How To Shave with a Double Edge Safety Razor

In this part of my Men’s Grooming Essentials series, I want to talk about the best way to shave your face with a safety razor aka double edge razor. It is also commonly called wet shaving. Not only is it cheaper, better for the environment and gives you a much better shave than modern shaving, but frankly, I find it quite sexy watching my man shave with his safety razor and the baby-smooth result speaks for itself, too. Since he’s been shaving with a double edge razor for 10+ years, I asked Dorian to help me with this video/article.

Before we get into it, first of all, if you’re completely happy with your current shaving routine, then definitely stick to it. But I would invite you to see if there’s any ways to make it better or less wasteful, since it isn’t all just about the razor. If you’re unhappy with your current routine, though, then it’s time to change to the best way to shave that’s been around for many decades now.

 

Benefits Of Safety Razor Shaving

Before we go over the steps and best products, when I asked Dorian why he started wet shaving with a double edge (de) razor, he said he found it:

  • Gives the best and closest shave he’s ever had.
  • Is just as convenient as using a modern razor.
  • Is much less wasteful than modern razors.
  • Allows him the opportunity to take a little extra time for himself and enjoy the ritual, as opposed to it just being another thing to check off his to-do list.

Why use a safety razor over…

Cartridge/Disposable Razors

The modern, multi-blade and disposable razors are good if you need a quick shave with slightly less fuss than a safety razor. The major downsides are that they’re really expensive in comparison, don’t give you the best shave possible and they’re really, really wasteful and environmentally unfriendly.

Straight razors or Cut Throats

While these are great for the same reasons as a safety razor, the issue is that they’re not easy to use and upkeep of the blade is time intensive. Dorian has his great grandfather’s straight razors and gave it an honest try for a few months to get the hang of it and he said he now knows why the safety razor was invented – it gives all the same benefits without the hassle of constantly stropping and sharpening the straight blade.

How To Shave With A Double Edge Safety Razor

1. Make a Beard Map

As mentioned in the video, you’ve got to first understand the direction the hair grows on your face. Without this step, you will never realize the full benefits of safety razor shaving. Seriously, it’s that important.

Go to the link below and spend a few minutes in the mirror creating your beard’s map.

http://www.pbjsite.com/shave/whiskarmap/

 

2. Gather Your Tools

While the cost is definitely more than your standard modern razor to start, the razor and brush could last you for many decades, if not the rest of your life. So when you consider the cost on such a long timeline, it’s significantly cheaper than any other form of shaving.

If you don’t want to mix and match options from below and just get all your tools in one shot (minus a shaving bowl or scuttle) – get this Maggard starter kit for $30.

Razor

Dorco PL602 – $7

If you’re wanting to give wet shaving a try, then this plastic razor will give you a really good idea of what you’re dealing with without the larger investment. Don’t let the material fool you, it still gives a great shave and it also comes with some razor blades, too. As a bonus, since it’s made of plastic and lighter, if you want to upgrade to a metal razor later on, it’ll still be great as a travel razor.

Merkur HD 34C – $35

This is the razor Dorian started with that still works great after 10 years of constant use. It’s an excellent razor that could easily last you for the rest of your life.

iKon X3 Slant Razor – $65

When Dorian upgraded from his Merkur last year, this is what he went with. The slanted angle of the head allows for an even closer shave, although some claim that it’s not any better than a standard non-slanted razor, he said it lives up to the hype.

Parker Variant Adjustable – $57

An adjustable razor allows you to adjust the angle that the blade cuts the hair to exactly what you like. While it might sound complicated, it really isn’t and will work well for a new wet shaver all the way up to a veteran shaver. For other adjustables, there’s always the Rolls Royce of adjustables – the Rockwell 6s – and if you’re more adventurous, you can go the vintage route and get a Gillette Slim, Fat Boy or Super Adjustable.

Blades

As mentioned in the video, if you’re just starting out or haven’t explored many blades, definitely pick up a sampler pack to see what works best for you and your razor. You’d be amazed at how much a difference changing the razor blade makes. Also, you’ll need to carefully dispose of the razors, so pick up a disposal case for the blades, as well.

