TKI67

Super Member
In a fit of early morning pandemic boredom I did a search on shaving. I note that the Fashion Forum had its own thread on the topic. So I figured Trad ought to have its own take. The Fashion question, "What do you use to shave?" (In quotes, maybe not a verbatim quote but captures the sense) seemed to work. Many are embracing beards these days. While I can certainly envision a Trad with a beard, in that vision the beard is trimmed (unless he teaches at an iconoclastic and remote prep school where the incongruity of a mountain man in tweeds is suitable). It occurs to me that Trad and the value of thrift align well. Anyway, I like thrift, but I also like a little self indulgent luxury. So in a few minutes when I have drained the coffee pot and head upstairs to shave, I'll start with good hot water and lather with a cake of Taylor of Bond Street sandalwood (about $15, lasts about a year) and a badger brush that came from Crabtree and Evelyn close to thirty years ago. I'll shave with a single Israeli Personna blade in an Edwin Jagger DE razor, a very mild but close shave. If you are plagued by razor bumps, I am guessing you use a multiblade razor. I find that single blade shaving pretty much eliminates razor bump issues. Back on the subject of thrift, these blades seem to last about ten days and are around $10 for 100. For aftershave I use 4711. It smells good, fades quickly enough that my scent does not announce my arrival, and is $43 for 800 ml, a pretty good deal. i love to pencil whip stuff. I figure compared to shaving with even the Dollar Shave Club Blades I am saving serious money. Compared with canned foam, Fusion blades, and a high end aftershave like Polo, I save about $1 a day.
 
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eagle2250

Connoisseur/Curmudgeon Emeritus - Moderator
While I tried to use a straight razor in the past, these days I use a Merkur Futur double edged safety razor and Old Post Road Oil Shaving Soap...a liquid soap you pump on your hand(s) and rub on your face to produce a very thin film of lather that can be comfortably shaved off with the safety razor. There is nothing complicated or sophisticated about it. My goal these days is to "keep it simple!" I finish up with one of three George F. Trumper scents, but also have bottles of Mennen Skin Bracer and Old Spice Original, for those days the better half is feeling sentimental. I'm not really sure how the costs work out, but I'm known for being tighter than two coats of paint, so it can't be that much? ;)
 

David J. Cooper

Super Member
I buy Taylor’s of Old Bond Street Sandalwood shaving cream in a travel tube from Frednihans Canada. I also use the after shave. My razor is some sort of Gillette job With many blades.
 

TKI67

Super Member
I buy Taylor’s of Old Bond Street Sandalwood shaving cream in a travel tube from Frednihans Canada. I also use the after shave. My razor is some sort of Gillette job With many blades.
I once had a cake of Art of Shaving sandalwood. I liked it better than TOBS, but their pricing was more than double.
 

katon

Super Member
Trad shaving is Anglophile shaving, really. However, I think there is no real need for special shave-soap -- if a soap is good in general, it will likely do just fine for shaving as well.

Brooks was a big promoter of the Rolls Razor, but as it is not something made anymore it has drifted from classic into antique.
 

TKI67

Super Member
Trad shaving is Anglophile shaving, really. However, I think there is no real need for special shave-soap -- if a soap is good in general, it will likely do just fine for shaving as well.

Brooks was a big promoter of the Rolls Razor, but as it is not something made anymore it has drifted from classic into antique.
Absolutely. A brush will lather a bit of Ivory or hotel soap in the palm of your hand just fine. When I travel I take my brush but not the bowl. Speaking of travel, you may not take a razor with a DE blade in it in your carry on. So remove the blade and buy more at journey's end, put the blades in checked luggage, use a multiblade when traveling, or take a break from shaving.
 

thefringthing

Starting Member
I use a Gillette Super Speed and Astra blades, not because it's trad or because I get a better shave than with a cartridge razor (I don't) but because it's very economical. I spend something like $10/year on the blades.
 

Dhaller

Advanced Member
I have a (neatly trimmed) beard.

For "touch up" shaving (or actual shaving if I ever decide to see what this mug actually looks like after a quarter century under wraps), I use a Merkur Futur MK 23C Long Handled Traditional ("trad!") Double-Edged Safety Razor (thank my Amazon history for the detailed answer), wicked-sharp Feather razor blades (high stainless double-edge), and Claus Porto Musgo Real oak moss shave cream.

I don't really worry about "thrift", but even *luxury* shaving isn't *that* expensive.

Probably the most "tradly" shaving I've done is having a straight razor treatment at a barber, though I haven't done that since before I grew a beard (let's call it my mid-20s.) I used to live in Bangkok, and I'd go to the barbershop at the Oriental Hotel, all wicker and white-painted wood, where a diminutive lady used to get me paper-smooth with what seemed like three or four swipes of a blade. It always felt so... wonderfully colonial (this was before that was a bad word).

DH
 

TKI67

Super Member
I have a (neatly trimmed) beard.

