Why use a shaving brush?
Dark Stag, in its mission to create superior barber equipment imposed a rule in the development process. Every product had to earn its place. We looked at everything from aesthetics and function down to the tactile qualities of using an item. An important part of this process was to ask ourselves exactly why we would use an item. As a cornerstone of the barbering craft, most of our barber equipment relate to shaving in one way or another. An often undervalued part of a great wet shave is the use of a shaving brush. This is not just a barber tool for barbering. Let’s lift the lid on how you can get a better shave at home by asking: why use a shaving brush?
Hold up your hand if wet shaving as a teenager mostly consisted of a cheap disposable dragged across your face with some type of shaving gel you had smeared across your cheeks with all the finesse of a monkey flinging dung. Yes, we thought so. Despite bold claims, these brightly coloured gels perhaps left your face post shave with blotchy, irritated skin and a burning sensation. There is a good reason for this that you may or may not know. Barbers all know this as part of barber life: as well as a carefully honed razor technique, you have to know the right way to use a shaving brush.
A good lather is the key to a great wet shave.
A superior lather can only be made and applied to the skin with a shaving brush. Think of how much less effective washing dishes would be if you used your hand instead of a sponge. It is the same principle. The use of a shaving brush in addition to a few key preparations detailed below will leave you clean shaven and feeling like royalty instead of a painfully clueless adolescent. (Your beard and moustache will thank you.)
1 – H20
Use warm water of a comfortable temperature to splash your face and open up your pores, leaving your skin moist and ready for the next step.
The best thing for good lather is shaving cream. We like Proraso. Because of their structure, creams help to lubricate more effectively which enables a better barrier between the razor and your skin. To get the very best lather, put some cream in a shaving bowl and moisten the shaving brush with a bit of warm water. Using the bristles, whisk the cream in the same way as you would with an egg. You will see the volume increase and this is a sure sign you are on the way to a good lather. It should feel creamier and richer than if you used your hands. The science bit is that when you have lots of bristles passing through the cream, you have more surface area than if you used just your palm alone – in short it is more efficient and effective.
Use the shaving brush to ‘paint on’ the lather over all areas you want to remove hair from. The benefit of using a shaving brush for this is that the bristles flex around the contours of your face, leaving no part uncoated. The bristles also help to lift your beard and moustache hairs out from the skin and the lather keeps them there. This process should not be rushed – spend between 60-90 seconds doing this for an even application. An added bonus is that the texture of the bristles help to remove dead skin and smooth the look of your face by exfoliating. Secondary to only the cut throat razor – the pinnacle of barber life, or perhaps a safety razor or shavette outside the barbers, the shaving brush is the essential tool for barbering and at home to attain a luxurious wet shave.
Do your thing! Look out for a detailed shaving guide coming in the future, covering all razor types – cut throat, safety razors, and straight razors/shavettes.
5 – Post shave
After rinsing, use a high quality non-alcohol based aftershave balm, such as Proraso for the perfect no sting finish to restore moisture to the skin and leave a protective barrier.
You should feel a significant improvement in the smoothness of your skin and the ease of the shave having used a shaving brush compared to just hands. That’s why we think our shaving brush earns its place in our range of superior barber equipment. Other items to use with it include a good stainless steel shaving bowl, which we offer as part of our range of barber tools, along with safety razors, straight razors, and a cut throat razor. Combined with good tools, some tips, and a bit of time, you can quickly settle into your own personal shaving routine, to maintain your beard and moustache just the way you like them. Soon it will become a natural part of your grooming regime.
Until next time, tight fades Guys and Gals
Dark Stag Team