[NOTE: This Site Is Just Being Put Together So Please Bear With Us!]
Welcome to itscalledwetshaving.com, the first step on your journey to taking back your shave. The sole intent of this site is to give only the most basic information required to get a feel for what wet shaving is all about.
Below, find answers to your question:
1.) What is this “Wet Shaving” thing?
2.) Why would I change what I’m doing?
3.) Okay, but what’s the catch?
4.) What do I need to start out?
5.) How do I do it?
6.) Sweet! What’s next?
1.) WHAT IS WET SHAVING?
Wet shaving is what your grandpa would have simply called shaving: a bristle brush, real soap, a mug, a single-edged blade. Because of the onslaught in recent decades of canned goo and overpriced multi-blade doo-dads, the word “wet” was added to distinguish the classical method of depilation from the modern degenerate one.
2.) WHY WOULD I CHANGE WHAT I AM DOING?
Simple. You’ve gotta shave, and how you’re doing it right now sucks, and you know it. That’s why you’re here.
But, in case you need more:
SAVINGS: Haven’t you ever wondered why those four plastic cartridges are so frickin’ expensive? Yeah, us too. For almost every wet shaver, the cost of shaving goes down significantly. For instance: how many shaves do you get out of that one multi-blade cartridge? Eight? Nine? And how much did that one cartridge cost you? Three, four bucks? Those same nine shaves would have cost you as little as fifteen cents with double edged razor blades and a safety razor.
ENJOYMENT: From the time you were thirteen you’ve simply tolerated the act of shaving as a necessary evil, all the while grumbling over the outrageous prices of cartridges and razors at your local drug store, or hoping beyond hope mom would put enough of them in your Christmas stocking to last all year long. It doesn’t have to be that way–shaving can be fun. It probably never even occurred to you that there existed, not just a couple, but an entire world of incredibly delicious shaving products. Scents that will send you to the moon! Rose, lavender, avocado, grapefruit, sandalwood, bay rum, barbershop, dirt. Whatever scent you can think up probably exists as a shaving soap.
SAY GOODBYE TO IRRITATION: A lot of guys complain of irritation caused by shaving with cartridge razors. This is mostly because, true to the television adverts, multi-blade cartridges actually do “lift and cut,” so that the hairs retreat beneath the layer of the skin. When these hairs start growing back, guess what happens? Ingrown hairs. Especially if the hairs are naturally curly. The neck area is particularly susceptible, as you may have already noticed. However, a single-edged blade does not do this and, in fact, works wonders for chronic ingrown hairs. The other piece of this irritation puzzle is the canned chemical crap that’s slathered all over the freshly shaven skin, before and after the shave itself. Wet shavers won’t let that junk near their face!
STICK IT TO THE MAN: Many of us wet shavers use vintage razors that look as new today as when they came out of the factory fifty-plus years ago—we’re talking metal shaving tools, made in the USA. For some it’s because we like the ideals of conservation. For others it’s because we enjoy “sticking it to the man” by refusing to buy his overpriced Chinese plastic. You are not sticking it to the man when you shop for shaving products at CVS; the man is, in fact, sticking it to you. And he’s been doing that for far too long. Don’t you think?
3.) OKAY, BUT, REALLY, WHAT’S THE CATCH HERE?
TIME: About the only thing that the multi-blade cartridges got right is the time-savings bit. To give the devil his due, it is very fast to shave with a store-bought cartridge razor. It’s for sure going to cost you more time to wet shave, especially while learning. If you’re a Hollywood agent, this might not be for you. For the rest of you, have patience. The rewards here far outweigh the cost—promise.
TECHNIQUE: Wet shaving is quite a bit different from shaving with that multi-blade cartridge razor that you’ve probably never even realized, with its vibrating, gybrating, piano-playing, twizzle-necked head, was doing all the shaving for you. As a result, and unbeknownst to yourself, you’ve acquired very bad shaving habits. Once you start wet shaving, you’ll actually find out how well you can shave yourself. And, fair warning, it’s probably not going to be as close a shave as you’re used to, at least not at first. And, yes, you likely will get nicked and bleed a little from time to time. But don’t give up—you’ve never flexed these muscles before! With time, they are sure to grow.
CHOICES*: Once you enter these woods, it’s very easy to get lost in just how many options there are out there. Cream or a cake? Established company or local artisan? Boar or badger? What about horse? Single or double-edged safety razor? Vintage or modern? What’s a slant? Do people actually shave with straight razors??? How do I know what type of blade to buy, there’s like five million?!?! Keep your wits about you! The answers are out there, and you are sure to find a collection of wonderful products that will make your shave a truly unique and special event in your day.
