Everyone likes a neat and clean appearance. The good news is that it doesn’t take much effort to get that classic look. All you need is a good razor. There are different types of razors flooding the market. We’ll help you pick the right one.
Use in the stone age, the first known version of a razor was a shaving stone which was essentially a flaked obsidian.
The Egyptians used a rotary razor.
Shaving was adopted by Alexander’s troops. The Romans replaced the circular razor with a straight one.
Straight razor was most commonly used till the 20th century. This razor had a stainless steel blade that is sharpened on one side.
Next came the shavette, had a disposable blade. It is easy to use but less durable.
In 1880 came the first marketed safety razor. Safer to use than straight razor but required practice.
1903 saw King Gillette sell the first double edge safety razor which had edges and protective bars on both sides of the blade.
First disposable safety razor came in 1960. The entire razor is discarded after use over a period of time.
Then came the cartridge razor with disposable blades. whose head remained bent at a slight angle for a closer shave.
The foil electric razor run on batteries or can be recharged. For this, no shaving gel or foam is needed. Since the blades move back and forth, they don’t work well on facial curves.
Based on the same principle as the electric razor, the rotary electric razor has blades that rotate on the head. They are easy to use and work well on facial contours with minimum effect.
If you are interested in learning more, check out the infographic below.
Many men are loyal to shaving soap despite quicker means of applying shaving cream available on the market today. So what is it about shaving soap that makes them continue whipping it up versus creams, foams or gels?
For some, it is because hard soap for shaving has a long-standing history as part of grooming. It is the tradition of hard soap that entices them into the daily routine. For others, it is the extended experience of taking time to appreciate their shave and focused moment of self-indulgence. There are even more reasons to use shaving hard soap, so we will explore the background of these soaps for you to decide what is right for you.
About Hard Shaving Soap
Hard soaps used in shaving have been around for about two hundred years. One well-known American brand was Williams, a mug-use hard soap produced as early as 1840. Shaving soaps are still fashioned as they were back then, in hard bars most often resembling a round puck. These hard soaps have one feature many people overlook or do not realize hold significance. That is, they have a flat bottom for use in a shaving mug or a rounded bottom for use in a scuttle.
To use a hard soap formulated for shaving, a shaving brush is required to create lather from the soap and applied water. The brush is immersed in water and then vigorously swished around the soap until the brush bristles are coated with the soap. The brush is then applied to the face to create lather or this is done in a shaving mug or bowl. Some soaps are designed to be rubbed directly on the face, with the brush then used on the face to create foam.
Advantages of Using Shaving Soap
For many men, a major advantage of hard soap is how much hydration they provide for whiskers to be cut easily. Shaving soaps remove the natural oil from whiskers and skin, providing the means for water to more thoroughly penetrate these facial hairs. When whiskers are more hydrated, the razor is able to cut them without pulling.
For men who travel frequently, hard soap is also better for their lifestyle. Most men who frequently air travel prefer not checking baggage. Because the Transportation Security Administration permits shaving soaps in carry-on bags, getting through security and onto the plane without having to check a suitcase is a very positive benefit. The same is not the case for those traveling with liquids, gels or aerosol shaving creams. Soap is also very compact and easy to pack without leakage compared to a shaving cream tub.
For many, the extra time and a bit of extra effort required for shaving soap use drives them to use more modern methods. But many who are loyal to shaving soaps enjoy that time of quiet reflection in the morning or for an evening shave, when they can focus on themselves and not everything else they are responsible for.
Shaving soaps also seem more expensive at face value. But over an extended period of use, shaving soaps are actually cheaper than other means of developing a foamy lather, comparable in cost to creams and gels at the very least. This is mainly because soaps are hard molded where a shaving cream would lather up with water and a shaving brush.
For environmentally conscious wet shaving enthusiasts, shaving soaps bring the benefit of not hurting the environment. Because there is no aerosol application, less ecological impact is inflicted by men using these soaps over canned creams.
