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Wet Shaving 101: Cultivating Curiosity For The New Traditional Wet Shaver

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[This article was jointly written by Otto Wright with additional input from Mantic59.]

A few weeks ago I wrote about helpful personality traits for the new wet shaver. I promised to explore each element individually so I am starting off with curiosity.

Embarking on the journey of traditional wet shaving is not merely about achieving a close shave; it’s a voyage rich in history, technique, and sensory experience. To cultivate curiosity in this time-honored practice, one must delve into its intricacies with patience, exploration, and a willingness to learn. Here is a roadmap for newcomers, outlining the essential steps for cultivating curiosity in traditional wet shaving. 

Key Takeaways

Cultivating curiosity for traditional wet shaving can be an enjoyable journey. Here’s a summary to help you get started:

  • Begin by learning about the history and techniques of traditional wet shaving. Explore resources such as books, online forums, and videos to understand the art and science behind it and to ask questions..
  • Invest in a quality safety razor, shaving brush, shaving soap or cream, and aftershave to pique your interest and motivate you to learn more.
  • Explore a variety of shaving soaps, creams, and aftershaves to find what works best for your skin. Experimenting with different scents and formulations can add an element of excitement to your shaving routine.
  • Traditional wet shaving is not just about achieving a close shave; it’s also about the experience and ritual. Take the time to appreciate the craftsmanship of artisan shaving products and the beauty of traditional shaving techniques.
  • Seek out tutorials, workshops, or mentorship opportunities from experienced wet shavers. Learning from those who have mastered the craft can provide valuable insights and inspiration for your own journey.
  • Keep a shaving journal to track your experiences, preferences, and observations. Documenting your progress can help you reflect on your journey and identify areas for improvement.


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Researching the history and techniques of traditional wet shaving is a foundational step that not only provides context but also sparks curiosity and appreciation for the craft. Delving into the origins of wet shaving unveils centuries-old practices that have been refined and passed down through generations. Understanding the evolution of razors, shaving soaps, and techniques offers insights into the artistry and ingenuity behind the ritual. From the straight razors of ancient civilizations to the safety razors popularized in the early 20th century, exploring the historical timeline of shaving tools reveals a rich tapestry of cultural significance and technological innovation.

Moreover, studying the techniques employed by barbers and shaving enthusiasts of yesteryears sheds light on the precision and skill required to achieve a smooth, irritation-free shave. By immersing yourself in the history and techniques of traditional wet shaving, you can lay the groundwork for a deeper appreciation and curiosity that will fuel your journey forward.

Start with the Basics

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Starting with the basics of traditional wet shaving involves acquiring essential tools and products that form the cornerstone of the practice. Investing in quality safety razors, shaving brushes, shaving soaps or creams, and aftershaves (without going overboard of course) not only provides the necessary equipment for a comfortable shave but also introduces newcomers to the craftsmanship and artistry inherent in traditional wet shaving. 

Each tool has its purpose and contributes to the overall experience: the safety razor offers precision and control, the shaving brush creates a luxurious lather, and the shaving soap or cream nourishes the skin while facilitating a smooth glide of the razor. As beginners familiarize themselves with these fundamental elements, they begin to appreciate the attention to detail and the sensory pleasures associated with each aspect of the shaving ritual. Moreover, starting with the basics allows enthusiasts to develop a solid foundation upon which they can build their skills and explore the vast world of traditional wet shaving techniques and products.

Practice Patience

man shaving in bathroom

Practicing patience is an essential aspect of embracing traditional wet shaving as a journey rather than just a routine. Unlike modern shaving methods, which often prioritize speed and convenience, traditional wet shaving requires a slower, more deliberate approach. 

As beginners embark on this path, they must understand that mastery takes time and patience. Initially, there may be challenges, such as nicks, razor burn, or difficulty achieving a close shave. However, each shave presents an opportunity for learning and improvement. By patiently experimenting with different techniques, angles, and products, enthusiasts gradually refine their skills and develop a deeper understanding of what works best for their unique skin and preferences. 

Moreover, embracing patience allows individuals to savor the ritualistic aspect of traditional wet shaving—the mindfulness of lathering the soap, the gentle strokes of the razor, and the soothing post-shave routine—all of which contribute to a more fulfilling and enjoyable grooming experience. As they cultivate patience, beginners not only enhance their shaving proficiency but also cultivate a deeper appreciation for the art and tradition of wet shaving.

Experiment with Different Products


Experimenting with different products is a delightful aspect of the traditional wet shaving journey, offering enthusiasts a chance to explore a wide array of scents, formulations, and brands. Whether it’s sampling artisanal shaving soaps handcrafted with premium ingredients or trying out classic shaving creams known for their luxurious lather, each product brings its own unique sensory experience to the shaving ritual. 

Enthusiasts can indulge in the aromatic profiles of various shaving creams and soaps, ranging from earthy sandalwood to zesty citrus, allowing them to tailor their shaving experience to their personal preferences. Additionally, experimenting with different formulations, such as tallow-based or vegan-friendly soaps, enables individuals to discover which ingredients work best for their skin type, whether it’s providing extra hydration or soothing sensitive skin. 

