Words of the Day
Shaving = to remove a growth of beard with a razor.
Electric shaving = to remove a growth of beard with a razor powered by a source of electricity or battery power.
Wet Shaving = To remove a growth of beard with a razor when the area to be shaved is kept wet with hot water, shaving soap or shaving cream.
Tradition = The body of customs, thought, practices, etc, belonging to a particular country, people, family, or institution over a relatively long period
Traditional Wet Shaving = The same method as wet shaving, but with the use of a shaving brush, shaving soaps/creams, and a double edge razor (DE) or straight razor (cutthroat).
I know in my earlier blog post, I said it’s hard to define or pin down what traditional wet shaving (TWS) is. However, I have tried to simplify it above. The idea for this post came from the Badger and Blade forum. One of the guys posted a topic about a conversation with his 86 year old uncle about shaving using a double edge safety razor. The post basically explained how his uncle thought he was crazy for shaving with a DE razor today. The article got me to thinking a little more about this new hobby of mine and I had to write my thoughts down for the blog. A lot of it will just be my version of the forum post and in my own words. I’ll give credit for most of the ideas to that post, but these are my own personal thoughts about it.
I personally asked both of my grandfathers if they had used or still use a double edge safety razor. Interestingly enough, they both did when they were younger. However, they both are now using electric shavers. This really threw me for a loop. In the B&B post, the author said, “It seems that some of us (me included) seem to think that all the old guys secretly long for the days of yore, when all they had was a bowl, a puck of soap, a brush, and a DE....yet, this doesn't seem to be the case. Apparently, a lot of them love the fact that carts and shaving gel save them a heck of a lot of time, effort, and nicks/weepers”.
I guess most men are like this. I know I was until I converted to TWS. My dad and brother both use cartridge/disposable razors and the gel/foam aerosol cans. I know from my bringing up the hobby to my father, his response was, “well I just use a mach 3 and edge shaving cream”. He kind of has this, whatever floats your boat, mentality about TWS. I know he could probably care less about really thinking about his shave. I’m cool with that and that’s fine and dandy… It’s just what I’ve observed.
Probably a lot of people wonder what my reason is for using traditional shaving methods. I would assume that most would say what a waste of time. Why spend all morning using a little brush and soap when you can just squirt goo on your face and be done with it? Why would you want to cut yourself up and slice and dice your face like Edward scissorhands with one of them thar safety razors (btw, I have yet to “cut myself or slice and dice my face)? I guess because I find it enjoyable. I enjoy the nostalgia of using older traditional means of shaving than the new age products. I guess I really want to wish myself to simpler times. I love my iPod and iPhone because of the capability of listening to lots of music at the touch of a button. Faster, more convenient, and portable, but I still have vinyl records. I LOVE listening to vinyl records because of the sound quality and nostalgia of it. There’s just something about it. The same thing could be said about guys who want to build and remodel that classic muscle car. Why spend the time and money on something so old, when you can easily go to a car dealership to buy a new vehicle that would run better? It’s the nostalgia of it. It’s fun and it makes rebuilding cars more of a fun hobby other than a “chore” like cleaning the car or drive from A to B. Just enjoy the ride.
I guess this hobby is similar to any other hobby. If you enjoy doing it, you’ll want to spend more time in your hobby. Maybe research it a little, practice a little, and spend time, energy, and your finances a little right? (Note – Isn’t it funny/ironic how the use of modern technology and computers has helped those who wish to go back and learn and use techniques that were so popular back in the 1900’s?) The forum post author said something similar to this. He said, “To an outsider (the typical guy who views shaving in the same light as brushing his teeth or clipping his toe nails..something, which must be done, but which is hardly "fun" or enjoyable) we are insane for making shaving more complicated and time consuming than it NEEDS to be.”
This cool little way of shaving started off so innocently; a cheapo $5 “natural” brush from Wal-Mart and a little $0.99 puck of Williams soap. Now…well… just ask my wife how far it’s gone. Ha-ha. She’ll tell ya I’m a little obsessed. But ya know, she honestly hasn’t made fun of me or complained one single time about me shaving this way, or saving my money up to splurge on certain shaving products and things. This wasn’t always the case. She used to always complain when I had facial hair. She hated it (and still does). Before I started TWS, I, maybe, shaved once or twice a week because of irritation and laziness. It was a chore and it wasn’t enjoyable. But NOW…yeah, she doesn’t complain anymore J
The feeling I get from my morning shave is a great way to start off the day. Remember that feeling when you were a kid and you yearned to go shopping for school supplies before school starts? Or how about that feeling you get when you buy a new pair of shoes and wear them for the first time? How about when you walk out of the barbershop/salon with a new due? Combine all those feelings and you understand why I love my hobby of traditional wet shaving. It’s that personal feeling of accomplishment. That feeling that makes me hold my head up high. That feeling that makes you start the day off right.
This is why I practice Traditional wet shaving.