Ask Aaron Q/A: Do you recommend Truefitt and Hill aftershave products?

By Aaron Wolfenbarger on September 1, 2014

Posted in Aftershave, Ask Aaron Q & A | Comments (0)

ask aaron 420 Ask Aaron Q/A: Do you recommend Truefitt and Hill aftershave products?

Aaron is asked a question about whether or not he recommends Truefitt and Hill aftershave products

Darren Fletcher, from the UK, asks:

“I used to have fairly bad razor burn before I started double edge shaving 12 months ago this June. Having sensitive skin (and no more razor burn for ages after trial and error at the start) I wanted to ask about shaving balm / aftershave. I use Truefitt and Hill sops and love the smell during my shave, the balm I use post shave is L’Oreal shave balm but really want to try T&H aftershave, so the question is given the expense: is it worth the risk trying the aftershave or should I stick to balm?”

9a5b8660c49d31f7959e7018f07b6ea0 Ask Aaron Q/A: Do you recommend Truefitt and Hill aftershave products?

Truefitt & Hill West Indian Limes Aftershave Balm (100ml)

AARON SAYS

“Mr. Fletcher,

Truefitt and Hill make wonderful grooming products, and are world famous for doing so. Now that you have established a good shaving regimen that works for you and no longer causes you razor burn I certainly think it is worth trying their aftershaves to match your favorite cream scents. Also, Truefitt and Hill makes accompanying balms with several of their scents. If you wanted to stick with the aftershave balm you have an option for that as well! I certainly think now that you have eliminated the burn you can branch out and explore with little problem. Thanks for you question!

Smooth Shaving!

Aaron”

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The history of shaving

By Tom Trueman on August 15, 2014

Posted in Information, Shaving in the News | Comments (0)

Shaving is a daily ritual for people all around the world and recently, male grooming has become a bigger part of our lives. For some, shaving can be quite a burden and a lengthy task (if you have more hair) than most. However, it’s now seen as a chance to shape your appearance. We have all heard of the clean shaven look, now it seems it is the styled look that is more popular.

The process of shaving has undergone many changes, from plucking the hair out with shells to using electric shavers and new technologies are continuing to innovate the way we shave.

We thought it would be interesting to “go back in time” to see the history of shaving. Centuries ago there were no razors and people did not have the shaving regimes that we have today.

shave history1 The history of shaving

History of Shaving

Shaving Before Christ
In stone age, men would shave using clamshells, flint knives and even shark teeth. It is difficult to say how effective these items werebut we reckon it was a very close shave and dangerous too.

According to the Encyclopedia Britannica, circular solid gold or copper razors can be found as far back as the 4th millennium BC in some Egyptian tombs.

Literature also states that the Roman king Lucius Tarquinius Priscus introduced the razor to his people in the 6th century BC. Even though shavers had been around for a while, it was not a common practise with the Romans for another hundred years or so.

In the 4th century, Alexander the Great encouraged all his men to shave off their beards for protection so that enemies could not grab them by their facial hair. They would use a novacila, a block of iron with one edge sharpened. This was not only dangerous but also not practical at all. Many injured themselves during the process.

Julius Caesar used tweezers to pluck his beard. This painful method would have required great eye sight and a high pain threshold. In the meantime other Romans rubbed their facial hair off their faces using pumice stones.

Safety razors
Safer razors were fully introduced in 1828. William Henson invented the hoe-shaped razor in 1847 that you probably have in your bathroom cabinets at home.Later on in 1895 the shape was combined with the idea of shaving with a disposable double edged blade by King Camp Gillette. This invention introduced safe shaving and at the same time made Gillette a fortune. Gone were the times of shaving with a single sharp blade.

Electronic shavers
People have been trying to invent and patent electronic shavers ever since 1900, however there have not been many succesfful ones. In 1928, a retired Army colonel named Jacob Schick patented an electronic razor he had designed and the world finally had a winner. This cunning invention made life much easier.

21st Century
It is estimated that 90% of adult males shave at least once a day. This amounts to an estimated 20,000 shaves in a lifetime.

