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    The safety razor

    Your razor is a shaving tool. You do the work. A good shaving technique will give you a better shave. A good shave is simple. It takes one or two strokes following the hair grain and one or two strokes on the cross grain. Once you know your beard, you can reduce the number of strokes you need to use to get the job done. It is always better to shave after a hot shower. Your skin will be suppler, warm, and your skin pores will be dilated.

    Use your safety razor with precaution. Do not apply too much pressure at first, especially if you are using a new blade. Too much pressure will cause burns, nicks and cuts. At first, let the weight of the safety razor do the work. Get accustomed to using your razor. Your shaving skills will quickly develop. If you do cut yourself, splash your face with ice-cold water. It will stop most bleeding. If you are still bleeding, put a small piece of bathroom tissue on it. Remove the tissue after a few minutes. If you prefer alum sticks and styptic pencils, they work well too.

    The shaving brush

    You do not need to soak your shaving brush before using it. Simply run it under hot water. When you are done shaving, run the brush under hot water again and fan out the excess water by flicking the brush across your fingers. It will dry faster and last longer. Do not leave your brush to dry without cleaning it properly.

    Shaving soap and shaving cream:

    You can apply shaving cream directly to your face (two pea-sized dollops) and lather using the brush you ran under hot water. You can also put the same amount in a shaving bowl and lather the cream using your hot brush. After your first application of shaving cream, don’t clean your brush. Keep it for your cross-grain shave. You can run a bit of hot water on it again to keep it warm.

    For shaving soap in a bowl or a soap stick (you can slice a piece into a shaving bowl), it’s the same idea. Run your shaving brush under hot water, remove any excess water. Run your brush in the bowl to build some lather. Apply the soap to your face and shave. Shaving soap is not as thick as shaving cream, but it works fine. You will need to decide whether soap or cream is better for you. After shaving, empty any excess water into the sink to help your soap bowl dry. As always, clean and fan your brush to dry.