Chris Walker, from Hungry, asks:
“Hi there, I was wondering what next to invest in to upgrade my shaving kit? I currently own 2 DE razors (A Merkur 11c and a Muhle 89R) and these are great but I have a very cheap drugstore brush and cream. Which would you recommend buying first? A quality shaving brush or quality shaving cream to upgrade?
Many Thanks, C.”
I would recommend upgrading to a better cream next. Using a better cream will much improve your shave and you can still use the inexpensive brush for quite some time and still get good results. I would suggest you try Bluebeard’s Revenge, Taylor of Old Bond Street, Edwin Jagger, Truefitt & Hill and many others you will find here. Good luck and enjoy the new cream!
Do you have any burning questions you would like ask our wet shaving expert Aaron Wolfenbarger?
“While I realize all of the virtues of wet shaving my wife has know taken an interest and began experimenting with my kit. Can you recommend a razor/blade combo and cream that she can use that may be more geared for leg shaving?” asks Everett Petronick, from the USA.
“Mr Petronick, You are a very lucky man having your wife come on board with you! Many of the products are the same but she might enjoy a floral or rose scented shaving cream to use. A product I do think would be an advantage to your wife would be a long handled safety razor such as the “barberpole” Merkur 38c and 23c razors, the Parker 52 and 96 models, and the vintage Lady Gillette which can be found in second hand shops, and online auction sites sometimes in “New Old Stock or NOS” condition. May you and your wife enjoy,
Smooth Shaving! Aaron”
Do you have any burning questions you would like ask our wet shaving expert Aaron Wolfenbarger? CLICK HERE TO ASK AARON YOUR QUESTION
Do you have any burning questions you would like ask our wet shaving expert Aaron Wolfenbarger?
Called a modern Renaissance Man by many, Aaron has many interests including music, science, theology, his family, camping, backpacking, style, grooming, and of course wet-shaving. His love of wet shaving began as a teenager when he was gifted a brush, mug, and soap set for his birthday. He can be found on many online wet-shaving and men’s forums and on Twitter as @KiltedShaver.
Aaron is here to answer your questions, which might include:
How do you get rid of shaving rash?
What are the pros and cons of blade shaving?
What should I look for in choosing a razor?
Which is the best shaving direction – with the hair growth or against it?
What are razor bumps?
How many times can I use one blade?
How to not cut yourself while shaving
How to stop bleeding from shaving nicks
Will shaving daily make my hair grow thicker?
Please note that we can’t guarantee that all questions will be answered. Questions that are answered will be published on this blog in the ‘Ask Aaaron Q & A’ section, so please bookmark this page.
As Gillette launches its much-hyped Fusion ProGlide Power razor in the UK – I take a quick look at why a double edge razor is still technically superior to a ProGlide or any other cartridge based razor system out there.
For those who use double edge safety razors for shaving on a regular basis, the answer to the question “Why is a double edge razor technically better than a cartridge based razor system?” may seem quite obvious: ‘because you get better results’. However, for the rest of the men out there who use multi-bladed cartridges instead – and let’s face it that includes the vast majority of men in the Western world – they may wonder why they should ever consider changing their shaving method?
Well, the real answer to the question above lies within the technology of the types of razor on offer. From a scientific standpoint double edge safety razors certainly have the edge over cartridge based razor systems like the Fusion ProGlide Power razor, Wilkinson Sword Hydro and the King of Shaves Azor.
I recently spoke to American wet shaving expert Mike Sandoval, who runs the Shaving101 website, about why the cartridge razor system was so popular.
“The cartridge razor system is appealing to many men because it is advertised to be modern and high performing with innovative designs and multi-blade cutting action,” he said. “High-dollar marketing campaigns feature celebrity athletes that promote modern cartridges as the only masculine option.”
So why do double edge razors produce a closer and more rewarding shave?
The cartridge system razor generally works by using its hinge or pivot point to maintain a constant angle on the face while shaving. And while there may be many other features or gimmicks they offer, this pivoting mechanism is the most important aspect of the razor at making the shave quick and easy to use – which is the key advantage of these razors.
“The problem is that the blades of a cartridge are close together with extremely small spacing between each cutting edge,” explains Mike. “The razor is unable to cleanly cutting hair without requiring multiple passes along your skin, catching and pulling long stubble, as well as constantly clogging during the shave.”
