What's new

Tip that might ??? change your shaving life.

I encountered an interesting idea on YouTube yesterday entitled “This Tip Can Change Your (shaving) Life!”. Yes, I know that he is trying to sell his stuff but the idea was recommended by a new DE shaver who had 8 shaves for experience. In fairness this new shaver got the idea from a physicist. Well, I am not a physicist so who am I to contradict the idea. The concept is that for those who get irritation form any sort of wet shaving they should use a razor (DE, cartridge, straight, etc.) that has been rinsed in cold water. All of the rest of their shaving routine uses warm water. Their technique should remain the same with a light touch – good advice!

I have been wet shaving now for approximately 10 months. My technique has improved with the ideas I read here. Still, I get a little irritation especially on a few difficult spots I haven’t mastered yet. Thinking that simply rinsing the razor with cold water is easy and can’t hurt anything I thought let’s give this a try. It does feel different after lathering as usual with warm water and having a cold razor against the skin. The resulting shave though was unremarkable. It was as good as any of my daily shaves. I used my alum block as a gauge to see if there was less irritation and found the usual spots that I probably overwork were still irritated.

I am not sure what to think of the video now. Was this an early April Fools’ video? Is there any real physical concept that could potentially help? Am I a klutz and didn’t do it properly?

It is easy enough to try. Perhaps someone else can do it successfully and perhaps someone can explain the physical concept that I fail to understand.
I know some people on here use cold water to shave, but I'm not sure why.
I tend to agree with the "bulldust" comments above, but if you're feeling generous, you could say there's some physical concept at work. Namely, that a hot blade will expand and a cold one will contract. Now, this makes a difference at large scales (say, like metal roofs that are constantly expanding and contracting) but for something as small as a razor blade? And assuming the razor itself is unaffected by the same phenomenon? I'm skeptical.
Leaving this particular question for a moment, I'll say that cold water has a definite effect on your face. A cold splash tightens my skin and reveals stubble I couldn't feel when my face was warm. In other spots, it does the opposite: patches that I could have shaved a little closer become BBS.
I think there might by a grain of truth to it, but that could vary from person to person.

I do know shaving with cold water reduces the likelihood of cuts, nicks and irritation in my experience, especially if I'm using a razor that is aggressive and unfriendly.

This may be the principle that explains that: A cube of refrigerated butter is more difficult to cut or to mark with a cold knife, than is a cube of warm butter when using a warm knife.

Cuts and skin irritation are close relatives to each other.
The issue here is not disputing the benefits of cold water shaving. That indisputably does work for many.

What is arrant nonsense is the notion that somehow, magically, running your razor under cold water, while still prepping and lathering with warm water will make any substantive difference. This is no different to suggesting that you stand on one foot only while rinsing your razor because you will halve your conductivity with the ground...
Cold water does help a bit, but it won't compensate for a bad technique, poor or no prep or using a blade that isn't for your skin and whiskers. In my case it helps me eliminate most of the irritation that I get when I do lots of strokes and passes, but I know some folks who really don't benefit at all from shaving with cold water and see no point of shaving that way. Experimenting is the key and the essence of finding your own ''best'' and unique shaving experience and trying with new methods, techniques, razors, blades, soaps/creams is really essential.


Remember to forget me!
I hate cold water shaves. However, I do sometimes use cold water if I am wanting a perfectly close shave with zero redness, maybe for a formal event or something.

I do a regular shave, but about an hour earlier than I need to. This gives the skin chance to settle down, and normalise in terms of hydration. I then do a cold water "seek and destroy" finisher, shaving against the grain with no lather, anywhere that I can feel stubble, and rinsing the razor head under the running cold tap after every stroke.

I'm not recommending this necessarily, just saying that's what I do occasionally, and have used that trick for a few decades.


I Waxed The Badger.
Click bait title aside, this is the type of thing everyone should try out in the normal course of experimentation with shaving. I know I prefer a cold rinse to a warm one and a very warm rinse is the worst - for me.

