It is inconceivable how old the culture of shaving is, according to the fact that the first recorded wet-shaving was back in 4000BC by Egyptian noblemen. Even more fascinating, if you imagine that it has remained unaltered as a procedure at its core. We are convinced that the art of shaving is a very particular form of art preserved carefully through the centuries and followed by millions of men. Let alone nowadays, that traditional wet shaving is enjoying a renaissance. Standing with respect in front of this ancient, cleansing rite, the masculine one, we proudly present you the complete guide to wet shaving.
STEP INTO THE RITUAL
Whether you are a novice or already a wet-shaving lover, there is only one way to do it, and this is to do it right. You should have the appropriate tools for sure, but first of all, you should have the proper attitude.
It's just you and your bathroom mirror for once. It's a limited chance to have an honest look at yourself and reward him for doing his best and exceeding the limits. Or even the essential time of meditation after a failure, letting the old thoughts to be washed away with the lather and a brand new you to appear through the water-steam, stronger and fresh, ready to get back in the fight and thrive. The healing, self-bonding ritual that no woman will ever understand. Create the time to turn duty into pleasure. You know you deserve it.
Consider yourself amongst the privileged ones because after reading this article, you will have all the essential information and tips to enjoy it in its most completed, pro version. Shall we start with the basics?
The ideal scenario is to have at least twenty minutes to make it worth it. Many of us prefer to shave just after a relaxing bath, which couldn't be better. The area is already moistened, and the hair softened by the hot steam. In case you wish to shave without the bath version, you can wet a towel with warm water and place it on your face for a couple of minutes to fill out the moisture. For excellent results, massage with a few drops of pre-shave oil to prepare your skin for a soothing shave. Claus Porto Musgo Real Classic Scent Pre Shave Oil is made from sweet almond and grape seeds oils, and it is considered a great choice. D R Harris Arlington Pre-Shave Lotion is equally efficient for the same result, with the scent of citrus and fern.
The essential tool to appropriately foam up and apply the lather. It comes in direct contact with your skin, and this is why it is integral to be of approved quality. Among connoisseurs, a pure badger is considered the best of natural hair type due to its ability to absorb water. It provides a slightly stronger massage effect and light exfoliation that helps lift hairs and thus making them easier to cut. After extensive research, these are the two finest shaving brushes we highly recommend.
Neville fine badger brush and Muhle Kosmo fine badger brush are both made from pure badger and meet the high design standards you are asking for. Muhle's handle is wooden, and the whole brush is handmade in Germany. Neville, on the other hand, comes with its stand, and its high-grade bespoke green resin completes a smart, eye-catching, totally modern design.
Hey, barber, don't forget to take good care of your brush and rinse it thoroughly before and after each shaving! The temperature of the water should not exceed 45 °C so that the fine hairs of the brush remain undamaged. Chemical detergents, borax, or similar substances are forbidden. Plain, pure water will accomplish the dirty job.
Prepare a rich, nourishing lather that is considered to be a classic of wet shaving. You can as well create it from one traditional shaving soap or light and smooth, incredibly scented shaving cream. You should resist adding water other than the moisture inside the hair of the shaving brush. The firmer the lather, the easiest the shaving.
In case you prefer the soap, circle it several times with a moist brush. The moment you think the brush has absorbed a sufficient amount of it, apply in a circular motion with light pressure against the face. Floris London No. 89 shaving soap is a guaranteed luxury suggestion approaching the traditional style that couldn't possibly let you down. Apply the same method when using shaving cream, but you will be left inundated if you don't try, at least once, the wide, personalized multi-sensory collection of Marram Co shaving creams, made exclusively of all-natural ingredients with Marram Co Ginger Sweet Orange and Ravensara Soothing Shave Cream to be our favorite. Pine and fir needle essential oils create a strengthening aroma. At the same time, they help to balance, smooth, and renew your skin against the harmful effects of free radicals. Not to mention, fir needle is also capable of stimulating rapid cell turnover.
Now the time has come, the moment you were waiting all along is now. Wisely, choose your weapon, beard-fighter!
Since wet shaving is considered to be a personal matter, each wet-shaver has his own shaving style and preferences among the three basic shaving systems. Different benefits, different techniques, same pleasure. Choose the one that better suits your personality.
The Classic Straight Razor
The classic straight razor is where it all started from, and it's one single straight blade, also known as shavette. The shavette has been used for centuries before safety razors were invented and still counts considerably many followers worldwide. Let's be clear, though. This one requires the most demanding technique of all, and hence we wouldn't recommend it as an option for the newcomers. You should do extensive research before choosing between the many types of straight razors of carbon steel or stainless steel with numerous elegant handles. Even more, homework will be needed to conquer the famous three-finger technique. Last but not least, take good care of your razor, meaning sharpening after several shavings, a procedure that for most men approves to be unexpectedly enjoyable. A right razor strop will successfully serve a fine polishing, re-alignment of the cutting edge, and maintain the shave-ready sharpness when naturally rounded by the savings. Get an ideal one, just like Murdock London Leather Razor Strop.
