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How Long Does a Wet Shave Take?-West Coast Shaving

How Long Does a Wet Shave Take?

So, just how long does a wet shave take? While the best answer to this question is “it depends”, we’re going to try to give a range for you wet shaving newbies (or you really competitive shavers) out there.

A general consensus seems to be 15-20 minutes as the sweet spot with an occasional outlier of 5 minutes on the quick end and 35 minutes on the lazy holiday end. Below we will examine the most common steps included in a classic wet shave and approximately how long they take.

Common steps to a typical wet shave:

  1. Pre-shave. While the typical pre-shave often includes a hot shower (to open the pores and soften & hydrate your whiskers), for our intents and purposes we aren’t going to include your shower time. So, what IS included in a pre-shave step. Well, a  pre-shave routine might include soaking your shaving brush, using a hot towel, and applying a pre-shave lotion. Soaking your brush allows the fibers to absorb water and aids in lathering.  A hot towel can open your pores and soften your skin. A pre-shave oil or lotion is used to soften your hair and provide a slick layer under your lather to guard against razor burn. 
  2. Prep. The biggest step in prepping for a wet shave is creating your lather. Loading and lathering can take anywhere from a few moments to multiple minutes, depending on your acuity and preferences. Some men love the art of the lather. They take a lot of time loading the brush on the surface of the soap and building the lather in a mug/bowl. Other shavers just work to get the lather past the proto-lather stage to a decent, protective froth then create the lather right on their face. And then there are a range of latherers in between.  
  3. Shave. This step is where you can “shave” off the most time as you become more proficient. Initially, it will take time to get and keep the right angle/technique, learn your hair growth, and manage different passes. Eventually, you will be able to move through a standard 3-pass shave with alacrity.  Typically, your first pass will be with-grain, second across-grain, and third against-grain. Of course, as you perfect your technique and understand your hair growth, you will find the most efficient way to shave YOUR beard and it might not be the same as everyone else. But you will be more and more comfortable and faster as you improve.
  4. Post-shave. This lovely last step is as easy as sniff, apply, and go. Finding a splash or a balm that completes your shave is a great way to lock in moisture, tone, tighten, and scent for the day (or night) ahead. 

Length of Time for Each Wet Shaving Step:

  • Pre-shave  +/- 3 minutes
  • Prep/lather +/- 5 minutes
  • Shave +/- 10 minutes
  • Post-shave +/- 1 minute
  • Total= +/- 20 minutes

But what about you? How long does your shaving routine take? Are you a daily driver or an occasional wet shaver? Let us know your shaving sweet spot in the comments below.
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Denis Pinet - October 28, 2020

You forgot, cleaning up the mess: cleaning the razor, the brush, the bowl, dry everything, the sink and all. Another 5 minutes easy.

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