Shaving 101 by John Allan
Shaving is an integral part of every man’s routine, yet when I talk to people, many are not really happy with their shave. Some think it takes too long in the morning others feels it is not smooth enough, and hence it seemed to be logical to talk about the act of shaving after we tested a Double Edge Razor (very smooth result, time intensive) and two electric razors from Philips & Braun (not as smooth, but much faster).
Today, John Allan will tell you about his shaving experiences:
First and foremost, men have to remember one of the main ingredients for an incredible shave – TAKING YOUR TIME.I meet many men and as I see it, there are mainly three types of men:
The 101 man feels he has no time, or just doesn’t care. He wants a good shave, but he wants it fast. If he doesn’t already shave in the shower, I recommend he starts. This guy needs a slick shave and the shower steam will provide him with the moisture that his beard needs. Just add a thin layer of pre-shave solution or conditioner onto the skin to reduce razor drag and experience a fast, clean shave
This chap knows that if he wants a better shave, he needs better tools. He upgraded from a one blade razor to a five. He went from an aerosol can of shaving cream to a tube or the classic tub. His pre-shave prep allows him to shave at the sink. He understands the cool, calm, and conditioning benefits of a cooling after-shave. He might feel strapped for time like most guys, but one piece of advice he should take before he shaves against the grain is to re-lather.
This guy is almost me. He takes shaving seriously. He gets up earlier in the morning so he can prep his beard. He believes that pre-shave, such as my slickwater solution is essential. He carries his own razor. He may also carry a silver tip badger brush to apply his shave cream. If he has a tough beard, he should begin by using John Allan’s scrub to start the process. This exfoliates dead skin and lifts the follicles to help prevent ingrown hairs and avoid skin irritation. His post shave is personal. He believes in the three-step program: pre-shave solution, Shave cream, and after-shave remedy. It’s the perfect shave.
My Favorite Shave
This is the closest you can get to the classic old school shave. This is Vito. This is Brando. This is as authentic as you can get. At night, when all is calm, I pour a glass of scotch, take a sip and turn on Willie Dixon blues.
I apply hot water to my face to open the pores and exfoliate with scrub. I rinse clean and apply a steaming hot towel to my face. After the hot towel is removed, I take another sip. Then I pour about a quarter size of slickwatersolution in my hand and work it in to my beard, usually rubbing against the grain. This solution will create a barrier against the blade and reduce nicks and irritation.
I take my time. Now comes the shave cream, the badger brush and my razor, shorty. I dip the brush in the tub of shave cream and apply it on to my face in a circular motion to lift the hair follicles to get as close a shave as possible. I shave with the grain, first. (Every face is different, so take a close look at your facial hair and look what directions it grows in). Then apply another steaming hot towel, re-apply shaving cream, and shave in the opposite direction. Once I am done, I rinse my face well and apply a cold towel. I allow my skin to
calm for a minute, finish my drink and apply my acai infused aftershave remedy to soothe, protect, moisturize and repair my skin, because basically it just underwent a thorough peeling.
As you can see in the pictures, John Allan uses Gillette razors at his store because that’s what most men are used to. However, personally I am an avid opponent of Gillette razors because they take about as much time as a double edge razor and provide and inferior result, especially if you have thick hair. I would say a shave is en par with an electric razor but Gillette takes much longer. Therefore I either use a DE razor for quality or an electric razor for speed. Besides, Gillette is more costly than both…
So, what kind of shaving type are you? What is your routine and what kind of razor do you prefer?