Since 1904, when King Gillette took out a patent for thin, replaceable, razor blades, the safety razors are considered to be the first mechanical devices for self-shaving in more recent times. The best of them are made to be unashamedly elegant, as well as highly precise, thanks to their ergonomic design. A safety razor could be a precious partner, an investment piece for life, enhancing your status and skillfulness.
Among the two categories, closed comb, and open comb, the second one is considered to be the most aggressive because the most significant part of the blade is exposed for a really close shave. It's perfect for those of you unless you are a beginner, who occasionally shave, weekly, or even less. The disadvantage of this type is that it is a bit limited, fewer companies produce it, so it needs more homework to choose from.
On the contrary, the closed comb razor is the most popular one, used by the majority of wet-shavers around the world, and it's easy to tell why. Extra protection is provided for the shaver by the use of a straight, safety bar that runs the length of the razor blade. It allows for a smooth and gentle shaving technique, especially when it comes to the detailed shaping of the sideburns and hairline. Does it need practice? Yes. Does it require mastery? Affirmative, but it's totally worth it. Both novices and experienced ones can use it, so if you need a razor for regular, daily use, it won't let you down.
An exquisite example of a closed comb razor is designed by one of the top manufacturers of the kind, the german Muhle company and it has the leading part on Muhle Sophist Shaving Set Artistic craftsmanship combined with industrial expertise results in this masterpiece of high ergonomic suitability and longevity with an elegance that one can't help but notice. What is more, it's the ideal choice for the environmentally conscious, as it is made to have reduced needs in single-use plastic. The pure badger shaving brush, as well as the chrome-plated soap dish, complete a high-quality shaving. The set box is an excellent idea for a gift to a friend or partner after you get convinced yourself.
Either way, don't forget to stock blades for future use. Muhle rules the field one more time with the practical Muhle 40-Pack Stainless Steel Safety Razor Blades that will last way longer than what you think.
Like so much of wet shaving, it really does come down to personal preference. The fact is that with a multi-blade razor, one stroke over a patch of skin is not one stroke anymore. It's several. The gentler feeling may seem more comfortable as a procedure. Still, the chances to cause skin irritation are more significant, so don't exaggerate with the passes to achieve the closest shave. Between the thousands, choose Muhle Rytmo Shaving Set with Gillette Fusion Blade, which is Gillette's most advanced shaving system. Five blades, as well as a precision blade located on the back of the cartridge, ensure a particularly close and smooth shave. The handling is entirely secure. It is heavy enough to prevent you from using too much elbow grease, fault of technique that will fatally end up in blood.
Regardless of the shaving system you selected, nothing good will happen if you don't own a sharp blade to begin with. Start by shaving in the growth direction of the hair. The razor should be held at a sharp angle, approximately 30 to 40 degrees to the skin. Try to stay loyal to this gradient as most men have the unconscious tendency to alter this angle when shaving the opposite side of the face from the hand they're using.
There's no need to go against the grain, unless even the second pass isn't satisfying enough, regarding the close finish.
The chin and neck are traditionally tricky areas, so be respectful and don't skip the stretching of the skin before the contact with the blade. Adjust your technique with only short strokes, remain steady, and don't be discouraged by small cuts or grazes. They will rarely occur after the crucial familiarization period. Feel free to laugh at yourself by the funny grins required to achieve shaving at the area of the upper lip, we all do, either we admit it or not!
Good job, barber, but if you think you are done, you are deeply deceived. Rinse the remaining lather of your face with care and with cold water this time and let us confess a bitter finding.
This whole time we try to exalt the fact that a sharp piece of knife traverses down the side of your face at a specific angle, thanks to which you will not get injured. Almost though. The outer skin layer is under mutilation after this violent act, more vulnerable to contamination than ever, craving for the lost lipids and moisture.
This is why after shave care is non-negotiable. Rebuild damaged skin with Malin and Goetz Replenishing Face Serum, especially if you spot irritations and redness. Vitamin E and chamomile attests an astringent function, and it is precisely what your after-shave skin longs for. Alternatively, you could use the Baxter of California After Shave Balm. Baxter's after-shave balm will diminish the itching and strengthen the resilience of the cells with the help of its cooling extracts of aloe vera and allantoin.
LA Bruket 146 After Shave Balm Laurel Leaf is another remarkable choice, light and freshly scented.
Now that we shed light on all the hidden, unknown parts of the barber world, no excuses are acceptable! Show yourself, clean-shaven!