to pay attention to the angle of your razor blade and level of pressure, or you might end up with cuts or skin irritation like razor burn (just like you get with cartridge razors).
But hey, don't let that discourage you! After all, mastering a new skill is always rewarding, and you might even impress your friends with your mad safety razor skills.
If you often travel via airplane, another downside of a safety razor is that you won't be able to throw it in your carry-on like you can with cartridge razors. So if you're a jet-setter, make sure to throw it into your checked bag.
How to Choose the Right Safety Razor: For Beginners
If you've never used a safety razor before, there are some key factors to consider when choosing the best safety razor for your needs. Here are some of the most important things to think about:
Razor Blade Type
There are either double-edge safety razors or single-edged safety razors on the market. Each type has pros and cons, so you'll want to choose the best option.
A double edge razor is the best safety razor for beginners because it offers more versatility and is easier to use (i.e., less time rinsing and more shaving). Most safety razors on the market are double-edge safety razors, so you will have some great options to choose from.
The handle length of a safety razor can be short, long, adjustable, or in the middle. The handle should be comfortable and easy to grip. For a beginner, look for a razor with a long enough handle to hold it comfortably. Shorter handles can feel aggressive for a new user.
In addition to handles, safety razors can also have an adjustable razor head. The best adjustable safety razor for seasoned users will vary depending on personal preference.
Weight and Balance
Safety razors come in a variety of weights. It's essential to find a razor that feels balanced when you hold it in your hands; this will help you get a more precise shave. Most beginners, and seasoned users, love a heavier razor that makes it easier (and safer) to control pressure on the skin. The razor's weight can feel powerful but is also an excellent reminder to beginners to proceed with caution.
Safety razors can range in price from very affordable to quite expensive, so you'll want to evaluate your budget before making a purchase. If you're new to safety razors, you can find a high-quality budget-friendly option to make sure you like using them before getting too crazy with a splurge.
You don't need to break the bank to start using a safety razor. However, once you're hooked, feel free to indulge in fun perks like a luxurious brass handle to match your suave shaving style.
Open vs. Closed Combs
Even with a safety razor, you can choose how close the shave truly is. An open comb is a type of safety razor with larger spaces between the comb's teeth, whereas a closed comb has smaller, more tightly packed teeth (more like grooves).
The open comb safety razor is typically best for those with thick and coarse hair, while the closed comb safety razors are ideal for those with finer hair or just starting to reduce the risk of cuts. An open-comb razor head style is best for experienced users, while a closed comb is great for all experience levels.
Adjustable vs. Fixed Handle
A fixed handle cannot be adjusted, just as it is called, while adjustable razors can be adjusted to different lengths. An adjustable safety razor handle (with adjustable handle length) is great for those who like to customize their shave; it allows you to adjust the razor's length based on how aggressive of a shave is desired.
Since a beginner should focus primarily on technique, the fixed-handle safety razor is an excellent choice. You want to avoid too many variables when trying to perfect your shave. It'd be like learning to ride a bike in a snowstorm- no, thank you.
Razor Head Design
Inevitably, you will need to change your razor blades every couple of shaves. The two primary designs for swapping a razor blade include a butterfly safety razor (with a simple clip on top) or a standard two-piece safety razor with a screw on top. Both are relatively easy to use, with the butterfly clip being slightly less complicated.
The Best Safety Razor for Beginners
Based on the criteria discussed above, you should know what type of razor is best for you as a beginner. Ultimately, you'll likely want your first safety razor to be a double-edge safety razor with a longer handle, a closed comb, and a well-balanced (heavier) one for the most comfortable shave.
If you're looking for an all-around excellent safety razor for beginners, a best-selling crowd-pleaser is the Yaqi Classic double-edge safety razor. Other popular brands that offer great razors include Rockwell, Merkur, and Henson.
For other beginner-friendly crowd favorites, see our complete list of the best safety razors for beginners- including different razor head styles, the best adjustable safety razors, single-edge safety razors, closed comb razors, open comb razors, and more.
How to Use a Safety Razor: Step-by-Step Guide
Once you've selected your perfect safety razor, it's time to implement it. Here are some tips to help you get a great shave every time with your new double edge razor:
Prep Your Skin
Before you start, take a hot shower or wash your face with warm water to open up the pores on your skin and soften the hair follicles. This will make it easier to get a close shave without irritation.
Apply Shaving Cream
Apply a generous amount of high-quality shaving cream to your face, then let it sit for a few moments. This will provide lubrication and help protect your skin from unnecessary blade irritation that leaves you feeling like a teenager just earning the rope of shaving.
Adjust the Angle
To get a close shave without nicks or irritation, you'll need to adjust the angle of the razor so that it's at a 30-degree angle when in contact with your skin. This is a forgiving angle to start with and will provide a very mild shave.
Use Short Strokes
Start at the side of your face and use short, light strokes to shave with the grain (in the direction your hair grows). Reapply more cream strokes if needed.
When you're finished shaving, rinse with colder water to close up your pores and refresh your skin.
Clean and Store
Finally, remember to clean and dry your razor after every use. This will help keep it in top condition and prevent rust or corrosion. A dirty razor can lead to infection, plus it just looks gross.
Was your first experience with a safety razor a little intimidating? Probably, but that's okay. Great things take time. As they say, Rome wasn't built in a day. And remember, safety razors may take a bit of practice to master, but once you get the hang of it, you'll enjoy a smooth shave every time!
