Traditional shaving… Yes, but why change the way we do it?
We hear more and more about this practice that comes back to the taste of the day, and the reasons are multiple… Why so much enthusiasm? How do we do that? What savings do we make? Let’s see all this in detail in the lines below… Attention… you will no longer want to go back when you have tested…
The pogonotomy is art and pleasure.
Small precision, however, we will not go back up to the very first method to shorten his beard, which consisted of setting the fire in a controlled way, nor of the shell which was the ancestor of the razor…
This article will talk about straight razor (or “cabbage cutter”) and Safety razor, it’s topical!
1. The pleasure of taking care of oneself
When you have tasted the pleasure of traditional shaving, you will probably not want to go back to the gel bomb or the plastic razor… Know it before you continue to read these few lines…
- The preparation of the skin with hot water: hot water on the face to soften the hair, see even the hot towel as in the Barber… A real moment of relaxation.
- Applying the mousse to the shaving brush… A pleasure compared to the foam in bomb (chemical) that is applied by hand
Shaving soap is healthier, more enjoyable, more economical and the smell will delight your olfactory membrane… !
But beyond pleasure, the traditional shaving soap when it is well chosen, displays few ingredients in comparison with the foam or shaving gel bombs, in which there is in addition, gas.
Barbers usually say: “a well-soaped beard is half shaved”
The importance of a good foam on the face is crucial in order to get a good shave and to make it enjoyable.
This goes through:
- the choice of a good shaving soap
- the good preparation of the shaving brush
- a good filling of the latter
- a good fitting of the foam (in the bowl or directly in the face.) For my part, I prefer directly on the face, because the lather is still hot.
For the soap, you will find in large areas, at low cost. They do however unanimously with the followers of the classic shave because the foam obtained is not terrible and the smell is… debatable.
You will find, on the Internet mainly, plethora of models from the most classic to the most amazing. The best known and appreciated soaps such as Martin de Candre and Father Lucien are safe values. These include brands such as Razorock, Taylor of old Bond Street, Extro, Saponifico Varesino, Panacrema, catties bubbles and tobacco, which are also popular with old-fashioned shaving enthusiasts.
I currently have a Martin de Candre, a Razorock barbershop, a Taylor of old Bond Street and a Le père Lucien, it is a real pleasure to use them… The smells are amazing and make you travel in time during your shave, genuine Proust madeleines…
The Proraso are good soaps also for a very affordable price.
Moreover, the foam obtained is of a truly exceptional quality!
It’s simple, the shaving foam in a bomb… you will never use it again after testing such soaps.
Small + not negligible, the lifespan is more than one year. And this, if you use only one of them with every shave… You will quickly do the math by checking the price in this article.
Important Tip: after each use of the soap, rinse the excess in cold water and do not close the lid before 2 days so it dries. For my part, I never close the box… I’ll leave the lid down. The longer it is dry, the longer it will last.
2. It’s eco-friendly and economical!
- No pressure gas
- Shaving soap = one year of minimum use (for a few weeks for a foam bomb)
- A limited list of ingredients in soap
- A safety razor or a straight razor does not throw, it lasts all life.
- The blades are metal and that’s it. No different plastics or chemical lotions like on multi blades…
3. The style!!
These are beautiful objects!
It still has more mouth to shave with a safety razor or a cabbage cutter than with the plastic multi-blades found in large areas… !
Little bonus, women love it! Seeing his man take care of him in a manly and ancestral way, it makes his little effect…
Gentlemen, let’s talk about testosterone!
To embelgle this moment, I sometimes put some music of circumstance.
Here is an example of sound that I like to listen to while shaving. It is up to you to find the one who will rock your ears while your skin is lightened with its hairs, the gentle sound of the blade that cracks the foam… Indescribable!
4. Shaving is much better!
Once the gesture is mastered, the shaving is quality. Forget the irritation of the well-priced blades paid for the quality brought…
Also finished the product strips to soften the shaving located above the multi-blades… (Which by the way, are real bacteria nests.)
With the classic razor, it’s metal only… shaving soap takes care of the slides. That’s all. (Finally, there are also these very pleasant smells of old soaps… It does not spoil anything, let us say it…)
You will be razed closer and your skin will be less irritated…
The BBS, it speaks to you… ? “Baby butt shave” It’s all sweet, nickel! The only risk is to blow you up at the exit of the bathroom, but that does not make us…
The quality of shaving is not only due to the quality of the material, but also to the gesture. The use of these razors of yesteryear makes us adopt the appropriate technique. Pleasure and pride are at the rendezvous.
