Classic Wet Shaving: 3 Important Items You Need to Get Now!
Traditional shaving AKA wet-shaving as your grandfather did is very simple and easy. You only need 3 items:
There are many other things that are nice to have (you could also go for the best classic straight-edge razor) – but strictly speaking, these are the 3 things you MUST have. Keep in mind – the equipment you purchase today will last you year after year. You’ll get a better shave and lower your expenses. A better combination is hard to find! To help the beginners a bit on the way to choose the right combination of these three – we will provide some general tips.
Once you’ve tried traditional shaving is highly unlikely that you return to modern razors or equipment – it is therefore not a big risk in buying the three essentials, safety razor, brush, and cream together.
Making this small commitment to getting the right wet shaving supplies from the get-go is sure to enhance your first experience in this new found pleasure in shaving.
Wet shaving, the proper way, is more of a lost art. Sure it is slowly finding its way back to the people but as it is, it has not yet attained the levels of popularity it had back in the day. Many males in the 21st century have no clue what wet shaving is all about. And the few that know, a very small percentage are skilled in the art. The rest are newbies trying to find their way around it. Instead, the 21st-century men have grown used to using disposable and chap shaving products from numerous companies in the current industry.
Back in the days of our great grandfathers, the art of wet shaving used to be passed down from generation to generation.
But somehow, something happened and it all stopped. The tradition of achieving a clean shave by wet shaving was cut short. But luckily, it is slowly but surely finding its way back to the heart of males all over the world.
What are the Benefits of Wet Shaving?
We shall not waste any time here. Instead, let’s get right into it.
1. Reduced Costs
Compared to cartridge razors, investing in a quality safety razor is cheaper in the long run. Let’s put things into perspective. An 4-pack of a 4-blade cartridge razor blades costs about $20. That translates to $5 for each cartridge. Compare this to the cost of quality safety razor blades which is only $0.10 and you get an idea of just how much you can save on classic shaving.
Aside from saving money on the cartridges, you also will save some cash on the traditional shaving soaps and creams. A small can of chemically processed gel sold in most stores costs about $10 During this process, you would expect them to last long. However, they do not and they do not even provide a quality shave.
On the flip side of things, the traditional shaving creams and soaps are made from natural ingredients. While their initial cost is way more than that of the chemical versions, small amounts produce adequate and quality lather. As such you end up saving a lot in the long run.
2. Reduced Environmental Impact
Traditional wet shaving uses far less waste compared to normal having cartridge razors. The only waste is the lather that goes down the sink. Unlike the razor cartridges, the double edges blades can be recycled.
3. Better, Quality and Consistent Shaves
Any men today will walk around with their head held high devoid of the fact that they have bad shaves. Electric razors usually irritate the skin causing redness, ingrown hairs and razor burns.
Safety razor shaving helps to get rid of the irritation on the skin and thus provide you with a clean more healthy looking shave.
The Safety Razor
There are many razors to choose from and they range from excellent for beginners to suitable only for those who have long experience with traditional shaving.
As a beginner we recommend you to choose a razor with a closed comb – this is a razor that protects you from the blade – only a small part of the blade is being exposed so it is very difficult to cut yourself.
Muhle R89 and Edwin Jagger DE3D14BL are examples of such razors. If you want to get yourself the best there is, then the Feather ASD2 is a good bet. A less expensive option may also be the Parker 99R or the best selling model Merkur 34c.
Once you’ve worked up a bit of experience there are many other options that might suit your particular needs better – but at the start, we certainly suggest one of these more cautious options.
Looking for more options for what safety razor to choose? Read our in-depth article about various safety razor designs such as Open Comb, Adjustable and Slant Bar.
The Double-edge Safety Razor Blade
When selecting your safety razor blade, we recommend you to feel free to experiment. What works for you is very dependent on your skin type and hair coarseness. A good choice for beginners is Astra Superior Platinum – it is reasonably sharp and provides low friction against the skin. When you have started getting the hang of it, you might want to consider the ultra sharp Feather safety razor blade.
The shaving brush is an important element to get a smooth shave. It should lather up a good froth – and distribute this foam evenly over your face. Obviously then it’s important to find a brush that works the way you want it. There are affordable options made from boar bristles and more expensive option that is made of badger bristle.
If you just want to try out traditional shaving and are unsure if this is something for you, then go for an affordable brush of boar bristle. A brush from Proraso creates a good lather and works great – but I am not going to hide the fact that the brush is somewhat stiffer than the more expensive badger brushes. But if you want a reasonable solution, I would recommend you a boar bristle brush. It is nevertheless important to be clear that there is a definite quality difference when stepping up to badger brushes.
Badger brushes can be found in almost all price ranges – but although the price of some of the brushes is high, they are quality products that can last for over 20 years with proper use and care. At the same time, these brushes give you a special, unique feeling every time you lather up.
Shaving Soap and Creams
When choosing shaving soap or cream there are a lot of options – the important thing is to find a soap that provides a rich lather. The lather has two functions – it will soften your beard so that it becomes easier to shave, and it will provide less friction against the skin so that you prevent nicks and cuts. You can choose either a shaving cream or shaving soap.
The advantage of the shaving cream is that it is easy to lather up and simple to use. Shaving soaps, on the other hand, require a bit more work to create a good lather but provides a richer and thicker foam when it is done right. What you choose is pretty much your own preference and taste. Soaps usually give you more “mileage” than creams, so even if the price is sometimes higher for soap than for the cream, it is still cost-effective to use over time.