Razor Disposal Case – $5

Razor blade sampler pack – $10

Brush

There’s 3 main types of shaving brushes: Badger, Boar, Synthetic. There’s also horse hair, but we’ll skip those since they’re not as popular. They’re all great options for beginners all the way up to more experienced wet shavers.

You will not go wrong with any of these choices, so use whatever fits your budget or your preferences. Dorian said he likes synthetic and badger brushes best.

Maggard 24mm Synthethic Brush – $14

Same as the one on their website, just minus the tax and shipping charges.

Synthetics perform well and have the added benefit of not shedding as much as some of the lower-quality natural brushes.

Omega Professional Boar Brush – $11

Boar brushes tend to be a little stiffer and take some time to break in (up to 12 shaves). But once they’re broken in, they’re great.

Stirling Badger Shave Brush – $40

Badger is the classic shave brush, but a well-made one can last you for many decades. This is a great, reasonably-priced badger brush.

Shaving Creams & Soaps

Dorian said he prefers creams for beginners because they’re much easier to lather and provide more lubrication, but if you’d like, you can also try shaving soaps, which tend to last longer, but can also be a little more drying on your skin and provide a little less lubrication during the shave – but some people swear by them!

Lots of different sampler packs of creams and soaps – $3 to $30

Go nuts and try out as many different soaps and creams as your heart desires.

Taylor of Old Bond Street – Jermyn Street – $17

One of Dorian’s favorite, sporty scented creams.

Nancy Boy Replenishing Shave Cream – $19

Dorian’s favorite shaving cream of all time. They also make a smaller travel size.

Shaving Bowl or scuttle

To make your lather, you’ll need some sort of shaving bowl or a bowl specifically made for wet shaving called a scuttle. Dorian uses a big, ceramic coffee mug that he found for a dollar. You can go any route you prefer, just make sure the bowl has a wide wide enough opening so you can get a good lather going.

Double layered stainless steel shaving bowl – $7

Classic wet shaving bowl – $15

Alum Block

It you nick yourself, you can use an alum block to stop the bleeding almost instantly. Luckily, I recommended a deodorant that’s just a alum block in a different shape in my best men’s deodorants article/video. So you get to save yourself some money and use it for both scenarios.

Crystal Body Deodorant Stick – $12

Gentleman Jon Alum Block – $8

Aftershave or moisturizer

Nancy Boy Replenishing Aftershave Gel – $19

Taylor of Old Bond Street Jermyn Street Aftershave Lotion – $27

Sisley Sisleyum Anti-Age Global Revitalizer – $142

3. Execute AKA Shave

Instead of writing out what is a very visual thing, check the video at this link below that shows you how to put all your tools together to shave:
https://youtu.be/qAHwE6lSeLE?t=7m10s

4. Clean Your Tools Off

Once you’re done shaving, you’ve got to clean and dry off your razor and brush.

  • Run the brush under warm water while swirling it against your palm until the water runs clear, then shake out as much excess water as possible (it will be a little damp still).
  • Run the razor under warm water and tap the non-razor blade side against a towel to dry. Do not tap the razor’s edge against the towel, as it’ll dull the blade quicker.

5. Apply Aftershaves & Moisturizers

If you’re shaving in the morning, apply your daily SPF moisturizer or moisturizer followed by daily-wear SPF.

If you’re shaving during the night time, then just go about the rest of your night time skincare routine.

 

That’s it! You’re officially wet shaving now using a double edge safety razor!

Worst Skincare Advice For Men

In this video/article, I had my partner, Dorian, join me to discuss all the worst skincare advice men will run across on the internet and what to do instead. I cringe every time I see someone talking about popping their pimples, not wearing a moisturizer with SPF, getting a base tan and using those horrible microdermabrasion tools and face scrubs they saw someone “recommend” online.

Eliminate Face Oil

This is such BS, and actually creates more problems than it fixes. Your skin is naturally oily. Now unless your dermatologist is telling you otherwise, the goal is not to “dry your face out”, in fact, you should be moisturizing that bad boy so you skin doesn’t go crazy and over-produce oils on your face, which in-turn causes more zits and imperfections.

Wash your face all time

Unless your dermatologist has advised otherwise, you should only be washing your face with soap once a day, at most. The other time, usually the morning, should just be a splash of water. Washing your face is supposed to get surface dirt and products off your face, that’s it.

Would you wash your hands if they weren’t dirty? Same applies to your face.

The only people telling you to wash with soap twice a day are companies trying to sell you more washing products, or doctors for a very specific reason.

Only Buy “Men’s” Products

Don’t delude yourself and think that womens products won’t be any less or better than men’s. The major difference between men’s and women’s products are scents and packaging – that’s it. Don’t fall for the marketing hype.

Microdermabrasion Tools are good for your skin

They can be HORRIBLE for your skin, actually. This has been proven time and time again, including harsh scrubbing face washes, etc. All the people you see recommending those tools or scrubbing face washes are getting paid to basically ruin your skin. Don’t believe it!

A friend of mine’s is the CEO of the company who invented the microdermabrasion tools you see on the market and he even says it’s horrible for your skin outside of very serious treatments that should be done very rarely.

If you want to see how to have amazing skin, use the gamechanger for men’s skin. This is what my recommended to me years ago that works amazing well and has worked for everyone I’ve ever recommended it to.

Popping pimples makes them go away faster

Popping a pimple is no different than getting a scratch or break in your skin. The second the top layer of your skin is broken, like popping a pimple, you’re exposing the under layers of your epidermis to bacteria, which causes inflammation and infection.

The pimple would actually go away much quicker if you used a topical salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide cream and left it alone.

While we’re on the topic of pimples…

Skip Moisturizers If You Have Acne

Unless your dermatologist is recommending it, skipping moisturizers and having dry skin won’t make your pimples go away, it’ll actually cause more redness and inflammation.

don’t wear a daily SPF if you have dark skin or work indoors

Just like I mentioned in my best men’s daily and sport sunscreens video, every man should be wearing a daily moisturizer with spf in it. Period.

Windows in cars and office buildings don’t block all the UVA and UVB rays that damage your skin, so you need protection regardless of your occupation.

Check the video for what unprotected vs protected skin looks like.

A tan will prevent sunburn & skin damage

Couldn’t be further from the truth. Skin exposed to sun for longer than a few minutes will start getting damaged – regardless of how dark you are. The only difference is you may not get burned as quickly if you have darker skin, but any prolonged exposure causes damage. A little sunshine for vitamin D is great, anything more than a little will damage your skin.

Acne is not influenced by your diet

While diet isn’t the only cause of acne and pimples, it definitely contributes. Everyone’s body reacts differently, but like mine, if I eat a lot of dairy or sugar, I’ll get more zits. I’ve actually tested this on multiple occasions to make sure I wasn’t imagining it.

 

That’s it! Check out my other Men’s Grooming Essentials videos/articles for more details.

Men’s butt hair grooming options

This video is all about men’s butt hair grooming options that women notice and how to take care of your butt hair and keep it check. I thought it would be fun to have another woman’s perspective on the men’s butt hair situation, so I invited my friend Indigo to join me.

The Best Tools For The Job

$40 – Wahl Elite Pro High Performance Clippers #79602

I love and only recommend these trimmers by Wahl because:

  • This is what all my groomer friends, mentioned in the intro video, use.
  • Wahl has been around for a long time
  • Include a lifetime warranty (5 years on the blades, too)
  • Made in the USA
  • The kit comes with everything you could ever need
  • They’ll last decades with proper care

I’ve recommended the ManGroomer to clients who are just in need of a once over every few weeks to keep it in check. It looks ridiculous but it works incredibly well!

$49 – MANGROOMER Ultimate Pro Back Shaver

This will allow you to closely trim the hair on your butt without needing to ask your partner or buddy to help you out. It’s a win-win for everyone, haha!

How To Shave Your Testicles

This video about how to shave/trim your testicles or balls to not gross women out and ensure you don’t look like a caveman or “bush baby” as my friend Indigo says in the video or like a pre-teen boy (shudder).

The Best Tool For The Job

$40 – Wahl Elite Pro High Performance Clippers #79602

I love and only recommend these trimmers by Wahl because:

  • This is what all my groomer friends, mentioned in the intro video, use.
  • Wahl has been around for a long time
  • Include a lifetime warranty (5 years on the blades, too)
  • Made in the USA
  • The kit comes with everything you could ever need
  • They’ll last decades with proper care

Best Men’s Deodorants & Antiperspirants

In this part of my Men’s Grooming Essentials series, I want to talk about the best men’s deodorants and antiperspirants.

Did you know that your armpits can become immune to the ingredients in your deodorant over time and make them less effective? If you want to avoid having stinky and/or sweaty armpits, you, ideally, want to change your deodorant brand every 6 months. So if you’ve been using the same deodorant for the last couple of years, then it’s definitely time to switch it up and use one of the best men’s deodorants out there.

Before we get into the best deodorants, I want to over a few things, starting with women’s opinions about men and sweat, body odor and their deodorant:

  • Sweat, unless it’s excessive, is not a deal breaker.
    Just like men, we also get sweaty and since it’s a perfectly natural thing for your pits to be a little wet if you’re nervous or it’s hot, it’s perfectly fine.
  • What IS a deal breaker, though, is body odor. There’s no excuse for it.
  • When a man has chunks of deodorant in his armpit hair. It’s like dandruff on your scalp and just gross.

Deodorant vs Antiperspirant

There are very strong opinions out there about deodorants vs antiperspirants.

De-odor-ants help prevent body odor, which occurs from the bacterial breakdown of sweat. They don’t stop you from sweating, though. So basically they only help prevent you from stinking.

Antiperspirants, on the other hand, prevent your armpits from producing sweat, which is why people who sweat a lot prefer this over a deodorant. Aluminum is the active ingredient which blocks your pores so sweat doesn’t pass through. The controversy surrounding antiperspirants is that there have been claims that aluminum is linked to breast cancer and Alzheimer’s Disease. On top of that, they also cause the yellow pit stains on your shirts.

So, unless you’re a heavy sweater, I’d recommend sticking with a deodorant over an antiperspirant.

Gel vs Stick vs Roll Ons/Sprays

It’s honestly all about your preference. Each have their pros and cons.

Gels are great because they go on invisibly, but the downside is that they can feel wet and sticky until they dry.

Sticks go on dry and some say hold off body odor longer, but the con is that they can leave little crumbles and flakes in your armpit hair and will leave white marks on your darker shirts if you apply them before dressing.

As for sprays and roll-ons, they dry in seconds, but may not provide the best coverage compared to sticks or gels.

When it comes to deodorants, there’s a couple of them that the Groomers I spoke with love and that also came out on top during our testing.

The Best Men’s Deodorants

$4 – Dove men+care Extra Clean Deodorant Stick

This is their clinical strength deodorant so it’ll provide 48 hours of odor protection and is budget-friendly.

$7 – Crystal Body Deodorant

It’s a mineral salt deodorant that will last you for years and is fragrance and paraben free. Dorian uses this currently and said it’s been great.

$5 – Tom’s of Maine Long Lasting Natural Deodorant

I like the unscented version, especially if you’re sensitive to fragrances, but they have other scents that you can choose from, as well.

$19 – Jack Black Cool CTRL Natural Deodorant

It’s a luxury deodorant, so the price tag is going to reflect that, but the quality of ingredients justifies the price. It’s aluminum and alcohol free and has natural antibacterial and anti-fungal ingredients to keep you odor free for 24 hours. Also, it has a really pleasant, light smell.

The Best Men’s Antiperspirants

$5 – Mitchum Anti-Perspirant & Deodorant (Gel)

$6 – Dove Dove Men+Care Dry Spray Antiperspirant Deodorant

$16 – Jack Black Pit Boss® Antiperspirant & Deodorant

$16 – Kiehl’s Superbly Efficient Anti-Perspirant and Deodorant Cream

How To Shave Your Arms and Armpits To Please Women

As part of my Men’s Grooming Series, I want to talk about how to shave your arms & armpits to please women and be more hygienic. When it comes to your arms and armpits, women won’t necessarily notice if they’re properly groomed, but they will absolutely notice if they’re completely out of control hairy or full of ingrown hairs and razor bumps. So let’s talk about how to keep your arms and armpits groomed that most women will prefer.

Now, again, just like I mentioned in my How To Shave Your Chest, Shoulders & Back article/video – if you and your partner have a certain preference for your arm and armpit hair, then by all means, do whatever makes you both happy. And like I said, as well, there’s always going to be a minority of women who like the hairless or caveman look, but, in my experience, it’s VERY rare and for most women, is not a deal breaker if you’re keeping your arm and armpit hair managed either way.

To start, you’re going to need a good pair of clippers – especially since these will also be used in my other body hair grooming articles/videos.

$40 – Wahl Elite Pro High Performance Clippers #79602

I love and only recommend these trimmers by Wahl because:

  • This is what all my groomer friends, mentioned in the intro video, use.
  • Wahl has been around for a long time
  • Include a lifetime warranty (5 years on the blades, too)
  • Made in the USA
  • The kit comes with everything you could ever need
  • They’ll last decades with proper care

Arms

For a man’s arms, it’s not rocket science, you want your deltoids, just like your back and shoulders, to be bare or have very short hair, so you would take your handy clippers and use it with no guard and then once you hit your bicep and tricep area, you can use anywhere from a 1 to a 4 attachment on the clippers to your hands. I recommend a #2 attachment since it is short enough to allow some time for it to grow in, without looking too short and stubby at the same time.

Armpits

Now for your armpits, it’s very simple. And you want to trim them as well, because it can be a breeding ground for odor-causing bacteria, and not to mention, can really gross people out by looking like there’s a bunch of spider legs creeping out of your pits.

So just like when doing your arms, use the same sized attachment to trim the hair to a shorter length. Make sure to run the clippers in all directions against the grain, since armpit hair tends to not grow all in one direction.

How Often

As far as how often you should be trimming your arm and armpit hair, that’ll depend on how quickly your hair grows.  When you forearm and underarm hair are properly trimmed, you shouldn’t let it grow than ½” more than the trimmed length.

That’s it – now get that arm and armpit hair trimmed, please!

Best Products for Men’s Hairstyles and Hair Types

As part of my Men’s Grooming Essentials Series, I want to show you the best products for men’s hairstyles and hair types because it really does matter if you’re trying to have the best hair and style possible.

Today’s article is part of a set, where I talk about the best hairstyles for your hair type as well as more in-depth articles/videos for your specific hair type.

Just like I mentioned in my Shampoo and Conditioner article/video, if you’re not using the right products for your hair type, then you won’t be realizing the full benefits of them for your hair type, so pay special attention here.

Thinning or Fine Hair

If you’ve got thinning or fine hair, then lighter, matte styling products are made just for you. Products with shine will accentuate the thinness of your hair, so please avoid them at all costs.

Aside from a good thickening shampoo and conditioner, you should avoid most creams and gels. Stick exclusively to lighter products like mousses and texturizing sprays for your styling needs since they won’t clump your hair together or make your hair look wet – which, again, will accentuates the thinness. You can also use a thickening cream and blow dry it to add volume.

If you’ve got curly and thin hair, then you’ve got a unique problem of trying to keep your hair nourished without weighing it down with heavy products, so definitely stick to a thickening cream.

Thickening creams

$40 – Kevin Murphy’s Thick.Again Leave-In Thickening Treatment

You’ll spray the thickening treatment in your hair while it’s damp. What is so good about this treatment is that it creates a denser, more voluminous appearance by strengthening the hair at the root.

$27 – Living Proof Full Thickening Cream

Another fantastic paraben/sulfate-free product that you can purchase online. It also makes your hair look and feel thicker.

Mousse

$31 – Bumble and bumble Thickening Full Form Mousse

Super lightweight and will add a denser look to your hair.

Texturizing spray

 

$46 – Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray

The groomers I spoke with all swore by this product. It’s part hairspray, part dry shampoo that creates fantastic volume and texture in your hair and absorbs any oil in your hair, which you don’t want. It’s not cheap, but it’s incredible and will last you a long time.

