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Safety razors are the safe answer to the dangerous straight-edge razor. They function much like a straight-edge razor would, except the safety razor is made to protect the shaver from nicks, cuts and other unnecessary injuries. Safety razors can come in a variety of styles, including double and single blade, adjustable, "classic sandwich" and Twist to Open (TTO). Regardless of the type of razor you choose, following these basic tips can help you get the most of your shaving and safety razor.
First of all, provide a smooth surface to shave. Young men don't usually have to worry about this because their skin is tight, but older men should consider stretching the skin with their fingers or holding the skin tight with their facial muscles while shaving. This allows the safety razor a smooth area on which to work properly.
Apply minimal pressure. Safety razors aren't your usual plastic, bargain bin razors. They're quality-designed and don't need a lot of pressure to function. In fact, gently handling a safety razor so that it simply glides across the skin instead of dragging on it is what should be aimed for.
It is a good idea to modify your technique according to your beard or mustache length. Let hair length determine how you approach shaving. If you have short and coarse hair, shave with short strokes. If you have minimal, fine or thin hair, use long and smooth strokes.
In addition, pay attention to angles. The angle at which you hold your safety razor can mean the difference between a successful shave and one that hurts. Make sure that the blade is at a 30° angle from your skin while shaving. Adjust the razor's handle to achieve the proper degree angle. Skin areas that aren't flat or curve naturally, such as chins, should be approached carefully and with shorter strokes than usual.
Maintain the equipment. Generally, you should expect to change shaving blades every week. While you may technically be able to use razors longer than a week, the quality of the blade and the closeness of the shave will suffer. Changing blades regularly also helps protect against irritation and other skin problems that may arise from using an old blade.
Be prepared to devote time to perfecting the technique. Like with most other things, practice makes perfect. Avoid nicks and cuts by always allowing the razor's safety bar to touch your skin before shaving. Your first few attempts at using a safety razor may result in a few mistakes, but that shouldn't stop you from continuing to use it. With proper practice and maintenance of the razor, you'll become an expert at shaving with safety razors in no time.
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