Monday, June 6, 2016

A Pair of Shaving Tips

Softening a Stiff No-Rinse Brush

If your brush begins to get stiff near the base of the knot due to excessive retention of shave soap, there's a simple fix:

Thoroughly immerse the brush bristles in water for a second or two -- just enough for all the air to bubble out of the bristles. Then give the water another second or two to soften the soap in the brush.

Then with thumb and forefinger, squeeze the base of the knot just above the handle as though you were trying to choke the brush knot. The pressure should squeeze excess soap up from the base of the knot toward the bristle tips. You will see soap lather emerging at the bristle tips. If you do this a few days in a row, you will easily and quickly make available for shaving that otherwise useless soap trapped deep in the knot.

UPDATE 8 June 2016: The preceding tip pertains to shave soaps that are somewhat soft such as the formulations that are typically used in shave sticks (which I, personally, prefer). If you use a hard shave soap, the soak time in water may need to be longer, and perhaps the water warmer to soften dried soap deep in the brush knot.

No worries!

Controlling Razor Aggression Shaving 1-Pass ATG

When you're shaving against grain as a first pass, it may be helpful to add a simple technique to your repertoire in addition to slow strokes with a light touch. That technique is to use low-angle shaving; that is, reduce the angle of the cutting edge to your skin by increasing a bit the angle of the razor handle in relation to your skin.

By slightly reducing the blade-to-skin angle in an initial pass that is against grain, you will reduce the propensity of the blade to nip and cause weepers. After you make a stroke or two with the reduced blade-skin angle, you can go back in the same pass (without re-lathering) and use the razor at it's most efficient cutting angle. This works even better if you are making slow, light buffing strokes, in which the razor never leaves the skin surface. Buffing strokes help to spread moisture and protective soap back onto an area just shaved.

I now use this technique most every morning with good results.

Happy shaving!

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