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Using water before and during shave

You can certainly shave dry or with oil - and I have done it - but there is no doubt at all that you will get an easier, more comfortable, and closer shave if you use water to soak the beard before shaving. The difference will be obvious, and soaking the beard for longer is better. When I soak my beard for a good 5-10 minutes in the shower, or have a long bath, I consistently get the best shaves and can get great closeness even with mild razors.

I don’t think there can be any factual debate about this. An easy experiment to demonstrate it is to cut your fingernails after soaking one hand for 5-10 minutes and keeping the other hand dry. It is a night and day difference how much softer your nails are when soaked, and hair and fingernails are the exact same material (keratin).
 
I use a lot of water during a shave. That involves a lengthy soaking with very hot tap water and rinsing between passes. Hot water softeners the whiskers and it is wet shaving. By doing this thorough soaking I could shave with no lather if I had to
 
Without good hydration, it's very hard for me to get a good shave, but it also depends on the water itself if it's soft or hard. I always rince my face with water between shaves, because I don't want the brush to mix with the left over stubble of my face and the other reason, is because I want my face to be as hydrated as possible and without water between the pases, the lather sometimes feel a bit dry on my face.

I've seen people shaving with very little water and that doesn't bother them one bit. The end result is all that matters and if you are able to achieve an easy, comfortable and enjoyable BBS, then you're doing it right and you shoudn't be worry about what others think or how they do it.
 
I load my damp brush from the puck and then begin face lathering - usually at that point, although not always, my face is completely dry. As I build the lather I repeatedly dip the brush tips in water to add hydration until the lather is acceptable. I have tried pre shave products, brush soaking, pre shave showering, etc. and none of it makes any difference to me.
 
Keep in mind you were watching youtube and prep might be skipped, rinsing may be cut out of video an so on...

My beard prep takes place in a shower that (for me) is mandatory before a shave. Between passes I don't rinse, just splash some water on face and relather
 

musicman1951

three-tu-tu, three-tu-tu
Of course everyone should use the method that works for them. The only reason I can imagine to start with a dry face is some kind of mental condition related to madness, but I have unfortunately come to the conclusion that I don't know everything.

As to rinsing between passes, I think it depends heavily on your lather. If your lather is wet enough to absorb the semi-dried old lather from the last pass I would imagine it to be a non-issue.

I usually use a scuttle, and since my first lather is applied to a wet face I try to take that into account and not over-hydrate the lather for my application. Since the lather is now prepared to meet a wet face, of course I rinse my face between passes to prepare a consistent lathering surface.

If I do happen to make the lather a little more on the wet side (darn my imperfections!) I skip that step.
 
Imo the way to do it is to rinse between passes. Not just for hydration, but mainly to feel where I may need to provide a little more attention on the next pass, or feel how smooth that pass was.
It's also a good way to evaluate new blades or razors...Do you just look in the mirror and say "that's a smooth shave"?... didn't think so.
Whatever you're comfortable with I guess.
 
Nothing to add to the discussion but it did remind me of a story from when I was a kid.

My grandfather (a WWII vet) came out of the bathroom, face bright red. My grandmother said "what happened to your face?" He replied "I was just shaving without water like we did on the battlefield".... Obviously he was in his feelings that day and it's such a random story but one I've never forgotten!
 
I always take s hot shower before I shave and then use plenty to hot water to heat up the soap and brush. Plenty of hot water during the shave to rinse the razor. Cold water rinse to top things off.
 

AimlessWanderer

Remember to forget me!
Shaving without using water, makes about as much sense to me, as shaving while wearing a balaclava.

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Hello all. I was just watching a razor review on YouTube and I noticed that the gentleman in question seemed to use no water to prep his face before applying lather. He didn’t even rinse with water between passes. Does anyone here practice this technique? Is there any advantages to it?

Personally I always wash my face with plenty of water and soap to prep for my shave, as well as rinsing thoroughly between passes. I’ve always been made to believe that water softens the beard and makes for a better shave (it’s called wet shaving after all). Is there enough hydration in the lather that all this washing and rinsing is unnecessary? Counterproductive even? Your thoughts please.
Maybe he was using pre-shave oil? Razo-Rock has a very nice one, but when I use it, I apply it over my wet and previously soap-washed face, never dry. I agree with everybody else, a "wet shave" has to be done over a wet face. You have to remove the natural oils from the whiskers, so they get soaked and soften as much as possible. The rinsing between passes doesn't make sense either, just re-moisten your face and apply the next lather. If you can share the link of the "dry guy", just out of curiosity :eek2:
 
Before shaving, I wash my face with EltaMD Foaming Facial Cleanser, using a FOREO Luna 3. I usually do a 5-pass shave. After the first 3 passes, I've noticed the shave soap that's left in the scuttle absorbs more water and my face tends to feel dryer. So for the last 2 passes, I splash a little water on my face before brushing on the shave soap.
 
I'm with the majority here but there're a few who say soap stiffens your beard and sets it up, but water makes it floppy and hard to cut. Nutty idea, in my opinion.
 
Seems like I’m an odd duck here.
I soak my brush while in the shower, once I’m done in there I empty the cup and squeeze/shake the brush out and load from the tub of soap.
As I build my lather in a bowl, I dip the brush to get the hydration I need until I have my lather, then paint it on my face, which is dry at this point.
I find it count-productive to rinse my face off between passes as I’ve already built my lather to how I want it, so more gets painted on.
Then by the end of the third pass which is usually touch ups, most of the product is used up and I’m ready for clean up. Then I clean my face with a wet wash cloth and apply the smelly stuff.
The only extra hydration I may get from my shave is after rinsing my razor off after a pass.
 
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