For those of you who have been shaving for years with either an electric or cartridge razor, your first venture into wet shaving will likely be an adjustment. One of the first areas wet shavers have a noticeable difference in their morning shave are the nicks, cuts and weepers that occur as a result of your shaving technique.
For your first week or two, or until you get adjusted to the process of shaving with a safety razor or straight razor, it is almost guaranteed that you will experience some form of bleeding weepers. A weeper, unlike a nick or a cut is caused when the blade scrapes off more than just hair. When a layer of skin is shaved, it can scrape the capillaries closest to the skin and cause bleeding.
How to get rid of bloody weepers
For first-time wet shavers, bleeding weepers are a common problem that can be caused by a number of factors, including:
- Improper angle
- Improper lather
- Shave speed
- Insufficient whisker preparation
- Dull razor blade
- Too much pressure
Some skin types are much more sensitive to wet shaving than others. Consequently, adjusting your preparation, product and technique will be an important aspect of avoiding the nicks and cuts associated with wet shaving.
Proper Shave Preparation
Your shave’s preparation is critical to helping avoid the scrapes and nicks inherent with first-time wet shaving. Be sure you are not skipping the following in the wet shaving whisker prep:
- Skin and whisker preparation. Heat combined with enough moisture are critical to ensuring your whiskers are wet enough to easily cut without feeling the need to apply too much pressure.
- Proper shave cream or soap lather. A big part of your skin’s pre-shave prep includes enough moisture and lather in either your shave soap or cream. Make sure that before you shave, you whip up a high quality cream or lather to aid in the skin’s complete preparation for your shave.
Proper Shave Technique
Even with a properly-prepared face, your perfect shave may still be elusive if your technique is off. When in the act of shaving, there are a few tips and techniques which will help you to effectively avoid weepers, nicks and cuts:
- Use a proper angle. The right angle of a wet shave is between 30 and 45 degrees. Finding the proper angle is not only important, it can be different per the individual. The difficulty for new wet shavers is keeping the proper angle of the shave when the surface angle of the skin changes and the safety razor you are using does not include a pivoting head. This is where short, slow strokes come into play. It will also be important to note that the difference in your razor blade head (open comb vs. closed comb vs. slant) will also create a need for you to adjust the angle at which you shave. For instance, you will need to use less of an angle if you are shaving with an open comb vs. when you are shaving with a closed comb.
- Keep It Slow Strokes (KISS). If you want to avoid weepers, one of the best means for doing so–especially when just starting out–is to shave slowly, taking the shortest possible strokes. Long strokes increase the likelihood of scraping skin and getting to capillaries.
- Let the razor do the work. Too many new wet shavers attempt to apply unneeded pressure when they begin shaving. When it comes to the application of pressure as it relates to your wet shave, let the razor do the work.
Even the most experienced wet shavers can still experience the occasional nicks and weepers. When that occurs, you can use pressure, cold water and a good alum block to help stop the bleeding.
Shaving like a man requires the right technique. The right technique requires proper preparation and some practice. With the right practice you will be shaving like a pro in no time.