Without the physicist's actual explanation I am not putting any stock in the idea other than try it and see. I would not let some unnamed physicist making a general statement delivered third hand influence my expectations. I feel that if physicists had such knowledge to offer it would already be on every can of Foamy and Barbasol and every pack of razors sold. Those companies are not trying to give you an uncomfortable shave and if something as simple as keeping the razor cool or cold was a helpful tip that knowledge would be out an about.


Lounging On The Isle Of Tugsley.
Well, I am not a physicist so who am I to contradict the idea.

If the idea is soaking your safety razor in cold water for a “better shave,” you are absolutely in the perfect position to contradict (or even agree) with the idea. And, if the person is using her or his profession “Her durr! I are physicist, durr!” as part of the justification for why something should be done, said person isn’t providing a coherent argument and should have his or her justification/explanation outright dismissed even if the technique works. It didn’t work because some random tomatohead cashes a paycheck from a science department, it happens for a reason the physicist didn’t provide.

Question the tomatoheads. Question everyone else (especially me as I am very questionable). Your neck and noggin are on the line. That physicist can shrug her or his shoulders if the advice she or he gave caused you undue injury or expense.

I am not saying a lay person’s opinion is automatically of equal validity as a trained physicist in the physicist’s area of expertise. Never heard of a physicist whose speciality was stubblecutology, though. Even were there such a thing, stating something is correct because the person saying so has a title is to replace a valid explanation with an appeal to authority. Hence the justification of the epithet “tomatohead.” Yes, hence.
I use the coldest tap water possible for my entire shave because I enjoy it; I neither know nor care if doing so reduces cuts or irritation. The idea that holding a razor under running hot or cold water, or even fully submerging it, for a few seconds, will change the temperature or performance of the razor in any way seems to me to be madness. That said, if you believe it works then keep doing it 👍
So the UtubeR is saying ..... I should dismantle my nearly room-sized shaving pyramid in the bathroom then?🤔
No more straight razors needing self-aligning steel?
No more brush knot down to dry faster with gravity?
No more turning soap dishes upside down to keep the scent from escaping?
No more licking the blade to remove soap and hair scum?

All I need is to rinse my razor head (but not the blade!) under cold water!
cold water shaving made a huge difference to my skin though. I don't know anything about physics but one day I decided to spin the tap the other way just for the hell of it. Haven't looked back since. I noticed significant reduction in irritation and post-shave redness etc. I just keep everything cold though. Cold water to wet the face, cold water in the brush, cold water to rinse razor and face etc.


three-tu-tu, three-tu-tu
Pardon me for stating the obvious, but you can find out if this does anything helpful for your shave without all the fuss - try it tomorrow.


My Elbows Leak
A Physicist friend of his said dip the razor in cold water.
My Meteorologist friend disagrees and says it's just the low pressure area in his bathroom.
A Geneticist friend of mine is on the fence and thinks it may have to do with his DNA.
The Biologist thinks it's hogwash and that it's the natural reaction of his skin cells.
The Astronomer believes it's coincidental to the orbit of the planet.
A Chemist I know thinks it's one of the compounds he's using.
The Geologist I consulted thinks there may be a magnetite deposit near his house.
My brother, the Paleontologist thinks that fossils he has uncovered may reveal the truth.
My neighbor the Zoologist thinks that all animals share this trait.
My buddy the Botanist thinks that the natural ingredients of his shave soap are the reason.
I think taking advice on shaving from someone who has fewer shaves than the guy that joined the site this morning is probably bad odds.
My Mathematician friend agrees.
FTFY. :)

Seriously, someone with a camera, 8 shaves under their belt, and an alleged physicist for a friend is not going to inspire much in the way of credibility. The title of their video is classic clickbait, and the content is classic bulldust.
"Cold Shaving" is an actual thing. Ben Franklin among others promoted it. Cold water = stiff whiskers = cleaner cut. Cold water and skin don't promote as much bacteria growth as a warm environment. I kind of go with what ever water temp is available to me at the time.
Top Bottom