September 25, 2015
Here are our top five tips to help you get a better shave and stop getting irritation. Enjoy shaving again, or for the first time!
Canned shaving cream is for the birds. It is packed with chemicals that are at their best, useless for a good shave and at their worst, bad for your skin. A canned foam or gel will never be as slick, hydrating or effective as a high quality shaving soap or cream. This also goes for all of you that are shaving with regular bar soap, just water, your wife’s shampoo etc.. Shaving soaps are formulated specifically to make dense, cushioning lather that provides slickness and slip while the added glycerin helps to moisturize your skin instead of drying it out like most soaps. Do yourself and your face a favor and make that the first thing you upgrade when you decide to elevate your shave to the next level.
Speaking of shaving soaps, it’s kind of hard to make luxurious hot lather without a proper shaving brush. Our second most important tip for an excellent shave is to get yourself a shaving brush. You don’t need to spend an arm and a leg. Whether you choose an entry level boar bristle brush, or a High Mountain White Silvertip Badger brush, the ability to make a useable lather makes all the difference in the world. The use of a brush also helps to exfoliate the skin while it opens the doors to many different options in soaps and creams heretofore previously inaccessible. The best part is the hot lather that comes along with it, luxury at it’s best.
Ahh, the ubiquitous double edge safety razor(DE) Our fathers and grandfathers used them and somewhere along the line we were told that one blade just wasn’t enough. We had to have 2, then 3, then 4 and now you can find razors with 5 and 6 blades. Let’s just clear the air here and say that these are fads, scams and most importantly, a huge waste of your hard earned cash. DE blades can be had for as little as 15 cents a blade. At those prices you can drop a fresh blade in every time you shave and still come out way ahead at the end of the year. Besides the obvious financial reasons, shaving with a DE also solves the issue of irritation quite nicely. Every time you pass a 5-bladed razor over your face, it is akin to 5 passes with a single bladed razor. So if you have a spot that you need to touch up, or that you didn’t get a clean shave on, and you have to go back and shave it again, right there you’ve got ten passes with a razor sharp blade. With a proper double edge technique you get most everything on your first pass, and if you need to go back and hit a few spots across or against the grain, you should be able to get baby’s butt smooth in 3 passes or less. It may take a little practice to adjust to the new technique, but your face will thank you.
Pre-shave, not too many people talk about it, but it’s kind of a big deal. You have to prep the hair on your face and your skin before you take a razor to it. I recommend shaving immediately after a shower as the hot water and steam really get the face ready while softening the hairs. Washing your face with a glycerin soap is great for preshave because of the hydrating effects. The next step in a preshave regimen is to apply a pre shave oil and work it into the hairs and skin. This helps with razor glide and also aids in softening the hairs as well. Just the act of massaging it in also helps to raise the hairs to get them ready to be mowed down with extreme prejudice.
Aftershave. Splash or balm? Alcohol or non-alcohol? Lilacs or sandalwood? Aftershave is everyone’s favorite part of shaving. Alcohol based splashes can be 99% alcohol and can be very drying for your skin. We use a whiskey based aftershave here at The Holy Black which yields about 30% alcohol. That seems to be the magic number to reap the antiseptic benefits of the alcohol and to still “feel the burn”, so to speak while also allowing the remaining ingredients to moisturize your skin. After your splash, a moisturizing lotion or balm really helps your skin especially in cold or dry places.
If you follow these 5 tips, you will see a vast improvement in your shave, and your face. Good luck and welcome to wetshaving!
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