The average guy will spend thousands of hours shaving in his lifetime. Isn’t it worth investing in products that will give you the best outcome?
You may be wondering where to start with traditional shaving, so we have gathered answers to some of the most common questions about traditional shaving to see you on your way.
What do you need to get started with traditional shaving?
- Water - Water is used to prepare the lather. You want to soak your brush in order to whip up a lather in your bowl or soap.
- Soap or Cream - You’ll want to use a high quality soap or cream. While there are benefits to both, it comes down to preference. With a shaving soap, it tends to take a little longer to generate a good lather.
- Brush - A brush is something that will last several years with good care. If you choose to use a shaving soap, you’ll want to use a brush that has firmer bristles in order to pull up more of the soap.
- Bowl - A special shaving bowl isn’t a necessary item unless you want one. You can use a regular kitchen bowl or lather directly to your face.
- Razor - A straight razor can look intimidating, but it is far less irritating (and far more enjoyable) than disposable razors with multiple blades. Or, you can opt for a safety razor, which can be a less intimidating option. With these, you have the option of experimenting with different blades until you find the ones you like best.
- Blades - A bonus to plain razor blades is that they are recyclable and very inexpensive. 1 pack of 100 razor blade refills can be purchased for less than half of 1 pack of 12 cartridge refills.
- Aftershave - There are an abundance of options to soothe your skin and close your pores after shaving. A good aftershave will soothe and moisturize your skin in order to prevent skin irritation.
How do you get the perfect shave?
There are several steps to traditional shaving, and you can follow it precisely or remix it to your own liking. Here are the safest and easiest ways to get the perfect shave:
- Take a hot shower or apply a warm towel to your skin. This opens the pores and softens the hair & skin.
- Form a lather. You can do this in a bowl, mug, or directly on your face with your shaving brush. This lifts the hairs off the face to help provide a super close shave.
- Shave with the grain, across the grain, and then against the grain. You can re-lather between passes for a smooth shave.
- Rinse off excess soap & apply aftershave.
Why should you try traditional wet shaving?
First off, it’s less expensive than disposable drug store shaving products. The high costs of disposable products come from refill cartridge blades and shaving gels/creams that do not last as long as shaving soaps that traditional shavers use. Once you purchase the brush and razor, the only repeat purchase you have is soap and blades. The brush and razor handles themselves last for years.
Secondly, it’s better for the environment. Disposable razors and the packaging that they come in are often non-recyclable. The Environmental Protection Agency once estimated that 2 billion razors and refill blades get tossed out in the U.S. each year. With traditional shaving, you only need to purchase one razor handle that will far outlast the plastic alternatives. And, plain razor blades are recyclable, which means the razor blade refills you purchase for your razor can be recycled once used.
Lastly, it’s better for your skin. Disposable razors can lead to skin irritation, nicks & cuts, and an overall tedious process. Shave soaps allow you to get a close, smooth shave while simultaneously moisturizing your skin. This can reduce or virtually eliminate skin irritation.
What about pre-shaving?
If you prefer to shave after a hot shower, your skin is already moistened and the hair is already softened. But, if you prefer to shave without a shower, you can wet a towel with warm water and place it on your face for a couple of minutes. Or, you can find a pre-shave oil or lotion to prepare your skin.
These products (or processes) are to soften the skin and whiskers in order to get a smoother shave. While pre-shave oils or lotions aren’t a must-have, they can add value to the shaving experience for those that have sensitive or problematic skin.
How much do wet shaving products cost compared to drug store products?
The initial investment into traditional shaving is significantly more than the alternative. Traditional shavers must purchase a beginner shaving brush and a quality double-edge safety razor, which can be significant up-front costs. After the initial investment, the non-traditional shaver is going to spend over $100 more per year for refills than the traditional shaver. While the initial investment into traditional wet shaving may be a little more costly, the annual cost of traditional refills is significantly less than that of mass-market products found in drug stores. Check out our full cost analysis in this blog.
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