How To Shave with a Safety Razor

The four main stages of shaving to perfection are:

  • Preparation
  • Lathering up
  • Shaving
  • Post-shave care


When hair absorbs warm water it becomes softer and easier to shave and with warmth the skin and facial muscles become relaxed, making shaving so much easier and pleasurable.

It’s important the water is warm!

Lathering Up

If you haven’t yet purchased a badger or synthetic hair shaving brush and shaving soap, you really need to, to get the best shaves!

Now it’s a question of getting the most from them. The soap can be applied directly to the brush from the tin, or put in a shaving bowl to make a lather by rubbing vigorously with a shaving brush,wet the brush in warm water and rub the brush fairly vigorously for at least 20 seconds over the soap to ensure you obtain a good lather. The Soap will help to keep the skin and beard warm and wet during the shave.

ARC soaps also contain glycerine and castor oil.  These help the razor to glide over the skin.


  • Soak the brush in warm (not hot) water for 20-30 seconds to soften the bristles and let the brush absorb water and heat
  • Lather up by brushing vigorously over the soap
  • Paint the lather onto your face and beard ensuring all areas are well covered
  • Don’t press too hard and splay the hair of the brush, this will damage the knot

Safety Razor Shaving

  • Always use a sharp blade (you should get 7 to 10 comfortable shaves from a good double edge blade)
  • Use short, light strokes of 25-35mm at a time and shave at an angle of around 30° to the face. Do not apply pressure, let the weight of the razor do the work.

When starting out, hold the razor between thumb and forefinger only, this will ensure you don’t apply pressure

  • A safety razor doesn’t have a head that swivels so you have to adjust the shaving angle as you shave to maintain a 30° angle to the skin
  • Frequently swish your razor in warm water to stop the blade from clogging up

Shaving With and Against The Growth of your Hair:

Start shaving from the top of the cheeks, going with the direction of hair growth or ‘grain’ to the edge of your jaw-line in long, even strokes. 

Shave under your chin and your neck from the bottom of your neck upwards, with the grain, to prevent razor burn and ingrown hairs. You may find that when shaving your chin you have to shave across the grain. Use short strokes for chin and jawline.

Try pulling your skin gently with your free hand for a closer shave.

To shave your upper lip, stretch it over your front teeth to tighten the skin, and shave downwards. Feel with your fingers to find any remaining stubble.

Re-lather your face, this time using long gentle strokes and keeping the skin semi-taut, carefully shave against the grain.

Do not apply too much pressure with the razor.

Again, use your fingers to feel for remaining stubble – repeat the process if you have to, but always keep your face lathered and your blade clean.

If you get the odd weeper of blood, a Styptic Pencil or Match will take care of that.

Finishing The Shave

  • Rinse your face with warm water to remove all traces of shaving cream and bristles
  • Rinse and dry your razor and shaving brush and flick it dry before hanging upside down in its holder.

Post Shave

A great wet shave exfoliates, removes dead skin and cleanses the face and leaves your skin feeling great.   Now that your face is smooth and clean it’s time to look after your skin.

Apply a small amount of our Moisturiser or Post Shave Balm and if the sun is out, apply sun-block. 



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