Welcome to my new blog series called Home Tips! Every month I’ll be sharing some tips on various subjects around the house and for your family. This first tip is just in time for Fathers Day and gift planning. Most of your hubbies participate in the age old ritual of shaving as part of their grooming regime. Personally I’ve been shaving for many years and I never really enjoyed it and always saw it as a necessary evil to being presentable – until recently. I recently caught on to the resurgence of the art of wet shaving.
Now I’m not going to get into the history of wet shaving or try to give an exhaustive story on the art, but I want to introduce you to it and encourage you to introduce your man to it. He’s guaranteed to love for 3 reasons:
- It’s actually a form of technology! The implements of wet shaving (explained below) range from economy to luxury and everything in between. Different quality tools will provide various experiences in terms of closeness of shave and nick protection.
- It totally cool and retro! This is the classic style of shaving that his grandfather and great grandfather used. He may even have an old Parker safety razor that was passed down to him. Either way it’ll take him back to the good ole days before disposable razors were born.
- He’ll save money!! Once he sees how long a small pack of double edge razors will last him, he’ll retire that Mach 3 for good.
So here’s what you man needs to get started on his way to cool, retro wet shaving.
STEP 1: The Safety Razor!
He’ll need a safety razor. A good safety razor is a work of art. Once he get’s a taste of the beautiful razors out there he’ll do his own research and settle on an appropriate one to start with. My recommendation is to start basic and get the hang of shaving in this way before breaking the bank on premium metal.
The safety razor shown above is a simple razor that I’ve been using for several months as I learn technique and get used to this new shaving method. I really like this razor by Van Der Hagen which is a butterfly style razor. You just twist the bottom knob to release the blade – Very cool! Other popular brands are Parker and Merkur safety razors.
The key to the safety razor vs. a flex head or roller head razor is there is only the heavy weight of the razor and your man’s steady hand that guides the blade over his skin for a close shave. It forces patience and discipline (nicks can be nasty) that becomes very theraputic over time. This little guys packs some weight and feels very solid in the hand. He’ll definitely feel manlier just holding this tool.
STEP 2: Get a Quality Blade!
There are a ton of double edge blades to choose from and so much research on how to choose the one that works best for him. I just want you and your man to know that you will save so much money vs. disposable razors!! I recently bought a pack of 100 blades from Amazon. After a few months I’m not even through the 2nd pack of 5 blades. We’re talking pennies per blade and a baby smooth shave!
STEP 3: Soap and Apothecary Cup for a Superior Lather
A good shaving soap will help your mans whiskers stand at attention on his face and head and await the swift cutting from the razor. Scented or non-scented, economy or very high end, the choices are endless and he’ll have fun researching and determining what’s best for him. Poraso is a well-known brand of shaving soap that is readily available on Amazon.
STEP 4: A Badger Fur Brush
This is where the fur hits the face. This is the one tool that I would recommend getting quality over economy. There are badger fur brushes and boar fur brushes. I’ve found the boar fur to be very stiff and not comfortable on the face at all. Splurge a little and get a quality badger fur brush and your man will appreciate it.
STEP 5: A Smooth, All Natural Shaving Oil
Shaving oil acts as a natural lubricant and allows the blade to glide smoothly over the man’s face. It reduces the nicks and with natural ingredients makes his face feel great after a shave! Be warned, most shaving oils sold in stores come in little bottles and are quite pricey. The shaving oil shown above was purchased at Harris Teeter for $7. Such a tiny little bottle and I like to use oil generously. I found a wonderful do it yourself recipe for shave oil here that I’m going to try. That way I can make my own from bulk ingredients and use as much as I want!
Let’s Put It All Together!
Here is my regime for shaving. There is no strict guidelines and every man will find his ideal process but the key steps are universal – wet, wash, oil, shave, dry
- WET – OK, Either before a shower or in the shower get some hot, HOT water going on a washcloth and apply to the face for several minutes. The hot water opens the pores and softens those whiskers.
- WASH – Use your favorite facial wash to clean and exfoliate the skin and further soften the hairs for shaving. I’ve even read that some people use the shaving soap as a facial wash. A good soap has natural ingredients and does a great job at cleaning the skin.
- OIL – While the face is still wet apply several drops of shaving oil to the hands and rub into the face against the grain of hair growth to pull the hairs up.
- SHAVE – Now here’s where there are different schools of thought. There’s the “shave with the grain of the hair” camp and the “shave against the grain of the hair” camp. If your man has sensitive skin and is prone to razor bumps I would shave with the grain. The against the grain move is way too close for my sensitive skin and would sprout a razor bump forest on my face in no time. Wet shaving is different from shaving with a disposable razor. The strokes should be shorter and blade should slide across the skin at a particular angle. Some quick research from reliable sites like The Art of Manliness will reveal proper angle and shaving technique.
- DRY – Rinse the face clean and pat dry or just air dry. The face and head will feel amazing and will be ready for your man’s preferred moisturizer.
So that was a simple introduction to wet shaving. As Father’s Day approaches this would be a great gift idea. If you’re not sure if he’ll get hooked on it and want to try a simple entry into wet shaving, Wal-Mart has a great brand of wet shaving products by Van Der Hagen. They have a great starter set for about $50 with everything your man need’s to get started with wet shaving.
Here’s another great guide for beginners to learn more about wet shaving, safety razors and proper technique. CLICK HERE
So let me know if you introduced your man to this method in the comments section. Include your husband’s name and how he felt about going to this new method. I’ll pull a name from those who comment to win a Parker 91R Classic Safety Razor! It’s a classic safety razor and it’s a beauty!!