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  • Writer's pictureHinton Magazine

Wet Shaving: The Art and Science of Traditional Grooming for Men

In an age where electric razors and disposable blades have become the norm, wet shaving stands as a tribute to a bygone era of grooming. For many men, the act of wet shaving with a safety razor or straight razor is not just a morning routine but an art form. It's a practice that demands skill, precision, and a deep understanding of various elements like blade angles, types of razors, and the role of shaving soaps and creams. This article aims to provide an in-depth guide to the world of wet shaving, a tradition that combines the finesse of craftsmanship with the science of skincare.

Wet Shave

The Basics: What is Wet Shaving?

Wet shaving is a traditional method of shaving that involves the use of water, shaving soap or cream, a brush, and a safety or straight razor. Unlike dry shaving, which is often done quickly with an electric razor, wet shaving is a more deliberate process that aims to reduce skin irritation and provide a closer shave.

Types of Razors

  • Safety Razors: These razors feature a protective guard that limits the exposure of the blade, making it a safer option for beginners.

  • Straight Razors: Also known as cut-throat razors, these offer a single, sharp blade and require a steady hand and precise technique.

The Artistry: Blade Angles and Technique

Mastering the art of wet shaving involves understanding the nuances of blade angles and shaving techniques.

Blade Angles

  • Safety Razors: A blade angle of 30-45 degrees is generally recommended for safety razors.

  • Straight Razors: A more acute angle of about 20-30 degrees is ideal for straight razors.


  • With the Grain: Shaving in the direction of hair growth is less irritating to the skin.

  • Against the Grain: For a closer shave, some experienced wet shavers go against the grain, but this requires skill to avoid nicks and cuts.

The Science: Shaving Soaps and Creams

The choice of shaving soap or cream plays a crucial role in the quality of your shave. These products serve to lubricate the skin and soften the hair, making it easier for the blade to glide.

Types of Shaving Soaps and Creams

  • Tallow-Based: Made from animal fats, these soaps offer excellent lubrication and are favoured by traditionalists.

  • Glycerin-Based: These are plant-based options that are often better for sensitive skin.


  • Brush: Using a shaving brush helps to lift the facial hair and evenly distribute the soap or cream.

  • Fingers: Some men prefer to apply shaving cream with their fingers, especially if the product has a softer consistency.

The Community: A Brotherhood of Wet Shavers

Wet shaving has a passionate community of enthusiasts who share tips, reviews, and tutorials. From online forums to YouTube channels, there are plenty of resources for both beginners and veterans to learn and improve their wet shaving skills.

Wet shaving is more than just a method of hair removal; it's a ritual that pays homage to a traditional form of male grooming. It offers a moment of mindfulness, a touch of luxury, and the satisfaction of mastering a skill. So, the next time you pick up that razor, remember: you're not just shaving; you're participating in an age-old art form that celebrates the essence of masculine elegance.

Whether you're new to wet shaving or looking to refine your technique, this guide serves as a comprehensive resource to help you achieve the perfect shave.


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