For those who are looking to remove all facial hair, there is a great variety of tools and techniques available. Consider t-razors, electric shavers and straight razors. T-razors and electric shavers are amongst the most commonly used.

total razor sales us The history of shaving

Above is an infographic that highlights the total razor sales in the U.S. in 2013. According to the data provided by Statistica Dossier (2014) Proctor and Gamble currently holds the largest marketplace.

Luxury Shaving
Shaving is becoming more of an experience than a task. There are a variety of products to cater for your budget. However if you have millions then why not nip to your local luxury male groomers to get your beard styled to the latest look. There are plenty of luxury products out on the market from shaving creams to hair pastes to keep your moustache styled perfectly.

The worlds most expensive razor was sold for $100,000. This was made from white sapphire and gave the closest shave ever recorded. A recent sttudy arly 70% of American women prefer a clean-shaved man it is worth the effort to have the right attributes to do so. Hence men are choosing luxurious grooming products over traditional ones.

Shaving has evolved greatly due to advances in technology and new innovations. The question is: do you prefer to be clean shaven or have a styled look? Either way, the male grooming market is booming which tells us that we are willing to invest in how we look more than ever before!

For most of us we can hope we win the lottery or receive a huge promotion at work so that we can purchase a $100,000 razor. In the meantime, we will have to make do without.

Author Bio
Danny writes about luxury lifestyles, success and millions. He is a contributor to Lottoland magazine. In his spare time he plays basketball.


Advanced wet shaving techniques, tricks & tips

By Aaron Wolfenbarger on August 5, 2014

Posted in Ask Aaron Q & A, Double Edge Shaving, Shaving Tips | Comments (0)
iStock 000034895654Small Advanced wet shaving techniques, tricks & tips

Using advanced shaving techniques can improve the quality of the overall shave

So you have begun shaving like a man taking down that Bluebeard stubble with a double edge, single edge, or straight razor, but still have some of that pesky stubble hanging around. Or perhaps you have been doing traditional shaving for a while, but are looking to take things to the next level? Today we will look at a handful of techniques that will help you get an even closer shave and take your shaving to the next level.

Skin stretching

First off, a simple and practical practice is skin stretching. You will see this most often practiced by straight razor shavers and barbers. Taking the fingers of your opposite hand, pull gently the skin above the area you are shaving. This creates a more flat surface for the razor to glide over creating a smoother and closer shave.

J-hooking

The J-hook sounds just like it is executed. You could also call it the pivot stroke. Draw the razor down and then swing it very lightly in a j shaped motion. This stroke is helpful for shaving off those little remaining hairs, especially in places where the hair changes direction of growth or in swirls. The stroke can be reversed to an upside down j for the same effect.

Blade buffing

Blade buffing is a very simple technique but a very effective one. Taking the razor, and with an extremely light hand, shave over the spot quickly and repeatedly. Preferably lifting the razor between each stroke. This helps eliminate those last little patches of roughness.

Gillette Slide

The last and most complicated of the techniques is called the “Gillette Slide”. It is named such for the technique comes from printed instructions included with Gillette razors manufactured around the middle of the past century. To perform the slide pull down the razor and forward at the same time. Be most careful to pull down as you pull across, otherwise you will slice a line on your face, an unpleasant experience to be sure. The Slide creates the same effect as a slant razor both slicing and cutting at the same time. This increases the efficiency of the stroke especially among varying hair growth patterns. In order for me to achieve a close shave on my neck around the Adam’s Apple, this is the stroke I use.

So now that you are shaving like a boss, you can take your shave to the next level with these techniques. Whether you use the j-hook, buffing, or slide, just remember keep a light hand and Smooth Shaving!

> Simple shaving techniques & tips


Ask Aaron Q/A: The Feather AS-D1 vs The Feather AS-D2

By Aaron Wolfenbarger on July 21, 2014

Posted in Ask Aaron Q & A, Safety Razors | Comments (0)

ask aaron 420 Ask Aaron Q/A: The Feather AS D1 vs The Feather AS D2

Aaron is asked a question about the differences between the Feather AS-D1 and AS-D2

Scott Allread, from the UK, asks:

“What is the difference between the Feather AS-D1 and AS-D2?”

a1f940d00a10a60f2b81dc77bab204e5 300x300 Ask Aaron Q/A: The Feather AS D1 vs The Feather AS D2