For "touch up" shaving (or actual shaving if I ever decide to see what this mug actually looks like after a quarter century under wraps), I use a Merkur Futur MK 23C Long Handled Traditional ("trad!") Double-Edged Safety Razor (thank my Amazon history for the detailed answer), wicked-sharp Feather razor blades (high stainless double-edge), and Claus Porto Musgo Real oak moss shave cream.

I don't really worry about "thrift", but even *luxury* shaving isn't *that* expensive.

Probably the most "tradly" shaving I've done is having a straight razor treatment at a barber, though I haven't done that since before I grew a beard (let's call it my mid-20s.) I used to live in Bangkok, and I'd go to the barbershop at the Oriental Hotel, all wicker and white-painted wood, where a diminutive lady used to get me paper-smooth with what seemed like three or four swipes of a blade. It always felt so... wonderfully colonial (this was before that was a bad word).

DH
I love Feather blades but only get about three good shaves from one.
 

happydays123

Starting Member
I have a couple Dovo straight razors and a strop by Illinois Strop Company. Over the years I have I really enjoyed shaving with them. It makes my face feel great.

However, it is somewhat time consuming so I find this type of shaving to be more of an enjoyable hobby. When time is important, I break out the five blade Gillette!
 

drpeter

Senior Member
I have a (neatly trimmed) beard.

For "touch up" shaving (or actual shaving if I ever decide to see what this mug actually looks like after a quarter century under wraps), I use a Merkur Futur MK 23C Long Handled Traditional ("trad!") Double-Edged Safety Razor (thank my Amazon history for the detailed answer), wicked-sharp Feather razor blades (high stainless double-edge), and Claus Porto Musgo Real oak moss shave cream.

I don't really worry about "thrift", but even *luxury* shaving isn't *that* expensive.

Probably the most "tradly" shaving I've done is having a straight razor treatment at a barber, though I haven't done that since before I grew a beard (let's call it my mid-20s.) I used to live in Bangkok, and I'd go to the barbershop at the Oriental Hotel, all wicker and white-painted wood, where a diminutive lady used to get me paper-smooth with what seemed like three or four swipes of a blade. It always felt so... wonderfully colonial (this was before that was a bad word).

DH
All the more intriguing, that colonial feeling, since Thailand was never a European colony, but not for want of trying. I believe it did come under Chinese influence at some point, and made a truce with the Japanese during WWII. I was born and brought up in properly colonial Malaya, shortly after the war, in the last decade of British rule. But that decade saw an insurrection against the British.
 

drpeter

Senior Member
My own shaving used to be minimal for decades since I had a full, but well-trimmed beard, which went from black to grey. About seven years ago, I decided to shave off the sides, and since then have worn a goatee. So my shaving is limited to the sides and below the chin. I use Harry's cartridge razors and their aloe shaving cream, which has a wonderful scent. Those cartridges last me for a long time. Now and then, I'll just rub my face with a little hot water and a bit of hand soap, and that works fine. My beard is soft. If the razor is sharp enough, I can even run it along my cheeks after wetting with a little water, and be done. I have not used brushes and soap in a bowl since my youth.

I have various things I use as an aftershave: Some of Harry's aftershaves, Jamaican Bay Rum, cologne from Roger and Gallet, Pecksniffs, and other scents. Most of these are light scents with citrusy and woody tones, and they dissipate after a while. I like to have a choice of aftershaves I can use, rather than just a single item. I remember my Dad going from cutthroat razors (straightedge) to safety Gillettes in the fifties. He used to say that nothing got you as close a shave as a straightedge.
 
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eagle2250

Connoisseur/Curmudgeon Emeritus - Moderator
My own shaving used to be minimal for decades since I had a full, but well-trimmed beard, which went from black to grey. About seven years ago, I decided to shave off the sides, and since then has worn a goatee. So my shaving is limited to the sides and below the chin. I use Harry's cartridge razors and their aloe shaving cream, which has a wonderful scent. Those cartridges last me for a long time. Now and then, I'll just rub my faces with a little hot water and a bit of hand soap, and that works fine. My beard is soft. If the razor is sharp enough, I can even run it along my cheeks after wetting with a little water, and be done. I have not used brushes and soap in a bowl since my youth.

