Saturday, 1 February 2014

How to Wet-Shave the Old-Fashioned Way

by Marie-Helene Blackmore

The old-fashioned wet-shave is becoming fashionable again. An increasing number of men have given up their disposable razors and are choosing the traditional wet-shave with a quality razor, shaving soap and natural brush. Some of the main benefits of this method include a smoother and softer skin, and fewer skin rashes and irritations.

Many men prefer the scent of natural shaving soap to the synthetic fragrances used in so many commercial shaving products. The old-fashioned wet-shave is also more environmentally friendly than disposable razors. The straight razors and safety razors used in wet-shaves last several years, and the blades simply need to be sharpened or replaced regularly.

What You Need for a Wet Shave

To get started with an old-fashioned traditional wet-shave you will need a good quality razor, natural shaving soap, a brush and a scuttle. The initial investment may seem high compared to the money you would spend on disposable razors and shaving foams, but consider that quality products can be used for years. The straight razor simply has to be sharpened frequently, and the replaceable blades in the safety razor are very affordable.

How To Choose Your Razor

There are two types of razors that are most commonly used in wet-shaving: straight razors and safety razors. A straight razor has a handle and a long blade, and the blade is permanent but needs to be sharpened regularly. Many experienced shavers choose the straight razor once they are comfortable with the method. The other option is the safety razor that comes with a replaceable blade. Generally the used blade should be replaced with a new one after you have been shaving for a few weeks. Many first-timers choose the safety razor because it is a little easier to use.

Choosing the Scuttle and the Brush

The scuttle is the bowl that is used to lather up the shaving soap. You can invest a little money and get a beautiful vintage scuttle, or you can simply use a cup that is of a similar size to a typical scuttle. You will also need a bristle shaving brush. The pure bristle shaving brush Aleppo Soap Co. Bristle Shaving Brush from the Savons d'ailleurs eBoutique is a completely natural brush, ideal for a clean and comfortable shave. The brush is made with animal bristle and the handle is made of beech.

Choosing the Shaving Soap

Shaving soaps are much gentler on the skin than shaving foams and other commercially made shaving products. The Tadé Savon de Rasage - Shaving Soap with Laurel Oil is made with olive oil, a traditional ingredient in high quality soaps. It also contains laurel oil, a natural disinfectant. The combination of olive and laurel oils helps to prepare the skin for the wet-shave process.

Laurel oil also contains plenty of essential fatty acids which help to promote a healthier and softer skin. The Tadé Savon de Rasage - Shaving Soap with Laurel Oil is ideal for sensitive skin types that can be irritated by commercial shaving products. This shaving soap does not contain artificial substances, such as sodium laureth sulphates, preservatives or colorings.

How to Get Started with the Wet-Shave Method

1. The skin needs to be moisturised before the shave, so start by softening your skin with warm water and soap mixed into a lather. Add hot water into your scuttle (bowl) together with some shaving soap, and use your brush to whip it up into a lather.  Then use the brush to apply the lather on your face. You need only a little soap for each shave.

2. When you start shaving, move the razor slowly on your skin, following the direction of the hair flow. It can take some time to learn the perfect pressure for shaving so be patient. It is sometimes recommended that the razor should be held at a 30 degree angle.

3. Rinse your razor often to remove hair and soap, and then continue shaving. Make sure that your skin is moisturized with the soapy lather all the time.

4. To finish the routine, wash away any residue of hair and shaving soap by using first hot and then cold water. Use a natural moisturiser or a natural aftershave or balm to finish the treatment. Always rinse your razor thoroughly afterwards, and make sure to sharpen or replace the blades every few weeks.

Tips for Wet Shaving

It can take a few days or a few weeks to create a perfectly comfortable shaving routine, so do not give up if it feels difficult at first.  If you cut yourself when shaving, make sure to disinfect the cut. Alum stone is a natural disinfectant; it is also astringent and helps to stop bleeding. Alum stone has been used for disinfectant purposes for centuries, and even the Ancient Egyptians knew its health benefits. It is also an effective natural deodorant.

The Aleppo Soap Co. Alum Stone is made with naturally mined alunite and can be used for disinfecting razor cuts and relieving razor burns. Always use it on wet and clean skin. This natural alum stone does not contain any irritating synthetic colorings or other added substances.

Electric shavers and disposable razors are often thought to be fast and easy, but as more men use the wet-shave method, they also notice that they like to take the time to shave every day. An important part of the routine is a good quality soap. All the soaps from Savons d'ailleurs eBoutique are natural soaps that use traditional soap ingredients and do not contain harsh chemicals, preservatives and artificial colorings. These synthetic ingredients that are so common in many commercial products can cause skin irritation and allergic reactions.

It can take a week or two to learn to use the razor and the natural brush, and to learn to apply the right amount of pressure while shaving. However, many men who have switched to the wet-shave method are enjoying the learning process and the whole traditional routine. It takes more time than a quick shave with disposable razors, but once you get used to the method, shaving can become a pleasant part of your daily routine.

Images credit:
photo 13636082 rfoxfoto; photo 20197297 vtalisg; photo 16229182 yalcinsonat

1 comment:

  1. Nice post. No matter how you look at it, safety razors seem a lot better than cartridge razors. Thanks for posting.