Everyday excellent is series of posts in which I find the best affordable everyday products. Hamtun is my attempt to bring affordable high quality watches to you, and in this series I will explore the best sensibly priced products in a whole range of other industries.
I’m not the hairiest guy as you can probably see in my profile photo on the front page of this site. But I’m not a freak – I’m 37 and so do need to shave most days. For years I made do with a cheapo electric thing that basically did the job if I ignored the thin film of hair powder it tended to cover my bathroom in. If you’ve been following me for a while you’ll be aware that I’m not a fan of things that just about work though, I like things I own to feel like some thought went in to them, and that someone put some love in to the development process at some point.
Why I decided to try “proper” shaving
I’ve been making a concerted effort recently to slow down a bit. Life is fast, especially when you’re running your own business and have 3 children. The idea of having a morning routine that required me to take a breath and spend some time disconnected from technology was appealing.
That’s not to say that I don’t like the modern world! I love social media and running my business, and I’m not one of those irritating people that does “social media detox” or any of that crap. But a few minutes of peace to reset can be a pleasant and helpful way to start the day.
Also, let’s be honest, proper old fashioned shaving looks cooler then rubbing away at your face with some piece of plastic made by Braun. It results in a better, sharper look and (with all the nice extras I use) you end up smelling great.
Learning to shave
It took me quite a while to work out the ideal process for my skin. If you’re not mega hairy then hopefully this will work for you as well. If you’ve got very thick hair then start here and adapt it to work for you. So what did I find?
- My skin wasn’t used to a decent razor and I didn’t have my process nailed down so the first few times I shaved I got some rash, especially around my neck
- TV and advertising has enforced the view that a single stroke of a razor should remove all the hair. Then someone explained that I should be looking for “hair reduction, not hair removal” with each stroke and my life changed
- There are too many options out there, so finding the one that works for you can cost a fortune. Hopefully the money I’ve spent can help save you that expense
- The lotions and potions you use have a massive effect on the final result
- The more you learn about the razors out there, the more you want! There are so many cool options out there and buying more can fast become a hobby!
How to shave with a DE razor
I spent weeks working out a process that works for me, leaves my face beautifully smooth and doesn’t result in any razor rash.
- Wash your face with hot water and an antibacterial gel or wash of some kind to cut down on spot-causing bacteria. I have found I get the best result with King of Shaves antibacterial active skin cleansing gel
- Dry you face gently with a clean towel
- Cover the area you’re going to shave with a couple of squirts of sensitive shaving oil. I use King of Shaves shaving oil
- Wet your brush, then shake it hard to get the excess water off. I have a Taylor Of Old Bond Street Best Badger Ivory Shaving Brush – Medium
- Get lots of your shaving soap on your brush by rubbing it over the soap fast for 20-30 seconds. I find that Tabac Original Shaving Soap laters up really well and gives a great shave.
- Put a few drips of water in a bowl, then lather up some foam with the loaded brush. Keep going for a few minutes until you’ve got nice small bubbles and a silky texture. I got a cheap shaving bowl from Amazon, but pretty much any bowl will do. You’ll probably need to re-load the brush with soap a few times. This great post on Imgur from Victor Marks shows the lather process via a really nice photo series. This is how I learned, then adjusted for myself.
- Using the brush, apply the lather on your face. Don’t push hard, you don’t want to flatten down the hair more than you have to
- First shave – go with the hair growth. Don’t put any pressure on the razor, just rest it against your face
- Re-apply more lather and do a second shave, this time going across the hair growth and still with no pressure
- Finally, re-apply the lather again and do a final shave against the growth
- You should be smooth as a baby’s bum at this point. Rince your face with hot water, then wash it again with the antibacterial wash from step 2
- Dry gently with a clean towel
- Apply post shave balm. I tried loads and found that The Bluebeards Revenge Post-Shave Balm was by far the best for my skin, despite not being a big brand and not being expensive. You might need to explore the options for your skin, but that’s a great place to start in my experience. It also smells quite fresh.
Rockwell 6C razor review
Since getting in to DE shaving I have tried a lot of brands. I’ve got on well with many of them, but I find the whole Rockwell Razors package very nicely put together. When I decided to shave properly I had no knowledge, and so picked them because they are a crowdfunded company and as a Kickstarter consultant and blogger myself, it seemed like a good place to start. I’m glad I did.
The 6C comes in two different finishes – gunmetal and white chrome – and I picked the gunmetal. It ships with 3 plates which allow you to set your blade at any one of 6 different angles, depending on your skin and hair type. They supply helpful instructions in the box to help you pick the appropriate setting based on your needs.
The razor itself is heavy and solid feeling. It’s made from a zinc alloy and is nice to hold. I’m told that the Rockwell Razors 6S is the same design but as it is made from stainless steel it feels even better. I’ve not tried it yet but it’s on my list.
As this was my first time shaving this way I set my blade at level 1, the least “severe” of the settings. Even so, I ended up with a few small cuts after my first shave. Mostly this was because I wasn’t used to making sure that I kept my strokes straight. Moving a sharp blade sideways across your face is a big no no!
With some experimentation I finally settled on setting 3 for the Rockwell. That means the blade is at more of an angle than I started with, however in general I find the Rockwell quite easy going on my face and so the steeper angle works. On other brands I often only use setting 1 or 2.
The Rockwell 6C remains in my cycle and I can see myself using it (along with others – I’m not a one-razor guy!) until I get round to upgrading to the stainless steel 6S.
The best blades to use with a Rockwell 6C razor
Finding the blades that work for you is one of the more personal aspects of shaving. It’s really hard to know how your face is going to react until you’ve tried a few options. It’s important to note though, that there really is a huge difference between the different brands, so it’s worth finding the one that works for you.
Rockwell will sell you blades along with your razor, but they weren’t great for me. A good place to start is TryABlade.com who allow your to buy individual blades from a lot of different companies. It’s a little more expensive than buying in bulk, but it’s cheaper than buying hundreds of each blade!
The blade I have settled on, and that I strongly advise you check out, is Feather New Hi-Stainless which is deservedly very well respected. They are currently the only blade I use.
The best shaving accessories
These are the products that I use. I’m including affiliate links in case you fancy helping me out, but they are the products I genuinely use every day. If I change any aspect of my routine I’ll make sure I also update this list.
Post shave balm from Bluebeards Revenge:
Pre and post shave wash from King of Shaves:
Shaving soap from Tabac:
Cheapo shaving bowl from Anself:
Badger brush from Taylor Of Old Bond Street:
Shaving Oil from King Of Shaves: