Cold Water Shave

Discussion in 'Shave School' started by J.S. Desmarais, May 30, 2012.

  1. Metro

    Metro Well-Known Member

    Hey everyone,
    After going over the old Cold Water Shaving thread entirely and finding the unfortunate "Not open to further replies," I though of starting another on a slightly different tangent.

    The way I understand it is it's not about hair being softer or harder but rather the hair standing straight up and being cut straight across vs lying down (wet grass analogy) and being cut on its length, requiring more passes. So if the hair is a little harder (as I imagine a difference of temperature you get from you tap won't make the hair go from solid to liquid) I would anticipate a little tugging, although using the sharp Feather blades I don't know if it will be noticeable (I usually get no tugging at all compared to cartridges, even with 5 days growth). Can any CWSers comment on the comfort of the shave itself?

    Also, I'd like to leave alone the hair being too hard/soft aspect of things for a moment, and ask about the effects on the skin itself. I am one to have a lot of irritation on the neck when I try to go ATG to achieve BBS, as I need to go over many times to get the desired result. I hear cold water retracts the capillaries and stubble to allow for a similar result with fewer passes. Does that mean your skin is also stiffer and more resistant to the sharp edge?

    Finally, I know you don't want sebum in your pores when you shave and that goes away easier with warm water, which bring the question, How do you proceed? My instinct says warm shower with normal face cleanser, then cold rinse and cold water shave.

    Regardless, I am going to give it a fair try starting tomorrow and see where it leads me.
  2. oscar11

    oscar11 Well-Known Member

    I haven't given it a lot of thought, I just enjoy shaving that way. I've pretty much done it since I was in the service (1971). Occasionally I'll use warm water but I don't enjoy hot water, hot towel treatments, etc. Hot lather, cold lather, after it's on your face for a minute or two it's probably all the same temperature anyway. I do think cold water is easier on my skin (doesn't dry it out my skin as much). Shave how you enjoy shaving.
  3. PLANofMAN

    PLANofMAN Paperboy

    Article Team

    The first link is to a tongue in cheek look at shaving with cold water in the past, with an awe inspiring picture of a soldier shaving in the snow followed by the author's own observations.

    The second link follows a straight razor forum's discussion of this matter.

    I thank God that he gave me a face that does not need a cold water shave. Several members here do shave with cold water and I'm sure they will chip in soon.
  4. Neolithium

    Neolithium I am Canadian, eh

    I only cold water shave when I'm on exercise or deployed. That's because hot water = coffee which is of the utmost importance. No one wants to come near my tent until they knew I had at least 1 cup of coffee and a chance to shave LOL.
  5. Azarius

    Azarius Must have had his WHEATies

    I cold water shave because I like the fresh feeling of cold water. I would not say that my shaves are better or worse than warm/hot shaves, I just know I prefer it.

    At around 300 lbs, I am a far cry from my lean mean Marine Corp weight of 165 lbs, so that being said, I have a very low tolerance for heat.

    My shave prep is simple; I take a tepid shower. While showering I soak my brush in ice water (yes you read that correctly). When I get out of shower, I only "squeegee" the water off my body and allow myself to air dry. I remove brush from mug, squeegee out water, do around 10 swirls in VDH, pour out most of the water except a tablespoon or so, do a squirt of KMF, and then build a lather. While shaving, I run the water just above a trickle, enough to remove the lather from the razor. I rinse the razor after each stroke, then rinse my face in cold tap water between re-lather and next pass.

    Every shave I have is comfortable, if it is not, I am doing something wrong, be it an old blade, incorrect angle or something.

