The Gentleman’s Shave
We’ve been spending on a lot of time focusing our efforts on clothing. This article is being dedicated to the importance of the gentleman’s shave. A gentleman can look dapper in his wardrobe and personal style, but a rough and scruffy face that is un-kept can ruin it all quickly. Sure you may not like to shave because it’s a hassle, or you don’t see the reason to. It’s simple. Guys if you grow facial hair or wear facial hair you need to know how to shave. It’s part of your wardrobe and people will notice.
It wasn’t until 4000 B.C. that shaving was instituted. We can thank the Egyptians for their insane hygiene ways to remain hairless (lice-free). Of course for them this was a criminal act to have any visible hair on the body. I’m glad times have changed. It wasn’t long after that when the Romans, Scandinavians and Greeks started shaving. All of this to say is that the gentlemen’s shave has been a way of life for years. I personally am a huge fan of shaving. Think about it men, where is the first place people look when they greet you, your face? No one greets your back, legs, or feet.
Having an un-kept face is like having a dirty house. The last thing I want to do is invite you over to my nasty unclean house. It’s embarrassing. A true gentleman considers his facial hair with his wardrobe. If you have never taken the time to shave properly, then this will change the way you shave. Please keep in mind that I will be expanding on many of these elements in future articles. Let’s get started.
A Clean Face. Our face is a collecting agent for oil, bacteria, and dry skin. The first step in a proper shave is to wash your face with a good cleansing product. Think of your face as a work of art in progress. You want to use quality products to create a masterpiece. I have tried many facial cleansers and scrubs for men. I finally settled on a product called “Every Man Jack Face Scrub.” The reasons why I settled on this product are because it’s all-natural. The last thing you want to do is add more chemicals to your face. The second reason is because it actually cleanses and removes dirt, film, and oil while leaving my skin still hydrated. No man wants a wrinkled “prune” face. Every Man Jack Face Scrub can be purchased at a local Wal-Mart, Target, or Wegmans for no more than $5.00. Regardless find a good facial cleanser and start there.
A Heated Cloth. Sorry guys, but never shave before you shower. Your skin is dry and unprepared for the razor. Keep in mind when you shave, you are shaving a layer off your face. A great technique that I personally use is a wet hot towel or washcloth. Barbers use this technique. Wet the towel or cloth with hot water, squeeze out excess water and rest it on your face and neck for 30 seconds. I usually do this twice to allow my skin time to take in both the heat and moisture.
Preshave Oil. The whole purpose of applying preshave oil to your face is to create a protective barrier on your face. This protective layer keeps your face safe from the blade of the razor. Please keep in mind that this is optional, but it really does help. If you were interested in good quality preshave oil I would highly recommend you try American Crew Ultra Gliding Shave Oil.
Lathering Options. There are many different options out there when it comes to lathering for shaving such as shaving soaps, shaving creams, and the classic shaving foam in cans. These are all personal preferences, but I must warn you that all those shaving foams in cans are full of air and chemicals. No man wants to place a handful of air-filled chemical foam on his face. I would suggest you explore the world of shaving soaps and shaving creams. I will be expanding on this more in future articles. I personally use shaving soap for a great traditional lather. Shaving soaps are the way to go if you’re looking to save money, have good quality product, and have a product that stays with you for months. If you want to explore these two types of products I suggest you check out Royal Shave at: .
Brushes. I’m sure you’re asking what a shaving brush is because it has lost its popularity over the years. Now that you are finally beginning to understand the importance of shaving you will need to understand the importance of the brush. Once you start using a shaving brush you will never stop using one again. I love using the brush, because it is much more efficient and creates a rich warm lather for my face. Get a brush!
Razor Selection. Most men are used to using plastic disposable razors. There’s a reason why they’re plastic and disposable…because they’re plastic disposable junk. Gentlemen we are talking about your face. Think of your face as a Cadillac or a classic Rolls Royce. You want to treat it with respect and care. Our face is the same way. If you’re going to put a blade to your face, make sure it’s a good one. I have three simple suggestions for you. First, look into purchasing a safety razor. These are double edge razors just like your grandpa used. They are affordable and the blades last long for a close shave. Second, consider using a Mac 3 Razor. The cartridges are a little more expensive, but you will avoid all the nicks and cuts of shaving. Finally, if you want to regain your “man card” start using a straight razor. I have been using one for over a year. It’s an experience you’ll never forget and you feel like a real gentleman when using one.
Post Shave. So after you have enjoyed your manly shave your pores need to be closed up to prevent irritation and razor burn. Take your towel and dip or run it under cold water. Then press it on your face and neck for 15-20 seconds. This will reduce any razor burn and seal up those open pores. Next your skin will need a post shave balm or cream. I suggest a good product called “Every Man Jack Face Lotion.” I have tried several products and found this one to be cost effective, long lasting, and effectively smooth.
Men I encourage you to check out some of the sites I have suggested. Explore what’s out there. Your face deserves so much more. Also the next few articles I will dedicate to follow-up with shaving tools in more detail. Enjoy.
