Sunday, May 21, 2017

Tender Mercies: Pre-Shave Prep

Over the past couple of years, I've gone back and forth on pre-shave preparation: hot water, cool water, shave oil or no, Noxema wash, minimal prep, etc.

As I've shaved recently with my vintage, traditional straight razor, I've once again come round to cool-water shaving. I've compared it to pre-shave showers, warm/hot towels, and all the rest. I've come up with a strong suspicion about pre-shave prep. The key ingredients are water and time.

I think the water is best at a cool temperature because cool water may help to preserve and retain natural skin oils.

The time element is best incorporated by a pre-shave splash and wash. However, the soap used for the wash is important. Rather than using a cleansing soap of any kind, I recommend a shave soap for the pre-shave wash.

My currently-favored routine is first applying and lightly rubbing cool water into my beard. Then I rub on some shave soap. It can be any kind but I suggest something inexpensive -- price and quality don't matter as long as it's shave soap and not cleansing soap. Then with wet fingers I lightly but thoroughly rub the soap into my stubble. I take my time with this and ensure that there's plenty of water involved. I then gently rinse some or all of the soap off with more water, again taking my time in the process. Then I apply the soap to be used for the shave -- this is the time for the good stuff -- and face lather.

I have been getting very good results with this process -- arguably even better than shaving after a hot shower.

I've come to think of all the barber-recommended suggestions such as a hot, wet towel application (or multiple applications of hot, wet towels) as mere theater!

You might give this a try. I'd be interested to hear your opinion.

Happy shaving!

Razor Garage Sale Continues!!!

I'm continuing to offer my few remaining redundant razors, seeking a win-win solution. I win because I simplify my shaving gear, and you win because you get a good razor at a reduced cost.

Many have already taken advantage of the offerings. Don't wait or you may miss a good bargain.
Keep in mind that there are a few dollars of packaging and mailing costs embedded in the prices of my DE garage-sale razors, and there really isn't a lemon in the bunch.

1 comment:

  1. Water temperature does play a role in the quality of shave that I get. If the water is to cold, there is a lot of tugging and pulling. To hot, then I begin to enter the razor bump zone. If the temperature is cool to slightly warm, then I tend to get the best shaves.

    Interesting how that plays out.