Hair Filler

If you’re thinning, you should also consider using fillers to give the appearance of fuller hair.

$57 – Topikk Hair Building Fibers

Toppik is the only hair filler that’s used by the hair professionals I spoke to. It’s absolutely mind blowing how well it fills in thinning areas and covers up any exposed scalp. Make sure to wash your hair before going to bed. Otherwise, you’ll leave dark spots on your pillowcases.

Curly / Kinky / Coarse

These hair types tend to have a lot of volume, so you don’t necessary need products to enhance the thickness, like your fine or thinning hair brethren.

You definitely want to stick to using creams, pomades, or oils to give your hair a little more weight to keep it in place and control frizz better.

Make sure to add product while your hair’s still damp and then let it air dry with whatever style you’re going after. You don’t need a lot of product, otherwise it’ll look very shiny and get weighed down too much

Combed Style

If you’ve got curly hair and want to go for a combed hairstyle, then definitely use a good amount of pomade, cream or oil to really weigh it down and make it more style-able. Then, hit it with a ton of hairspray.

Pomades

$24 – Saturdays Surf NYC Clay Pomade

It’s a medium hold, matte finish, and smells really good. It’s also water based, so it’ll rinse out easily. On top of that, if you’ve watched my more in-depth hairstyles for your specific hair type, Kyle Krieger, the groomer who joined me, recommends this.

$20 – Baxter of California Cream Pomade

For a good cream pomade, I recommend Baxter of California. It’s lightweight in terms of hold and will add a touch of shine to your curls.

Oils

Curly hair is always in need of moisture and adding oil to your hair after you take a shower and/or whenever your hair is frizzing or feeling dry will help smooth each hair strand and keep it nourished.

$10 – Viva Naturals Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil
$8 – NOW Organic Jojoba Oil

Creams

$39 – Oribe Curl Control Silkening Crème

Oribe’s creme does the 3 things you need for your curly or coiled hair: 1) It has avocado and coconut oil to hydrate your hair, 2) it defines your curls, and 3) provides enough weight to control frizzing.

$20 – V76 by Vaughn Grooming Creme

This product is both a leave-in conditioner and grooming cream so it’ll moisturize your curls while providing enough weight to control frizzing.

Leave-In Conditioners

Check out my Shampoo and Condition article/video. You can also use regular old hand and body lotion.

Straight / Wavy

For straight or wavy hair, you want a product with some hold, depending on the exact style you’re going for.

If you want a more loose, finger combed style, then a cream or light pomade is best.

If you want a more structured, combed style, then definitely a paste, clay or wax will work and give you much more hold.

The one thing to be very careful about is the different levels of shine these products will have:

  • If you want more shine, than a pomade is great, as well as some waxes.
  • For a matte (no shine) look, then it’s all about pastes.

And as for keeping your hair in place. Some men will use product and think that’s enough hold. Others will want more, in which case, you need to use a hairspray to finish it off.

If you have really thick, straight or wavy hair and want a sharp, combed style then:

  1. Get your barber to thin your hair out as much as possible during your next cut.
  2. Get the right haircut and length, as I discussed in my best hairstyle for your hair type article.
  3. Use a blow dryer to get your hair going in the general direction of the style.
  4. Use a little more product than recommended and really work it in and style it according to your tastes.
  5. Hit it with some hairspray to hold it.

Pastes

$21 – V76 Tex Texture Paste
$39 – Kevin Murphy Night.Rider Paste

My hands down, 2 favorite pastes are by V76 and Kevin Murphy. They both give you maximum hold and a matte finish. V76 contains both clay and beeswax, while Kevin Murphy contains just beeswax.

Hairspray

$16 – N.4 High Performance Hair Care Jour d’automne Mighty Hair Spray

This is a really good finishing hair spray that’ll hold your hair in place and doesn’t have that horrible hairspray smell that plagues most brands. In our testing, it didn’t clog your pores around your hairline in case you miss your hair and get some on your skin.

$3 – Herbal Essences Set Me Up Hairspray