The application of the foam is not only used to slide but also to put the hair in the best conditions to be cut.
This goes through:
- The preparation of a good foam
- The wetting of the face with hot water
- Applying soap to the shaving brush, taking care to thoroughly massage the skin and apply a beautiful foam coating.
The different direction of the razor
Number of two or three depending on the time available.
The first pass is in the direction of the hair. Although overall, the meaning is pretty much the same for all, we are different and this will be the opportunity to know you better by studying your implantation. Your future shavings will give results that you do not suspect…
The intermediate pass is not practiced by everyone, but if this is the case, it takes place in the hair. Namely, from ear to mouth. I like to do it because the result is better and it makes the pleasure last.
The last pass, is made to the back of the hair, it is she who will make you shaved very closely!
In most videos and articles, you will observe the use of alun stone and aftershave.
My opinion will be controversial but I assume.
Concerning the Alun stone, which has astringent properties that can not be removed… I do not use it and advise against it. The word “Alun” refers to “alunite”, which is a mineral species composed of sulphate hydrated aluminum and potassium. One knows its dangers during the absorption by the body… Especially on a skin that has just been shaved and is therefore vulnerable. Yes it tightens the pores… but with ALU in “gift”.
So I have the same speech regarding the after shave, which does the job well and which is very good, I recognize. I have sometimes used it for pleasure, but again, alcohol (it does not contain all), and the products are directly absorbed by the skin. That said, I fully understand the users because it is rather nice to finish a shave on a note of freshness or even on a perfume a little more musqué.
For my part it is: water as cool as possible on the face. It also tightens the pores and it’s good.
5. The variety of pleasures!
There is indeed a really nice side to take care of oneself by reproducing the ancestral gestures with quality material…
Shave with the last 9 blades bought in large area, or opt for one of those little jewels that breathe the solid… I made my choice.
Yes it has become a ritual and it takes me a good quarter of an hour, twenty minutes… Yes it was faster with the foam bomb and the 13 blades… But then again… my choice is made.
The satisfaction… to vary the pleasures… ! Different razors, different blades, different soaps, different shaving brushes… It’s based on mood and it gives back interest in shaving that can be, has become a chore for you.
The wide variety of products available will allow you to change sensations, smells at your leisure. So get this soap that you’ve been hearing about in the shaving videos for a while, try this new blade that you haven’t presented to your cheeks yet, refine your gesture with this beautiful razor that you’re proud to show your entourage. The playground is endless!
But then, straight razor or safety razor… ?
There it is according to…
The straight razor
(Or “cabbage cutter, “Sabre razor”, “CC”… call it as you like)
A few years ago, after watching a lot of videos on the subject, I bought myself a cabbage cutter, a sharpening leather, a shaving SOAP and a Badger.
I put heart, but after several good cuts and for lack of time, I dropped. On the other hand, I never went back to the shaving bomb… the pleasure of foaming the Badger’s face with a quality shaving soap… It’s incomparable!
With a bit of hindsight, I think I had a doubt about the sharpening of my cabbage cutter even though I spent it in leather for long minutes altogether. Always about fifty minimum passes before every shave.
In doubt about the sharpening, have it prepared. It’s not that obvious to find the right person, because a quality razor… We do not want to entrust it to anyone. You will find however enthusiasts who do it very well (and who have the equipment especially). Take a tour on the Forum of the “CCC” (Cup Chou Club)… a wealth of information distilled by traditional shaving enthusiasts/experts.
One differentiates the sharpening of the affilage. The sharpening, you know, is pretty much the same principle as for knives but in more specific, with different dedicated stones, successive. The sharpening, for its part, means the last step that allows to give the razor its “thread” and that allows shaving. Without it, don’t think about it… A real butcher…
Namely that the cabbage cutter is more expensive than the safety razor to purchase. This is due to the fact that manufacturing requires a greater know-how, and is not automated. Then you will not have to buy blades, but you will have to maintain it.
The origin of the nickname “cabbage cutter” (straight razor) is a little blurry, but it seems that it comes from the short Sabre used once in the infantry.
It could be associated with the fact that the word “cabbage cutter” is referred to as the human head and that in past (or almost) times the sword was used to slice it…
Attention to the handling of the straight razor… That’s a tough slice. It is not to put in all hands.