Feather AS-D2 Double-Edge Razor (Stainless Steel)

AARON SAYS

“Mr. Allread,

After doing some research here is what I was able to find on the variances between the AS-D1 and AS-D2. The D1 is the first model of the Feather to come out. It is regarded as an extremely mild shaving razor, with some complaints of it being too mild and some people having a hard time shaving with it, where as others rave about it. So, there seems to be some variances there. However, the fact remains that the D1 is a very gentle razor. The D2 is the second incarnation of the Feather All Stainless, with most folks agreeing that it shaves much better than the D1, not being as mild. There are also some slight physical differences in the handle and in the base. Thanks for the great question!

Smooth shaving!
Aaron”

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Ask Aaron Q/A: My shaving cream & soap dries out before I finish shaving

By Aaron Wolfenbarger on July 17, 2014

Posted in Ask Aaron Q & A, Double Edge Shaving, Shaving Creams, Shaving Tips | Comments (0)

ask aaron 420 Ask Aaron Q/A: My shaving cream & soap dries out before I finish shaving

Aaron is asked a question about how to prevent shaving soap or shave cream from drying out before the shave is completed

Paul Martin, from the UK, asks:

“Been double edge shaving for a couple of months now. Still working on my technique and finding the best shaving products to suit my skin type. A problem I have most days is that my shaving soap or shave cream is drying out too much before I finish each pass? This is giving me some problems on the neck and lip which I shave last. Any ideas?”

shaving cream face Ask Aaron Q/A: My shaving cream & soap dries out before I finish shaving

Shaving cream can dry out before the second pass

AARON SAYS

“Mr. Martin,

First off, welcome to the world of wet shaving! I would make sure you are adding enough water when building your lather, a dry lather will obviously dry out faster than a properly hydrated one, and give problems in those areas.

You can always re-lather those areas before shaving them, to make sure the lather is the best it can be to protect your face.

Also, if you have a fan in the bathroom you might want to try turning it off while you shave, the extra wind will dry out your lather. Hope this helps, and let me know if you still are having trouble and we’ll go from there!

Keep it smooth!

Aaron”

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Ask Aaron Q/A: The best ways to lather Mitchell’s Wool Fat Shaving Soap

By Aaron Wolfenbarger on July 17, 2014

Posted in Ask Aaron Q & A, Shaving Creams, Shaving Tips | Comments (0)

ask aaron 420 Ask Aaron Q/A: The best ways to lather Mitchells Wool Fat Shaving Soap

Aaron is asked a question about the best ways to lather Mitchell’s Wool Fat Shaving Soap

Luke Cressey, from the UK, asks:

“Hello, could you please give any tips on how to use Mitchell’s wool fat hear some people find it difficult to use and any tips on someone new to using shaving soap. Thank you for your time and help.”

6fe614296493def2bcef67580a9cf26c 300x300 Ask Aaron Q/A: The best ways to lather Mitchells Wool Fat Shaving Soap

Mitchell’s Wool Fat Shaving Soap and Ceramic Bowl (120g)

AARON SAYS

“Mr Cressey,

Yes! Mitchell’s does have the reputation of being a little difficult to lather. For MWF it helps to soak the puck in water while you shower to help soften the soap (roughly 5 minutes or so).

Soak your brush and shake it out well before lathering, the drier bristles will help pick up a bit more soap. Load the brush well with soap, swirling on top of the puck for a good 15-30 seconds.

Try loading the brush upside down as well: hold the soap above the brush and load with the bristles up.

Loading upside down helps to feed soap into the middle of the brush where the lather making magic happens.

For these tips and some great visuals, check out my friend Mantic59′s video on this exact subject. http://youtu.be/_MGLi_m9n_s?list=UUH95TR4r8JNRgLG1T1FVXhg

Happy Shaving!

