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What is Traditional Shaving?

Back in the day before aerosol and multiple blades, things were simple, and simple worked very well. Unfortunately, it seems to us that the large companies got carried away with large scale marketing, but really got away from a great shave. Traditional shaving has made a big comeback as many people are coming to find truth in the basic ways of shaving those whiskers. Now, we know this method might be a little new to people, so we’re going to break it down to the main aspects that define a wet shave.

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If shaving isn’t the most invigorating part of your day, then you’re doing it wrong

See how wet shaving will restore, revitalize and reclaim your male power

A classic wet shave takes you on an aesthetic journey back to the root of your male essence.

But somewhere between the time Ruth was calling his homers and Bonds was pumping roids, we lost our way. Fast cars. Fast money. Fast shaves. Keep the first two if you must, we won’t object… but your shave?

It’s time to slow down, return to your roots, and boldly reclaim your mug.

You see, back in the day before aerosol and multiple blades, things were simple, and simple worked well. Unfortunately, male mastery gave way to marketing mischief, and the mega corps got carried away with large scale ad campaigns that dragged fine steeds like you away from a truly great shave.

But don’t despair! Once the underdog, traditional wet-shaving has made a big comeback as fine lads like you have come to re-discover the timeless male wisdom of how to masterfully shave their whiskers.

Consider this your initiation--a rite of passage into all that is right and sacred.

You see, a true man of discernment treats each action like the living art it is. He is congruent, consistent, and unabashedly purposeful in all his pursuits.

This is what gives him integrity.

So why would you sip on single-malt, dress like Don Draper, yet scrape your face with a “cooler” version of what your mother uses on her legs just because a famous tennis star or golfer told you to? Hmmm. That’s a chin scratcher, ain’t it? The truth is, wet shaving is far simpler than you think, and to help lead you back to your birthright, we put together a quick guide.

Welcome to Wet Shaving 101: The Lesson Your Father Never Gave You.


Water is star of the show (hence the name).

It softens your beard, lubricates your pores, and preps your face for a great shave.

Some guys like to shave at the sink after a nice hot shower, and this is ideal, since you’ve just warmed and cleaned your whiskers. But, it’s also a fine idea to skip the shower and just apply a nice warm towel to your chiseled chin or splash some hot water to get yourself prepped!

Water is also used to prepare the lather--you want to adequately soak that brush before you whip up a rich lather on the soap puck or whirl up a cream in your lather bowl.

Barber’s Tip: A glass of water never hurt anyone either

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Soap or Cream

You want to use a quality soap or cream to create a lather with a shaving brush. There are benefits to using both and it mostly comes down to preference.

For most men, we recommend starting with creams-- it’s easy to whip up a nice bowl full, and it’s typically pretty rich, too. In some ways, lathering directly on a soap surface feels like one less step, but it tends to take a little more work to generate a good quantity.

Regardless of which you use, an important thing to remember is that you want to achieve a consistency similar to that of whipped cream. To do so, you may have to play with how much water you have on your brush. Start with less and add as needed.

Barber’s Tip: It’s always easier to add water than to take it away.

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You use the brush to create the lather… and oh man, do you ever have options here - badger, horse, boar, and synthetic hair just to name a few.

As a rule of thumb, you’ll choose a brush based on whether you decide to work with soap or cream.

When using cream, you’ll lather up with a very soft brush, which, quite frankly, feels amazingly sweet on the skin. If you’re a soap guy, you’ll use a brush with greater backbone, meaning they have firmer bristles which tend to pull up more off of a soap. There are also plenty of options that fall in the middle, if you happen to be one of those guys that like the flexibility of toggling between soap and cream.

A brush is something that (with good care and a little sweet talk) will last several years, even decades. Just make sure to rinse it out well, and flick it to snap out that excess water.

Barber’s Tip: If Johnny takes good care of his toys, they will last.

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One blade--as long as it is sharp--really does a perfect job on its own and is far less irritating on the skin than anything you’ve tried in the past.

Sure you can add 5 blades and have it sing to you, but it’s just not necessary. We recommend a straight razor, which is the kind that looks super scary and intimidating.

Yep, the kind you have to whip out of a leather strop without scaring away your female company. But I swear on a 20 year single-malt that guys that do it this way seriously love shaving, and chances are, you will too.

For a less intimidating option, some guys like to roll with a safety razor.

This is the kind that you drop a double edge disposable blade into. You just alternate sides of the razor as you are whisking those hairs away and rinse a bit in between. With a safety razor, you have the option of experimenting with many blades in order to find the perfect match for your skin, and this is a beautiful thing.

Either way, people often find simplifying things down to one blade relieves irritation and gives a much closer shave.

Barber’s Tip: More is not always better.

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Traditionally, you want to end that shave with a splash of cool water, and then soothe and close those pores with a nice aftershave. If your skin is of the soft and sensitive variety, you’ll want to go alcohol-free for this round to avoid the burn.

While aftershaves do indeed smell amazing, they won’t linger all day, and certainly won’t assault the olfactory senses of everyone within a 10 foot radius.

A good aftershave is far too concerned with soothing and moisturizing your skin, than to announce its entrance with an aggressive waff.

There are an abundance of options, and discovering your perfect scent is definitely a fun adventure. To help, we’ve literally trained our team to be scent connoisseurs, and describe them to you in much the same way your favorite bartender will describe a scotch.

Barber’s Tip: The right scent can really take you places.

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Begin Your Rite of Passage… We’ll Help.

Yes, it’s a journey, and HELL YES, it’s one worth making. Just ask the 75,000 gentlemen we’ve served since 2007.

But since no man need go into the dark cave alone, we have a team of expert groomsmen and elder statesmen who’d love nothing more than to usher you into your new state of artful being.

Find them here

Like your best bar buddy, we’ll expertly guide you towards finding your first blade... or put us on speaker to cheer you on as you go for your inaugural slice.

How to Give Yourself the Perfect Shave

There are several steps to a true traditional shave, which some men follow to a tee while others remix to their own taste.

In time, you’ll pick and choose what works for you, but to get started, here’s the easiest and safest way to initiate yourself.

Begin by applying a warm towel or taking a shower to soften the hair and skin.
Some men find applying a pre-shave oil or lotion to be helpful in creating a super slick face before the cream starts flying.
Form a lather on a shaving soap or traditional cream in a bowl, mug or directly on the face with a shaving brush. This not only creates great lather, but it lifts the hairs of the face to provide that super close shave.
Many men find that doing multiple passes with a safety razor or straight razor and applying cream between the passes is ideal. It is best to go with the grain, across the grain, and finally, against the grain if your skin is not overly sensitive.
Finish off the shave with a nice cool rinse to clean off any excess cream, and then apply an aftershave. If you really want to smell great all day, add a little cologne