The most common question we get from Shaving 101 readers has always been, “Where do I start?” Having published many reviews of various brushes, razors, blades, and accessories, we easily see how someone taking his first steps in traditional shaving can quickly get overwhelmed with the choice of products on the market today. On the other hand, with the recent resurgence of interest in traditional shaving, many high-quality and economically priced products have appeared. There are more traditional shaving products available today than since the use of the double edge razor tapered off in the 1970s. Rather than focusing on one particular piece of the equation, this article presents an overview of what goes into your first shaving setup and what you need to take into consideration for your own needs.
This article by Shaving 101’s Mike Sandoval is featured in the July 2013 issue of Cigar Advisor Magazine. The article describes the problems with modern cartridge razors and aerosol creams, and why many men are caught in a vicious cycle of shaves that suck. Mike encourages men to go old school: use a double edge safety razor for a comfortable and enjoyable shave. He also describes the benefits of using a shaving brush to get a closer shave and softer skin. He also explains that traditional shaving is a fun hobby -- particularly for cigar enthusiasts -- because collecting tobacco accessories and shaving accessories are very similar with vintage and new gadgets, and products that are available in many different styles and scents.
By today’s modern standards, traditional shaving can appear complicated. Lather must be created with cream, brush, and bowl instead of the push of a button on an aerosol can. Similarly a traditional wetshaver has to master important variables, such as angle and pressure, which modern cartridge razors remove from the equation. Because they are widely available and most of us learned to shave with these convenient products, many men developed lazy habits that hinder their results with traditional products. This article helps new wetshavers more easily transition from mass-market cartridges to the enjoyment of traditional shaving.
The double edge razor blade is a simple piece of steel with two cutting edges, one on each side of the blade. It mounts into a traditional safety razor and provides a close shave. Despite this straight-forward concept, there remains a lot of confusion about blades in general. How long do they last? How do you choose the right one? What is the safest way to store them? This article discusses double edge blades and answers some of the most frequently asked questions about them.
Just because you are away from the comforts of home does not mean that you have to go without an enjoyable shave. Despite the minor inconveniences of airport security or lack of space in your suitcase, there are many popular traditional shaving products that are either designed for travel or have sturdy and compact packaging that make them smart choices. This article offers some tips and suggestions on traveling with your favorite wet shaving gear.
It is difficult to describe the way a razor feels when it glides across the skin, but both the feeling and performance are classified by safety razor aggressiveness. There are several factors that affect how aggressive a safety razor is and how it performs. The size of the blade gap, the amount of blade that is exposed, and the cutting angle dictated by the design of the safety razor affect the way it shaves. This article simplifies cutting head designs to quantify safety razor aggressiveness.
For those who are moving from a mass-market multi-blade razor to a traditional safety razor, they will immediately notice that the cutting angle of a double-edge razor is much different than cartridge or disposable razors. The safety razor does not have a pivoting head, and the weight and balance of the all-steel constructed double-edge razor requires a different grip in order to maintain the correct pressure of the blade against the skin. This article demonstrates the correct way to hold a double-edge safety razor to achieve the proper angle and comfortable shave.
Frustrated by his dull straight razor, King Gillette envisioned an inexpensive, double-edge blade that could be affixed to a handle, used until it was dull, and then discarded. His dream became a reality when the first modern safety razor was patented and mass produced in 1904. Since that time, the basic designs of the safety razor have remained relatively unchanged. Although the materials and craftsmanship have varied over the years, there are still only a few basic designs of safety razors. This article describes the three types of double-edge safety razors as well as the benefits and drawbacks of each design.
In April 2010, Money Magazine published a short article on the frugality of traditional wet shaving. This feature, while helpful in bringing the national spotlight to the benefits of wet shaving, failed to mention many facts. It's important to look at the monetary costs as well as other costs that cannot be quantified. Despite the celebrity endorsements and high-dollar marketing campaigns, men are turning away from disposable razors and returning to old-school products. This article explains the costs and benefits, and explores mass-market shaving vs. traditional wet shaving from a financial and personal perspective.
Like many men, I had to learn how to shave on my own when I was a teenager. I clearly remember staring into the bathroom mirror with a can of cream in one hand and plastic razor in the other, having no idea what I was about to do. My son was 12 when we decided that he could no longer go to school with his wirey whiskers and lengthening sideburns. Introducing my son to shaving was a great father-son moment, and a good exercise in patience and communication for me. He is now 13 and shaves about once or twice a week under supervision. I'm proud that I was able to give him a positive introduction to a task that he can enjoy for the rest of his life.