Awhile back I complained about my beard deficiency and my resulting theological conundrum. But I’m a firm believer that when God takes one thing away from you, he loves to give you something better. So I’ve found my beardless blessing: the greatest shave known to man.
Although the current fad is to see the shaved face as somewhat emasculated, I’ve discovered that the gentleman’s shave is one of the most awesome experiences ever. So I’m sharing my process here.
Step 1: Heat
You can do this with a hot shower or using a super hot washcloth. Getting your face hot opens the pores and eliminates much of the pain of shaving.
Step 2: Pre-shave
Rubbing a little oil against the grain keeps the hair upright and makes the shave smoother. I’m not talking WD-40 here…I use The Art of Shaving’s pre-shave oil. This only takes a second.
Step 3: Lather
You can use the old soap and mug thing, but I use The Art of Shaving’s cream. It lathers up fast on your face, saving all the mess. If you end up using this particular brand, you should note that it only takes a tiny amount (maybe half the size of an M&M) to get an epic lather.
Don’t forget a good brush. I prefer a good badger hair brush. It will make the lather nice and thick. This one is pretty popular. With the brush, you’ll need a stand to let it drip and air-dry.
This step made a huge difference for me. Getting rid of the nasty stuff that comes in the can helped my razor burn drop to nearly nil.
Step 4: Shave
I’m rocking the Merkur Long-Handled Safety Razor with the Merkur blades. And check it out, you can pick up 100 blades for the cost of something like 8 of the cartridges for your quadruple-blade-vibrating-aloe-caked-mostly-plastic doohickey. I’ll admit that it was scary for the first couple times, but after that you’ll feel like John Wayne as you heat up your razor and make a clean shave.
Remember: shave *with* the grain and take time to make several passes. In the end, you’ll end up with a *very* close shave. Some guys can do an against the grain shave, but start it on a trial basis and see how it works for you. If you’re using the safety razor, let the weight of the tool do the work and take your time.
Getting rid of the old Gillette with the aloe pads that fill up with crud keeps my pores clean and keeps the razor burn at a minimum. It’s well worth the extra few seconds it takes with the single blade. A single blade also makes those precision cuts for beards or sideburns a cinch.
If you’re rushing and nick yourself, don’t fear. A little styptic pencil will congeal the blood and get you going in no time.
Step 5: Wrapping up
Rinse your face in clean cold water. This will cleanse and close the pores, keeping your face fresh and healthy. Then a good aftershave will help keep your skin in great condition.
Hope this helps you guys. Go man-up and enjoy a clean shave! It’ll change your life (maybe).
Shout out to my wife, Laurel, for the razor and shaving kit. You’re awesome!
4 thoughts on “On Beards: Remix”
I switched to “grandpa” style shaving over a year ago. Love it.
Which straight razor blades do you like? I’m still investigating. Derbys were too dull, Feather’s were too sharp, Gillette’s 7 o’clock ones were too inconsistent, and Bic hasn’t been too bad. I’m thinking about trying out Astra. What do you think?
I’m a Merkur guy. Razor and blades.
Shells and the blood of bears is all I use.
Going 100% caveman, are we?