On the other hand, while double edge razors may take longer to get used too – with a short learning curve to overcome – you have far more control over the razor and the closeness of the shave itself. Therefore, with DE shavers the process may take longer, with shorter strokes, but you will notice an improvement in the (even more crucial) performance aspect of the shave.
Mike adds: ”The double edge safety razor uses a single cutting edge that tracks along the skin at a much more comfortable angle and cuts the hair cleanly without grabbing or pulling excessively (provided you choose the right blade for your beard and skin type).
”Although you won’t find many celebrity athletes promoting the double edge razor, there has been a strong resurgence in traditional shaving. Many men are returning to old-school shaving because it is more comfortable and more economical.”
If time really is the most important factor when shaving, a Hydro, Azor or ProGlide may be the answer, but if you are a man who likes to work with engineering excellence that has stood the test of time and has the patience to learn, then maybe it is time to think about leaving those expensive cartridges behind and opt for a results-proven double edged razor.
Gillette launched the new Fusion ProGlide Power razor in the UK this month. It is the latest addition to its growing family of Fusion razors with Gillette’s thinnest-ever blades. The firm says the ProGlide outperforms its existing Fusion razor.
There are two versions of the Gillette ProGlide, a battery-powered model and a manual version. The battery-powered Gillette Fusion ProGlide Power comes with one blade cartridge and is available priced £12.99. The manual version comes with two blade cartridges and costs £9.99.
Over the last few years, I have used many different brands of cartridge based razor system, including the Azor, Gillette Fusion Power Stealth and Gillette Mach 3 Turbo, Wilkinson Sword Quattro Titanium Energy and Wilkinson Sword Hydro 5 and Boots’ Hydro and Titanium Triple Razor, but personally still prefer the excitement and closeness of a DE razor.
The Merkur 33C Classic will always be my all-time favourite, but I would also highly recommend the Merkur Futur 760, Goodfella, Muhle R89 and the relatively new Bluebeards Revenge “Scimitar” Double Edge Razor.
Follow Nick Gibbens on Twitter @nickgibbens
Double edge shaving tips
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More articles by Nick Gibbens
For millions of men, the daily act of shaving… sucks. We tear our faces up with overpriced razors with blades that go dull quickly and foams that numb the face, deal with ingrown hairs and irritation, and more often than not have stubble within a few hours. That’s the reality that so many of us wake up to every day. It doesn’t have to work like that, though. Shaving doesn’t have to suck.
There are communities on the web that pride themselves on shaving the old-fashioned way, with a safety razor (or straightedge!), a brush, a high-quality cream or soap, and a combination of aftershaves selected with meticulous planning. The group eschews the multi-bladed monsters with their overpriced refills and the cans of foam and gels that mostly numb the face and don’t really help shaving that much… but…
The dirty secret in the “wet shaving community” is that the multi-blade systems work, and for many people work reasonably well. They can produce a clean and irritation-free shave. For many people, a quick shave and shower IS a part of life, and they’re good with that.
The problem is that it doesn’t work for everyone. The multi-bladed razors leave me irritated and with horrible ingrown hair issues due to my fairly sensitive skin and a very thick beard. That combination is disaster when combined with the drugstore razors. For me, wetshaving isn’t something I do because I enjoy it (I do enjoy it, but that’s secondary). Wetshaving is something I do because I HAVE to do it. I use a brush and a cream or soap because the exfoliation and beard softening effects help to prevent ingrown hairs. I use a good aftershave balm and witch hazel because they help to repair the damage done by scraping a sharp blade across my skin. I use a safety razor because it efficiently slices the hair in my beard off closely to the skin without going too far.
For many, that morning chore of shaving and just dealing with the pain of irritation and ingrowns is something they just don’t know how to avoid. For me, it was an accidental click on a blog that led me in the direction of wetshaving. One thing led to another, and over the couple of years I’ve been doing it I’ve now acquired creams, soaps, aftershaves, razors, blades, brushes… and it’s all been a good experience. Shaving went from something I dreaded to a way to kickstart my day in the right way. Rainy and cold outside? Sandalwood soap and aftershave. Hot and humid? It’s a Proraso shave, baby! Face irritated from a bad shave recently? Speick cures all.