*note that choice is also one of the greatest strengths of wet shaving
4.) WHAT DO I NEED TO START OUT?
The basic tools you will need are:
blades: way too many to choose from, see **below
There are a number of sites that offer starter kits containing all of the above items at a discounted price. Here are several of them:
For good measure, here is a shopping cart we have put together on Amazon as well.
**All of the above starter kits (except for our curated one on Amazon), are lacking a blade sampler pack. You will want a blade sampler pack. Trust. Here are a couple good ones:
Additionally, there are a number of wet shaving specialty shops around the U.S. To name a few:
Old Town Shaving Company, Pasadena, CA.
Pasteur Pharmacy, New York, NY.
Note the suggestions above are only a starting point and are not meant as an exhaustive list. We have experienced them to demonstrate a satisfying balance between price and performance. By all means, shop around! Find what you like!
5.) HOW DO I DO IT?
In addition to the brief definitions below, each step includes a very short video from one of the premiere “wet tubers” in the wet shaving online community. Each video runs about three minutes. Enjoy! And listen to these men–they’re here to help.
GRAIN PATTERN: You, like every other man, have a grain pattern that is unique to your face. You’ll want to get to know it, as the particular direction in which your hair grows will have an effect on how you shave it off.
PRE-SHAVE: Scraping a piece of sharpened steel across the delicate skin of your face is a dangerous proposition, at least at the dermal level (and, just imagine, with that cartridge you’ve been scraping five pieces of steel across your face instead of one!). If you want to keep your face in fine shape for your future self, you’ll want to prepare your skin for the task of shaving with a hot towel or shower and a pre-shave oil or face wash.
LATHER UP: Unlike the canned goo that you’re used to that foams up instantly, mystically, with the touch of a button, you will now be building your own lather with the soap or cream and brush of your choice.
THE SHAVE ITSELF: Remember that grain pattern? Here’s where it’s going to come into play: you’re going to start with a pass of the razor with the grain. Once completed, you’ll re-lather and complete another pass, this time across the grain. Some guys stop there, but if you’ve got a hot date and you want to get extra close you’ll probably want to do one more pass, this time against the grain; or, if you feel like that might be a little too intense, you can go across the grain again for the third pass.
POST-SHAVE: A cold-water rinse followed by an aftershave, tonic, or balm of your choice will leave you smelling like quite a distinguished fellow! To learn about some of the options available and why’d you’d choose one over the other.
If you’re the type of guy for whom such a topical list will not suffice, you simply must know every detail in granular form, what you’ll want at this point is to go to the man who literally wrote the book on wet shaving, Leisure Guy Michael Ham. Make yourself a cup of coffee and then read it here.
6.) SWEET! NOW WHAT?
Wet Shaving Media?
The Moustache & Blade Wet Shaving Podcast – does the world really need a wet shaving podcast? It would seem so and here it is! M&B is a highly informative and entertaining romp down the rabbit hole of wet shaving. Your Hosts, Ryan Steven Green and Douglas Smythe enthusiasm is infectious, your bound to enjoy this show. Found on all major podcast platforms and Itunes.
The Cutting Edge Wet Shaving Podcast – Hosted by Con Kazantzidas of Shave The Man and Douglas Smythe. A 30 minute waxing on wet shaving and it’s philosophies…lol. Also News and Meet Up info.
The Brush n Soap n Blade Podcast – Where we look forward to shaving every day! Yep….there are currently 2 wet shaving podcasts folks…yippee! Join Rick on his personal wet shave journey through interviews, personal insights and listener letters!
Interactive Wet Shaving Show
The Wet Shaver’s Round Table - Every Saturday, 6 PM EST – Hosted by 5 of your favorite Wet Shaving Personalities! The Wet Shaver’s Round Table,a LIVE weekly 30 min, wet shaving talk show Hosted by: Rico’s Corner, Scott Ostermiller, David Gonzalez, Marty Pape, Con Kazantzidas & Douglas Smythe. Viewers are encouraged to participate via Twitter and G+!
Traditional Shaving TV
I’d Lather Be Shaving – This is a weekly, morning, wet shaving TV Show on youtube featuring Douglas Smythe & Matt Pisarcik. Runs about 15 minutes. Both fun & educational, you won’t want to miss an episode!
Leisureguy’s Guide to Gourmet Shaving – This is the quintessential book on traditional DE shaving, written by Michael Ham – Where to find it!
Wet Shaving Meet Ups
Checking out a meet up is an excellent way to meet people that have the same passion and appreciation for the craft of wet shaving. Find a Meet Up happening near you at ShaveMeetUp.Com or create your own. This web sight is packed with loads of useful information and How To’s.
Resource List Coming SOON!