Category Archives: Shaving

HOW TO GET YOUR CLOSEST EVER SHAVE

Beard hair is as tough as copper wire of the same thickness so preparation is key to removing tough stubble. If you’re serious about a close shave wetshaving is the answer – it not only gives you more effective shaves but better looking skin too.

  1. Shower before you shave to help soften the hairs. If you need to shave without taking a shower, wash your face with hot water and facial cleanser to remove oil and sweat which can prevent the beard from absorbing water. Water softens the hair for more effective cutting and the steam opens up pores in your skin and relaxes your facial muscles.
  2. Apply a shaving cream or shaving soap to further soften the beard hair, lubricate the skin and improve razor glide. We stock a wide range of shaving preparations to suit your skin type and your scent preferences.
  3. Use a shaving brush to develop a thicker, richer, more emollient shaving lather than can be made with fingers. Shaving brushes remove dead skin from your face before shaving, which prevents the blade getting bogged down. Finally, brushing lifts your beard, exposing the maximum whisker length to your blade.
  4. Use a quality razor with a light touch. Shaving aficionados will use nothing other than a double-edge safety razor which can not only provide closer and more comfortable shaves, but replacement blades cost just pence! A good razor will be well weighted requiring no additional pressure to work well. Shave in the direction of beard growth – it varies across the face so be sure to follow it.
  5. Toughest ’til last. Leaving the toughest hair – around the lips and chin – until last allow the beard more time to absorb the water and cream to soften.
  6. Rinse. Rinse the blade as you go to prevent build up of hair on the blade edges which can impair performance. Rinse your face with cold water to close the pores following the shave and pat dry with a towel.
  7. Protect the skin. Shaving removes several layers of skin so it’s wise to help soothe the skin by applying an after-shave balm or moisturiser to replenish and protect your exposed skin.

GETTING STARTED WITH STRAIGHT RAZOR SHAVING

More and more people are becoming interested in shaving with straight razors, with reasons ranging from getting a better shave, shaving as a hobby to intrigue. We don’t offer a starter kit for the simple reason that everybody’s needs and wants are different.

STRAIGHT RAZOR ESSENTIALS

STRAIGHT RAZOR
There’s a razor for every budget but the key differences lie in the blade and the handle (also known as scales) decoration. The range of straight razors encompasses anything from plastic handled, carbon steel razors through to mammoth ivory and hand forged Damascus steel blades. When starting out it can be wise not to buy the most expensive straight razor, after all you may not get on with it. As a beginner look out for a carbon steel blade – these are easier to keep sharp and tend to be less expensive than stainless steel blades.

STROP
Straight razors require stropping (or whetting) before and after use to keep it sharp. A double sided leather/canvas hanging strop aligns and straightens the edge of the razor.

STROP PASTE
There are a range of strop pastes, which have different properties, from abrasive to conditioning. Yellow strop paste should be used on your everyday strop to condition and maintain the leather. N.B. Abrasive pastes should not be used on your everyday strop.

ALUM BLOCK
Shaving nicks should be expected while learning. Alum blocks have antiseptic and astringent properties to help close pores, reduce razor burn and stop minor bleeds.

PATIENCE
There can be a lot to take on board when taking up shaving with a straight – shaving technique, stropping technique, honing technique and for collectors, razor restoration. Mastering shaving with a straight razor is a richly rewarding experience.

STRAIGHT RAZOR LUXURIES

HONE
Stropping can maintain the razor edge, but over time the blade will dull and need to be honed every 3 to 6 months. There are honemeisters in the UK who are able to hone your razor, but you’ll be without your razor for a week or so. Purchasing a honing stone, such as the Norton 4000/8000 hone will enable you to hone your own razors at your convenience. There is a steep learning curve and we would recommend purchasing some cheap, used razors on ebay to practice with as the blade can be damaged, if honed incorrectly.

SHAVING BRUSH
A good quality shaving brush adds greatly to the shaving experience. Shaving brushes help exfoliate the skin, lift the beard and whilst coating them with the softening lather of a shaving cream or soap.

STAINLESS STEEL STRAIGHT RAZOR
A stainless steel blade holds a sharp edge for longer but is more difficult to hone, if this is a task you take on yourself.

ADDITIONAL RAZORS
There are a huge range of razors to choose from including custom razors and seven-day sets. You may opt to stick with one, like a favourite pair of slippers or have an extra special one for occasional use. Having additional razors extends the period of time between honing and provides a back up should you damage one send one to be honed.

