Why Make the Switch?

WHY MAKE THE SWITCH TO TRADITIONAL WET SHAVING?

Why-Make-the-Switch

So you use a cartridge razor and canned foam from the drug store. You can shave with your eyes closed and it takes you 32 seconds flat to do so. But do you also smell like a 15 year old boy covered in generic body spray (men) or a sugar plum fairy (ladies) because of your canned foam? Do you dread buying another pack of cartridges because you could buy a few meals instead? Do you get razor burn, ingrown hairs or rashes? Do you ever wonder how many plastic cartridges you throw out a year and what that’s doing to the environment? For you, there is The Copper Hat! Here are our top reasons to make the switch:

Do the Math

Modern razor blade cartridges are a waste of money. Currently, a mainstream drugstore charges $16.99 for 4 cartridges. That’s $4.25 a blade. At The Copper Hat, most of our double edged blades are $2 for 5, that’s 40 cents a blade. $4.25 or $0.40; it’s up to you.

What Are You Throwing Out?

Drug store razor cartridges are composed of a number of different plastics and metals that cannot be separated and recycled; disposable razors are even worse. By using a Copper Hat double or single edged razor you ensure that the only thing you ever replace is a single blade; a blade that is one metal and can be recycled (check with your community recycling program on how to recycle sharps). While it is necessary to chuck your cartridge razor handle when styles change and it is no longer compatible with blades, new and vintage double edged razors are standardized and have used the same style of blades for decades; there is no reason to ever throw one away or replace it. And hey, if you get a straight razor, you will never have to worry about blades anyway! Another environmentally unfriendly component of drugstore shaving is the aerosol can of foam. Can you imagine how many of those cans are used up and tossed every year? Use a puck or tube of shave soap instead, your skin and the Earth will thank you!

The Brush makes all the Difference

The most important part of the wet shave is arguably the brush. Canned shave foam can contribute to razor burn because it is composed mainly of air, making it so light that a razor blade can easily shave under, not through it. Traditional shave creams and soaps are formulated to prepare and condition your skin while the shaving brush distributes product evenly and helps raise hairs for a closer shave. A brush exfoliates skin, removing dead cells and leaving skin properly prepared for your shave. Not only does the brush provide essential skin preparation, it also allows you to discover endless shave-specific soaps that don’t smell like generic body spray!

Quantity Does Not Equal Quality

As you draw a 5 blade cartridge over your skin, the first blade acts as a snowplough, dragging your shaving cream with it. Now, multiple blades are shaving unprotected skin – that is like dry shaving over and over again every time you use that razor! The result: irritated skin smeared with a gooey substance deposited by your cartridge to camouflage razor burn. There is no reason for a razor to have more than one blade. If you use a good quality, sharp blade, it will give you a better shave every time. Do it right, do it with one.

Wet Shaving is an Art

Wet shaving is all about slowing down enough to get the best quality shave; a shave that you enjoy rather than rush through. When you begin to wet shave you discover an array of razors, blades, brushes and soaps with which you can customize a shave routine that suits you perfectly. There are so many combinations that half the fun is in finding your next favourite razor or aftershave. Not only does wet shaving give you the ability to personalize your routine, it also allows you to display it. How many people are proud to exhibit their plastic cartridge razor and can of foam on the bathroom counter? I bet you would rather show off a nickel plated twist-to-open double edged razor, mug of bay rum shave soap and custom-turned Olivewood shave brush? Come on, that even sounds impressive!

Shave of The Day: La Toja Review

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Finally got a chance to take the new “Sensitive” version of La Toja shave cream for a test drive.  

Wow.

The scent is a mild woodsy fragrance to me.  A small dollop in the mug provided ample lather for 3 passes with an easy 2 passes worth left in the mug.  The cream goes on thick and provides fantastic cover with lots of slip.  

I loaded up a “Crystal” Israeli blade in my 1949 Gillette Aristocrat Jr and set to work.  3 days of stubble cleaned up quite quickly in 3 passes with 0 irritation even on the final ATG (against the grain) pass.  

The true test comes if I don’t use any aftershave balm or splash.  I often use this as a benchmark for the quality of the cream as a few hours after shaving how my face feels tells me a great deal about the soap or cream.  Beautiful.  My face felt fantastic, moisturized yet not oily and no razor burn at all.  The scent lasted very lightly for a few hours into the morning and faded out by around noon.  The scent alone earns this a place on the shelf in my regular rotation and the overall quality of the lather ensures it will stay there.

 

Cheers

Brad

1890 Douglas Fir Framing Custom Brush

 

Custom Work

This is a very cool project that I feel honoured to have taken part in.  The brush in the photo was hand turned by me however the wood used is the unique part.  The wood is original Douglas Fir framing lumber taken from a renovation on the Boulder Hotel in Vancouver.  The hotel was built in 1890!  Giving us a basic date of 130 year old framing lumber not including the life of the tree before that!  This piece was so unique I had to design a logo to be engraved in the bottom to commemorate this piece of wood.  The apothecary mugs seen with the brush feature hand turned handles made of local Victoria wood called London Plain.  A gorgeous wood with a grain that more resembles ripples on a pond than wood.  All in all I’m a little jealous of the recipient on the other end of this gorgeous little package.

