Monday, February 1, 2010

Men's Grooming how-to: shaving with a double edge blade


This might be a little foray out of the general content for this blog, which has been mainly perfume and fragrance - but I feel that the area of men's grooming is strongly related, for obvious reasons. For this reason I would like to do a blog post about a now ancient way of shaving that is currently enjoying a renessaince among men of all ages; traditional wetshaving. This form of shaving is accomplished using a single razor blade, with bevelled edges on each side. This razor blade fits into a safety razor, which is run across the face in mostly the same way that today's cartridge razors are used. At the bottom of the first photo you will see a 1950's Gillette Tech razor. Often, traditional wetshavers will also skip the use of modern canned shaving foam, and instead will create their own laters with the use of shaving soap or shaving cream. For this example I will be using a slightly unorthodox soap, Chanel's "Coco" bar soap (hey, I had to make it marvelous, darlings!). There are however, many soaps designed specifically for this purpose from Tabac, William's, Art of Shaving, Floris etc.


The first stage is to adequately wet and warm the brush and the later mug, simply pour warm water into both for a minute or two.

To prepare the brush to be "loaded" simple squeeze once, you can also wave a few times to get out any extra water - the brush must not be very full of water otherwise you will just make a mess and your soap will not stick to the brush. A common mistake of the novice is to use too much water, you must really get your brush semi-dry! The dryness of the brush will not be a problem and you will see why in the next step...

To load the brush, one must first put a small layer of hot water onto their soap. Commonly, shaving soaps are made in a circular shape with a ridge around the top to trap the water. Otherwise, the soap is sold in a bowl shaped container which accomplishes the same thing. This hot water will partially melt the top of the soap making it soft and sticky. If you are using a shaving soap such as William's or Art of Shaving make circles around the top until you feel that your brush is beginning to stick slightly. When this happens the brush is fully loaded...

And should look something like this...

The last step before taking the razor to your face is to make your lather in a mug or bowl. I just use a mug for this tutorial because it is something that most everyone will have at home. There are specialized bowls available, and can range in price from $10 to $100 or more. This is just a preference thing of course, a mug will work just as well! In order to later, add a very small amount of water to the mug, maybe somewhere in the vicinity of one to two tablespoons (15-30ml). You dont actually have to use a tablespoon to measure of course, just turn your hot tap water on to a trickle and let slide the mug under the stream for a second. Start with less water rather than more, it is easier to add more if needed but much harder to take away if your lather is too airy!!
Now, Bon Voyage! start shaving! ( I will post another article that will deal with proper blade handling for the face and legs - ladies can use a double edge razor too ;)

5 comments:

Safety Razor said...

Nice intro to the Wet Shave. I will link my blog to your too.

Parfum said...

thanks :)

kindly leave your blog address as well !

Gamer said...

Hi!!

Leon said...

I can't get the point of turning back to such a heinous technology. It's heyday was when my father was young! If wet it should be, please use the newest 5 blade razors: they do its job faster and are gentler with the skin. If they are of the power vibrating type, they are better. One blade razors are beautiful in films and for nostalgia, but for the skin they are really rude.

Shaving Soaps said...

Skin products for specific skin types have been available for a number of years now, and products like shaving soaps, shaving creams, and facial skin care which are formulated for men are slowly gaining popularity. However, before choosing what products to use on their faces, men should start with the basic issue, and that is to know specific skin type first.