Master Shave Essentials

Master Shave was formed due to the rise of gentleman, specifically in South Africa, not having the appropriate means of discussing and acquiring information relating to the art of Wet Shaving.  An essential part of reviving this tradition was to ensure South African Wet Shaver’s have a portal to discuss, compare and interact with fellow wet shavers in a way that is simple and easy to use and refer to.

One particular important aspect of Master Shave is to welcome any new or existing wet shaver to the community, by sharing knowledge of the finest grooming techniques known to man, additionally providing the best suppliers of wet shaving goods including razors, blades, brushes, soaps and creams. Essentially everything and anything you may need to get the journey started, as well as access to some of the goods available internationally.

After all, gentlemen deserve the best in everything they do and it starts with shaving properly, the way they did back then.

A little bit of history courtesy of Wikipedia and their associated references;

Before the advent of razors, hair was sometimes removed using two shells to pull the hair out or using water and a sharp tool. Around 3000 BC when copper tools were developed, copper razors were invented. The idea of an aesthetic approach to personal hygiene may have begun at this time, though Egyptian priests may have practiced something similar to this earlier. Alexander the Great strongly promoted shaving during his reign in the 4th century BC to avoid “dangerous beard-grabbing in combat”, and because he believed it looked tidier. In some Native American tribes, at the time of contact with British colonists, it was customary for men and women to remove all bodily hair using these methods.

Traditional Wet Shaving:

Safety razor, shaving brush and shaving soap. The brush is used to make lather from the soap.

There are two types of manual razors: straight razor and safety razors. Safety razors are further subdivided into double-edged razors, single edge, injector razors, cartridge razors and disposable razors.

Double-edge razors are currently readily available and are manufactured by Merkur in Germany, Edwin Jagger in Great Britain, Kiwishaver in New Zealand, Parker in India, Feather in Japan, Hart Steel and Weber Razor in the United States, Ikon in Thailand, and Weishi in China. Double-edge razors are named so because the blade that they use has two sharp edges on opposite sides of the blade. Current multi-bladed cartridge manufacturers attempt to differentiate themselves by having more or fewer blades than their competitors, each arguing that their product gives a greater shave quality at a more affordable price. A common brand that produced a variety of razors in the United States during the 20th Century was Gillette. There are several other brands selling safety razor blades such as Wilkinson Sword, and BIC.

Before wet shaving, the area to be shaved is usually doused in warm to hot water or covered for several minutes with a hot wet towel to soften the skin and hair. A lathering or lubricating agent such as cream, soap, gel, foam or oil is normally applied after this. Lubricating and moisturizing the skin to be shaved helps to prevent a painful razor burn. Many razor cartridges include a lubricating strip, made of polyethylene glycol, to function instead of or in supplement to extrinsic agents. It also lifts and softens the hairs, causing them to swell. This enhances the cutting action and sometimes permits cutting the hairs slightly below the surface of the skin. Additionally, during shaving, the lather indicates areas that have not been addressed. When soap is used, it is generally applied with a shaving brush, which has long soft bristles. It is worked up into a usable lather by the brush, either against the face, in a shaving mug, bowl, scuttle, or palm of the hand.

Since cuts are more likely when using safety razors and straight razors, wet shaving is generally done in more than one pass with the blade. The goal is to reduce the amount of hair with each pass, instead of trying to eliminate all of it in a single pass. This also reduces the risks of cuts, soreness, and ingrown hairs. Alum blocks and styptic pencils are used to close cuts resulting from the shave.

So there you have it, traditional shaving affords a close smooth comfortable shave at a fraction of the price of the multi-blade cartridge systems with the added benefit of healthier looking skin to boot. Here you will find a wealth of knowledge on getting started as well as maintaining your technique.

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