The Fine Art of Shaving the Old-Fashioned Way

It's a secret that licensed barbers and those attending barbering school already know: If you want your beard and mustache area to feel completely smooth, you should put down the disposable razor and back away quickly. Instead, take a moment to think about how your grandfather shaved - his techniques might provide you with a better shave. Take a look at the tips below and give some old-fashioned shaving methods a shot. We think that, once you try them, you won't go back.

Razors and Soaps

Stop buying the disposable razors, and start using a double-edged safety razor. Typically, you can buy a brand-new one for about $30 or $40 made by a manufacturer like Merkur or Edwin Jagger; however, some of the pricier brands will run you up to $100. You could always opt for a used one that you can obtain from Ebay or an antique shop. You might want to ask your grandfather if he still has his.

Use a soap or shaving cream that is more traditional. These lather better and smell better. They're made of all natural ingredients, so you'll actually know what you're putting on your skin.

Blades and Brushes

When you choose a blade, there's no right or wrong one. You have to evaluate each blade for yourself until you find the best one for you, since blades vary in sharpness and shape.

For those who are unfamiliar with using a brush to shave, you're really missing out. Brushes provide you with extra hydration, resulting in a thicker lather. The brush reaches areas around your whiskers that you won't be able to get with your hand. Ultimately, this makes for a closer, smoother shave. You'll have the option of either a badger or a boar bristle brush. You should expect to pay a little more for a badger brush, but the money will be worth it because this soft-bristled brush lathers more and feel better on your skin.

Technique Tips

Soften your bread or mustache prior to shaving. Take a hot shower or place a damp, hot rag on your face to moisten it before you shave. Place some shaving cream or soap on your hand. Use only about a dab of cream about the size of nickel. Apply the cream with your hand, and the use your brush in a circular motion to spread it around. After you have a nice lather, go over all of it with a brush once or twice.

Apply as little pressure as possible when you're shaving, and make sure hold the blade at an angle of about 30 or 45 degrees. Always remember, shave with the hairs, not against them. Finally, take the hair off in layers, rather than trying to take off your entire beard with a few swipes of the razor.

Always splash some cold water on your face when you're done to close your pores. Additionally, you want to choose a nice aftershave as a complement.


Not only will you receive a closer shave, but you'll also reduce your chances of ingrown hairs, redness and even razor rash. You'll spend less money and have a lower negative impact on the environment, since the blades and other equipment end up costing less and are recyclable.

A few quick tips on the art of shaving can make for a better, healthier skin and beard. If you're interested in learning more about shaving techniques, look into barbering courses at a barbering school near you.

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