Aaron”

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Ask Aaron Q/A: Beard shaping – Mach 3 Razor vs Double Edge Safety Razor

By Aaron Wolfenbarger on June 25, 2014

Posted in Ask Aaron Q & A, Double Edge Shaving, Shaving Tips | Comments (0)

ask aaron 420 Ask Aaron Q/A: Beard shaping   Mach 3 Razor vs Double Edge Safety Razor

Aaron is asked a question about the best ways to shape a beard using a double edge safety razor

Saby Sambhi, from the UK, asks:

“Hey Aaron, I have recently graduated to a DE safety razor from a Gillette Mach 3. I have a Merkur 34c razor, Edwin Jagger super badger hair brush and Taylor of Old Bond street almond shaving cream.

So far the shaves have been amazingly close but I am having issues with shaping my beard. The razor works great shaving large areas such as my neck but I can’t see where I am shaving for the intricate areas due to the thickness of the cream and this is leading to shaping mistakes.

Can you please advise the best way to address this? Previously with my Mach3 I was able to to cover the areas requiring detail with a thin layer of soap allowing me to see where I am going and due to the relatively benign nature of the blades this provided adequate protection and lubrication but I feel a DE razor will be too aggressive for this approach?

Any help is greatly appreciated! Many thanks, Saby.”

IMG 2104 edit 300x200 Ask Aaron Q/A: Beard shaping   Mach 3 Razor vs Double Edge Safety Razor

A double edge razor is a great tool for shaping a beard

AARON SAYS

“Mr. Saby,

Actually the same approach you used with the Mach 3 you can apply with the Merkur. What I recommend (and I do myself) is to take your finger and gently wipe away the majority of the lather, leaving behind a thin layer. The thin layer will give you the protection and glide you are looking for and still give you good visibility! Another thought would be to use a shavette such as a Dovo or Bluebeard’s “cut-throat” to do the fine work. Both methods work equally well and should give you the results you are looking for!

Smooth Shaving!
Aaron”

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Ask Aaron Q/A: How to prevent razor bumps for men who are African-Caribbean

By Aaron Wolfenbarger on June 25, 2014

Posted in Ask Aaron Q & A, Razor burn, rash & bumps | Comments (0)

ask aaron 420 Ask Aaron Q/A: How to prevent razor bumps for men who are African Caribbean

Aaron is asked a question from an African-Caribbean man on the best ways to combat razor bumps

Osa Omo, from the UK, asks:

“As an African-Caribbean man who suffers from painful razor bumps caused by ingrowing hairs how often should I shave? Every day, every other day, once a week or perhaps once a month?”

razor bumps Ask Aaron Q/A: How to prevent razor bumps for men who are African Caribbean

Razor bumps are very painful

AARON SAYS

“Mr Omo,

I would have you shave as often you feel that your beard needs it. There is not hard and fast rule saying you have to shave every day or every other day. It is up to your face and your judgement on how it feels and when you should shave. I will say that for Afro-Caribbean men especially it helps to shave with a double edge or single edge razor. Shaving at the surface of the skin, as opposed to pulling the hair and releasing it under the skin as cartridge razors do, goes a very long way in preventing ingrown hair. So in final answer it is not how often that matters most, but what tools you use that will help you the most.

Smooth Shaving!
Aaron”

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The Bluebeards Revenge straight razor project – The Naming

By Tom Trueman on June 20, 2014

Posted in Straight Razor Shaving, The Bluebeards Revenge | Comments (0)

The Bluebeards Revenge is now six weeks into its quest to create the ‘Ultimate Straight Razor for Real Men’, and the progress has been very steady. We’ve been documenting the progress of the project on The Shaving Shack blog. So far, we’ve taken you through the welding of the billet and the crafting of the tang, shank and the blade itself.

straight razor pic 300x192 The Bluebeards Revenge straight razor project   The Naming

The Bluebeards Revenge is on a mission to create the world’s best straight razor

Keen to honour the Bluebeard’s promise to take you along every step of the way, the time has come to invite you to play a very special and exciting part in the eagerly anticipated Straight Razor Project.

Hand-crafted from Damascus steel and refined to within an inch of its life, The Bluebeards Straight Razor is to be the finest of shaving instruments, designed for the manliest of men, and the search has begun for the perfect name – a name that will do it all of the justice it deserves.

This is your razor just as much as The Bluebeards Revenge’s, and they want you to get involved with the process. So they are inviting you to submit your suggestions, and will narrow them down to the five most fitting before offering them up for scrutiny.

