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Classic shaving, where the traditional shaving soap and brush and double-edge safety razors (or even straight razors) are used and which once was the only way to shave, is now mostly done by "wet-shaving enthusiasts."
Recently, soap-and-brush shaving is making a small come-back. That's not to say it will ever hold the place it once did, but there is a growing cult following of the practice. Why? There are a variety of reasons why people take up traditional shaving; they may believe one or more of the following ideas:
I'm not actually claiming that shaving with soap and brush will accomplish any of those things. I'm not saying it won't either. I'm just sharing my experiences with traditional shaving methods and products here.
I think a lot of people come to traditional shaving hoping to get that "perfect shave." As if using an old-fashioned double-edge safety razor (or a straight razor), shaving soap, and shaving brush would somehow mystically grant a man a super close shave. I've been dabbling in traditional shaving techniques for a while now. I've used a shaving soap and brush as well as a double-edge safety razor. Did I get a super close shave?
Well, at first, I stopped using my shaving cream and started using the shaving soap and brush, but I continued using my cheap, plastic, disposable two-bladed Schick razor, which I get in a bag of 12 for like $5 or something. The shaving soap and brush, by themselves, did not seem to give me a closer shave. Supposedly, a shaving brush raises your beard stubble and the lather holds the stubble in the raised position allowing you to get a closer shave, but, honestly, I couldn't tell any difference except that using shaving soap and a shaving brush is a lot of extra work. Fun and interesting work, but work nonetheless. Later, I bought a cheap double-edge safety razor, which cost me less than $10. And I bought a box of 100 Derby double-edge razor blades...also for less than $10. Did the double-edge safety razor give me some magically close shave? No. But it did take several shaves to get used to using it.
One thing I did learn, and it gave me a better shave, was to shave more than once and use a light touch each time. So, you reduce the beard a little on the first pass and a little more on the second. This is called multi-pass shaving. Myself, I do three passes on my face and two passes on my neck. I found multi-pass shaving to give me a more comfortable shave and, perhaps, a slightly closer shave...regardless of whether I was using the cheap disposable razor or the old-fashioned double-edge safety razor.
Well, it can, but not necessarily.
Saving Money on Razors. If you currently use expensive cartridge-type razors and change your cartridge every week, then you will probably realize significant savings by switching to a cheap double-edge safety razor and buying 100 razor blades for cheap (almost a 2-year supply if you change the blade once a week), then, yes. You can save quite a bit on razors. However, if you are currently using the cheapest disposable plastic razors you can find and you use each one for a month, then I don't think you will see significant savings—at least not as far as razors are concerned.
Saving Money on Shaving Cream / Gel. If you currently use some horribly overpriced shaving cream or gel, then you can save some money if you start using a cheap shaving soap or cream, a cheap boar's hair or synthetic shaving brush, and a cheap skin moisturizer (for before and after shaving). However, if you experiment with lots of different popular shaving soap brands (like I do) and buy expensive pre-shave oils and after-shave lotions and get the highest quality badger hair brush you can find and the most expensive shaving bowl and stand and whatnot, it can end up being horribly expensive. (Which is not a problem if you have a lot of disposable income and enjoy blowing it on stuff like that. I would love to do it if I had a lot of disposable income.)
I'm not a tree-hugger type of person by any stretch of the imagination, but I don't mind reducing negative impacts where I can. And old-fashioned shaving-soap-and-brush shaving may actually do that—mostly by reducing (very slightly) the amount of waste a single shaving male produces. Shaving soaps usually come in a small cardboard box and last several months to a year. So, it's a few really small boxes per year as opposed to a few metal shaving cream cans per year. If you also use the double-edge safety razor, you only replace the blade (not the whole thing and not even a cartridge...just a single, very thin blade). So, overall, traditional shaving is slightly less harmful to the environment when compared to modern shaving, but you're not going to save the planet by switching to a DE razor with shaving soap and brush.
This website—Shaving Soap and Brush—is dedicated to classic shaving topics but with a focus on shaving soap and brushes. I hope the articles are least somewhat informative and helpful.
I have set up a shaving soap and brush store that is powered by Amazon.com. So, if you purchase any shaving soap and brushes or creams or mugs or whatever via my "store," you're really buying them from Amazon.com or their vendors. The final checkout will actually occur at Amazon.com. You are not buying anything from me. However, I do make commissions on everything bought from the store—so buy away! The prices are the same whether you buy from the store here or from Amazon.com directly.
Use the widget below to search Amazon.com. The search phrase is preset to shaving soap and brush, but you can search for whatever you like.