If you are looking for a straight forward guide to how to wet shave as a man, look no further. The Millennial Gentleman is here to provide you the essential information for men’s wet shaving and the products you need. The act of wet shaving is neither as expensive nor as complicated as some other guides attempt to make it out to be.

What is Traditional Wet Shaving?

Wet Shaving by very definition is the point at which a you utilize a razor to totally eliminate the hair from your face while utilizing water.

Obviously utilizing only a disposable cutter and water won’t be excessively agreeable to your skin– you are very likely to cut yourself using nothing but water and a blade. For this reason most men will using shaving cream for a substantially more acceptable shaving experience. Consequently traditional wet shaving is when a man uses a razor (whether it is a straight razor or safety razor) to shave with water, usually also with a cream or soap for a lather.

The most popular type of cream for shaving is aerosol shaving cream, where oil and water mixture comes out of a can. However traditional wet shaving uses products that men used prior to the 1950s, such as bar shaving soaps to create a lather and the shunning of electric razors as well as cartridge based disposable razors. While these latter products help develop a shave they do not result in a close shave that results in a smooth face and chin. Furthermore aerosol based shaving creams often contain artificial additives which can irritate the skin as the chemicals which allow the mixture to become creamy when exposed to skin also can dry out the skin. You want your skin to be moisture when you do wet shaving. It should also go without saying that if you are concerned about the environment then aerosol is not necessarily good, so many men that are eco-conscious tend to avoid aerosol cans.

Is wet shaving popular?

Wet shaving is popular among men, and is the most common method of shaving.

Where to buy wet shaving supplies?

Wet shaving supplies can be purchased from a variety of stores, both online and locally. One of the best places to purchase supplies is a barber supply shop as you’ll get more variety of quality supplies to use. You can also purchase some of these items online as well, and we’ve included some direct links to where you can purchase quality wet shaving supplies in this article.

How to Use Shaving Soaps to Make a Lather for Wet Shaving

I personally use shaving soap pucks from the William Marvy Company for my wet shaving lather.

The pucks should be kept into a mug that is smaller than your shaving bowl; some men use a cheese grater on one puck and then pack a second puck into the mug, which fills the bowel with soap and makes it more convenient to use. You can purchase a special purpose shaving mug or just use a coffee mug.

To use the shaving soap puck, you simply pour some hot water into a bowl and let your brush soak it up for several minutes. Most men take a shower or bath while the brush soaks in the shaving bowl. When you are ready to shave, pour out most of the hot water, leaving just a little at the bottom of it. Next take your brush and circle its bristles on your soap puck, gathering up a good amount of the soap. Then mix your brush with the hot water that remains in the bowl until you create a foamy lather. You can now apply the lather to your face for shaving.

I find that a ceramic shaving soap bowl is best, as a metal bowl is more prone to rusting. I use a Henry Cavendish Ceramic Soap Bowel for making the foam and keep my pucks in a smaller shaving mug, but a simple coffee mug can also be used.

You can also choose to forgo having a shaving mug and just place a shaving puck into the bowel itself, and do the lathering directly. This will make it more difficult to create a rich lather but can be done, too.

Purchasing a Good Shaving Brush

A well made shaving brush should be made from either boar or badger hair. You should also store the brush properly so that it dries well and does not lose its shape, which is why hanging the brush is the preferred way of storing it.

A safety razor is ideal for most men, as a straight razor requires a careful steady hand and takes more time. It should be kept in mind that compared to disposable razors that a safety razor takes more time and care to shave with, as it gets a closer shave. Despite misconceptions, modern designed disposable razor cartridges, even those with multiple blades, do not actually get a closer shave than a traditional safety razor will.

I recommend this safety razor handle model from Weishi. It is very affordable and the one that I personally use.

As for a recommendation on what brand of safety razor blade to use, I recommend Vikings Blade. There are many poorly made safety blades these days as they have become less common and Vikings Blade is one of the most reliable and high quality manufacturers.

Travel Shaving Kit

Unfortunately it is impractical to carry shaving soaps for travel. Shaving soap bars tend to be messy after first usage, and can take a long time to dry out and so do not clean up quickly before a man must leave his hotel room. It is also the reality that the TSA will seize a man’s safety razors, and sometimes a confused TSA agent will even do this to checked baggage. It is often better to avoid the matter by having a kit that is expressly used for wet shaving while traveling on airplanes.

I recommend using shaving cream from Pacific Shaving Company. It lathers well and is caffeinated, which some man appreciate in the mornings. This is the brand that I use when traveling. I also travel with Harry’s Cartridge Razors and the TSA agents do not bother me with these. While you can also use disposable razors you purchase at your nearby store, Gillette has a monopoly on distribution through most retailers. I personally refuse to use Gillette products anymore as they have made the erroneous decision to label traditional masculinity as ‘toxic’, which offends me. I suspect most men reading The Millennial Gentleman are looking for an alternative to Gillette, as well. Therefore I recommend Harry’s razors for your travel kit.

As for the bag for the kit, I use a fairly inexpensive model produced by the company Calido Designs. While this is not as expensive as other models a man can purchase, I find that it is suitable for the toiletry necessities I carry in my carry on luggage.

I hope you have found this guide to how to wet shave for men useful.


Carey Martell is Editor in Chief for The Millennial Gentleman. A thirty something modern man who is politically independent, non-religious but a firm believer in ideals of chivalry and traditional family values. Carey lives his life as a vagabond digital nomad traveling and living life to the fullest while managing his businesses remotely with a laptop and internet hotspot connection.