I recently received a brand new shaver from the better half and have finally started to enjoy, and dare I say it look forward to shaving.
It is only in the past few years that I started wet shaving. For most of my adult years I preferred a beard or at least stubble to take away from the fact I had quite a young face. Now the face isn’t looking too young anymore, so I took the plunge and began wet shaving again. But with wet shaving comes a the typical issues most men face, including stubble rash, and the aftershave burn. Shave with the grain or against? Hot water or cold water to finish? Do you need a one, two or bloody ten blade razors? Do I need a pre-shave beard oil? A post shave moisturiser, or a soothing lotion? etc etc
Trust me I tried a multitude of different razors, techniques, lotions and potions, and I still got to the point where I couldn’t wear aftershave on the day I had shaved because it would irritate my skin too much and I would end up with a stubble rash.
That was until the missus like a shaving angel bought me a double edged razor! With a bit of research on techniques, how often to change the blades, what blades to use etc, I was ready to go.
The results were an enjoyable shaving routine, with no stubble rash (even with aftershave). This led me to write this post so that others might learn the ways of our forefathers and start shaving like gentlemen again.
Let’s tool up! What you’ll need:
- Face Scrub – Massage into the beard area during your shower to open the pores, raising the beard hairs and ultimately making them easier to remove.
- Badger Brush – Something you probably saw your dad have in his bathroom cupboard, this is an essential piece of the kit for applying an even amount of shaving cream whilst lathering the beard in preparation for the razor.
- Shaving Cream – My rule of thumb is that if it comes in a can it probably isn’t the best. Do some research and find the cream that suits your skin type and has been tried and tested over the years, something like Proraso for example.
- Double Edged Razor – Yes they are more expensive but they give you the ultimate close shave and over its lifetime will save you money compared to buying overpriced three blade razors. 100 double edged razors is about £10 and you only get about 8 of the equivalent big brand razors. Again shop around and find the razor that is the right weight and style for you.
- Aftershave – This isn’t just about smelling good, the old school brands (Old Spice, Brut, Pinaud etc) are made to help close up the pores after a shave, reducing stubble rash. Go in a traditional barbers and you don’t see Armani or Tom Ford on the counters do you?
Step 1 – Fill a cup with warm water and put your badger brush in to soak.
Step 2 – Have a shower (you don’t need me to tell you how to do that), making sure you use your face scrub.
Step 3 – Fill the sink with some warm water and empty the cup you had filled for the badger brush.
Step 4 – Shake off any excess water from the brush and add about a tablespoons worth of shaving cream into the cup. Lather up with your badger brush adding a bit more water till you get the consistency you desire.
Step 5 – Apply the lather to your face with the brush in a circular motion until your face and neck is evenly covered.
Step 6 – Use your double edged razor at a 30 degree angle to follow the grain and remove the stubble. It is important you use short shaving strokes, not the long motions you see in modern day commercials.
Step 7 – Once you have finished shaving, use cold water to clean the shaved areas of any leftover cream. This will close up the pores and reduce sensitivity and stubble rash.
Step 8 – Dab you skin dry with a clean towel and apply your traditional aftershave to the face and neck. Yes it should sting a little, but at least you know it is doing what it should.
Double Edge Razor
So hopefully this routine will transform you into Marlon Brando or Cary Grant when you step out of the bathroom. Or at the least it should reduce or remove completely any stubble rash or irritation whilst giving you one of the closest shaves outside of a traditional barbers. Remember to start with introductory razors if you haven’t used a double edged before because the real sharp Japanese blades can cause a bloodbath.
Sam Brady is a menswear expert, having worked in or around the field for the past 14 years. He has built up a keen eye for detail when it comes to the production of clothing, and is happy showcasing the craftsmanship of Savile Row and Jermyn St. But he understands the need for an interchangeable modern man’s wardrobe that mixes high street and luxury clothing.