A Guide to Shaving With A Safety Razor

We understand swapping out your familiar and safe plastic razor for the unknown of a metal safety razor can be daunting- we hear you, we’ve been there too. The exciting news is that it’s not that scary at all. In fact, you’ll find that you can achieve an even better shave using a safety razor and say goodbye to razor burn, razor rash and ingrown hairs. Just watch: they’re going to be a thing of the past. 


Although we’re super proud of our safety razor range and think they’re the bee’s knees, it’s come to our attention that we aren’t exactly the brains trust when it comes to shaving technique. That’s something we’d like to work on and we thought we’d share our discoveries with you! We’ve developed some not ideal habits over the years so it’s time for us to wise up. 

Here’s our guide to shaving all sorts of body parts with your Kappi Safety Razor. 

Some Important Tips before you Start

  • Be gentle. You don’t need to apply pressure like you would with a normal razor. As the blades are much sharper than those of your usual cartridges, you’ll be able to use the weight of the safety razor itself to provide all the pressure you’ll need (which is not much)
  • Use a 30 degree angle to hold your razor. This will ensure the blade glides along your skin without irritating or cutting it
  • Go with the grain of your hair. Depending on what area you’re shaving, this could be in one direction or several! This will reduce the risk of razor burn and bumps, ingrown hairs and even pimples
  • Instead of one long stroke with your razor in the distance between your ankle and knee, you’re going to want to do a lot of short, gentle strokes instead
  • Rinse your blade under the water every few strokes to keep the blade clean and unobstructed from excess hair.

  • Relax, it’s all going to be okay. It’s not difficult or scary. It just takes a little bit of practise and patience.

How to insert the blade into your safety razor

If you’ve already got your very own Kappi Safety Razor - hooray! You can watch our founder Emily, insert the blade into her Kappi razor in the video below. 


Simply unscrew the handle and place the blade in between the two parts of the head. Make sure that you are holding the blade on the side edges and not the blades themselves! Then screw it all back together and Bob’s your uncle; you’re good to go!


Legs!

Shaving your legs is something that’s become second nature to us, but it’s about time we hit pause and did some digging to help you get the smoothest shave possible. 

First up, we recommend a wet shave. Whether that’s shaving while in the shower or bath or simply wetting your legs wherever you are- it doesn’t matter. However, the steam from a hot shower or a bath will soften your leg hairs and who can say no to a nice warm shower! 

Exfoliating is a great way to remove any dead skin cells with can cause ingrown hairs and razor bumps if you’re not careful. One of the main causes behind these nasties is the razor pushing dead skin cells into a pore and blocking the hair while shaving. It’s not essential when using a safety razor, but it does make for lovely smooth legs!

Shaving cream, shaving oil, body wash, soap, lotion- you name it. There’s a million and one ways to lather up when shaving and we recommend you pick one. This will make sure the razor glides along smoothly. 

Short, gentle strokes are the best way to go when using a safety razor and we recommend going with the grain of your leg hairs at a 30 degree angle. This means changing your habits up a little bit, sure. But it will make for a safer, irritation free shave. In the past we’ve gone against the grain of hair on our legs, and while this hasn’t been an issue for us, it’s safer to shave in the direction from your knee to your ankle. 

You’ve probably noticed that your legs are not entirely straight (no duh). As a result, you’ve got to be careful around the more prominent curves i.e. ankles and knees! Go with the direction of the curves. Although your razor doesn’t bend like your plastic one might, you can simulate this by keeping your grip light and flexible. 

Finish up with a lotion or moisturiser and you’re good to go. 


Armpits

Shaving your armpits is possibly the easiest part of shaving with a safety razor. The skin of your armpits is a little bit tougher than a lot of other places which means we don’t have to be quite as delicate. We still recommend using soap or lotion to help the blade glide. 

Something to note is that hair in your armpits can grow in all sorts of directions which can make it difficult to follow the rule of shaving in the correct direction. Make sure you do what’s best for you!


Faces

It can be done! Your grandfathers probably shaved their faces with a safety razor, so why can’t you? It’s not all that different from using you standard plastic razor: you still have to be gentle and shave in the direction of the hair growth. 

Before you start, it’s good to have a warm shower or place a warm washcloth on the area you intend to shave to soften the hair. Shaving cream helps with this too! Making sure your hair is as soft as possible makes for a smooth, clean, irritation free shave.

If you’re going for a full shaved face, start near your sideburns and use short, gentle strokes in a downward motion. Make sure to hold your razor at a 30 degree angle and let the weight of the safety razor provide the pressure. If you apply too much pressure, you’ll end up shaving the top layer of skin which causes razor burn. 

Shaving the neck tends to be the most problematic area for men as hair likes to grow is all kinds of directions around the Adam's apple. This may require you to shave in 2-3 directions. Master this and say goodbye to ingrown hairs and bumps!

Shave your upper lip and chin last to allow the shaving cream to soften these hairs even further. Once again, make sure you’re being gentle. Hold the skin tight if you have any areas that you’re worried about. 

Finish up with a splash of cold water and a balm or salve to soothe the skin. Hey presto!

 

Bikini Area

This is arguably the most intimidating area to shave; safety razor or not! We totally get it, showers are slippery places and this is an area you don’t want any mistakes. 

Fear not! With care and consideration, women (and men) all over the world are using their safety razors to shave their unmentionables. It’s entirely up to you whether you want to go there or not, but we wanted to give you the low down on how it’s done. 

As long as you’re careful and patient, you can’t go wrong. Until you’re super comfortable, we highly recommend leaving this area for when you have plenty of time up your sleeve. This is not the time for a quick, rush job!

This goes without saying- but make sure you’ve got plenty of soap and lather when shaving your bikini area. This will help the razor glide smoothly.

Pull the skin taut and shave with the grain. If you’re nervous, position yourself in a squat which will tighten the entire area and conceal any areas you want to avoid nipping… Be especially careful in the crease of your leg. Short, gentle strokes and you’ll be good as gold!

 

Heads

Shaving your head with a safety razor (or any razor, mind you) should come with a certain level of skill and mindfulness. Heads are bumpy! Hair grows in all sorts of directions!

However, it has and can be done. We’re going to be honest- we’ve never tried it ourselves. We’ve done some research for you though, here’s what you have to know.

Wrap a hot towel around your noggin’ for about 30 seconds before starting. This softens the skin and hair follicles. Use a priming oil before shaving cream to add an extra level of protection. This will also help the razor to slide over any bumps. We’ve heard coconut oil works quite well! 

Shaving cream is next and then it’s time to shave. Again- go with the grain. The hair on your head grows in all directions so it could be helpful to have someone help. Patience is key and remember to use very light pressure. Try to avoid running over the same area twice as this can irritate the skin. 

Finish with a balm, oil or salve to help moisturise and soothe the skin.


Blade Disposal 

Here at Kappi, we keep our used blades in a glass jar in the bathroom. Once it fills up we simply take it to a sharps disposal unit and they dispose of it safely there. Placing them in the recycling can be dangerous and having two materials together can contaminate and confuse the recycling process. Find your closest sharps location here