Shave brushes

Shave brushes are what you have to use to create lather from a shaving cream, as I mentioned in my last article. They come in different models. I'll go into some detail in the next paragraphs.

Firstly, you have to differenciate between the kind of hair that the brush uses. There is badger, horse, boar and synthetic. The first kind of hair that you will hear a lot about is badger, because it has been the standard and most used kind of shave brush for a long time. Badger brushes vary a lot in the price range, they can go from only 10 dollars up to over 1000!

Next, there is the boar brush. Those are usually moderately priced, with the cheapest ones going for about 7 dollars. Still, this does not make them worse shave brushes than badger brushes. They are a bit stiffer, which makes the feel on the skin a bit rougher in the beginning, but after some use, the bristles will get softer.

Horse hair brushes are much less common, but are still used. They are a kind of brush that has been used for a long time, next to the boar brush. They feel about the same as boar brushes, but not as stiff.

Finally, there are synthetic brushes. Those are also very differently priced, depending on how good they are manufactured. I would not recommend to buy a cheap nylon brush. They do not feel very nice in my opinion, and you can get badger or boar for not that much more (whoo, rhymes!). The more expensive synthetic models are indeed very good, and nicely fabricated. Those are particularly interesting for those among us who do not want to use animal products.

Another thing that differentiates brushes is the kind of handle they have. In recent years, those handles are mostly made from synthetic material. The more expensive or antique ones are often produced from wood or metal, sometimes even ivory (this applies to antiques). 

I think this should be a nice overview of what shave brushes are, and how they work. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me!

Shaving cream – and why it is better than shaving foam out of the can

Two years ago, I stumbled upon the traditional way of shaving. It changed my view on that formerly tedious task, and now I enjoy and embrace it. It is my Zen garden.

Especially shaving cream, with its many aspects, has become a strange passion for me. Let me tell you about some of the things I have discovered.

For me, shaving foam out of the can is not pleasant. It doesn't feel very good on the skin and has a lot of chemical ingredients. The choices are very limited, or at least they are where I live. There are the big names, some cheaper ones, summing up to about 8 brands you can choose from. That's it.

Shaving cream out of the tube is, from my perspective, much better. The choices are so broad, I can't even put up an estimate of how many products there are. You can try as many creams as you want until you find the one that works for you. You can get them in any scent that you like. You can mix them with water in the way you want it, to get the consistency that you want. To make it easier for you, I will provide a 5 point list outlining why cream is better than your average foam out of the can:

1. It can come in a lot of different scents

You are not as limited when it comes to your personal preference. Where I come from, most products you get in the supermarket are unscented. Creams can have the smell of avocado, eucalyptus, lime, sandalwood. There is no way I could list all of the scents. Just pick your poison.

2. It is better for your skin

Since the standard foam is catered to a very large audience, even the products that are labeled “for sensitive skin” may not be for the type of sensitive skin you have. In the shaving cream market, the variety of brands gives you the possibility to try out as many products as you want until you find the right one. And I am sure you will. This should be especially interesting for people who get a lot of skin irritation after shaving.

3. It will last longer

Even though the initial price may often be higher, the overall price over time is much lower. Here in Austria, a moderately priced can of shaving foam sells for about 5 Euros. The average person will use it up in about three months, given that you shave every day. A shaving cream in the tube can last you up to six months. This can vary a lot since some of us just use a little bit of lather for each shave, others like to have a lot of it. But considering that with proper shaving cream, you will not have to buy some fancy skin moisturizer, in the end, you will definitely spend less.

4. It provides you with an easier and better shave

Foam out of the can is very dry. This may not make much sense at first, but when you have tried shaving cream, you will understand what I mean. The dryness leads to worse gliding of your razor, and thus much more irritation and nicks. Also, your beard gets soft with a good shaving cream, making it easier for the razor to cut your hair.

5. It has fewer chemicals and is more fun

As my last item on the list, I just have to point out how fun shaving cream is. I think it already came across, but having the ability to choose from different products, and work up your own lather really is satisfying. To add another very important point, shaving cream has fewer chemicals. Since it does not have to come out of a pressurized can, and in the form of ready-to-use foam, a lot of chemical ingredients can be left out.

I hope I may have spiked your interest, and sent you on your way to start using shaving cream instead of canned foam. Don't be shy, just try something out, and I am sure you will soon be as enthusiastic as I am.

Shaving cream suggestions

Since I wrote my first article about shaving cream, I figured I also need to provide some choices to get you started easy and safe.

 

I already used a lot of shaving creams, some worked better for me, some worse. For some of them, I just didn’t like the scent. And sometimes, I just couldn’t create a good lather by the life of me, no matter how hard I tried.

 

What I want to say with all this is that not every shaving cream is for everybody. What I find good, you could find bad. There are many factors influencing this decision.

 

But to get you started and give you an easy way in, I will suggest 5 shaving creams, which I liked, and could also work for you. I’ll try to give you a nice selection of different scents, so that you have the possibility to choose what could be appealing to you.

Shaving cream 1: Proraso Eucalyptus: Always created a good, but not the best lather for me. The scent is very mild and not at all excessive. I have read that some people find it to be stinging, possibly because of some allergy or sensitivity to the eucalyptus. If you think this could be the case for you, just skip this one. For me, it always felt nice and refreshing.

