Never have I ever drawn blood when shaving... until I used a safety razor. That's the plain truth of it unfortunately. You might recall your grandpa with little squares of blood dotted tissue on his freshly shaven jawline — yes, the un-rightly named 'safety' razor is the same old school gizmo he used for his morning shave.
So why on Earth would we subject ourselves to this kind of Sweeney Todd esque contraption? Because there's a lot of upsides and once you get the hang of it, you should be able to avoid cuts... most of the time. Safety razors are great for the environment (and your wallet) because you keep them forever... but the nature of the sharp single blade with no shock absorbers can leave you with shaving cuts here and there. But don't let this discourage you, I still use mine. If you persevere with these bad boys, eventually you'll get better at it. In fact, if you read this you should technically learn from my mistakes and avoid it altogether. Here's what I learned about using a safety razor:
1. Lather and re-lather with lots of soap to protect your skin - the razor takes the protective film of soap off, so you'll always want to have a soap bar on hand to keep applying it before going in for a closer shave.
2. Use on a 30 degree angle — any higher and you will cut yourself. Period.
3. Let the razor do the work. Apply little to no pressure while shaving.
4. Throw everything you know about shaving out the window; this is a different ballgame. Standard razors come with shock absorbers, built-in soap pads and multiple razors for a closer shave and admittedly, they are easier to use — but once you've got the hang of a safety razor, it's a little bit like going from a manual to an automatic car; not as easy but people often say they feel more in control of 'at one' with it...(in saying this, I've never driven a manual car).
5. Don't buy one in a store because they're 60-80 bucks. I got a shiny perfect one from Ebay with two boxes of spare razors for $12 and it's exactly the same as the one's you'll find in a store with a hefty price tag.
6. Don't rush — think of shaving as a new form of meditation with an added incentive. If you lose focus you'll cut yourself, so it's like a forced mindfulness practice. There ya go!