Wet Shaving for women appears to be having a comeback, as with many other things these days, traditions from earlier eras are being reintroduced to our lives for a variety of reasons ranging from economic to emotional. Thankfully, these comebacks are often accompanied by thoughtful innovation as well. We observe, study, and refine these age old practices, breathing new life into them, while preserving best practices. The art of shaving is no exception. There is something immediately nostalgic about it.
To be clear, wet shaving is simply defined as the act of shaving your skin while wet. And for women, most of us are doing this already. But the modern permutation of wet shaving, for women at least, I think is sorely lacking. My “way” of shaving before I discovered this more traditional approach was to take a long shower so that my skin was warm enough to shave with as little incident as possible. I even gave up on shaving creams because they just left me feeling like I had a residue on my skin and certainly didn’t help me get a better shave. I also noticed more irritation when I used any kind of “shaving” gel, cream, soap I would buy in the store. I don’t wax because I think it’s painful and expensive and I’d have to let my hair grow to a certain length before I could get to the spa anyway. I’m always looking for value both with time and money. If I can get a closer, better shave that does not irritate my skin, costs less, and is more fun I’m down. I began traditional wet shaving as a result of my boyfriend who has been wet shaving for a long time. He noticed me come home one day with a big plastic package of disposable razors I purchased at the local drug store. I had been trying to save money, so I chose these razors over my usual Venus refills because they were cheaper, and looked like they might last longer than one use, which turned out to be a foolish fantasy. My boyfriend commented on how much packaging was involved with these pink, plastic razors and he was right, I admit it (I know, one point for the guys, but only one). So, just because they were cheaper, there was still a high cost of waste, and frankly, the refill cartridges for these modern women’s razors are not very low on packaging either, and they are very expensive when compared to the refills for a single double edged safety razor. So, after some more encouragement, and all the tools I needed within reach, I actually tried wet shaving. It took a little getting used to, but I loved it right from the start, and the results were amazing. But even with all of this encouragement, and enjoyment, I felt like an outsider, like I was participating in some time honored activity reserved only for men. It sounds silly when I think about it now, but it’s true that I found it a little odd, until I discovered other women were doing it too. History tells us that a traditional shave with a blade, brush, and thick lathery shaving soap is something for men, sitting in a chair, in a barbershop…NO GIRLS ALLOWED. So I had to get over it and go for it. Since beginning this adventure I have seen a variety of benefits that have come my way as a result. I’m a happy camper, and so are the other women wet shavers out there.
Benefits of Wet Shaving
Skin Health – Wet shaving with a good kokum butter shaving soap actually helps to moisturize and protect your skin. You’ll have less razor burn, and fewer bumps and cuts. Also, if you are using a natural shaving soap, if you do happen to cut yourself, you don’t run the risk of absorbing any strange chemicals found in commercial creams and soaps, a personal plus in my book.
Economic Health – I use a single double edged blade safety razor. It gives me a close shave and the blade is high quality, sharp, and much less expensive and bulky than anything you’ll find in the store. ·
Environmental Health – Traditional wet shaving, even with a safety razor that has disposable blades produces much less waste than the plastic products you’ll find in the drug store. A good quality safety razor will last you a long time, and a package of blades is usually packaged in a modest wrapping of paper and a tiny paperboard box. ·
Enjoyment – Wet Shaving is actually fun. I personally love “playing” with the shaving soap and swirling up a thick lather. It’s sort of like taking a bubble bath. Applying lather with a shaving brush also feels great. Aside from these benefits listed above, traditional wet shaving does not take any more time than regular shaving, and your skin is already more moisturized if you use a proper shaving soap. Cleaning the razor is also easier too. I’ll give you my recommendations for razors that work great and keep you safe.
The basic tools needed for a good wet shave are listed below. And, there is certainly a lot to say for buying quality products. Many of these items will last you a long time if you invest in something well made. · Safety Razor – Really, this is the only way to go for shaving legs and underarms, straight blades are better left to the pros. You will also need replacement blades which will run you about ten dollars for 100! · Shaving Soap – Probably a topic riddled with varying viewpoints, I like shaving SOAP, not cream. I like a soap that can work up a good thick stable lather. You’ll need a container of some sort to put the soap in to build and hold lather, so shaving soaps that come already packaged in bowls are a good deal. · Shaving Brush – The point of a shaving brush is to properly build lather by swirling the brush in the bowl. You fist heat up the brush by soaking it in hot water for several minutes to “charge” it. Then you use the brush to both create and apply the lather to your skin. You can easily build mountains of lather with a good brush. The traditional type brush is made of badger hair, but vegan varieties are also available.
How to Make it Work For You
What I typically do is wait to shave until the end of my shower. Since I do not need a mirror to shave my legs, shaving in the shower is most convenient. It is also fine to take a bath and shave, anything that gets your skin warm and moist will make the process faster and easier. Since I am usually trying to not take forever in the shower I heat up my brush in some hot water (although you can get away without doing this, you will lose some lathering), lather, apply, and shave. The whole process is simple. One big upside to using a single blade razor is ease of cleaning. It is flawlessly simple to keep your blade clean. This is a huge advantage for someone like me who clogs multi-blade razors just by looking at them. The idea is that you can take as little or as much time as you like with a traditional wet shave, and it can be a very relaxing, enjoyable experience with a multitude of benefits. It’s true that single blade razors do take a little getting used to but the closeness of the shave without skin irritation cannot be beat. So, ladies, don’t be intimidated by the traditional wet shave any longer! Forget the cultural conditioning that it’s only for guys and allow yourself to take advantage of this timeless art and realize wet shaving for women just makes sense while saving cents.
I would be really interested in hearing about your own experiences in the realm of wet shaving so please leave your stories below…Now ladies I give you full permission to get your lather ON!
Here are some great starter kits to get you started! Lady Wet Shaving Kits
Amelia Goodwin – Contributing writer