    I think a person should shave however they like. If cold water works for you great, if hot water works, outstanding. As each person is different, so are our little nuances in our routines. Do what feels natural and right for you.
    macaronus and J.S. Desmarais like this.
  6. Bluesbishop

    Bluesbishop Active Member

    Man....I knew you liked cold water shaves...but ice water shaves? that's hard core!!
  7. Metro

    Metro Well-Known Member

    I'm with you on that (coffee that is)! That's also why I chose the Air Force ;)
  8. Metro

    Metro Well-Known Member

    Thanks, both are good reads and I shall report back tomorrow with my first impressions of the cold shave, even though I don't usually base my opinion on the first try!
  9. Neolithium

    Neolithium I am Canadian, eh

    The last time I was sitting in a slit trench in -50C, I was thinking the Air Force would have been a better job, too ;) But I'm a green man through and through.
    J.S. Desmarais likes this.
  10. PLANofMAN

    PLANofMAN Paperboy

    Article Team
    Do you enjoy cold showers? -That was my experience the one and only time I cold shaved. It reminded me of taking a cold shower, bearable but not enjoyable, and I shave because I enjoy it, period. One try is all you'll need to know if it's for you. For the first time, while you're soaking your brush, I'd leave the ice cubes out.
  11. GDCarrington

    GDCarrington Burma Shave

    I prefer warm water shaves. Now note the key word prefer.
    Others prefer cold water shaves. Again note the key word prefer.

    The reason why I started with this is because I can appreciate both sides of the equation from the standpoint of, it is the skin of the individual and what works best for them that is the issue. Sometimes the scientific method, like in many aspects of life, is simply insufficient and over emphasized. Not that measurement, data and scientific understanding in and of themselves are bad, however it is insufficient to define enjoyment for the individual human being.

    Now Steve, here is your cue!
  12. Smott

    Smott Chew your shave. Slowly.

    I foresee this "Steve" thing being a source of confusion in the weeks to come...swarden43, do I need to change my name?!
  13. GDCarrington

    GDCarrington Burma Shave

    No you don't need to change your name, but he Swarden43 still has his cue from my post!
  14. lindyhopper66

    lindyhopper66 Well-Known Member

    I have to jump in on this one,...again. I love cold water shaving. I am able to do less passes for a closer shave with cold water and if I feel like doing more passes I don't get the irritation I normally did with hot or warm water. And no the blade does not tug and I've used SE and DE and shavettes with cold water. Whether it fits any science or not, it fits for me. My skin thanks me for it.

    You can add pre-shave as well as cold water in between passes if you like. I've read somewhere that lather is just there to keep the water against your skin as a lubricant. Cold water is a refreshing lubricant...for me.
    Azarius likes this.
  15. Ryan B

    Ryan B Knight of the Soapocracy

    I use lukewarm water. I might have to start shaving with room temperature or cold water to get used to shaving everyday for my annual training coming up in July. Being a guardsman, I only shave every 3-4 days... My girl likes the stubble. ;)
  16. Metro

    Metro Well-Known Member

    Thanks, I had hoped you'd jump in this discussion as I read your comments on the old thread. I'm hoping it'll a least help my neck irritation problem, then perhaps give me a closer shave. I start tomorrow.
    lindyhopper66 likes this.
  17. Metro

    Metro Well-Known Member

    I hear you, I like shaving now that I started wet shaving, but to let the skin heal, I'd skip a day if I didn't have to be close shaved for work!
  18. lindyhopper66

    lindyhopper66 Well-Known Member

    It will help the irritation, for sure. I was getting so irritated with starting DE and SE shaving with warm water, I gave myself a couple days no shaving break and then started with cold water shaving and haven't looked back since.

    With warm water shaving, AS or bay rum were impossible to use. Hurt too much. Cold water changed that.
    J.S. Desmarais likes this.
  19. bittermormon

    bittermormon Active Member

    Nothing is for sure. For every guarantee it will help, you can find a guarantee of the opposite.
    Queen of Blades likes this.
  20. Smoothy

    Smoothy Well-Known Member

    I am also a cold water shaver and the above two comments pretty much sum it up - I do it because I enjoy it.
    awake2shave likes this.

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