Before talking about how to achieve the perfect shave in a modern world let’s explore the evolution of the razor. The first razor like implement has been found to date back to 18,000 BC. These implements were made of bronze or obsidian. Solid gold and copper razors have been found in tombs in Egypt dating back to 4000 BC. These razors bear some resemblance to what you would visualize as a straight razor. During the 1700’s the Brits produced a hard steel straight razor, most often with decorative handles. It was during this period that shaving took on an art form. The wealthy had servants who shaved their faces or frequented barber shops. Now, remember from our beard blog that beards were popular during this period but they had form and were sculpted with shaved cheeks or chins.
In 1901 King Champ Gillette founded the American Safety Razor Company. Safety razors house a single disposable blade. It was with this invention that helped men become more comfortable with shaving themselves and shaving more often. With this invention Gillette’s company sold razors as a loss leader and charged premium rates for blades. Sound familiar? It was in the 1960’s that stainless steel blades were introduced allowing the blades to last for several shaves. After that the market was flooded with many versions of razors and blades.
Shaving your face causes an extreme exfoliation of your face in the beard area. This can be done in a non invasive way without irritation. While most men do not suffer from razor burn, ingrown hairs or breakouts, many do. There are ways to avoid these issues with proper cleansers, shave creams/foams, razors and a shave brush.
Ingrown hairs are basically caused by hair that has a strong curl pattern and as you expose the hair it retreats or curls back into the follicle. Several components can help with this, you could of course choose not to shave but many of you do not have that option with your job etc. Using a single blade is the first step. Switching to a safety razor with a single blade will take the stress off your pores from using those multi blade razors. Second use a shave brush. Invest in a boar hair brush so it will last you a long time. The brush will loosen any build up around the hair and follicle. It also lifts the hair to get a clean shave. We then recommend using a cleanser after you shave to remove the dead skin cells that are exfoliated from your beard during shaving and keep them from collecting around the follicle causing a barrier for your hair to grow freely.
If razor burn is your issue, let’s look at what type of shaving cream you are using.
Many bargain foams contain isobutene. This ingredient is used in refrigeration systems, has been linked to ozone depletion and is mainly used to propel the products out of the can. Ingredients like this can be irritating to your skin. A cream with less toxic ingredients and more natural components like aloe, and coconut oil, along with essential oils will provide glide and be soothing to your skin.
For breakouts and toner post shave is a recommended option. Witch hazel is an astringent which cleanses the pores and white willow bark will deplete cellular build up around the follicle which can cause breakouts.
So, for the perfect shave! Gear up and take your time. This is your opportunity to give yourself a quick facial each time you perform this masculine ritual.
- Cleanse your face and rinse with warm water
- Smooth shave cream over your beard
- Place a hot towel on the shave cream
- Using a shave brush, rotate on your beard to lift the hair and distribute the shave cream
- Shave in the direction of the hair growth, slowly with a safety razor using soft tension and little pressure
- Rewet with warm water as needed
- Place a hot towel on the beard
- If you need to clean up any leftovers, add a little more shave cream
- Go against the grain only once to clean up
- Wash your face with a proper cleanser for your skin type
- Use a toner or after shave
- Finish with a moisturizer
Be sure to browse our fine selection of safety razors, brushes, creams and aftershaves during your next visit or in our online store. If you have any questions our Client Care Representative is on hand to assist.