The person who suggests the winning name will be rewarded handsomely with a very special Bluebeards prize, as well as the satisfaction of seeing the bespoke masterpiece of a straight razor bearing their creative name.

So get suggesting, give them your input, and be a part of this exciting journey.

Ways to enter:

- Tweet @thebluebeards using the #straightrazorproject hashtag.
- Leave a comment on their Facebook page – The Bluebeards Revenge

Check back next soon for the latest update on how the razor is progressing.


How to shave properly with a double edge safety razor – Simple shaving techniques & tips

By Aaron Wolfenbarger on June 13, 2014

Posted in Double Edge Shaving, Shaving Tips | Comments (0)
les shaving How to shave properly with a double edge safety razor   Simple shaving techniques & tips

Shaving with a double edge safety razor should be an enjoyable experience

So often the questions that come to us here at The Shaving Shack are from gents, and sometimes ladies, new to the wet shaving experience. They ask for information regarding a more luxurious way to take care of themselves, information on how to start wet shaving, however most often the questions revolve around improving their current shaving regimen. Bits and pieces of information have been shared in our Question and Answer section but we thought a more comprehensive review of technique was in order.

Grain direction

First we address the topic of shaving “with the grain”. Shaving “with the grain” means following the direction of hair growth with your razor. For instance, if the hair on your upper lip grows straight down towards your mouth you would shave towards your mouth from your nose to shave with the grain. The importance of following the direction of hair growth lies in the ease of cutting the hair. It causes less distress to the hair, hair follicle, and skin underneath while also offering the path of least resistance. Following this technique if your skin in prone to breaking out with spots or ingrown hairs is especially helpful.

Passes

Discussion of grain direction leads us into the next technique of reducing the beard by separate “passes”. Often you will see these passes referred to as “with the grain, across the grain, and against the grain.” Following the order of passes serves to reduce the hair in steps to get as close to the surface of the skin as possible. Going with the grain we discussed above. Shaving at a 90 degree angle, or perpendicular to the direction of growth will follow a path across the grain. Shaving in the reverse direction of growth goes against the grain. Often you see debate as to whether this last step is necessary, however most folks will find that shaving against the grain will top off their shave with the smoothest finish. If you find that your skin is sensitive, or you are new to wet shaving, leaving off this last pass until you are comfortable with the technique and blade angle is advisable.

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A safety razor will give you a much close shave than a multi bladed cartridge razor

Blade angle

Speaking of blade angle, what is a good angle to hold one’s razor? The first caveat being if you are using a disposable cartridge razor, the angle of the blades is pre-set and you need not worry about it. However to those shaving with double edge razors such as The Bluebeards Revenge Scimitar, Merkur 37c, or other fine razors this matters a great deal. Too shallow an angle and you are not taking off as much beard as you can, too much and you end up scraping skin instead of cutting hair! Neither outcome is advisable! If measured out properly the angle comes out to somewhere close to 30 degrees. However different razors can have differently shaped heads and this angle can differ. The best way we have found is to hold the razor with the handle sticking out perpendicular to your face, and as you slide the razor gently down your face I sharpen the angle so the blade edge nears the hair. When you feel the blade edge begin to catch and cut the hair you have found the correct angle.

Pressure

Hand in hand with this is pressure. No one likes pressure at work, home, and especially when a razor sharp blade is against your face. Unless perhaps you’re 007! Using as little pressure as possible no matter your choice in the style of razor is best practice. Because of the hinge on most cartridge razors more pressure will be needed than for a double edge razor, however a light hand will still go a long ways. “What kind of pressure is too much or too little?” We hear you ask? Allow the razor to just set on your face with its natural weight and letting gravity draw it in the direction of your pass is the easiest gauge.

chris2 How to shave properly with a double edge safety razor   Simple shaving techniques & tips

These basic techniques will help set your shaving for smooth success!

Another small piece of technical advice that will help you on your journey is to keep you arm straight, locking your wrist, and use the movement of your whole arm to control the razor. This will help you control angle, pressure, and prevent painful gouges. (Ouch!) These basic techniques will help set your shaving for smooth success! And smooth is what we are after, right? Thanks for reading and stay tuned for more in depth looks at wet shaving technique in articles to come.