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How To Shave Like a Real Man

November 11th, 2006 by Ryan

Shaving is one of those lost arts, buried beneath the rubble of new razor technology and the fast paced modern life.  Years ago a man prided himself enough to shave with precision and care.  Shaving was a ritual, not a mindless chore.  I've always shaved with Gillette Mach 3 razors and thought life was good.  I had no idea what I was missing until I'd had enough of the red bumps and constant skin irritation from shaving. 

After doing some research I've found some a great way to shave.  It takes a few more minutes, has a slightly higher risk of bleeding, and a higher upfront cost.  Though it also is healthier on the skin, gives a closer shave, and allows you to feel a sense of masculine power.

If you decide that you are worth it to shave this way, here is what you'll need:

Safety RazorRazor – First you want to get a good razor.  The one I bought is a Merkur "Hefty Classic" Double-Edge Safety Razor, imported from Germany.  Apparently it will last a lifetime.  Price $30

 "Old World Craftsmanship and Quality – Imported from Germany"

 The great thing about this razor is the ease of use.  To clean it, simply unscrew the bottom of the hand and the top rounded portion comes out, allowing full access to the razor, this way you can clean off hairs and cream that get stuck in between the blade.   It's also stylish, and you can lay it to rest on the counter and the blades will not be touching the surface (reducing the amount of germs and bacteria it picks up).


Razorblades – You'll also want to pick up some replacement blades.  The blades for the razor above are Merkur Stainless Steel Platinum Double-Edge Blades

You can find a 10 pack for $5, that's cheaper than a pack of Mach3 blades.

badger hair shaving brushShaving Brush – The brush I got is called the Vulfix Pure Badger Shaving Brush Price $35. Why is it important to get a shaving brush?  Well according to the article from above:

"The combination of hot water mixing with the cream and getting beaten by the brush all over your face delivers a thicker, richer, more emollient lather that’s impossible to get with your fingers alone. A shaving brush also gently exfoliates, or removes the dead skin, from your face before shaving, which gets rid of anything coming between the blade and your whiskers. Finally, the up-down brushing lifts your whiskers and suspends them standing upright in the thick lather, which exposes the maximum whisker length to your blade as it skims along your face."

Basically, this is the most important part of shaving, it reduces the irritation and prepares the face, and it feels freaking amazing.  Seriously, if you buy only one thing from this article, buy a badger hair brush (make sure it says badger hair).

Proraso Shaving CreamShaving Cream – The shaving cream I bought is called Proraso Shaving Cream, Price #10.  It's imported from Italy and is one of the lowest priced/high quality creams.  Get the original Green one:

"Eucalyptus, Menthol, and Glycerin based shaving cream will transform your daily shave into an event to look forward to. Its tingle will invigorate you and its quality ingredients will provide a close shave without irritation."

Skin TonerAfter Shave – I use a skin toner called Maxwell’s Apothecary To Tone Price $18.  This is the perfect replacement for the regular aftershave.  It's an "herbal toner that cleanses and tightens facial pores after the harsh impact of shaving." 

This alone will reduce the irritation from shaving, it especially helped my neck even before I bought any new shaving equipment.

Shaving MugShaving Mug – I actually didn't order a mug yet, but the one I plan on ordering is the Nickel Plated Shaving Bowl Price: $30

You need something to soak the cream into your brush and this will do it.  Of course, it's a bit pricey, there are a couple cheaper ones out there that will do the job as well.   

Styptic Pencil – [Update: Styptic pencils contain some really unhealthy ingredients, I don't have a better substitute yet except tissue and aftershave.] The last thing you will need is a styptic pencil. I found out this one the hard way.  After a couple times shaving with my new razor, I got a little careless and started rushing before I left the house.  I nicked a tiny part of my lip and it bleed for 40 minutes straight.  I tried tissue, ice, salt, and nothing worked.  I finally walked into to rite aid pharmacy with my tissue still held up to my face and asked the clerk to help me find something to stop the bleeding.  After about 5 minutes of using it, the bleeding had stopped completely.

 So now that you have all the gear, how do you shave right?  Well, if you want the detailed explanation, view the original article. Otherwise, I will go over it briefly.