The Gentleman's Shave Continued
Good day gentlemen. Today we continue expand our knowledge and experience on the topic of shaving. A few articles ago I posted on the subject of shaving. In the past articles I have talked about the importance of shaving, shaving creams and soaps, and today we will focus on the “straight razor.” If you didn’t read any of those past articles I encourage you do so.
The straight razor also known as “open razors” or “cut-throats” or “barbershop razors” have been around for a long time. They were actually the first available razors ever. A straight razor is a shaving blade with the ability to be folded into the handle. The straight razor maybe called a razor, but they’re more like a knife to be honest. One wrong move on your sweet looking mug and you can butcher it. There are two types of straight razors: ones with a permanent blade that will need maintained and ones with disposable blades.
Most men today do not use a straight razor and if they do it’s more because it’s a personally hobby or tradition, like me. I am a huge fan of the straight razor. If you so choose to start using this type of razor to restore your “man card” then I suggest you take some serious time looking and learning. Here are a few tips I would like to suggest from my personal experience. First, start by watching as many videos of others being shaved by a straight razor. It’s truly an art form that you will hopefully come to appreciate like I have. Second, before going all out and purchasing everything, find a traditional barber who actually does straight razor shaves. Go a few times to get used to the feel of the blade against your skin and even listen to the cutting of your whiskers. It’s an intense feeling.
Once you’ve decided to commit to shaving with this beautiful crafty man tool, you need to investigate what it all entails. You have two choices when it comes to straight razors and I suggest you study both, before you commit so you can save time and money. First, there are straight razors that have permanent blades. These generally cost more and can range anywhere from $80.00-$700.00. Also they will need to be maintained on a regular basis with the use of a strop, oil, and sharpening stone. This means you will need to take lots of lessons so you don’t ruin your blade.
The second choice is disposable razors. I have one of these and a permanent blade. I personally prefer using my disposable because it requires less work and I just don’t have the time to maintain it properly. These blades simply require normal razor blades and usually you can buy your blades in bulk for less. Disposable razors will generally run you anywhere from $30.00-$60.00. If you’re looking for a “starter razor” I recommend you begin your journey here.
If you’re looking to purchase a straight razor here are a few recommendations of solid quality razors. Please keep in mind that quality and use come before price. The reason for this is because we’re talking about your face. Everyone sees and views your face on a regular basis. In my personal studies and experience I will suggest to you is Dovo. Dovo lasts a long time and is still affordable. I also recommend the Shavette razor. This is actually a hybrid and what I use. It is a form of straight razor, but holds disposable blades. I enjoy the use of it because it’s lightweight, no maintenance is required, and affordable in price.
Last but not least.....
In one of our recent articles we focused on the straight razor, also known as “open razors” or “cut-throats” or “barbershop razors.” The next type of razor we are going to take a close look at is mostly known as your Grandpa or papa’s razor. For me personally it has always been known as my “dad’s” razor. Every Sunday morning I can recall standing in the bathroom next to my father while he shaved his face. As I glared at him, I studied his every move, as his hand would skillfully move that double-edged razor all over his face.
He would lather up a large bubble of shave cream in his hands and then systematically apply it to his face. Then he would turn on the bathroom facet and making sure the water was really hot. Every little detail seemed to be thought out. My dad didn’t skip a step. He would pick up his safety razor after wetting it under the hot running water and shave his face with very little effort. I couldn’t get over how impressive it was to see his razor gently glide on his face. It was like a grand illusion. One minute the side of his cheek was full of stubble and whiskers and with one clean strategic swoop of his razor the stubble was gone.
My father understood what it meant to be a gentleman, but not just any gentleman. He lived a lifestyle of being a dapper gentleman. Guys the lifestyle of a dapper gentleman means that even shaving our face is just as important as the shoes we choose to wear. Our faces are walking works of art. Your face deserves better than a plastic disposable razor that will tear you up literally. That’s why today we are going to talk briefly about the safety razor or double edge razor.
For the sake of your time I will spare you the history of the double edge razor and simply give you some points to ponder. Just like anything else in this world there are advantages and disadvantages to shaving with a double edge razor. First, a safety razor is less expensive to replace, simply because the blades are more affordable in price. The double edge razor is just that…a double edge razor. What this means for us men is we can get ten shaves out of that blade. Most packages of razor blades come in packs of twenty-five. Do the math. It adds up to a lot of shaves for less the price. The second advantage is that you don’t have to replace any batteries. Finally, another serious advantage is a double edge razor leaves less ingrown hairs.
As far as disadvantages go with a safety razor you will need some practice to develop skill with it. Obviously unlike a Gillett Mac 3 razor, we can’t run the blade carelessly along our face without creating cuts or scrapes. It requires a little extra time and patience. Something else that I have personally discovered, is when I don’t shave for more than one day, the blade will pull on your facial hair.
If you have been shaving with a razor like a Gillett Mac 3 and have a desire to shave with a straight razor, a double edge razor is a great way to bridge the gap between the two before committing to take the plunge. Finally I would like to leave you with some recommendations for razor blades and double edge razors. Please know that these will all vary in price, but I have used all of these brands of double edge razors as well as the razors themselves.
Kensington Classic Double Edge Razor
Merkur Double Edge Razor
Merkur Special Addition Double Edge Razor
Wilkinson Classic Blades