Safety Razor Tips and Tricks for Beginners
Here are some tips from our experts to help you feel confident and calm as you experiment with your new shaving venture. With time, you'll be able to do it with your eyes closed and reach Deadpool status.
Start with a Light Touch
You don't need to press too hard; the razor's weight is enough to do its job. A well designed safety razor just needs a little guidance from your hands, and nothing more.
Practice Your Wet-Shaving Technique
When using a safety razor, you should apply a lubricant (shaving cream, oil, or gel) to your skin and let it sit for a few moments before beginning. Lubrication improves most things in life, and your skin will thank you.
Get the Good Stuff for Traditional Wet Shaving
Make sure you are using high-quality shaving cream, soap or gel designed for safety razors. This will provide better lubrication and protection for your skin.
Use a Shaving Brush
If you're using a traditional shaving cream, try using a wet shaving brush to apply it. This will ensure even coverage and help lift the hairs for an easier cut (great for anyone new to wet shaving). Plus, it'll help you feel like a total pro when shaving (even if you're secretly sweaty).
Replace Your Razor Blades Regularly
Depending on how often you shave, replace your safety razor blade every two or three uses (maybe slightly less for a double edge razor). The sharper the blade, the better "the ride" on your face.
Take Your Time
Don't rush the shave; this can cause nicks and irritation. Instead, take your time and be mindful of each stroke.
Keep Your Razor Squeaky Clean
Rinse your safety razor after every use to prevent rust or corrosion. Plus, make sure you deep-clean your razor at least once a month to prevent rust and increase the overall longevity.
Experiment with Blade Brands
Try different types and brands of blades to find one that you like. Many beginner kits for wet shavers will include a variety of styles to help you zero in on a favorite.
Safety Razor FAQ
Do you still have a few burning questions before switching from a cartridge razor to a double edge safety razor? Let's review some commonly asked questions.
Are safety razors good for beginners?
Yes! Safety razors are an excellent tool for any level of shaver looking to get a better shave, even with sensitive skin. As mentioned, the best safety razors for beginners are double-edge safety razors (that have a double edge blade).
Which razor is best for shaving for beginners?
There are many great safety razors on the market when considering the best beginner safety razors. We recommend looking at the specs and reading reviews to make a personalized choice.
Our personal favorite is the Yaqi Classic double-edge safety razor is an excellent option for beginners looking to up-level their wet shaving experience (a great mild safety razor). This double edge razor is like buying a Toyota sedan- reliable and does the job without the fluff.
How do you shave with a safety razor for beginners?
Follow your step-by-step guide and tips above, and you'll be well on your way to expert-level wet shaving with a double-edge razor (or single if you choose).
Do you wet a safety razor?
Yes. Wet shaving is highly recommended when using safety razors. Never use a razor without lubrication, just as you would never ride a bike with a dry chain; it'll end in cursing and broken parts.
What is the mildest safety razor?
Choose any of our recommended specs from this article for a mild shave. As a reminder, we recommend double-edge blades, a closed comb with a safety bar, and a long balanced handle for achieving a mild shave that is still super effective.
Are safety razors better for your skin?
Yes. Safety razors are designed to provide a closer shave while reducing irritation and razor burn. The sharp blades also help reduce ingrown hairs, giving you a smooth shave every time!
Do you have to shave twice with a safety razor?
No. With a safety razor and the proper technique, you can get a close and comfortable shave with just one pass. However, make multiple passes in different directions for an ultra-close shave.
Is it easy to care for a safety razor?
Safety razors are super easy to keep in good condition. Make sure to rinse your razor after every use, deep-clean it once a month, and replace the blade regularly. With proper care, your safety razor will last you for years!
How do I change the razor blade?
Most safety razors, whether a closed comb safety razor or open comb, are designed with a razor head that unscrews to let you swap out the blades. Turn the razor head counterclockwise until it comes off, then slip out the old blade and put in a new one. Simple as that!
If your razor head has a butterfly clip, it'll be even easier to swap your razor blade with the flick of a thumb- whether you have singe or double edge razors. Butterfly razors make great beginner safety razors for this reason. If only everything in life was that easy (sigh).
What is a three-piece safety razor?
A three-piece safety razor consists of a handle, a base, and a razor head. The head contains the blade, and the base screws onto the handle. A safety razor can also come in one or two pieces. The three-piece design often comes with an adjustable razor head (open comb and closed comb razor) options to personalize your shave- making it more of an aggressive shave for expert safety razor users.
For beginners, stick with a basic one or two-piece design and a fixed blade as we’ve highlighted above.
How do safety razors compare to electric razors?
Safety razors are known for providing a very close shave, while electric razors are known for being faster. An electric razor is a mild razor and can be less intimidating but just don’t over the same great shave that a razor glide can offer (not even close). Don’t chicken out and get an electric razor instead, get a quality safety razor- such as Yaqi or Henson razors- that’ll give you the best shave out there.
Safety Razor Use Made Easy
Your first safety razor is waiting. Like anything worth doing, using a safety razor can take some practice. But once you get the hang of it, your skin will thank you for the close and irritation-free shave. We know you can reach black belt shaving status in no time, and you'll never look back.
By following our tips, tricks, and FAQs for beginners, you'll be well on mastering this traditional shaving tool.