The shaving soap has traditionally been used by wet shavers for a very long time. It is the de-facto standard for wet shaving. Over time, shaving creams were also introduced into the market. While a shaving soap is usually a hard soap, shaving cream is also just “soft soap” and extra oils. They are therefore fundamentally the same. However, many people, especially young men who are starting to shave for the first time, may wonder which is the better of the two. The soap or the cream? This review will look at the different aspects and benefits of each to enable anyone who is searching for the best shave soap or cream to make the right decision.
The Shaving Cream
First, it should be clear that the shaving cream being discussed here is not the type found in pressurized cans, rather it is the thick cream type that comes in a jar, tub or in a tube. Shaving creams are usually perfumed with lovely scents, but fragrance-free offers also exist. They are normally oilier than even the best shave soap which might be the preference the consumer is looking for. Also, shaving creams require less elbow grease to make lather and this is one major reason they are so popular because making good lather from hard shaving soaps does need a little practice.
How to lather Shaving Cream
1. Put your brush in your bowl with hot water for some minutes. 2. Remove your brush and dispose of the hot water. 3. Scoop out a small dollop of cream into your bowl. 4. Using your still damp brush, swirl the cream until it turns into plenty of lather. 5. You can add a little more water if it’s too dry.
Shaving soaps have been used much longer before the advent of the shaving cream. It became more popular during World War I. The best shave soaps are usually the triple milled hard soaps and they do cost a little more. A good soap should contain a high level of fat and glycerin, about 40 to 50% fat level is optimal. This high percentage of fat is necessary to provide good lubrication and skin protection during a shaving session. One has to be careful when buying shaving soaps because many of the brands offered as high quality triple-milled shave soaps are simply not what they are claimed to be.
How to lather Shaving Soaps
1. Put your brush in your bowl with hot water for some minutes. 2. Remove your brush and dispose of the hot water. 3. Lather up the soap inside its container or your bowl using a circular motion. 4. Continue to swirl until a rich warm lather has been produced. 5. You can add a little water if you need more lather.
Shaving Soaps vs Shaving Creams
Although they are both fundamentally the same, there are still differences between shaving soaps and shaving creams. Apart from the obvious fact that soaps are hard and creams are creamy, the following points will help to offer an in-depth comparison between shaving soaps and shaving creams.
Cost & Value
When it comes to costs, shaving soaps cost on average less than shaving creams. Then again, the soap that cost less than a jar of cream will outlast that jar. Therefore if you are concerned about saving costs, a hard soap is definitely the product to choose.
Soaps as well as creams may or may not be perfumed. When perfumed they could both be either strongly or lightly perfumed. Creams anyway, tend to retain their scents for much longer than soaps. Also creams are often more heavily scented. The best shave soap and cream fragrances include sandalwood, citrus/lime, menthol and coconut. Sandalwood is definitely one of the most popular scents of all time.
Ease of Use
Creams are easier to turn into lather, especially for the beginner. Lathering soaps is not that much difficult anyway, it just needs a little mastering of the soap/water ratio. But once mastered, lathering a soap becomes a pleasure. The best shave soap you can lather is usually the triple milled hard soap, the softer ones just do not lather as beautifully. Anyway, for ease of use and lathering, creams win.
There is a sentimentality associated with lathering a soap that you just don’t get from a shaving cream. It is a connection to the past that many shavers find irresistibly romantic. This is especially true for straight razor wet shavers who prefer shaving soaps to creams because the finer lather from soap works better for straight razors.
Shave soaps and creams are both acceptable for the traditional wet shaver. The choice of either one depends solely on preference and maybe on shaving method too. This is because of the cushion effect and slickness that soaps offer which is preferred by straight razor shavers. Creams on the other hand offer protection, which is preferred by safety razor shavers.
Using the best shave soap or cream will still not help if the shaver lacks an understanding of lathering techniques. Therefore learning and practice are as much important as is choosing between soap and cream. A new shaver can start with shaving cream first, and then switch to a shave soap later if he feels like it. By then, he would have become quite comfortable with lathering with a brush. Have additional questions on which to choose? Shoot us a quick note and we will respond quickly.