FURTHER INFORMATION
There are a number of excellent online shaving communities that offer lots of information and advice. These include:
Straight Razor Place
Badger and Blade
Shave My Face

MERKUR SAFETY RAZOR COMPARISON

Razor Length Handle Length Weight Adjustable Agressiveness

(1-5)

Merkur Travel Razor 74mm 66mm 45g No 2
Merkur 1904 83mm 75mm 66g No 2
Merkur HD 84mm 75mm 76g No 2
Merkur Slant 83mm 75mm 75g No 5
Merkur Progress 90mm 77mm 90g Yes 2-4
Merkur Classic Long Handle 105mm 98mm 55g No 2
Merkur Barber Pole HD 101mm 93mm 110g No 2
Merkur Barber Pole Slant 101mm 93mm 110g No 5
Merkur Futur 109mm 95mm 123g Yes 2-4
Merkur Vision 121mm 105mm 123g Yes 1-5

Please note: Razor measurements and weights are approximate and may vary with manufacturing tolerances.

MERKUR VISION CLEANING & MAINTENANCE

Merkur provide the following information regarding the Merkur Vision 2000 razor:

“In order to prolong the life of your safety razor it is necessary to clean the moving parts of your razor after each shave, for example with a soft nail brush or tooth brush. Only if the soap residue is removed thoroughly, the mechanics of your razor will work satisfyingly in the long run. We suggest completely breaking down your razor for a thorough cleaning with each new blade that you install in the razor.

In contact with hard, calciferous water all parts of the razor need to be de-calcified regularly, depending on the concentration of lime in your water. The parts should be put into a diluted and lukewarm decalcifying solution every few minutes. It is also recommended to move the mechanical parts a few times, so the solution can get into every crevice.

A more extended contact with the decalcifying solution will destroy the surface and corrode the metal of your razor.”

The Merkur Vision safety razor features a number of moving parts to operate the butterfly mechanism and provide adjustability. It is important that these steps are carried out to ensure the longevity of this razor.

MERKUR VISION 2000 SURGERY – HOW TO TAKE THE VISION APART

TAYLOR OF OLD BOND STREET: An Introduction

Taylor of Old Bond Street was founded in 1854 by Jeremiah Taylor, the great grandfather of today’s Chairman, who opened his Hairdressing and Hair Treatment Salon in Bond Street, London. Having gained a reputation for his hair and scalp treatment, his son, Ivan used his chemist training to develop a range of herbal treatments.

The Taylor Tradition has always been to create luxurious and unusual products with natural ingredients where practicable, refusing to compromise quality.

To this day Taylor of Old Bond Street has remained a family business with Sidney Taylor becoming Chairman in 1930, who pursued the opening of a second branch in Jermyn Street. The current Chairman, Leonard Taylor took the reigns in 1955, joining his father and still carries out the work of formulating and manufacturing hair and skin products to the same high standards.

THE TAYLOR FRAGRANCES

Eton College Collection
Inspired by the tradition of Eton, England’s premier college of royalty and the aristocracy, and especially formulated for its Gentlemen, this collection possesses a fresh invigorating fragrance combining sparkling citrus oils with rich woody undertones to enchant the senses of the young and the young at heart.

Mr Taylor Collection
For generations, discriminating gentlemen have selected this crisp and spicy fragrance in which Tarragon, Lavender and Incense combine with hints of Green Galbanum and Citrus for an elegant manly scent and a warm, woody drydown with traces of Cedar, Sandal, Patchouli and Musk.

Sandalwood Collection
From the mystic east, we take a complex rich woody blend of exotic sweet scented Sandalwood and Cedar, add Lavender and Rosemary with subtle floralcy and Jasmine and Rose, for a vivacious, enticing, confidently masculine bouquet.

St. James’ Collection
A masculine, fougere with citrus ozonic top notes of Bergamot and Mandarin combined with crisp herbs. Heart notes utilise florals, fruits and spices on a base of Sandalwood, Amber, Patchouli and Musk.

Shaving Shop Collection
Revitalising fresh Citrus traces blend vigorously with the sophistication and ruggedness of precious Cedar and Oak woods. Add virile undertones of musks over a floor of Sage, Rosemary and Petitgrain for an alluring composition that stimulates the senses and excites the emotions.

Lavender
To the truly discerning gentleman, nothing surpasses the superior floral perfume of English Lavender, freshly picked at its peak from Norfolk Lavender, England’s Lavender Farm, or the relaxing and soothing effect it imparts.