This is a post from a couple of years ago. I was motivated by this recent post over at the Cripplegate on shaving to the glory of God. Jesse’s post is a great supplement to this one, so check it out.
I figured it being the Christmas season and folks may be looking for something to purchase for male loved ones (husband’s, brother-in-laws), I thought I would bring it back to the front page as a gift recommendation. With no extra charge.
My brother gave me an unusual gift this past Christmas: A shaving kit; complete with pre-shave oil, lather, a badger hair shaving brush, after-shave balm, and a heavy stainless steel Merkur safety razor with blades.
I say it was an unusual gift because it is the kind of gift your great aunt you rarely see who lives in Dallas would give you for your high school graduation. In fact, now that I think about it, one of my aunts in Kansas City may have given me a similar shaving kit for a birthday or some other culturally designated gift giving period of the year.
When the raging hormones of puberty began surging through my body, on top of experiencing the occasional Peter Brady voice changing moments, my cherubic, baby-face began growing tufts of whiskers.
I know our principal/health teacher at the Salem R-80 middle school would like to think those “films” he showed to all us six grade boys during that “special” recess apart from the girls prepared us for embracing our mutating, 13-year old bodies, but regrettably, they did not. They gave us lots of theoretical information for sure, but we were left on our own when it came to the practical application, like shaving.
My dad did his best to teach me how to shave, but he used a Gillette safety razor. Safety razors frightened me. I thought if I tried to use one, I would peel the skin off my face like a potato. Thankfully, my parents gave me an electric razor for Christmas early on in my new shaving journey and I used it for a few years. But as my whiskers got thicker, the electric razor felt as though it wasn’t working like it should and shaving was kinda hurting.
By that time, I was a tad more confident with the thought of using the razor blade variety of shaver, yet, instead of a single bladed safety razor (which still scared me a bit) I went to the disposable, multi-bladed, pivotal cartridges and I pretty much stuck with that technique for the last 25 years with little variation in my routine.
I also have considered shaving to be one of those personal things with a man that you really don’t meddle with. It’s like a his wallet. You don’t just go out and buy one for another guy as a “gift.”
So when I opened this box my brother had sent me and there was a shaving kit from The Art of Shaving Store, I was perplexed as to what he was thinking. He had told me on the phone before Christmas he thought he would get me something out of the ordinary, so I was certainly thinking un-ordinary.
When we talked later after I got the gift, he said that his new way of shaving had changed and revolutionized his life so he wanted to share it with me. Like it was a religious conversion or something and he had become an evangelist.
I was reluctant to give it a try, but my brother sent along a set of videos that made shaving the old fashioned way with a safety razor extremely appealing.
I watched the series of videos and was hooked to give it a try, and I have to confess that when one applies the techniques this fellow presents in his videos it has made shaving to be fun. Shaving has actually become a routine that I look forward to doing rather than just another personal grooming chore I have to do to look presentable.
There is time involved, certainly. Pre-shave oiling your face and whipping up lather in a cup adds an extra 2 minutes of time to the shaving ritual; however, using that soft, supple badger hair brush to paint your face in shaving cream can be euphoric. It’s not speed shaving in the shower by any means, but the work provides an overall more satisfying experience for an otherwise mundane daily habit. Plus, my shave is much more close and lasts longer than what those multi-bladed disposable razors gave me.
For all the guys who read this, check out the videos and consider investing in one of these shaving kits. Here’s a website to get started: Classic Shaving.
Maybe suggest to the wife or other family to get you one for Christmas this year or a birthday. You’ll be pleasantly surprised with how much you may like it. I know I was.