The Art of Shaving
A good shave leaves you feeling neat, groomed and ready for anything. It’s a way of imposing your will on the dishevelment that sleep brings and showing the world that you’re ready for it, and it can boost self confidence, and productivity. Shaving is one of the rituals you use to signal to your brain the day is beginning, like showering, and drinking coffee, and it’s a prompt to make you more alert.
A bad shave is dispiriting, irritating (mentally and to your skin) and might leave you feeling less groomed and presentable than before you started! It’s clearly worth perfecting the art of shaving, so every morning your shaving ritual leaves feeling great, and perfectly prepared for the day ahead.
The first, and perhaps most important part of the art of shaving is to make sure you have the right equipment. A good shaving brush set allows you to work up a healthy lather of shaving foam, soap or gel, and also lifts and separates the hairs on your face allowing for a closer, smoother shave.
Recently classic doubled edged razors have made a comeback. While they aren’t quite as convenient as modern cartridge razors – the standard kind you can find in all supermarkets- they offer a far more satisfying experience, and also allow you a closer shave that’s less irritating to the skin.
Using a double edged razor safely is a skill it takes some time to develop, and in the beginning it takes longer to shave with. When you’ve mastered your safety razor you’ll find it almost as fast as your old cartridge razor, but it does demand respect and taking your time in the early days is the safest way. It’s this that elevates shaving with a classic razor from a mundane, everyday routine into exercise of skill and craft that makes starting the day an art.
Practicing the skill of shaving with a classic safety razor will put you into a relaxed, but alert state of mind. Carefully shaving once with the grain of your beard (not applying pressure but allowing the blade to glide gently over your face) then enjoying a frictionless second pass against the grain for extra smoothness is a ritual that will soon become one of your favourite parts of the day: no longer just routine grooming but exercising an almost lost art.