Confessions Of A Shower Shaver

I must confess, I am a shower shaver. I have been shaving in the shower for the last 15 years, and loving it. Despite what anyone may say or think, I believe a shower and a shave to be the perfect marriage.

The steam created and contained in the shower is exactly what the barber is trying to recreate when he lays a hot, steamed towel on your face. However, when the towel is removed, the sudden change in temperature causes the skin to brace slightly and tighten. A similar thing happens when you hop from the shower to the sink for your daily shave. In the shower, the conditions could not be more culminating for achieving a close shave, and the clean-up couldn’t be any more effortless.

In this short article I will look at all the arguments against this practice and hopefully show you how weak they really are. I will also give you an inside peek at my shower shaving station set-up, which I have been tweaking and tricking out for the last 10 years. Hopefully, I may win a few converts by the end of this.

 The Tools

  • Double-Sided Extendable Shaving Mirror (The magnified side is great when you have facial hair and need to pay close attention to detail.)

  • Corner Shower Rack – Find one or build one with multiple shelves and baskets

  • Soap, brushes, mug, scuttle, and whatever else you normally use for your daily shave.

  • A small travel size tube of toothpaste. I use this to polish my mirror with in order to prevent it from fogging up. You could also keep your toothbrush in the shower too and really kill some birds!

 

My Process

  • Upon turning on the shower and getting it up to temp, I fill both my scuttle and shaving mug (which holds the soap). I then plop my brush into one or the other.

  • Then I run the gamut of daily maintenance: Soaping up and shampooing (on days I shampoo). I chase the shampoo with conditioner and leave it in during the shave. I massage the excess conditioner into my moustache and face in preparation for the shave. This aids in softening the bristles even more.

  • Now we begin. I turn the shower to a warm, steady trickle and dump out the water from both the mug and scuttle. Now, I lightly squeeze out my brush (this depends on what soap I am using that day), and begin to load the brush. Next, I return the mug to its proper place on the shaving station and then pick up the scuttle in which I begin to whip up lather. [Lately I have been checking the temperature of the water in order to find out at what point on the thermometer it builds the most lather. I do this for science and the children of the future, I assure you it has nothing to do with OCD.]

  • Once lather is built I use the extendable shaving mirror mounted on the wall opposite my shower head and begin to apply the suds.

  • When my face is fully coated I return the scuttle to the corner rack and grab the razor I will be using that day. I hold the razor under the faucet and wet it thoroughly. In the winter months the razor has its own mug or bowl of hot water that it sits in until it’s time to use. I then fully extend the mirror from the wall. Tip: Keep the mirror against the wall until you are ready to begin the physical act of shaving. This prevents the mirror from fogging up too fast.

  • After my first pass I push the mirror back up against the wall, return the brush to its mug or rack, grab the razor and begin to wet it slightly under the faucet. I grab the scuttle and start to rehydrate and build up the lather again. It’s pretty much rinse and repeat after this.

  • When I am done shaving I turn the shower back on and rinse out my brush, mug, razor, scuttle, and the conditioner out of my hair and stache.

                                             

Shower Shaver Common Misconceptions and Simple Solutions

Wastes Water

  • Turn water to slow trickle or off during shave.

Mirror Fogs

  • Use an extendable, Double sided shaving mirror. Coat and polish w/ toothpaste to prevent fog up.

  • Purchase a fog free mirror.

Cannot Hear The Shave

  • Turn off the shower and notice how much louder the sound of the actual shave now is. The shower’s natural acoustics function like an echo chamber, thus amplifying the sound of the shave. Win.

Razor Can Slip And Fall

  • I have over 30 different safety razors that I have used over the years, modern and vintage and never has a razor once slipped from my grip. Remember, similar unfounded fears keep many a man from ever trying out wet shaving.

Cannot Hear Radio

  • Really? Shower radios have come a long way over the years. You can find a waterproof radio that you can even attach your IPod or IPhone to.

Takes much longer

  • It actually takes much less time. Consider the set-up and clean-up time that is spent when you shave at the sink.

 

All in all, one can think of a million reasons (or maybe just six) why not to give shaving in the shower a try. I challenge any fella reading this right now to humor me and try it for a week. I would love to hear how it worked out and what you think. Happy Really Wet Shaving!

Note From Mantic59: Douglas has written a supplemental article on tricking out a shower shaving set-up on his site, HERE!

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Comments

  1. The Dean says

    Been a shower shaver for many years. Definately saves time and makes cleaning up a lot easier. I also find it much easier to keep my skin perfectly hydrated in the shower than at the sink.

    Your setup is nice. My shower is in my tub, so my corner pole unit is mostly filled with my shower necessities. I find this shelf, in a rear corner of the tub, to be a perfect staging area for my shave (it’s biggger than it looks):
    http://www.amazon.com/OXO-Grips-Press-Corner-Caddy/dp/B007POQ9EA/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1376920296&sr=8-2&keywords=oxo+good+grips+shower

    I also generally prefer face-lathering and I think that makes perfect sense for a shower shaver.

  2. says

    I shower shaved for about the first year of wet shaving, then I transitioned to shaving at the sink. I may give shower shaving another go. My only issue with it was mirror fogging.

    I just purchased Synergy Shaving Soap, from HowToGrowAMustache.com, 2 weeks ago and it is really phenomenal in my opinion. Lots of great artisan products currently available (RazoRock, Barrister & Mann, Tcheon Fung Sing, and Strop Shoppe, etc.) Also a big fan of Dreadnought Luxury Shaving Cream (present in the photos).