Furthermore, exploring different brands and artisanal offerings opens the door to discovering hidden gems and supporting small businesses within the wet shaving community. Through experimentation, beginners not only enhance their shaving routine but also deepen their appreciation for the craftsmanship and diversity found within the world of traditional wet shaving products.

Join a Community 

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Joining a community of traditional wet shavers is a rewarding step that fosters camaraderie, learning, and shared passion. Online forums, social media groups, and local shaving clubs provide platforms for enthusiasts to connect with like-minded individuals, exchange knowledge, and seek advice. 

Engaging with such communities allows beginners to tap into a wealth of collective wisdom, gaining insights from experienced wet shavers and benefiting from their tips, recommendations, and troubleshooting strategies. Whether it’s discussing favorite shaving products, sharing shaving techniques, or participating in group challenges, these interactions create a sense of belonging and mutual support. 

Moreover, joining a community offers opportunities for enthusiasts to attend meetups, workshops, or shaving events, where they can further immerse themselves in the culture of traditional wet shaving and forge lasting friendships with fellow enthusiasts. By becoming part of a vibrant community, beginners not only accelerate their learning curve but also find encouragement and inspiration to continue their journey with enthusiasm and curiosity.

However, the downside to joining an online forum, particularly a larger one, is the possibility of spam, trolls, and distractions.  Browse a forum for at least several days (or weeks!) before joining or participating to see if the “vibe” of the forum matches your intent and personality.  It may be best to start out with one of the smaller forums first.

Explore the Artistry

razor and blade

Exploring the artistry inherent in traditional wet shaving is a captivating aspect that transcends mere grooming—it’s an opportunity to appreciate craftsmanship, heritage, and sensory indulgence. From intricately designed safety razors to exquisitely scented shaving soaps, every element of the traditional wet shaving ritual embodies a dedication to quality and aesthetics. 

Embracing the artistry of traditional wet shaving encourages enthusiasts to seek out unique, handcrafted products that reflect their personal style and values, fostering a deeper connection to the heritage and traditions of this time-honored grooming ritual. Through this exploration, beginners not only elevate their shaving experience but also gain a newfound appreciation for the artistry and craftsmanship that defines traditional wet shaving.

Document Your Progress

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Keep a shaving journal to track your experiences, preferences, and observations. Documenting your progress can help you reflect on your journey and identify areas for improvement.  Documenting your progress in traditional wet shaving through a dedicated shaving journal is a rewarding practice that offers several benefits. 

By recording your experiences, observations, and preferences, you create a valuable resource that helps track your journey, identify patterns, and measure improvement over time. In your journal, you can note details such as the products used, shaving techniques employed, and the outcome of each shave, including any issues encountered or successes achieved. This systematic approach allows you to pinpoint what works well for your skin and what adjustments may be needed to enhance your shaving routine. 

Additionally, keeping a shaving journal provides an opportunity for reflection and self-assessment, allowing you to celebrate milestones, learn from mistakes, and set goals for future progress. Moreover, documenting your experiences allows you to create a personal narrative of your wet shaving journey, capturing memories, insights, and moments of inspiration along the way. Whether it’s a handwritten journal, a digital document, or a dedicated app, maintaining a shaving journal is a valuable tool that enriches your traditional wet shaving experience and helps you cultivate curiosity and mastery in this time-honored practice.

Embrace the Ritual

older man shaving

Embracing the ritualistic aspect of traditional wet shaving adds depth and significance to the grooming routine, transforming it into a mindful and enriching experience. Unlike hurried modern shaving methods, traditional wet shaving encourages individuals to slow down, savor the moment, and engage their senses fully. 

Each step of the shaving ritual, from preparing the shaving lather to applying the razor strokes, becomes an opportunity for presence and mindfulness. As enthusiasts immerse themselves in the sensory delights of the ritual—the scent of the shaving soap, the feel of the shaving brush against the skin, the sound of the razor gliding smoothly—they cultivate a deeper connection to the process and the tradition it represents. 

Moreover, embracing the ritual allows individuals to create a sense of ceremony around their grooming routine, elevating it from a mundane task to a cherished ritual that nourishes both body and spirit. By embracing the ritualistic aspect of traditional wet shaving, enthusiasts not only enhance their shaving experience but also cultivate a deeper appreciation for the artistry, tradition, and mindfulness inherent in this time-honored practice.

Share Your Passion

Sharing your passion for traditional wet shaving with others is a rewarding way to deepen your engagement with the craft while also contributing to the growth and vibrancy of the wet shaving community. Whether you’re introducing friends and family to the joys of traditional wet shaving or actively participating in online forums and social media groups, sharing your experiences and insights can inspire and educate others. 

Recommending favorite products, sharing shaving tips and techniques, or even documenting your journey through blogs or social media platforms can help spark curiosity and enthusiasm in fellow enthusiasts. Moreover, by sharing your passion, you contribute to a sense of camaraderie within the wet shaving community, fostering connections and friendships with like-minded individuals who share your appreciation for the art and tradition of wet shaving. 

Additionally, engaging with others allows you to learn from their experiences, discover new products and techniques, and further enrich your own shaving journey. Ultimately, by sharing your passion for traditional wet shaving, you not only contribute to the community but also deepen your own connection to the craft, fueling your curiosity and enthusiasm for years to come.

Sharpologist Staff

Sharpologist Staff

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