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Father’s Day is coming, June 21st, 2015. There’s plenty of time to shop, but I thought I would offer a suggestion. It’s about shaving.
If your guy is like me, shaving is not one of my favorite things to do, until now! Shaving was something I did look forward to as a treat, if it was done by a professional barber. Guys do like to be pampered, just like the ladies do. But shaving by the barber is not something all of them know how to do or do much anymore, but it is making a comeback. There’s nothing quite like the pampering I get and the feeling I get from the hot towel to soften your beard before the shaving begins with the result of my face becoming as smooth as a baby’s butt, until now!
Now, I can get the same results at home, doing it myself and anytime I need a shave or even just want one. Yes, I look forward to this experience now! This was not the case, not too very long ago.
The odds are great that perhaps a man’s father or his grandfather had a brush, a shaving mug, a circular shaped bar of shaving soap that fit into the bottom of the mug and a razor. These were the tools of shaving used for over a hundred years.
These tools too, are making a comeback as well. I have for a long time loved the idea of shaving like this, for many years. Partly it is because, these are what barbers of mine in the past have used and I suppose I wanted to get the same results myself, at home.
I’ve had several shaving sets over the years, but they all, always had something missing. I did not like the mugs (wrong color, too much advertising on them, they were the wrong shape, too big or I just dropped and broke them. The brushes seemed to fall apart a lot and quickly. But mostly, it was mostly, about the shaving soap. They were NOT very good!
My situation is, my skin is fair and my beard is pretty tough. Shaving irritates my skin and this is why shaving was NOT among my favorite things in life to do. I’ve tried all kinds of gels, shaving cream that comes out of the can warm and various shaving soaps and other creams, for shaving my mug. 🙂
Nothing has worked very well, for me, until now. I’ve tried various pre-shave oils, squeeze-tube shaving creams and after-shave skin bracers much like a barber would use. All of these have had drawbacks for me. Obviously, adding more oil to your skin might help in shaving at first, but contributes to a more overall oily skin, clogged pores and maybe, other skin problems down the road, from repeated use. If you or your guy is like me, I have to shave ever day as my beard grows fast. I don’t need more problems than just the irritation of shaving itself has, already given me over the years. Well, that was then and this is now. Now it is a joy, YES, a real JOY to shave! 🙂
If you or your man uses an electric shaver, then this post does not apply, unless you or he is wanting to switch? I’ve tried several electric razors over the years and have never found one that can shave my face as close as a razor and that did not also, irritate my skin. But if you or your guy uses a razor, the disposable is by far, the most used. Multiple blades are popular. I’ve seen twin blades, three and even four blades. I currently use three. These are NOT cheap price wise and quite frankly, I don’t think they are as good as they used to be. For one thing, creams and soaps especially those which use oils to soften the beard, have a tendency of clogging up the blades and wearing them out more quickly. This might be good for the maker’s pocketbooks, but not mine. Besides, if shaving was not (previously) unpleasant enough, trying to rinse out your blade while your shaving was another pain in the tuchus (tuchis, tuckus, butt) and it added more time to shaving. Single razors that use the single ‘safety blades’ are making a big comeback too. But find a razor that works best for you and preferably one that can universally accept different brands of blades. Mine does and it has its own stand.
The next thing is a brush to make lather. It should be the best quality natural badger bristle brush that you can find. Quality makes a difference because, you don’t want the experience of losing bristles on the face you are trying to scrape (my previous harsh word for the whole uncomfortable shaving thing). every time you shave. Don’t skimp, buy the best!
You need a shaving mug or something you can hold in your hand while the brush is working up the lather. Often you can purchase complete shaving sets. But I already had a brush, razor and stand. I was trying to use just a regular retired coffee mug that matched our bathroom, but I could not find a soap that would fit into the bottom. I have been looking for a round shaving soap and had hoped it would fit into my coffee cup. Then, I found a soap, brought it home and tried to put it into my cup, but sadly it would not fit. I went back to the store and was considering buying the set which included the shaving mug, but I did not like the color (black) for our bathroom, nor did I want to pay about $25 just for the mug/soap/stand and brush, when all I needed was the mug. So I looked around to see what else I could use.
