How to Shave like a gentleman

Many of you no doubt head straight to your bathroom each morning to remove your glorious man locks. So with this sad, sad fact acknowledged I offer you the Art of Shaving like a man. While this article will be very useful to those of you completely balding your face, those of you choosing to maintain your beards should also consider upgrading your regimen to one befitting your masculine status.  After all, as my wife reminds me, keeping the neck beard in check is critical.

Every man should have a solid razor set and should experience a true barber at least once.

Every man should have a solid razor set and should experience a true barber at least once.

I propose that the art of the proper shave has been utterly lost on our generation, and each subsequent one to boot. My interest an authentic shave came about when I was in the Philippines and went to a barber for a shave and a haircut.  I remember sitting in the chair as the barber brought me a newspaper and a coffee.  I was there for about an hour as he meticulously attended to my mane.  The crème of the experience was when he brought out the straight razor and began the shave.  It reminded me of going to the barber shop with my dad when I was younger. I remembered thinking that when I grew up I’d be able to have a shave like my old man.

But then, when I grew up that desire was replaced with cheap disposable razors and products I picked up on the cheap from my local grocery store. The tradition of a true, proper clean shave was lost.  Thankfully, some time ago, my wife gifted me with the tools to own this ritual once again.  And so, I would like to offer this same gift to you. Tradition passed down from the times of old to you.

Why bother to embrace the classic-WIIFM?

Save Money- Even if you go with the newly popular choice of disposable razors, which shall remain unnamed here $1, you’re spending an average of $6.00 for a 4 pack of replacement razors.  If you go with the more popular brands, you could spend over $25 for the refill.  Seriously, that’s close to $7.00 per replacement. Now these blades should be replaced every two weeks or so depending on your shaving routine, so you’re looking at a hefty expense every year just to keep your face clean.  Then you’ll need to add on some chemical filled, testosterone reducing shave gel at $5.00 a month. Switching over to something as simple as a safety razor and shave soap, which is what we’ll focus on here, can save you some serious money and help your test levels to.

Cut throat razors can last a lifetime, no more replacing blades every week

Cut throat razors can last a lifetime, no more replacing blades every week

Reduced footprint- Every time you throw one of those disposable cartridges out you’re contributing to landfill waste. A DE, Double Edge or Safety Razor, can be recycled and most come with a handy disposal unit as well. So rather than throwing that can of shave gel and plastic wrapped metal away, you’re only going to have a recyclable blade and all natural lather going down the drain.

reduce your carbon footprint

reduce your carbon footprint

You’ll get a better shave- You may say this is up for debate, how could a DE single blade razor compete with your six blades of fury. But my wife will tell you that my face feels as smooth as a baby’s butt after a classic shave. Well, a clean… um… manly baby’s butt. Whatever, it’s really smooth and she likes it. Your typical multi blade weapon will wreak havoc leaving you with less than optimal skin.

The experience is so much better with a solid razor

The experience is so much better with a solid razor

Final note- At the end of the day, you’ll be partaking in an ancient right. You’ll be part of a glorious fraternity of men, the real men, of days gone by.

Every gentleman should know how to shave correctly

Every gentleman should know how to shave correctly

Let’s get to it. Not quite yet. We need to have a few things ready to go first.

The Razor

When you make the move to a DE or Safety Razor, you’re making the choice to upgrade to a finely tuned piece of engineering. When you hold it in your hand you’ll feel the weight of centuries of men applauding you. The sturdiness of it will immediately smack the hell out of the cheap piece of crap you used to use. Why, because it can that’s why.

There are a lot of choices for where to purchase your razor. Since a DE is likely to last you forever, you could go the used route. Head to an antique store and find one with a bit of history. You could also do a quick search on the Bay. I’m sure you’ll find a ton of options-from color to material the choices are endless. If buying a used razor isn’t for you, consider buying a new one.

Keep in mind that this is something that you should own for a very long time. Think, handing down to your son long time. The price of a new razor is going to be a bit more than purchasing a used one, but you’re making an investment.

My suggestions for a new razor

Vikings Blade, includes 5 platinum blades $36.97

Bamboo Handle DE with 5 Blades $21.97

Parker 96R black, includes 5 SHARK blades $27.99

The Blade

Note that the above options I’ve recommended all come with razors. While this is a fantastic thing to get you started. I would say that the blade you chose is going to be unique to you. There are a lot of options available for you as you can see just from the three recommended above.  When you need to replace your blades, I’d recommend considering one of the options below.

My suggestions for blades

DE Razor Sample Pack (30 blades)- $9.95

Merkur Futur Stainless Steel DE (30 blades) - $15.41

The Brush

This is my favorite part of the experience. The brush you chose will be used to create a thick lather which will create a smooth surface to shave. The art of getting the brush ready for your face is almost meditative. That combined with the warmth of the lather will leave you relaxed, refreshed and ready for a genuine experience. I’d recommend starting out with a badger hair brush. The bristles are smoother and hold more water.

My suggestion for brushes

Bassion Hand Crafted 100% pure badger hair brush - $8.99

Anbbas Shaving set Brush, bowl and stand - $20.95

The soap

The last thing you’ll need to purchase is a good shave soap. If you’re anything like me, you have no idea what the hell this is.  Basically, what you’ve been using up until now have been testosterone inhibiting, chemically filled tubes of crud.  A shave soap will be all natural. Will leave your face healthy and smelling like a man, in a good way. The initial investment will be a bit more, but the soap will also last longer and your testies will thank you, which means your partner will thank you.

My suggestions for soap

Taylor of Old Bond St. Sandlewood Shave Cream- $16.99

Citrus Menthol Mint All Natural - $8.99

Pheonix Shaving Soap - $15.95

We’ve got a great selection of shave soaps

Here we go:

Step 1. Get your face nice and clean. Your goal should be to start with a “clean” slate, see what I did there. Use a non-abrasive soap to get your whiskers ready to shave. You can use a soap like the Humble Soap which contains activated charcoal, argan and Vitamin E. Shameless plus yes, but it’s a quality cleanser that’s safe for the specific chemistry of your face.


Step 2. Run hot water over your brush to get it nice and wet. Take the brush and swirl it over the shave soap to create a thick lather. Then rub the brush over your face in a clockwise motion until all of your whiskers are covered.

Step 3. Take out your DE razor and prepare for awesomeness. It’s important to remember that the razors you’re using are sharp and the razor is heavy, thus very little pressure is needed. Just let the blade do the work for you. Follow the grain of the beard for your first run through.  

When shaving with a DE, your goal is to take off the whiskers gently one step at a time. You are taking part in an ancient ritual and yes, it is going to take a little longer.

shave like a gentleman

shave like a gentleman

Step 4. Repeat. If you have time, and you want a really close shave, simply repeat the process. This time, when shaving do not follow the grain of your whiskers. Follow the contours of your face from outside in. Start at the cheek bone and shave toward your cheek. As you move down your face and reach your chin, stop in the middle. Then repeat on the opposite side.

Step 5. Rinse your face with cold water and apply a post shave balm if you’d like.

Step 6. Check yourself out in the mirror and be impressed by your manly skills.