Tip: always keep it out of the reach of children obviously, but also store it out of the bathroom. But it’s the place to use it… Indeed… But the humid atmosphere doesn’t mix well with the metal and your straght razor will find its place better in a drawer of the room or the living room.
In order to understand the language of those who will give you wise advice, here are a few words to know about this object.
Maintenance of the straight razor
Last point concerning the right Shaver: to maintain and use it, it is necessary to bring a leather of sharpening.
This step is to be done before (and/or after) each shave.
There are two categories:
The strap (or “strop”) and the racket (paddle). It’s a strip of leather, on which we pass the razor following a precise gesture. The number of passages must be important and we often hear about 50 minimum round-tripping at each session.
Take care to make “X” passes as on the video, i.e., make the entire blade of the leather surface. The latter being more or less wide, you will need, when moving, slide the blade from left to right and vice versa so that the whole of its width is in contact with the leather.
The safety razor
It is, for me, the good compromise while waiting to master the cabbage cutter or simply to shave in a traditional way and no longer be subjected to the overbidding of the multi-blades.
Note that one can read and hear “Safety razor” or “Safety razor”. The word security is more appropriate here because we talk about avoiding an “accident” (the cut) and not to protect yourself from a voluntary threat from a third party. This is the difference between “security” and “safety”.
You will also see the name “DE” to designate the safety razors. These are the initials of “double edge” which means “double blade” in English, because of its two usable sides.
Both sides are identical, this is just to flip the razor when it is full of foam.
My first (and still current) Safety Razor: ↓ Edwin Jagger 89bl ↓
Click on the image below if you want to see it on Amazon.
After having inquired, this model seemed to me to be the most suitable for a beginner, while being appreciated by the initiates… the look finished convincing me.
The grip was very intuitive and from the first shave, the pleasure and the rendering were at the rendezvous. The head is “comb closed”, which classifies it in the category of “soft” and more “tolerant” razors. The choice of the blade you insert will determine the efficiency/aggressiveness of the Shaver.
Blade side, difficult to pronounce because each skin is different and it is the same for the hair. You will find the one that suits you best for use.
Among other things, we can cite some recognized brands:
- Dorco (Titan)
- Rapira (Platinum Lux)
- ASTRA (Platinum, superior stainless)
- 7 o’clcok (Gilette) (yellow or green)
Coincidentally, the day I received the previous razor in the mail, my dad offered me that of my grandfather who left us a few weeks ago. It might as well be said that this one has a great emotional value for me.
Rasages borrowing emotions in perspective… My grandfather had him since he was in the army. This goes back to the years 1940… In its original box, this 7 o’clock is very small and beautiful!
Being an open comb model, however, it is necessary to handle it carefully on the skin. The first shave was stained with small blood points, but it was due to the fact that I was starting. Efficiency side, nothing to complain, I was shaved very close!
You will find in the course of your research, or completely by chance, ancient and beautiful razors, which will offer you variety in shaving.
Classic shaving disadvantages:
- It takes a little more time. (Approx. 15 to 20 minutes)
- The supplies are often ordered on the Internet to have the choice of the right products. The market is now focused on multi-blade shavers and large surfaces offer few products to shave “old fashioned”. The choice is however very wide on the net and the delivery times are nowadays really reduced. You will find excellent products at men who care, “art du Barbier”, classic shaving or even MenCorner.
15% discount on the Men Who Care website with the promo code “INSTINCT”
- If you had to find another drawback, you should know that you will have to get used to the handling of these items, especially for the straigh razors. It is not improvised…
The safety razor, will be much more permissive and will give you excellent shavings from the start. Attention… ! It’s addictive, you’re going to give up your 7-blade plastic razor… You’re warned.
Advantages of classic shaving:
I let you compare the price of a box of multi-blades to a box of classic blades… Good go I tell you: 15 dollars for 4 multi-blades, 2 dollars for 5 classic blades… That’s.
As for shaving soap, same observation. Yes it is more expensive to purchase… but in view of its lifespan, you are earning on this point too.
You can of course buy more expensive equipment if you want it depending on the quality and style, but a good base does not cost so much. (more details on the rates a little further in the article.)
Plus, no need to buy a razor every 5 or 10 years… It’s for life. Only consumables are to be renewed regularly and they will cost you much cheaper than using interchangeable head razors.