The kicker, for me, has been that it doesn’t add that much time to my morning rituals around my shower. Instead of a 3 minute shave I might take up to 7 or 8 minutes. And it’s WORTH IT. I save money by not blowing through the 15 dollar cartridge refill packs every week or two, I save my face with good products, and I feel pretty good starting the day. If you haven’t tried wetshaving yet, there’s no time like the present.
Jeremy is a wet shaving expert and blogger. He runs popular wet shaving blog Punkrockshaving.blogspot.com.
More articles by Jeremy Mahler
I read a very interesting article today on SeeJackShop.com that says that well-groomed guys have much better job prospects.
The article cites a survey where 90 per cent of HR professionals said being well groomed is more important than a firm handshake when it comes time for a job interview.
“How you look has a direct impact on how you feel, your confidence and self-esteem,” said Mark Jeffries, business consultant, communications expert and author.
“This is as true for guys actively seeking a job as it is for those who are currently employed and seek a competitive advantage. At the same time, seemingly small details, like a clean shave or a great-fitting – but not necessarily expensive suit- send important visual cues to others about your professionalism and confidence.”
That survey, conducted for Milford-based razor maker Schick by US market research company StrategyOne, found that men who shave at least five times a week are having sex 15.5 times per month, compared to 7.8 times for unshaven men.
So men, get out your razors and quick as it would appear that keeping yourself clean-shaven is the key to a successful career and love life.
Acne is a common part of growing up, affecting around 96 percent of teenagers, while for many men this skin condition also continues into adulthood. For those who are severely affected, it is unlikely that anything other than medication will be of use in treating acne, but wet shaving can still provide a great way of maintaining healthy skin.
If you manage your skin properly it is only natural that your face will start to look and feel fresh and healthy. The formation of acne, which is the result of blockages in follicles, can be made much worse when skin is left oily and clogged with dead skin cells.
The best way to combat this is to take a more careful approach to wet shaving and develop consistent shaving habits. By taking your time when shaving, by allowing the experience to be more of a pleasure than a chore, you will soon notice the effects of clear and great looking skin.
Another cause of acne on the facial area is razor burn, which can be unsightly in its own right. However, you can help to prevent razor burn as well as acne by shaving every day and in the right way. This will mean that your skin (and facial hair) is much easier to maintain.
So, be sure to leave enough time each day to shave, especially after a shower when the skin is less sensitive. You can do this by getting into good habits using hot water and steam to soften the hairs and by massaging latheronto the face. If you have particularly sensitive skin, this will provide it with the moisture it needs and in doing so, helping to reduce and keep away acne.
Mantic, the American wet shaving guru, today answers the final question in The Ask Mantic promotion.
Imran asks: “What’s the best way to clean my badger shaving brush bristles when it becomes clogged with soap?”
Watch Mantic’s answer in the YouTube video below.
Mantic, the veteran of the BadgerAndBlade and ShaveMyFace forums, has now answered questions on variety of wet shaving topics, including slant razor shaving, brush break-in, passes, runny lather, grain shaving, suitable brush types and even female shaving.
We would like to take this time to thank Mantic for his time to answer the ten great questions.
The Shaving Shack team will now spend the next few weeks choosing their favourite question, with the winning questioner receiving a tub of Truefitt & Hill 1805 Shave Cream (worth £14.99).
American wet shaving guru Mantic has been taking part in a Question and Answer session with Shaving Shack visitors.
The veteran of the BadgerAndBlade and ShaveMyFace forums has been offering his expert advice on variety of shaving topics, including slant razor shaving, brush break-in, passes, runny lather and suitable brush types.
Today Mantic answers another two great questions in theYoutuve video below.
Jason asks: “When is the right time to start shaving against the grain? I have been wet shaving for about three years now and double edge shaving for the past two. I have a great routine down, and I am using very good products.”
And Maureen asks: “I know these are really men’s shaving products – but can women use them to shave their sensitive area’s? Opposed to the sometimes painful waxing procedure?”
Mantic will be answering his final question early next week, so please check back.
US wet shaving expert Mantic has been taking part in a Question and Answer session with Shaving Shack visitors.
Already Mantic, a veteran of the BadgerAndBlade and ShaveMyFace forums, has answered questions on brush break-in, passes, runny lather and suitable brush types.
Today Russell asks: “Can advanced shaving techniques like J-Hooking and Blade Buffing work with a Slant Bar razor?”
You can watch Mantic’s excellent answer in the video below.
Next week Mantic will be answering even more questions on wet shaving techniques.