      • says

        Thanks Mark, glad you are enjoying it…keep an eye out for the postman! Also, Just finished creating yet another scent, Lime! This was due to very popular demand! I am listening people!

    • says

      Good eye Shaveology, you caught the Dreadnought! Their aftershave gel is really nice too and maybe a more effective delivery system for those using the product for the Decelerine aspect.

  3. Dr. K says

    If you’re concerned about the children of the future, save them some water. Your dismissal of water waste is a bit tenuous (“turn water to slow trickle or off during shave” — how are you going to rinse your blade?). Leaving any faucet at a trickle when you’re not washing or rinsing is a waste of water that I instruct my children to avoid. Leaving the faucet on throughout, or turning on a shower head every time you need to rinse your blade uses far more water than having a shallow pool at the bottom of your sink that you can swish the razor through to rinse between passes. Most people aren’t going to tolerate standing in their shower wet and naked without the water running, however, which makes drying off your body, wrapping up in a body towel, and shaving at the sink more sensible. So just saying you can do it without wasting water doesn’t make it likely that people will in fact follow that advice. If you are going to shave in the shower, the best thing would be to keep the faucet off throughout and to bring an extra bowl in with you to fill with water for the purpose of rinsing your blade (you allude to having such a bowl in the winter, but don’t describe it being used in this fashion). To conserve even more water, turn off the faucet while you apply shampoo and lather soap or body wash to the body. You don’t need that water till it’s time to rinse. One of the arguments for traditional wet shaving is reducing the waste of cartridges. If we are going to tout environmental arguments to promote traditional wet shaving, we should be equally dedicated to water conservation.

    • Dove says

      I suppose this argument is fine for people who are looking to maximize their water conservation. I say, “enjoy your shave in the shower”! I’ve been a shower shaver for years. I’m not conserving water though. I’ve always been one to take VERY long showers. It just made sense to shave while I was in there too. Shave in the shower and conserve water elsewhere.

    • The Dean says

      If your sole concern is saving water, shave with an electric razor. I’m fairly certain I use less water shaving in the shower (with the water trickling) than when I shave at the sink. When I shave at the sink I tend to use a lot of water.

      You say, “One of the arguments for traditional wet shaving is reducing the waste of cartridges. If we are going to tout environmental arguments to promote traditional wet shaving, we should be equally dedicated to water conservation.” Putting aside for a second that conservation isn’t likely the major reason most choose more traditional shaving, there is a lot of room between total waste and total conservation. Based on the discussion at the shaving forums, it seems many men use a blade once or twice before tossing it. That may be more earth-friendly than using a cartridge, but wouldn’t using the blade for 5-6-7 shaves be better? How about 10-20 shaves? Maybe everyone should use a straight razor!

      Are we really going to get into a discussion about what method of shaving is “greener’? For me it is about balance. I find what works best for me, and then do the best job of trying to be sensitive to the environment. For many of us, that is shaving in the shower—with a trickle flow from the shower head.

  4. says

    Thanks Dr. K for the sound advice. Yes a mug is great to rinse your razor in and I should have made that more clear. Thanks for educating everyone in that department. I myself am no stranger to conservation living for the last 17 years in Amherst, Massachusetts.
    -Your lead in however, about my “concern for the children” was a misquote by you and was used in a different context just to be clear-
    Thanks again for raising some awareness and reinforcing what I only danced around.
    Cheers,
    Douglas

  5. says

    Hm my first and only question was about mirror fog. You definitely answered that. As for the toothpaste coating, do you must rub on as thin a layer as possible? I certainly have never heard of this before.

    • Zack says

      I’ve never heard of using toothpaste before either but I know that you can use shaving soap to do the same thing. Just use some left over lather in your brush and wipe off the mirror with a dry towel. It’ll keep the mirror from fogging for about a week.

  6. John says

    Nice article. If I wasn’t such a proponent of a cold water shave (not a cold water shower!) I’d give it a try.

    • says

      Ahh the cold water shave, I had to do that for a few years while teaching in Central America. Cold water is every mans equalizer! :) Maybe these days I am over compensating for those cold shaves of yesteryear!

  7. says

    @Todd, Yes, rub or smear on a thin coat then buff off with a towel. Shaving soap does work fine too! The only fear I have with using shaving soap a lot is the eventual wear and tear the stearic acid in the soap will eventually cause to the adhesive holding the mirror and the gloss coat.
    Try both methods, just remember to give the mirror a good cleaning every few weeks to prevent build up (or the “other fog”).
    I don’t experience much fogging and I assume this is due to the design of the extendable mirror, I can retract it or swivel it out of “fogs way” whenever it’s not in use. I recommend them over mountable shower mirrors…but to each his own! Thanks for the lively comment section folks!

  8. Ole says

    I’ve never heard of the toothpaste trick before… But i can add, that goo from a shaving can, can do the same trick! As so can some car polish! I haven’t tried with shaving soaps or creams yet…

  9. Dave says

    “return the brush to its mug or rack, grab the brush and begin to wet it slightly under the faucet.”

    I’m confused by this. Why put it in the mug if you’re going to just grab it right back out?

  10. Louis Miller says

    I’ve been a shower shaver for many years and I use straight razor. I have velcro attached to the floor and to special shower flip flops for extra traction.

  11. Gail says

    Come across this incredible website and invested in a steam shower and never
    glanced back again, quality content on this website cant say thanks enough

  12. Dylan says

    I have recently taken to shaving in the shower, however I have never used a mirror. I just used my safety razor for the first time and prefer it to my old 5 blade.

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