If you are here, it means you are ready to use a double edged safety razor for the first time. Just like me when I first started, you have no clues on how to use it. For me, I drew my first blood using a DE for the first time. But fear not. I will try my best to give you a walkthrough so you have a good first shave. At least, to share the learning curve, I am in now.
Types of Double Edged Safety Razor
No matter that you got a vintage razor or a modern day built razor, the razor usually falls into this category:
- Butterfly (TTO: Twist to Open)
- This type is the most common type you can find for the new razor
- Two pieces
- This type is consist of two pieces. The handle and the base plate is adjoined. The cap is another part
- Three pieces
- This type is consist of three pieces. They are the handle, the base plate, and the cap.
- This type is actually like TTO but you have an adjustable blade gap and exposure. To adjust the aggressiveness.
Double Edged Safety Razor main point usually about its aggressiveness. The meaning of it is still debatable, but people agreed on these points:
- Blade exposure. The more it is exposed, the more aggressive it is.
- Less protection. It is more likely for you to get irritations, cuts or nicks.
- Closer shaving. It is cutting very close to the skin.
- More efficient. You will do fewer passes to get a closer shave.
- More flexible blade angles.
If you are new to DE safety razor, it is better to a get a mild aggressiveness one like Micro Touch One / Weishi/ Van Der Hagen razor. (They are the same razor with different brand).
You really need to prepare your skin and hair for the shave. This is totally different from using a multi blades disposable razor. You can not rush the process or you will get a bad experience (like I did. Sigh..).
First, you need to clean your face. Use a mild face wash to clean dirt and other contaminants from your face. Yes, you need to wash your face even after last night washing. You might sweat and drool while you sleep. 😀
Second, I really need you to use a hot towel covering your shaving area. The hottest that your skin can take. This will soften your hair and prepare your skin for the battle ahead. Repeat two or three times. Trust me. You will thank me later. (This is the process that I tend to rush or even skipped. Regrettably, a bad move).
Some people will recommend you to use a pre-shave oil. This will add slickness to your face, helping your razor to glide smoothly. There are recipes for homemade pre-shave oil.
Some people also suggested putting mineral oil or a drop of glycerin into the lather. To help the slickness.
Build your lather nicely. If it is still bubbly, whisk some more to get a good foam. But this is also tricky. You do not want it too foamy either. You want a nice creamy lather, not bubbly, not too foamy.
How to use
I will show you how to use with my Micro Touch One. This is a TTO DE safety razor. I hope the steps given are clear enough for you.
First, open the blade container by twisting the bottom of the handle. Insert the blade carefully. You need to hold the blade like this to avoid cutting yourself.
Then you need to learn how to grip when you are using a DE. Do not use pressure when shaving with a Double Edged Safety Razor. Hold them according to the pass you are about to do.
- With The Grain (WTG) pass
- Cross The Grain (XTG) pass
- Against The Grain (ATG) pass. (This pass is not advisable for a first timer)
While you are using the DE Safety Razor, please maintain around 30-degree angle from the skin surface. You may find your own convenient angle, though.
How to maintain
The easiest way to maintain your safety razor is to clean it after every use. Do not let pre-shave oil or shaving cream sit inside it for too long.
Just use hot water and a mild soap. Soak it in for 10-15 minutes. Brush the gunk away. If gunk persisted, repeat the process several times.
People also recommend ultrasonic cleaner. This will use ultrasonic vibration to remove the gunk away. Cautious people will remind you that this method might harm your razor plating.
Your razor will always be used “to cut your skin”. Giving you an open wound. Small, of course. You might know the wound as razor burn. That’s why it is important to regularly sanitize your razor. Alcohol is the easiest way. Boiling your razor is also alright as the razor is made from metal.
You might also want to polish your razor once in a while. But please be careful of your coating. Especially with gold plating. Do not use ammonia base polishing agent.
For moving mechanism (TTO type), usually, you don’t need to put anything. The design was made with no lubricant needed. You may put a drop of mineral oil if you find your mechanism started to stiffen. But before you do that, please soak it with hot water to remove the gunk that prevents the mechanism to work.
Old razor might need a special treatment. (WD-40 for rust removal, soak with hot water and detergent for couple of hours). Check forums for this treatment or ask me. I will try to give you ways to treat your razor.
Ready to use one? Find it at Amazon.