Shaving cream 2: Mühle Aloe Vera: This creme is made for sensible types, and it feels that way. Very smooth on the skin, provides a rich lather and a nice shave. The scent is not very pronounced, but represents the typical aloe vera product.

 Shaving cream 3: D.R. Harris Lavender: Very abundant shaving cream which creates a nice lather. The scent is, as with most shaving creams, quite subtle. If you have any concerns about it smelling a bit to feminine, don’t worry, it doesn’t.

 Shaving cream 4: Geo F. Trumper Lime: I liked this one for the scent. Very refreshing, but also very subtle. The lather created with it is alright.

Shaving cream 5: The Art of Shaving Unscented: A shaving cream for sensitive skin, also unscented. Lather is very nice and rich. Can’t say much more, I prefer scented creams!

So get started now, buy one of those shaving creams, and try to create a lather with them. What I did not mention in my first articles is that you will need a brush to create lather. I will write an article about shaving brushes later, to get you started on that. Those brushes are very nice, even just as a collectible, and provide you with the lather that you will need to shave. Until then, get accustomed with the creams!

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Shaving cream basics

Shaving cream is one of the most important elements for a nice shaving experience. Many people relate shaving cream to the foam that you get in every super market. This is kind of true, but what you put on your face can be so much nicer than what you get when you go buying your groceries.

 

I discovered the world of shaving creams when I started reading about double-edged razors and the traditional way of shaving. After I shaved with normal cartridge razors for a long time, I stumbled upon the other way of shaving on the Internet. It revolutionized that tedious process for me.

 

I discovered that you do not have to go with the standard shaving cream out of the can, which is very dry, does not work well with my skin type even though I thought i matched it well (sensitive skin for example), and generally provides an unpleasant shaving experience. I am sure some of you can relate.

 

Just the creation of your own lather (shaving foam formed by cream or soap) based on shaving cream out of a tube can be a revelation, and that is why I dedicated an entire page to it. Firstly, it is something you create yourself, without anyone manufacturing the final product for you. It is in your hands what kind of shaving cream touches your face in the end. Shaving cream also comes in a variety of scents. You can get anything from unscented, to avocado, lime, green tea etc. The possibilities are endless. Do not get intimidated by all of the choices you have. Just choose a cream and get started!

 

You can start with a cream that is in a tube, and then mix it with water to get a nice end product. It will feel good on your skin, and provide the best shave for you.

 

Of course you will need some practice, but the learning curve is not very steep, and it is a lot of fun! You can experiment with more water, more cream, less water, distilled water and so on. The possibilities are endless. It is not difficult to find a basic shaving cream that works for you.

 

Furthermore, the prices are very moderate. With one tube of shaving cream (price: about 10 Dollars), I can shave for about 2 or 3 months. Shaving foam never lasted that long for me.

 

Of course, this is all a bit more time-consuming than just pushing the button of a shaving foam can and putting it on your face. But when you get good at it, you will not need much time to create a lather that works well for you. It will just be second nature.

 

I can’t emphasize the fun factor of all this enough. Just stick with it, and you will see that you will love it. You could possibly change the way you are shaving, and maybe even switch from cartridge razors to double-edged or single-edged safety razors!

 

Some nice resources to read and get more information:

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    Straight Razor Shaving For Beginners | The Art of Manliness – I shaved for years using a safety (double edge) razor and loved it. I’m keeping my beard for now, but if I decide to shave it off, I’m tempted to try straight razor shaving. It might not be for me, but you can’t deny its manliness.

     

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    How Double Edge Razor Blades Are Made | Sharpologist – 6 Responses to How Double Edge Razor Blades Are Made. Dr. K says: December 24, 2012 at 1:16 pm. Really cool video. Never heard of Croma brand before curiously, not that it matters as the basic manufacturing methods …

     

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    How to shave using a double edge razor | Dreadnought Shaving – Using a Double Edge razor for the first time will feel like taking your first cycling lesson or playing any sport for the first time. In order to achieve the best possible results you’re going to have to practice and learn a technique …

     

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    Product Review: Astra Superior Premium Platinum Double Edge … – Overall Rating: ★★★★★ Price: $ (under $10) – Available at Amazon, West Coast Shaving and Grooming Lounge. Scent: N/A I like: the quality of the blades. Gives you a close shave with minimal irritation (as long as you …

     

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    Personna Razor Blade Review | ShavingZone.com – When I first started wet shaving, the DE razor I bought came with a couple of Merkur razor blade samples. I tried them out, but wasn’t thrilled so I started looking for a substitute. I turned to the Blade and Badger forums for a little …

     

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    Your After Movember Razor | Direction Unknown – A good friend once proudly, even slightly giddily, informed me that a men’s fashion blog he routinely reads coaxed him into buying something that would, among other things, add a little class and badass-ness to his bathroom …

     

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    The Razor’s Edge | Tomfoolery – By Don Millard. It all came to me at the Dollar Store. As I stood there rubbing the prickly two day’s worth of beard poking through my skin and making my face feel like sandpaper, I stared at the prices of razor blades in disbelief.