What Tools Provide the Best Shave?
With so many shaving tools at our disposal (no pun intended), it’s hard to know which will truly produce the best result. Over the decades we’ve gone from straight razors to the double-edge safety razor with replaceable blades, to disposal razors and to the most recent electric razor.
Clever marketing would claim each of these is the best for producing the closest, cleanest and most smooth shave you’ll ever experience, but which truly is? While a good razor is certainly an integral piece to the puzzle, it is in fact only one of the pieces. There are a few other tools that work to create a phenomenal shave.
The best way to shave
This next statement is sure to elicit a sneer from some of you, but I stand by my words. The most simple, not to mention comfortable, way to a clean shave is with the wet shave method using a foaming gel, shaving brush and double-edge razor. Yes, that hundred-year-old, tried and true method is still the best way to go about this manly ritual.
Why? In a nutshell the process and tools used for a wet shave loosen and soften the beard and provide a clean surface to prevent razor burn, ingrown hairs, redness, bumping, and dry, itchy skin.
In all honesty, though the wet shave sounds like an involved process, it’s actually relatively quick and oftentimes helps prolong the time between shaves. Fewer shaves? Where do I sign up?
Tools of the shave trade
The wet shave method can be achieved with a few simple tools: a double-edge razor, a badger brush and bowl, shave gel and shave oil. If you’re unfamiliar with these, here’s a quick overview of what each is and how to use them:
- Shave oil – using a shave oil prior to shaving maximizes your razor’s effectiveness and puts a protective layer between the blade and the skin. It also helps prep for the shave by loosing the hair. To use: just apply a thin layer prior to beginning the shave. Preferably after a warm shower.
- Badger brush – as the name implies, this is a brush made from badger hair, which absorbs water, making it ideal for shaving. It is used to whip the shave gel and warm water into a lather. The badger hair while very soft, gently exfoliates the face and softens the beard hairs for a comfortable shave. To use: soak the bristles of the brush in hot water for a couple seconds. Allow the brush to drain. Use the brush and bowl to whip the shave gel into a nice lather. Apply in a circular motion to the face for 30 seconds.
- Double-edge razor – also known as a safety razor, it utilizes a single razor blade with two sharp sides, one on each end of the razor handle. It also has a protective device between the edge of the blade and the skin. There are a number of different types of double-edge razors out there, so you’ll have to find the one with the features you like. To use: Don’t apply pressure, let it gently glide across the face. Use short strokes and change the angle to move across beard hair. Rinse often to remove excess foam and stubble caught in the blades.
- Shave gel – a glycerin gel-based shaving formula, it contains less air and more healthy ingredients than most foams. It also helps suspend facial hair upright for a closer shave. To use: see the instructions for the badger brush.
Now that you know which tools to use, you’ll soon be on your way to more comfortable and clean shaves. You might even find it enjoyable.