Cold Water Shave
There are some people prefer a cold water shave even though a hot towel is a recommended preparation for a shave.
I am so intrigued about this because I learned that the proper way to shave is to have a warm / hot preparation. The first time I heard about cold water shave I thought to myself what kind of cult is this.
I researched the shaving forums and shaving websites and found that there are actually people who go this route for their routine. And the number is not small.
Jayaruh (aka Jim) started a thread on The Shaving Den about cold water shave. It got me hooked. I will try my next shave with a cold water. BTW, Jim makes great shaving brushes. You should check his works out. Links to his works at the bottom of this article.
Hot / Warm Water Shave
I do enjoy my hot / warm water shave. This is the route that I choose every time. I love the feeling of the warm lather on my face. I always rinse my razor on a bowl of hot water because I love the warm blade on my face.
I love the feeling of warm love on my face. 😀
But I always rinse off and finish my shave with a cold water splash. My skin kind of demands it. I feel like my skin is always burning a bit after every shave. Yes, even with a new blade and with the lightest touch on my skin. The cold water puts the flame out.
Cold Water Shave
The cold water finishing that I experienced is the one that made up my mind to try a total cold water shave. (Of course, after reading all the subjects on it, too).
But the main reason why I try shaving with a cold water is I can not get my chin area clean without a razor burn. It seems while warm water makes my whiskers soft it also makes my skin too soft. I couldn’t get my skin area stretch enough. Or I couldn’t get a proper angle. It is a trick that I yet have to master.
Using Alum, I always have a sting there. My aftershave also confirms it every time.
So I decided to give a cold water shave a go.
The Experience of Cold Water Shave
The feeling was totally different than a warm water shave. The preparation was so easy and minimal
I only grabbed my brush, my Gillette slim adjustable safety razor, and my shaving cream. The water in my shower is always cool and sometimes too cold for me. So I didn’t prepare ice cubes as some other cold water shavers suggested.
I dipped my synthetic shaving brush to a bowl of cold water and shook it twice to get rid of excess water. Gave it a swirl on the shaving cream and face lathered. Amazingly the lather was rich and a bit watery. Not drippy but just right watery. It made me realized that I made lather too dry all this time. The lather was slippery. It was the best lather that I ever made so far.
Oh.. and the cold lather foam was AMAZING. Even though I said I prefer warm love, I can safely say that I fall in love with the cold water shave.
The cold touch of the lather was so cooling. The cool comfort that soothed my face after a long hot day was totally acceptable.
Now came the shaving part. I already soaked my razor in the cold water while I was face lathering. It was a bit of a shock to finally met with the cold blade. Somehow I related that cold blade feeling with some horror movies. Can’t name the movies but I can guarantee it’s not a Sweeney Todd feeling, though.
After I overcame my shock, I continued with the shave. Mind you this was the 5th use of this blade. I expected that the blade would perform a bit lousy. I usually throw away a blade after 3 uses. I have been trying to see how long a blade can go. The standard of measurement, of course, is by me and myself alone. Your experience may differ.
I expected the shave would be a bit horrendous It was an “old” blade after all. But, hey, the blade just cut the hair easily with a slightly louder feedback. I was astonished. It was the best shaving experience so far.
I now can safely say that I totally mad in love with cold water shaving. I might just add some ice cubes to my routine to make it even colder.
My skin had fewer razor burns. Alum and aftershave gave less feedback when I used them. My analysis was warm or hot water makes the skin tender while cold water makes it taut, it also stiffens the whiskers making them easier to slice clean off.
So this is my conclusion:
- It soothes irritation. I didn’t feel any irritation while shaving with an “old” blade.
- The cool / cold water is nice and refreshing. I welcome the feeling anytime.
- The comfort and performance of shaving with a cold water is at par with hot water shaving.
- People who are having trouble with irritation should try this. It’s a quick go or no go test and doesn’t cost a dime.
As always YMMV (Your mileage may vary). If you are new to wet shaving, I really suggest you try the hot water first. Most barbers use this method and they have regular customers for a reason. After a while, you may want to try a cold water shave. It will give you a full perspective of how shaving should be done.
Link to shaving with a cold water thread in The Shave Den is here.
Link to Jayaruh’s work of art is here.
Please let me know if you have tried cold water shave or willing to give it a try. Use the comment feature down below.