I seriously love shaving every day. I look forward to the coming morning with anticipation. I get frustrated on days when I don’t have the time to shave or when they day gets away from me (which happens somewhat frequently when you have kids). I even get disappointed that I can only shave once a day. It wasn’t always like this. I used to dread shaving and looked for any excuse I could find to skip it. I feared the razor burn and, even more than that, I feared the ingrown hairs and the bloody neckline. Looking back now, I used to destroy my face without even so much as a thought to whether or not there could be a better way.
I think you all know where this is going, but I’ll ask the question anyway. What changed? My face? My skin? No. Several years ago I discovered the joy of traditional wet shaving with a double-edged (DE) safety razor. I know I’ve written about this before, but I was driving the other day and suddenly realized how much I enjoy shaving. So, I sat down and had to think about why I enjoy it so much, and I came up with a few reasons. First and foremost are the skin benefits. My skin looks so much better than it used to. The ingrown hairs are gone. I don’t break out along my neck line. I believe this is a combination of using only a single blade which causes much less irritation than multi-bladed cartridges and using more natural soaps and creams that contain loads less chemicals (or even none at all!) than canned shaving cream. Secondly, I’m engaging in a daily ritual of about fifteen minutes of quiet time to myself. It’s almost a meditative process. I’ve written about the benefits of meditation before on this blog and how much I enjoy it. It only stands to reason, then, that I would also enjoy anything like it. Finally, there’s the skill and tradition. Traditional shaving has a certain mystique to it brought about by its history. It’s a craft that must be learned. There are no shortcuts; you will cut yourself, and that’s okay. It’s part of the process. But when you hit that day when everything clicks, and you walk away with a shave better than you could have imagined, there’s something special about knowing you took the time to learn a skill. The draw of the history associated with wet shaving is what will probably drive me to start experimenting with straight razors soon too.
I imagine that some of the people who read this blog are already traditional shavers, but I hope that those who aren’t will be inspired to try it. However, I do realize that the jump into wet shaving can be very intimidating. It took me months of research and deliberating before I decided to take the plunge. I think the biggest thing holding me back initially was the overwhelming nature of finding what I needed to get started. I knew I needed a razor, blades, shaving cream or soap and a brush, but figuring out which ones to buy took forever. What I did below it put together an easy starter selection for anyone looking to get into wet shaving. If you are curious about where to get started, these products are a great way to test the waters without investing more than a few months of replacement cartridge purchases.
I would love to hear what some of your first products were! Drop a comment here or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.
Tailor & Barber
Several months ago I put together a review of the Proraso Green Pre-Shave Cream…