June 13, 2022 3 min read
When I switched my shave over to a safety razor, badger hair brush, and shaving cream, everything changed. I went from absolutely hating the shave process to really loving it, and looking forward to every shave. But you want to know a secret? I didn’t love it right away! When I first got set up I really struggled with using the brush, and it wasn’t until I finally figure it out that I really started to get great shaves. Let’s go through the mistakes I made, and how you can avoid them and start getting an amazing shave right away!
First, let’s talk a little about what a shaving brush does. Yes, it lathers your cream or soap, but it also exfoliates your skin, softens up your stubble, and lifts it into the lather. The softening allows your razor to glide more smoothly and pull less, making your shave a lot more comfortable. The lifting allows you to get a closer shave without irritating your skin, and helps to prevent ingrown hairs. The lather also helps to keep your skin and hair hydrated, which also aids in the smoothness and comfort of your shave. With all of these factors at play, how you use your shaving brush can absolutely make or break your shave.
It breaks down pretty simply:
Fill your shaving mug with warm/hot water from the tap, but avoid extremely hot water. If you’re boujee, pre-warm your mug, then refresh the water. Plop your brush in, and give it a few minutes to soak up the water. In addition to loading the bristles with water, it also softens them so they don’t break down easily.
Remove the brush from the water, let it drip for a few seconds, and dump your mug. If you’re using a soft cream, gently drip your bristles to get a nickel-sized amount of cream onto the brush. If you’re using a dense cream or soap, gently press your brush into the surface and swirl it around for 10-60 seconds, until it gets frothy and your brush is well loaded with product.
Now, transfer your brush to the mug. Press the brush into the bottom of your vessel, and swirl it for a minute or so. We’re looking for the big bubbles to break down and become a finer foam, and the cream to become a thick, fluffy texture. Often you’ll need to add more water, or more cream/ soap if it becomes soupy. Just take your time, you’ll get a feel for it with practice.
Then, take your fluffy lather on the end of your brush, and press it confidently against your skin. Continue swirling in circles, working across the entire area you intend to shave. Add more lather as needed, and spend 30 seconds or more exfoliating your skin with the brush. This step is important for the comfort and closeness of the shave.
Now, you’re ready to shave! If you’re going slowly at first, don’t be afraid to re-lather if your shaving cream or soap dries out. It happens, and re-lathering is much better than trying to shave with dry lather. If you like to make more than one pass with the razor during the shave, be sure to re-lather before each pass to properly protect your skin.
Once the shave is over, give your brush a thorough rinse, squeeze out excess water gently, and hang it bristles-down to dry. Avoid squeezing or shaking the brush aggressively, and avoid storing it bristles-up; brushes are delicate, and require a little love to last a long time.
If you have more questions about shaving, check out our articles or get in touch for more help!