1) First start running the water (not burning but very warm).
2) Drop the brush in it, and splash your face to get it nice and wet.
3) Take the brush out and hold it upside down so most of the water falls out.
4) Fill up your shaving mug with goop of shaving cream, dip your brush in and mix it around. (it will look like the cream disappeared into the brush, don't be fooled, there will be alot in the brush).
5) Use the brush to lathering up your face, moving it in an up and down motion. Do this at least 1-2 minutes to build up a nice lather.
6) GENTLY AND SLOWLY use your razor to shave.  Go in the same direction as your hair grows to minimize any irritation.  Make sure to keep your face nice and wet.
7) When you're done shaving, rinse your face with cold water.
8) Rinse the brush with water so it is completely clean, then stand it upright in your medicine cabinet.
9) Pat, not rub, your face dry with a fresh, clean towel.
10) Apply skin toner and you're done!

You don't have to buy them from the same store I did, these are simply provided for your convenience.  I hope this helps.  I used to get really bad red bumps on my neck from shaving, after using this process, most of the redness is gone. 

 Good luck!

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12 Responses to “How To Shave Like a Real Man”

  1. Ronald Says:

    A razor blade has to be sharp to start with or all of the Badger Brushes, Gel Creams, etc. will do no one any good.
    Has anyone looked at the edge of various maker’s double edge blades under a 10 power magnifying glass, or, better yet, a microscope, to see if they can see a difference in the blade edges?
    I looked at a Schick and a Merkur under a 10X glass. The Merkur has a rough edge. The Schick has a much smoother edge.
    I checked this out after using one of each blade. The Schick gave me 25 good shaves before it started pulling,
    The Merkur blade gave me a worse (it pulled more) shave on the first shave than the Schick did after 25 shaves.
    I used to get 60 good shaves out of the Gillette Blue Blade. Now I am doing good to get 30 out of stainless steel, platinum, etc.
    Seems the blade makers are just not putting as good of an edge on their blades just so they will get duller faster.
    I have not tried the Feather Blades yet, but have ordered some, as they have a reputation for sharpness.
    A person should be able to tell just how long, comparatively, a blade will last just by looking at its edge under a microscope.
    The whole thing seems to be a “sting” operation though, as sharp blades could go out for weeks and then the makers of these blades start sending out less sharp ones.
    It does seem near miraculous to me that in a century no one has come up with a way to sharpen and strop these double edge blades.

  2. BeardMan Says:

    What do you think about straight razor?

    BeardMans last blog post..World Beard And Moustache Championship – 2009

  3. Ryan Says:

    Thanks for that Ronald. Beardman, I have not used a straight razor, so I really dont have any input one way or the other.

  4. Permanent Hair Removal Guide Says:

    Ryan, this is one awesome post! So far, I’m pretty satisified with my Mach 3 and my shaving-while-in-the-bath routine. That said, it’s always cool to just check out different ways of doing things… thanks for sharing…

    Permanent Hair Removal Guides last blog post..How Does Laser Hair Removal Work?

  5. Voos Baratos Says:

    This is an interesting article. I always use one of those shaving machines and never do it with a razor. I use the razor only to do the sideburns. Will try this out to change up the routine. And shaving like that is always cleaner than with a shaving machine!

    Voos Baratoss last blog post..Reservar Voos Baratos

  6. Ryan Says:

    Cool, glad you guys liked it. I’m still using over 2 years now and the routine still rocks for me.

  7. Merkur Lover Says:

    Great article !! I personnaly love my Merkur Vision 2000, it’s a present from my son for my 50th birthday, it’s a treat everytime I shave 🙂

  8. Lazy joe Says:

    Really cool blog. I found it on yahoo. I am looking forward to read more posts.

  9. graham @ buy braun shaver Says:

    I’ve used a razor and a Braun..for’s and against both really, but I must say the Braun is far better than some of the other electric shavers I’ve used..How long does the blade last?

  10. Cristina Says:

    This was really an informative article. This would give an idea on the best shaver that should be use in shaving.This was a great article for men. Thanks for sharing!

  11. Razor sharpener Says:

    Thanks for suggesting well known method of shaving. This one is best. You have done a great job.

  12. Leandro Gustav Says:

    Hi Ryan,

    Is it recommended to apply skin toner after shaving?

    Leandro Gustav

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