The safety razor Edwin Jagger bl89: just under 30 euros. Very pleasant to use, it is no less effective. I highly recommend it! This is the one I use most often.
A razor that is successful but is sometimes criticized for its size, the Merkur 34C. It is small: depending on your preferences and your morphology it will do the trick or not.
As much recommended as leaking from its price and the mastery it requires, the Merkur Future makes speak of it. Adjustable, imposing, a little more expensive too… It promises quality shavings to those who can access it.
That said, to take your first steps in the pogonotomy, stay simple and applied.
There are a multitude of brands and references, which you will discover in the course of your research in the field.
Watch videos on the subject…
I quoted above some of the most popular, but do you make your own opinion… I invite you to watch the videos on YouTube. I quote among other “Filslade” and “the Godtian” that will make you want to go on the manly side of the force… smoothly. A treat to watch and you will learn a lot about traditional shaving.
Again, you have a wide choice of products. Go around the Web sites to discover them. A lot of test videos talk about it. Smells, foam quality, comfort, everything is detailed and all you have to do is make your choice. These are very good gift ideas for you to tell your Entourage when you are out of ideas.
Very good soaps are available on the market, the choice is wide. Here are some brands often acclaimed by the insiders:
- Le père Lucien
- Taylor of old Bond Street (TOBS)
- Martin of Candre
- Cat’s bubbles
- The Varesino saponificio
- GEO F. Trumper
- Edwin Jagger
- Truefitt & Hill
You can find most of these soaps and accessories at Men Who Care, which specializes in old-fashioned shaving products. The customer service is impeccable, the shipments are fast and the parcels neat. It’s very nice.
Take advantage of a 15% reduction in the amount of your purchases on the Men Who Care website by indicating the INSTINCT promo code at the time of ordering.
The purchase price of soaps is costing you? Let’s do the math:
- Shaving foam bomb: 2,25 dollars duration: 1 month
- Shaving soap: 28 dollars duration: 18 months
Over 18 months, the bombs will cost you 36 euros and the soap, 28 dollars.
These include the brands Muhle, Omega, Edwin Jagger, Plisson, Wilkinson… (Non-exhaustive list).
On this side also you will find a wide choice.
Badger hairs, pig hairs, synthetic hairs and so on.
The shapes differ, both for the handle and for the cutting of… Hair.
The “Spring” is one of the elements that make some prefer this or that model. It is somehow “hardness”, even if the word is poorly chosen… It should not crash too much on the face but on the other hand, it still needs firmness.
Again, it will be based on everyone’s feelings. Many followers have several and some lend themselves to varying pleasures.
My preference goes for the moment to this brush in synthetic hairs of the brand Muhle. Different tests and reviews qualify its good value for money. It is soft while having spring, the foam it generates is very good and the point that personally to finished convincing me… It is not made of animal hair. When you see the spell reserved for Badgers to get the hairs… It’s cold in the back…
You can see the reviews and buy it if you want by clicking on the image below.
You’ll also find a selection of shaving brushes at men who care by clicking here.
You will find a multitude of references of blades on Amazon but also on the site “Men Who Ware“
The most famous brands are Astra, Voskhod, Derby, feather, Rapira, Gilette among others… Each brand declines several models. I can advise you one more than the other because as said above, each skin is different and the feelings also. Note that the feather and Voskhod are known to be more “aggressive”. The advantage is the increased efficiency, the disadvantage is that they allow month error. At the outset, get your hands on more permissives and efficient models from Astra, Gillette or Derby.
To make an opinion according to its skin and its preferences, there are kits grouping different brands and models of blades. A good idea to make your choice at the start. Below is a kit of blades at Amazon for $7,99.
Some useful abbreviations to understand some of the traditional shaving writings:
- DE: double edge (double blade)
- SE: single edge (single blade)
- CC: cabbage cutter (straight razor)
- SR: shave ready
- WTG: with the grain (in the direction of the hair)
- XTG: across the grain (across the direction of growth)
- ATG: against the grain (A rebush coat)
- BBS: baby butt shave (Shaved very closely)
- PDS: blood point
- SOTD: shave of the day
Feel free to share this article if you think it may interest your Entourage, both on the financial aspect and on the pleasure of shaving and think about leaving a small comment, it is always fun.
For those of you who are concerned about their well-being and who, before shaving, would like to offer a serene and beneficial moment for their day, I invite you to read my article on meditation by clicking on the link below.
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