03Nov DE Razor Shave: Not Just for Boys
With more and more women changing plastic cartridge razors for safety razors, we interviewed our Marketing Director, Veronica Berman, who recently made the swap to ask her about what inspired her to use a DE Razor, benefits of use and techniques and tips she can share. Read what she has to say.
MÜHLE UK: What inspired you to start shaving with a MÜHLE DE Razor?
VB: I started working for MÜHLE UK in January of this year. Having previously worked in the design and branding industry I was attracted to the design-conscious outlook of the brand, with products like the HEXAGON set and also to the heritage and story behind the brand but hadn’t initially considered the products for personal use as they are traditionally used by men.
I became inspired by other women following us on Instagram who have led the way by using MÜHLE safety razors, admirably in a bid to have a plastic free toiletries bag. Although shaving my legs is never something I would want to give up, when you think about the usually brightly coloured plastic monstrosities that make their way into women’s bathrooms only shortly thereafter to find themselves in the bin, it is quite troubling. On top of that MÜHLE razors are so beautiful and the results reported from Instagrammers were incredible: little to no nicks and incredibly smooth legs.
Of course, knowing the MÜHLE range these results didn’t surprise me because we hear them from me
n all the time. I’m also well aware of all the good stuff that goes into our shaving creams, and the craftsmanship behind the razors and shaving brushes, and after months of being surrounded by these delightful products I was pretty excited by the prospect of having a go myself.
MÜHLE UK: What are the benefits to using a double-edged razor?
VB: A double-edged razor can last a lifetime and longer if well cared for, which isn’t only good for the planet but also for your pockets. There is a remarkable range of safety razors in different finishes and styles at MÜHLE, to suit any bathroom interior. Finished in materials like chrome and rose gold they feel a lot more sophisticated and grown up than their plastic counterparts.
Most importantly though my skin is really thanking me for it-
I had become so used to razor burn that I didn’t even consider that I needed to remedy it until it was gone- like the relief you feel when a noisy appliance suddenly falls silent. That constant burning itch has been replaced by dolphin smooth legs. The process of shaving itself has become a nourishing experience, thanks to investing in a good shaving brush and cream (my favourite is the ORGANIC range) and I don’t seem to feel the need to apply any sort of lotion to my legs after shaving (though some women swear by this after shaving with a safety razor). Because you have single, sharp blade that is easy to clean versus five blades in a cartridge razor that are susceptible to clogging, razor burn with double-edged razor is much more easily avoided.
I also love the tactile, calming elements of the process; working up a lather in bowl, painting your legs with it in or after a warm shower and then removing the lather and hair in short, gentle strokes is incredibly satisfying and therapeutic, it reminds me of the sensory experience of painting your hand as a child and then making a crisp hand print and watching it dry.
MÜHLE UK: Are there any downsides to using a double-edged razor?
VB: To be honest at first, I thought I needed to invest a lot more time into shaving with a safety razor, than I did with cartridge razors in the past however this has turned out to no longer be the case. I am naturally clumsy so I was careful about nicks and cuts however I have none to report as of yet and am now comfortably and confidently carrying out shaving routines in the shower at a similar pace to what I would have done with a cartridge razor. I do invest more time lathering but the payoff with this is I don’t seem to need to worry about moisturising my legs after a shave now as they feel so well nourished from the shaving cream. It is also so much easier to rinse out a safety razor then hammer my cartridge razor against the tub mid shave in an attempt to unclog it.
MÜHLE UK: Do you use any special techniques or have some useful tips for other women who are considering swapping cartridge razors for DE razors?
VB: MÜHLE has collaborated a lot with the NOMAD barber, who offers some great advice about wet shaving for men and I have found the principals to be the same for women:
1) Use warm water to help soften the skin, that’s why shaving during or just after a warm shower or bath is ideal
2) Using a shaving brush, bowl and a good quality, nourishing shaving cream work up a creamy lather, and massage this into the area you are shaving, this helps to raise the hairs and is ideal prep before shaving
3) Holding the razor at about a 40degree angle is best so that you can effectively catch hairs and avoid nicks to the skin, less than this increases the risk of nicks to the skin and more than this makes it difficult to catch anything. You can always start off with a larger angle away from the skin and then gently sway the blade closer to the skin so that you achieve the angle that is ideal for you.
4) Do short, gentle strokes and don’t put any pressure on the razor at all, let the weight of the razor itself do the work.
5) Take care over bony areas like ankles and knees, just take your time and use short strokes following the shape of your leg, pull the skin taut especially around knees with one hand as this will help to avoid nicks.
6) Rinsing with cool water afterwards helps to calm and refresh the skin.
7) Ensure you wash your brush under running water after use and hang it on a stand to dry, so it stays in great condition. If you travel a lot or tend to rush around I would definitely recommend our synthetic options as they are great and much easier to maintain.
8) Be aware that safety razors have been designed for use on the face, not for other parts of the body. I use the razor predominantly on my legs and very carefully under my arms, taking care to stretch the skin as it is more sensitive and soft there.
There are plenty of video tutorials available online, we have quite a few from the NOMAD barber to check out.
MÜHLE UK: Open comb or closed comb?
VB: Closed comb. A closed comb razor provides extra protection by having a safety bar that is either flat or has grooves in it, these help to tighten the skin, and a flatter surface reduces the risk of nicks and cuts. An open comb razor has a row of teeth instead of a bar which help guide the hairs more effectively towards the blade- an open comb razor is generally a more aggressive shave. Closed combs are used by novices and experienced shavers alike, open combs are used mainly by experienced shavers often with thicker hair who prefer a more aggressive shave.
MÜHLE UK: What safety razor do you use? Are there any other products you use as part of your DE Shave ritual?
VB: I use the MÜHLE R89 in chrome, I also love the R89 in Rose Gold. I have invested in a fibre shaving brush and a stand for my brush (the stand is a great way of ensuring your brush can fully dry when you clean it after use). I also use MÜHLE ORGANIC shaving cream and a bowl so I can work up a great lather.
Be aware that safety razors have been designed for use on the face, not for other parts of the body. Women who have adopted the razor use it predominantly on legs and very carefully under my arms, taking care to stretch the skin as it is more sensitive and soft there.