Movember has now been and gone for another year and already many of you gentlemen have returned to sanctity of the shave.
To ease you back in, and also for your general information, I thought this the opportune time to give you a brief guide to this male pastime (no not that) shaving.
Since that boy of 15 looking in the mirror, face proudly covered in a mock Father Christmas beard of shaving foam and plastic disposable razor in hand, things have moved on. Or perhaps you could say they have moved backwards. Before I get to cryptic let me explain, there are many modern shaving implements out there for the discerning gentleman, from your multi-bladed razor to some sci-fi looking electric shavers. Having experimented with these I decided to devolve my shave.
With the gift of a shaving set I was moved back in to the old school realm of the single blade safety razor, shaving soap and brush. Let us start with the brush; there are many out there, ranging from synthetic material to boar and badger hair, with decent badger hair generally considered the gold standard for a good brush. There is something infinitely more pleasurable about working up a good lather of soap rather than slapping on some spray cream. It also adds to the effectiveness of the shave, agitating the hairs so they are shaved more easily, this in turn gives you a closer shave.
The actual nitty gritty of shaving with a single blade is much the same as modern razors, but for me personally yields better results. The procedure is as follows -
Lather up a good foam of soap on your face
Shave in a downwards direction
Rinse and re-lather your face
Shave in a horizontal direction, across the face
For the super close shave you can also shave upwards, against the grain, for a final pass
Of course you should finish up with a good quality after shave or balm, I at the moment favour Floris 89 balm.
Now moving on to the manliest of shaves, the mucho honcho, the cut throat razor. There's nothing quite like running an unguarded piece of razor sharp metal across your boat-race. A warning to all you would-be Sweeny Todd's - the first few times you use a cut throat razor you will cut yourself, there is a steep learning curve. It requires a higher level of skill and concentration then your average shave, but once you have the knack it can almost become a meditative experience.
Half of the battle is learning how to grip your razor correctly.
So that should get you through your next close shave, and just in the nick of time ! Ok I will stop with the puns now.