A lot of my friends like to relax by cooking, or reading, personally I’ve always enjoyed making a bit of an event of an evening shave. My regime has changed numerous time since I first learnt, but after visiting my late Grandad a few years ago, it underwent a complete overhaul. He insisted that if I wanted to learn, I had to go to the same St James Street barber that he had learnt at half a century before. “If you want to be a gentleman, you need to learn to shave like a gentleman”.
So with a shaking hand and a lot of shaving foam, I learnt to use a straight-edge razor. I learnt to strop a blade, the direction I should actually be shaving in, and the lesson that taking time is essential. So after gaining a little confidence, I’ve added a bit of music, some pre-shave product, some post shave cream and occasionally a whisky (although I don’t recommend combining drinking and razors). I’ ve found that I get less irritation, a closer shave and more precision using a straight-edge than I have with any electric or safety razor.
Having discovered through trial and error that my skin is quite sensitive, I now shave before bed as it can really help reduce soreness or shaving rash. Sleep gives your skin time to heal and reduces any nicks or irritations. If like myself you feel a lot of products can be quite harsh, try using a badger brush and a traditional shaving soap (check out Penhaligon’s Bayolea Collection). Plus If you do give straight-edge shaving a go, you can be quietly proud of the fact that you can shave your face with a knife.