I got some pictures of my shaving implements today. I've been wet shaving for about 3 years and I haven't looked back. I was tired of getting major irritation and not getting a good shave from a multi-bladed razor and canned shaving cream. I was shaving in the shower, trying different razors, and none of it helped. I found out about wet shaving and gave it a try. It turned shaving from a chore into a hobby.
Here's my shaving stuff I use on a regular basis.
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1 Feather razor blades. They're the sharpest blades around (as far as I know) and aren't for beginners. If you know how to keep from using pressure on the razor you'll do fine with them.
2 Dovo Special straight razor. One of the most affordable "starter" straight razors. I got it from Straight Razor Designs pre-sharpened. I'm still not great at shaving with a straight.
|From Photo 365|
3 Alum block. It's great for stopping a cut from bleeding but stings like crazy. Man up and you'll get used to it! I use it as part of my aftershave which I'll talk about later in this post.
4 SheaMoisture Shave's Tea Tree Oil Herbal Bump Preventer. It's a great aftershave with witch hazel, tea tree oil, shea butter and assorted vitamins. It only stings a little but it tones your skin very well, moisturizes a bit, and heals any irritation you might have quickly. Plus Ami loves the smell. It's my go-to aftershave in warm weather.
5 Nivea for Men Sensitive Skin Aftershave Balm. This is what I use in cold weather to moisturize after I shave. I like it a lot and it would be my favorite aftershave if it only moisturized a little less.
6 Ciril R Salter Shaving Cream in Almond. This is my favorite shaving cream of all time. I just swirl my brush a few times and build a lot of lather with it. It has a good amount of cushion between my face and the razor and provides good lubrication. The smell is good while you're shaving but doesn't stay with you, but that's why you wear cologne and aftershave right?
7 Merkur Heavy Duty Safety Razor. This was my first safety razor and it's still probably my favorite. It's got a heft to it and has a very good feel in your hand. The weight is good because you want the weight of the razor doing the work. USE NO PRESSURE!
8 Gillette Slim Adjustable. This is a very good shaving razor even if it's a little beaten up. I picked it up at the Byron Antiques Mall for $10. It cleaned up pretty well but had discoloration spots all over it where the brass underneath shows through. That's right, these razors are made of solid brass. What are the razors Gillette makes today made of? Mostly plastic and it shows. They're disposable and that's not good for the environment. There are lots of people still using safety and straight razors that are over a century old.
9 Gillette Fat Boy. This was my first "used" razor. I say "used" because it was still in the package when I bought it even though it was made in the first quarter of 1960. It was $5 at Smiley's flea market. For a while these were going for $80 each on eBay. I don't know what they're going for now.
|From Photo 365|
10 Pinaud Clubman Aftershave lotion. This is a good aftershave. It's alcohol based so it gives you a good sting but it really does well in moisturizing and toning. It heals razor burn very well, too. It's good for warm weather and making you smell like an old man. Not that that's a bad thing.
11 Crabtree and Evelyn Best Badger Brush. I can't find them on their web site so they might not sell them anymore but they have been one of the best starter brushes out there for shaving. They are well made by Edwin Jagger in England and hold up very well. Badger hair is the best material for holding soap or cream and water together to get a great lather.
To shave I take my brush and soak it in hot water with my shaving bowl (a large coffee cup from Kohl's) in the sink while I'm in the shower. While in the shower I make sure to run hot water over my beard to soften it up. When I get out I don't dry my face letting the water stay on there and keep it moisturized. I drain the water and shake my brush out most of the way then swirl it in my shaving cream a few times. I then swirl it in my shaving bowl adding a little hot water to get a rich lather. The bowl is still warm from being in the hot water but I fill the sink back up a little bit and let the bowl sit in the water to keep the lather warm.
I brush the shaving cream on my face in a circular pattern while pushing the brush into my face gently. That gets a lot of lather on my face and makes the hair stand up and get good and lubricated. I then take my razor and in short, choppy strokes with the grain of my beard. I then lather back up and do another pass across the grain. I lather up again and do another across the grain pass from the other direction. Finally, I go against the grain. The object isn't to get it all in one pass, it's stubble reduction.
I get a very close, comfortable, shave like this. I haven't had an ingrown hair since I started and very rarely get razor burn anymore.
Hopefully I've inspired someone else to try this out. Be warned though, it's addicting!