The Art of the Close Shave

For too many of us, shaving is a mere routine. It’s something we do out of necessity, in a hurry as we prepare for work in the morning. This leaves you prey to cuts, to dry and irritated skin, and worst of all, stress. A good, close shave should leave not merely groomed but also relaxed, and ready to face anything. It’s the mark of a civilised man.

Giving yourself a proper close shave is a skill and a craft as well as an art, and it’s worth learning the skills to do it well. Whether it’s part of your everyday grooming ritual, or a treat for weekends and special occasions being able to give yourself a close shave with confidence is the best way to start your day.

To begin with you’ll need a good shaving set. A good wet shave needs more than a cartridge razor kept carelessly in a bathroom cupboard. If you’re trying to recreate the classic shaving experience, you need to collect a kit of specialist equipment.

The first thing you’ll need is a good shaving brush. Badger hair is the favoured type for this. A shaving brush doesn’t just distribute shaving foam or cream around your face, it also helps to raise and separate your bristles, for a closer, more thorough shave.

If you’re trying to recreate a classic close shave, you’ll need some good shaving soap as well. Traditional shaving soap is enjoying a resurgence at the moment, which just adds to the classic experience you’re invoking. A good shaving soap will produce a rich, moisturising lather on your brush that makes the experience of shaving all the more luxurious.

After this, you’ll be ready to pick your razor. While many excellent cartridge razors are available, the craze for reviving classic shaving equipment has also affected razors. You could choose to buy a classic safety razor. This gives you a closer shave, at the slight increased risk of cuts. As long as treat the razor and yourself with care and respect you’ll find yourself able to shave uninjured, with the satisfaction of doing the job properly.

Make sure you prepare with some really hot water, either applied directly to your face or via the medium of a hot towel. This relaxes your skin, and softens your bristles, to make shaving less abrasive, and helps to relax you and put you in a great frame of mind for the day. Learning to gently draw the razor across your skin without applying any pressure and letting gravity do it’s work will leave you feeling soft, smooth and totally ready to face the day as a man should!

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