I found a simple round white fruit bowl at Walmart. Being white, it matched the rest of my tools and fit perfectly with our decor.
OK, now for the soap. All of this post, yes all of it is more about the soap than anything else. I read the ingredients on the box and decided to give it a try. It is made by Van der Hagen. Van der Hagen shave soap is hypoallergenic. The shave soaps are produced one small batch at a time using a unique kettle process. Each shave soap contains over 10% Glycerin as well as emollient Shea, Mango & Cocoa Butters to help soften the beard and improve razor glide for a close, comfortable shave that leaves skin feeling soft and smooth with a soft fresh citrus fragrance. It can also be purchased unscented. And they make a product for the Ladies too!
For more information, other products and where to buy, see:
So how does my set look in our bathroom? In a word, perfect!
My wife Susan, found this stand, brush and razor normally at $40, on sale for $4. I use my normal blades. And my $1 fruit bowl from Walmart works great! It fits comfortably in the palm of my hand, so I can use the brush to work up the lather with the other hand. Did I mention it was only a dollar? 🙂 So, If I ever drop it, it is less expensive than a shaving mug and I wouldn’t be as emotionally upset if I broke it, out much money and it could easily be replaced. I’m sure you can find one to match your decorating scheme and in several different colors of your choice.
So how does it work? For me, like a dream! It is a joy to shave, every time! My face is smooth like a baby’s butt, has a pleasant scent and perhaps the best of all, my Susan thinks it’s touchable soft! 🙂
If you go to the Van der Hagen website, there is a YouTube video on how to shave. You can watch it there or here below. Most guys might think or say, “I don’t need to watch this, I’m a man, I know how to shave!” I watched it, BUT it was only after, I used the soap. I did had NOT used it as suggested. I like my way better and trust me, I believe in the long run, I will not spend as much money on replacement costs. Why, because, I won’t go through it as quickly.
Like I wrote above, I just did what I thought was right and then I discovered the video and watched it. Again, I did not follow their recommendations. I wanted to shave my face, not ice a cake! 🙂
What I do is, first take a hot shower. The pores of my skin on my face are already open and the conditions are optimal for prep to shave. If you do not shower before you shave, just take a damp hand towel and stick it in the microwave for say, 30-60 seconds until it is as hot as you like it. Then place this over your face. This is like what the barber does and it does feel fantastic. But like I said, I usually shower and then shave, so the hot towel for me, is not necessary.
Next, I turn on the hot water at our sink until it is a hot as can be. I put my brush into the hot water, for just a few seconds, turn off the water and wring out the brush from excess water. Then, I gently place the heated brush into the shaving soap and swirl it around for just a few seconds (not the recommended 40-50 seconds). Then, I lightly lather my face. How does it feel? Using just three letters, OMG! 🙂
The heat from the light lather and brush is fantastic! By light I mean light and not the recommended thick like butter or cream. Shaving was a breeze. My method over what is recommended saves time; saves soap, the blades were easy to rinse clean and did not clog. Yep, OMG, shaving is now a JOY for me!
And this shaving soap, I would have absolutely no problem using for bathing or just washing my face either. Soft skin without the excess oil. Lasts all day. Smells great.
Ladies and gentlemen, do yourselves this wonderful and pleasurable favor, for yourselves or your men. Either get a shaving set or try it again, but purchase some Van der Hagen shaving soap, scented or unscented! Guys, you’ll love your face and so will your ladies!
P.S. This post is NOT a paid endorsement from Van der Hagen. It’s just my experience, that I am FREELY sharing with you. Don’t forget, Father’s Day is June 21st, hint, hint! 🙂
Don’t worry about me, I’ve already got my shaving tools! Sure, if you come for a visit at The Gathering Place, I’ll let you use mine, but bring your own razor! 🙂