Shaving Terms Explained; an A – Z

Shaving Terms Explained; an A – Z

New to wet shaving? Don’t panic! The world of wet shaving can be a daunting place, especially when it comes with its own world of terminology. Hoping to decode some of the jargon, we thought we’d create our very own glossary of shaving terms. From the basics to the specifics- we’ve got you covered!

Alum Block: Often referred to as ‘the original aftershave’, alum stones are made of natural potassium alum, a material found on rocks in areas of weathering and oxidation. Used to soothe the skin after shaving, alum blocks help to fight razor burn and seal small nicks and cuts. The antiseptic qualities in the alum stone help to cool and refresh the skin as well kill surface bacteria, making it an effective natural under-arm deodorant. These qualities are also useful to improve skin tone and help prevent acne.

(Shaving Brush) Bundle: Refers to the shaving brush head. The bundle can be made from a range of different hair types, from synthetic to natural hair.

Closed and Open Comb: Referring to the two main styles of double-edged (safety) razors. The bottom plate of a closed comb razor is designed with a flat edge that typically has grooves in it; it’s referred to as ‘closed’ because the safety edge has no gaps or teeth. The flat edge of the bottom plate keeps the skin stretched tightly across the bar whilst shaving, providing a ‘’safer’’ shave. Open comb razors are designed with distinctive ‘’teeth’’ leaving more blade exposed, the open comb is therefore a much more direct shave.

To find out more about closed versus open comb razors, see our blog here.

Double-Edged Razor: Also known as a safety razor, DE razor or three-piece razor, a double-edged razor is a shaving implement with a protective device positioned between the edge of the blade and the skin to reduce the level of skill needed for injury-free shaving. The double edge has its name because you can use both edges to shave in turn, the small blades of the double edge razor could be changed at home, making daily shaving even more accessible.

Shop our best-selling double-edged razor, the R89, here.

Dry Shaving: Just as it sounds, dry shaving refers to any form of shaving that does not involve water, soap or cream. Traditionally using an electric razor, dry shaving can be quicker, but often doesn’t provide as close a shave as wet shaving and can lead to increased skin irritation.

Grain: Referring to the direction of hair growth. For initial passes, we would always recommend shaving with the grain.

Lather: Both a verb and a noun referring to the process of using a shaving brush to stir/rub either shaving soaps or creams to create a good foam (also known as a lather) for shaving. This lather can then be applied to the skin as a lubricant for shaving, helping the razor to glide across the skin for a smooth, close shave.

Passes: The number of times you go over the same piece of skin when shaving. Ideally, the fewer passes needed the better.

Post-Shave: Helping to soothe and minimize irritation after shaving, post-shave treatments work to moisturise the skin. Post-shave care can include Alum Blocks, Aftershave lotions and Aftershave Balms.

Pre-Shave: A key part of having a successful shave is the prep, so you need to use a cream, soap or gel to lubricate the skin and help lift the hair before you shave. The better the preparation, the less irritating and the closer the shave!

Rasurkultur: Otherwise known as shaving culture, 'Rasurkultur' is synonymous with MÜHLE! Taking your time, enjoying the peace and quiet for a moment and leaving the hectic pace of the new day outside the bathroom door.

Razor Bumps & Burn: Small, irritated bumps on the skin that form ingrown hairs.

Shavette: Similar in appearance to a straight/ cut-throat razor, shavettes do not require sharpening with a strop, you can instead change out the blade.

Wet Shaving: Shaving with water, soap, or cream: wet shaving allows for a closer, more comfortable shave. Requires a little preparation (which can turn into a ritual), which is so worth it!

To find out more about wet shaving, see our blog here.


Like what you’re reading? Here are some MÜHLE USA blog recommendations for you:

The MÜHLE Alum Block: The Original Aftershave

Aftercare made Easy: Caring for your MÜHLE Products

Behind the MÜHLE Beardcare Line