Wet shaving is for real men
So you want to shave like a man do ya? Wet shaving is the only way to go.
There is nothing quite like a quality wet shave. This is the way your grandpa shaved.
In fact, this was the only way to shave for generations.
Sadly, with the introduction of cartridge and disposable razors, along with some solid marketing, safety razors soon became a thing of the past.
Just because something is old, doesn’t mean it’s inferior. Vinyl records, classic cars, stainless steel kitchen appliances that are sturdier than space shuttle parts. A lot of what’s widely available on the market today is pure crap compared to those same items from a bygone era.
The wet shave is no different.
Wet shaving is superior in every way
Not only do you achieve a closer shave with smoother skin. The experience is also ritualistic. I like to think of my morning shave as a meditative, spa-like treatment, for men.
There is something very intimate about focusing on the contours of your face as you apply the perfect amount of pressure to glide with precision a sharpened object over your pores.
Rather than the hurried hack job of a bullshit 5-blade cartridge setup, slow and steady wins the race.
Sure, it’s a bit more time-consuming. But, the way you feel once you finish is more than worth it.
What better way to set your mindset to tackle the day!
To get started, you are going to need to purchase the essentials.
1. Double edge safety razor
You’re going to want to go with a stainless-steel, double edge safety razor.
Like a handgun, there’s nothing like holding a solid metal machine in your hand.
Your razor should fit your fingers so comfortably it becomes second nature to navigate the tool with ease and precision.
Some like to go used and track down antique safety razors.
Prefer new? The German manufacturer Merkur seems to have a lock on the market. And for good reason. They make the best modern razor.
2. Stainless steel shaving blades
Say goodbye to spending $20 for a 5-pack of cheap blades that hack both the hair and skin on your face.
From here on, a single blade will cost you no more than a few cents and last you up to 10 shaves. Depending upon the coverage and thickness of your hair.
Once your shave starts to feel not-so-smooth, pop the head of the razor and screw on a new blade. Simple as that.
Now, there are many shaving blades to choose from and everyone swears by their preference.
For starters, I recommend getting a sampler pack of double edge wet shaving blades and figuring out which your face prefers.
Astra was always my favorite. Unfortunately, they’re owned by Procter and Gamble. So, I switched to Derby after the Gillette #MeToo ad.
3. Shaving stand
You’ve invested in some solid shaving gear. Might as well show it off.
A shaving stand is essential to prominently display your razor atop your counter.
Men will see it and instantly recognize you’re not a man to be fucked with. Women will want to run their fingers across your silky-smooth face. Win-win.
With a shaving stand, you also won’t cut the shit out of your finger if you lay the razor down and pick it up incorrectly.
Although wet shaving blades shouldn’t rust, I’m also not a fan of laying anything sharp directly on my counter. Or tossing it in a toiletry bag to shred all my shit up.
You’ve already decided to start wet shaving like a man. Spend the money to do it right. Get a stand.
4. Badger hair shaving brush
A high-quality badger hair shaving brush is a must for whipping up a luxurious lather.
You could go either boar or badger hair here.
Boar is cheaper but much more coarse. It also doesn’t infuse enough air into your soap swirling, creating an inferior froth.
Drop an extra buck and go full honey badger. The hair is much smoother.
Once you experience the near-orgasmic pleasure of spackling rich and steamy hot suds on yourself with a stroke of supreme softness, you’ll be glad you did.
5. Shaving bowl or mug
To create a superior shave, you need to master the art of preparing lather.
But, where are you going to put it?
Many people opt for a ceramic coffee mug.
The true shaving aficionados get a dedicated shaving bowl or mug.
I like the knobbed ball handle ceramic mug. This will allow you to stabilize the platform as you whisk away as you create your facial froth.
Applying a pre-shave lets your skin know it’s game time.
A good pre-shave will relax the hairs and open the pores. Allowing you to get even closer with every stroke of the blade.
It also helps with unwanted knicks and post-shave irritation.
7. Shaving soap
Time to ditch the ozone-killing, aerosol cream-in-a-can once and for all.
That $1 Barbasol you’ve been applying to your face is a complete chemical dump in a can.
Real shaving soap is rich in fats, vitamins, and minerals. This allows for a smooth blade stroke and post-shave nourishment.
Not to mention, real soap smells fantastic and does wonders for your skin.
8. Witch hazel
Ditch the rubbing alcohol. You’re not Kevin McAllister and we’re not in Home Alone.
Alcohol is a good way to irritate and crack your face since it completely dries out your skin.
Witch hazel is a natural astringent that keeps bacteria from entering your damaged skin.
It also has soothing, anti-inflammatory properties to prevent irritation, in-grown hairs, and even acne too.
Applying a liberal amount of witch hazel after I’ve hacked away at myself is my favorite part of a wet shave.
It feels icy cool and calming on the skin.
Once hard to find, you can buy witch hazel just about anywhere these days.
I even saw Wal-Mart carrying a Great Value brand.
Again, stay away from the alcohol-based, burn-inducing elixir and go for premium here.
A good aftershave will include oils, creams, and vitamins to help repair damaged skin.
Say goodbye to stinging the living shit out of your face just so you can feel something.
10. Styptic pencil
Let’s be honest, you’re going to knick yourself. Especially the first few times.
Once you get the hang of the process, you shouldn’t have to worry about this anymore.
But, once in a blue moon, I still manage to lop the top of my Adam’s Apple or swipe my sharp jawline when I shave with too much excitement or hit a wrong angle.
Don’t be like that weird guy at work whose face looks like it was beaten with a battle-ax. Spend a few bucks to spring for a styptic pencil.
It’s a simple stick of antihemorrhagic agent that stops bleeding immediately and closes the wound.
Good riddance to blood-stained, polka-dotted patches of toilet paper.
Start wet shaving today
So there you have it. The essentials to initiate this once right-of-passage into your morning ritual.
Seriously, if you haven’t done so. Ditch your flimsy, floppy disposable razors today and start using a metal machine meant for a man.
All you need to do is pick up these 10 items and you’ll be off to smooth shaving in no time.
See the complete wet shave shopping list on Amazon here. For $150 you get everything you need and won’t have to spend another penny on shaving supplies for years.
Am I missing anything? Be sure to comment below.