A man should his shave, but a real man shouldn’t be late for work, either. He doesn’t cut corners, but he’s efficient and doesn’t care who knows. That’s why a real man knows how to shave in the shower.
Nobody is here to tell you that you’ve been doing it wrong. We’re here to tell you that you could be doing it differently. Nobody is trying to degrade the ritual of a great shave. We’re here to get your handsome self to that 8:00 a.m. meeting on time. Ladies have long known that shaving in the shower not only saves time, it also works like a charm. When time is short, the only thing that matters is getting results. The only way to get a better shave on a time crunch is to have your barber in the shower with you.
First, a disclaimer…
This article is against everything we stand for. We’re kind of joking, kind of not. The whole spirit of this blog about tradition and taking pleasures in simple, gentlemanly pursuits like shaving.
Shaving is our hobby because we enjoy spending time with it, pampering ourselves. Shaving in the shower is cool, and sometimes it’s necessary, but it is by no means the best shave.
For that reason, we don’t recommend shaving in the shower every time. Or, if you’re going to shave in the shower most of the time, please set aside some time to give yourself a proper shave a few times a week. You deserve it!
The usual rules still apply
While the art of shaving doesn’t change, the environment does. That means we need to consider a few tools and techniques that are guaranteed to get you the best results without making you late for that early presentation to the international client.
Everyone knows the best time to shave is right after a shower. Your pores are opened. Your stubble is soft. Conditions are perfect. There’s no secret here except this one little secret: we’re moving your after-shower shave into the shower.
Think about it: You should steam and wet your face before a shave. Unless you’ve got a cache of steamed towels at the ready, how is taking a shower not the best way to accomplish these things? We’re not going to explain this part to you. You’re smart. Do everything you normally do in the shower (even the naughty bits, if you must), and then you’ll be ready to start your shave.
You can still use your favorite face scrub to exfoliate (if you don’t have one, get one). Just do it in the shower. In fact, if you don’t do this part in the shower already, there’s something wrong with you. Washing your face in the shower makes sense, and you won’t leave a mess for your roommate to clean up by splashing water all over the sink.
Regardless of whether you use soap or cream, you need water to wet it and/or wash it off. Water is the essence of wetness, and wetness abounds in the shower. You can wet your shave soap just as easily in the shower as you do in the sink and no one will be the wiser. Remember – don’t use regular bar soap when shaving – regardless if you shave in or out of the shower. Come on, we’re not savages here.
A good shower mirror (and possibly a shelf). You know when you get out of the shower and the mirror is all foggy? That’s because of condensation and science. If you want to be able to see what you’re doing, you’ll need a mirror that won’t fog up while you’re showering. If this seems like magic or witchcraft, trust us: it is. You know what Inigo Montoya, the Joker, and Edward Scissorhands all have in common? They all got their scars because they tried shaving without a fog-free mirror. Did you really think it was because they were trying to avenge their father’s murder, were a psychotic villain, or had household cutlery for hands? No, it was the foggy mirror that got them.
Listen: this is the only required piece of equipment that you might not already have. If you’re serious about shaving in the shower, this isn’t something you want to skimp on. Consider getting a mirror like the Zandro Z’Fogless LED Lighted Fog Free Mirror. It’s less that $35 and is an absolute necessity. The built-in LED lights will ensure that you can see what you’re doing as you manage your facial regions. There is absolutely no scenario where shaving using a foggy mirror turns out well. Ask Tony “Scarface” Montana.
If you can find one, consider buying a mirror that comes equipped with a small shelf, or caddy to hold your razor. If you need the extra space, make sure that the attached caddy is large enough to hold your other shaving supplies.
It would be a totally pro move to install a separate shelf in the shower to keep your best products out of the way of water coming out of the shower head. A simple plastic caddy with suction cups can easily be mounted in the corner of a shower for less than $15. A fancy hand-finished brass shelf goes for $350. There’s one for every budget, if you decide you need it.
Glycerin or alum. One of the hazards of shaving in the shower is that everything is wet and slippery. I’m sure we’re all guilty of doing that funny dance of juggling and dropping the soap, right? Well, the last thing you want to do is juggle and drop a friggin’ razor.
You’re also going to want to be able to get a good grip on your face, so you can keep your skin taught while shaving, and that can be much more difficult to do in the shower.
Luckily, the fix is pretty easy. You can use either glycerin or alum on your fingertips to make them nice and tacky. If you’ve never used alum, you should really give it a go. Here’s a video to get you started:
Get a handle on a proper razor
There’s no helping it: you’ll get wet in the shower. Wet things are slippery and if you don’t want to accidentally drop your favorite razor, before duct-taping it to your hand, considering investing in a rubber handle for your safety razor. It’ll give you a reliable grip that will prevent slipping and accidentally nicking your pretty face or other favorite body part. Edwin Jagger offers one for around $40 (you can see our review here), which is reasonable when it comes to face security.
If you don’t care for the aesthetic of rubber, but a secure grip is still high on your list of priorities, shop around for a textured handle. Fendrihan makes a classic-looking stainless steel handle with a textured grip for less than $50.
While we’re on the topic of stainless steel, if your razor isn’t made of it, remember to properly dry off your razor if it’s prone to rusting. Vigorously shake off excess water and store your razor in a dry place where condensation won’t get the better of it.
Remember, the rules to a great shave still apply in the shower. The practical applications will save you time, make less of a mess, and still deliver the goods. Before you run out to remodel your whole bathroom or buy an entirely new shaving arsonal, start with the basics. Find a mirror that suits your needs, and make sure you have easy access to your shaving supplies. You’ll leave the house with enough time to buy bagels for your morning meeting and still look sharp for after-dinner cocktails.