I have various things I use as an aftershave: Some of Harry's aftershaves, Jamaican Bay Rum, cologne from Roger and Gallet, Pecksniffs, and other scents. Most of these are light scents with citrusy and woody tones, and they dissipate after a while. I like to have a choice of aftershaves I can use, rather than just a single item. I remember my Dad going from cutthroat razors (straightedge) to safety Gillettes in the fifties. He used to say that nothing got you as close a shave as a straightedge.
I can confirm you Dad's observation about straight razors, from my experience. Almost every time I saved with a straight razor, it not only cleaned the facial hair away right down to skin level, it also cut below skin level in four or five spots on my chin and neck. On a few occasions I had so much blood running down my neck that SWMBO was ready to call 911 for medical intervention. LOL. Some of us just weren't meant to use straight razors! ;)
 

TKI67

Super Member
I used a straight razor for awhile when I was young. They do indeed give the closest shave, and the least rushing will almost guarantee a nick unless you are quite practiced. I started with single edge injector blades, used the straight edge a few years, and shifted to the DE. My first DE razor was a butterfly Gillette. After many years I tried the Merkur long handle, usually with Feathers, but shifted to the Jagger about four years ago. The razor holding the blade makes an immense difference. I much prefer the Jagger to the others, finding it shaves every bit as close using the Personnas and is far more comfortable. A big knock I read and hear on wet shaving is that it takes too long. It absolutely demanded time-consuming patience using a straight edge, including time for tending the edge, but for grins I watched the clock doing a two pass shave with the Jagger, and from the first splash of hot water to completion was about four minutes. I agree with drpeter that having a few different scents of aftershave is fun. I am fine with the alcohol sting of a cologne splash and in addition to my big jug of 4711 I will now and then buy a bottle of Acqua di Selva. It is very piney and light. I suspect Polo may have been inspired both by the scent and the bottle. I used to enjoy original Polo, but it has gotten hard to find in a splash. A fond trad memory is discovering Acqua di Selva at Roberts Ltd., a marvelous men's clothing store that existed in Alexandria, Virginia during my high school years. It was small but crammed full of tweeds, blazers, Gant shirts, sweaters, and several round tables covered in gorgeous ties. It reminded me a lot of Eljo's.
 

drpeter

Senior Member
I used a straight razor for awhile when I was young. They do indeed give the closest shave, and the least rushing will almost guarantee a nick unless you are quite practiced. I started with single edge injector blades, used the straight edge a few years, and shifted to the DE. My first DE razor was a butterfly Gillette. After many years I tried the Merkur long handle, usually with Feathers, but shifted to the Jagger about four years ago. The razor holding the blade makes an immense difference. I much prefer the Jagger to the others, finding it shaves every bit as close using the Personnas and is far more comfortable. A big knock I read and hear on wet shaving is that it takes too long. It absolutely demanded time-consuming patience using a straight edge, including time for tending the edge, but for grins I watched the clock doing a two pass shave with the Jagger, and from the first splash of hot water to completion was about four minutes. I agree with drpeter that having a few different scents of aftershave is fun. I am fine with the alcohol sting of a cologne splash and in addition to my big jug of 4711 I will now and then buy a bottle of Acqua di Selva. It is very piney and light. I suspect Polo may have been inspired both by the scent and the bottle. I used to enjoy original Polo, but it has gotten hard to find in a splash. A fond trad memory is discovering Acqua di Selva at Roberts Ltd., a marvelous men's clothing store that existed in Alexandria, Virginia during my high school years. It was small but crammed full of tweeds, blazers, Gant shirts, sweaters, and several round tables covered in gorgeous ties. It reminded me a lot of Eljo's.
I've never tried shaving with straightedge razors myself, but I remember a friend in graduate school (he was actually a post-doc) deciding to shave with his late Dad's hand-me-down straightedge. This chap had very fair skin. The first attempt was on a Monday morning, and he came in to work with his face looking as though he had just emerged from the Battle of Agincourt, perhaps one fought against regular-sized humans by tiny leprechauns with tiny swords. His cheeks were literally covered with tiny flecks of dried blood, and there were many, many snide comments throughout the day on what had caused the network of cuts.

Your description of Roberts Ltd reminds me of the Andover Shop's wonderful Cambridge branch store in Harvard Square, which was also fairly small, with fine trad items crammed into shelves and on hangers, along with a round table covered in a spread of lovely, colorful ties. And to top it all, the great Charlie Davidson was there, holding court, and he chatted with me pleasantly. I ended up buying a few neckties. Mr Davidson passed away in December, 2019. A splendid innings.
 

The Irishman

Active Member with Corp. Privileges
Muhle DE razor from Germany is my current choice. Cheap and cheerful. Before that I had an Edwin Jagger which might possibly have been superior in terms of the angle it offered (A bit subjective, it could be the DE blade I have in is at fault).

Blade-wise I think Japanese Feather is the best, albeit they're aggressive.

The brush I have is a Semogue brush with boar bristles.

For soap I am currently using some nameless Portuguese shaving soap bar I got in Lisbon last year, but if I had to name products that I think are superior I would suggest Stirling Soap Co. who do some really refreshing offerings... Menthol additives and so on.

To me the key to a good shave is taking your time and doing it post shower, having soaked the brush in warm water for a few minutes while you're in the shower.
 

never behind

Senior Member
I never got the courage to try a straight razor. I’ve been using a Merkur Solingen DE razor with Feather blades. I use sandalwood cream from Taylor’s of Old Bond Street with my brush followed by Geo F Trumper lotion. I do use a pre-shave oil as I found that works best for me.
 
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