We, as a civilization, have been shaving for thousands of years, only recently developing the traditional shaving products you might recognise, but our Neanderthal ancestors used clam shells, sharks teeth and flint blades to remove their unwanted hair, and some of the early forms of shaving ‘creams’ were made with a blend of wood ash and animal fat.
Fortunately, in these times, shaving paraphernalia is a lot more sophisticated and efficient thanks the invention of safety razors with keen blades and more ergonomic designs, which means that instead of shaving being a time-consuming ‘event’, it can be a fairly effortless, un-intrusive part of our daily routine.
Here’s the Gentlemans Face Care Club’s simple 6-step guide to achieving the perfect wet shave using traditional shaving products…
1. Perhaps the most important thing to do before you start is to make sure your blades are sharp. There’s a culinary saying that goes “The most dangerous thing in a kitchen is a blunt knife”. The same applies to dull razors.
Attempting to shave with dull blades is one of the main causes for those irritating nicks, cuts and little casualties that sometimes occur.
2. The ideal time to shave is during a bath or shower, or directly after one. This is because the steam from the water will have softened the follicles and loosened them by opening the pores.
Obviously this is not always practical, but wherever you’re shaving, be it in the bath, shower or over the sink, ensure that the water is not too hot as this will deplete the natural oils in the skin. Luke-warm water is best. So, before you shave, thoroughly hydrate the face with luke-warm water.
There are so many traditional shaving products such as shaving creams, soaps, foams, butters and gels available on the market. Now, with a shift towards being kinder to the planet, there’s a trend for more natural and plant based preparations which, as well as being kinder to the planet, are kinder to the skin.
4. Don’t feel you have to ‘dig in’ when you apply the razor to your skin. A sharp blade on a well lathered face will do most of the hard work.
Use light, gentle strokes and, though you can probably get a closer, tighter result by shaving ‘against the grain’ (in the opposite direction to the hair growth), you’re likely to have a more comfortable and wound-free experience if you shave ‘with the grain.’
Rinse your blade regularly between strokes.
5. When you’ve finished shaving, splash your face with cool water (this will close up the pores). Ensure you’ve removed any residual soap or cream and lightly pat the skin dry with a towel.
6. Complete your routine by applying an aftershave balm or a gentler, more traditional, shaving product such as moisturising balm or butter. Avoid alcohol based aftershaves as alcohol is an astringent which tends to sting and dry out the skin.
Balms and butters fragranced with natural scents are a good alternative to zingy, synthetic aftershaves as they soothe and moisturize, as well as providing a more subtle long-lasting scent.
Traditional Shaving Products Give You The Best Shave Possible
As you can see, using a modern twist on traditional shaving products can give you a very close and comfortable shave indeed, this is why many barbers and hairdressers still use the old techniques with their customers. But one thing you will need is time, so allow yourself to truly enjoy the experience and get the most out every shave without rushing or hurrying to get the job done