I do have a few more pieces of the Douglas Fir and will be working on a limited edition run of brushes similar to the Vintage Insulator brushes from a little while back.  Keep your eyes peeled!

Cheers

Brad

Awesome Vintage Avon

Selection of Vintage Avon Bottles

After a recent massing of some very cool old Avon cologne and aftershave bottles I thought I’d throw up a quick snippet of the companies history.

n 1886, David H. McConnell started the business in a small office at 126 Chambers Street, in lower New York City. In 1892, Mr. McConnell changed the company name when his business partner, who was living in California, suggested that he call the business the California Perfume Company, because of the great abundance of flowers in California.

The California Perfume Company, Inc. of New York, NY filed their first trademark application for Avon on June 3, 1932 with the USPTO. Part of the description for goods and services provided to the USPTO included “perfumes, toilet waters, powder and rouge compacts, lipsticks,” and other toiletry products. First use and commercial use for Avon by the California Perfume Company was on September 1, 1929. Registration was granted on August 30, 1932. The trademark is owned by Avon Products, Inc. of New York, NY. The status of the original stylized word mark for Avon is expired

They’ve been around for a little while and in that time have made some very creative bottle shapes.  Although I do use some of the vintage aftershaves still as a treat it’s sometimes recommended not to for good reason.  You never really know what’s happened in that bottle in the last 20-50 years.  For that reason a common practice is to rinse the bottles well with hot water and decant your current favorite after shave splash into the bottle.  Being that a lot of newer aftershaves come in plastic bottles this gives you a classier looking shelf with a little flair.

There are a few of us who even swear that the scent of an aftershave in a plastic bottle decanted into glass matures and mellows a little.  But who knows.

Cheers

Brad

September 24th Shave of The Day

Shave of The Day September

I’ve been waiting all weekend for this one. My Proraso shipment finally came in which meant my first run at the new Proraso Sandalwood and Shea Cream.  In the personal collection I picked up a couple cases of vintage Avon bottles and dug out a brand new bottle of Island Lime aftershave.

Copper Hat 24mm Silvertip Badger Brush
Sandalwood and Shea Proraso Cream
Gillette tech with Feather Platinum Blade
Avon Island Lime A/S

Wow, love the new Proraso. Warm, soft scent, thick luxurious lather. My new winter cream for sure. The Tech and Feather is such an outstanding shave so I’ve stuck with it a while. The Avon Lime A/S is fantastic, no burn with a nice dry finish. Light scent that both my wife and I enjoy.

All in all I’d give this a 4 out of 5

Cold Water Shave – SOTD for June 21 2012

The Gear I Used For My Cold Water Shave

What I used for my cold water shave.

The Cold Water Shave

So you may have heard mention of cold water shaving before.  The idea is simply to shave as normal but lather, rinse etc with nothing but cold water.

This has sounded like a terrible idea to me forever.  I like my warm water because I can be a suck.  However….my views have now changed.

Here’s the idea:

Pre Shave soak with a towel soaked in cold water

Soak your brush in cold water, and lather your soap or cream as usual.

Fill the sink with cold water for rinsing etc.

Here’s my play by play:

Gear:
Copper Hat Mahogany Silvertip
Figaro – Habzo shave cream
Gem Jr SE razor
Gem PTFE Blade
RazoRock Alum
Pinaud Bay Rhum Aftershave

1 minute Pre soak with a cold cloth while I soak my brush in…cold water…well this is refreshing…but I still won’t like it.  Double almond size dollop of Figaro because this isn’t going to work.  Fill the sink with cold water to rinse my razor.  This is dumb.

Lather : What! It keeps coming!  What’s happening!  The smell by the way is incredible, I love this stuff.  The un-edcuated scientist in me thinks cold lather may be more stable as hot lather when it cools will contract where cold lather can’t get colder and thus stays as is.  I lather my face, again, kind of refreshing…But I still won’t like it!

The Shave :  3 passes of amazing.  No irritation, flawless BBS.  Cold rinse which is normal and brings no more feelings of hatred.  Quick rub of alum for an amazing refreshing feeling and a splash of Pinaud Bay Rhum.

That’s it I’m sold.  That was amazing and I can’t wait for my next camping trip to forgo heating water and shave with water right from the lake.  It’s not even “hot” out here and that was incredible.

Let me know your experiences with the ol’ cold water shave!

Cheers

Brad

Gotta Love R & D Projects!

Recycled Compressed Styrofoam Synthetic Bristle

30 cups compressed to make one brush handle. Keeping it out of the dump.

“That’s a very strange looking brush handle” you might say.  Well, I will have to agree with you on that.  It’s funky, rough, and covered in popped bubbles – not a flawless finish for an acrylic handle by any means.  However, as much as this brush may be strange looking, at it’s heart I believe it’s beautiful.

You see, this is the very first prototype of its kind.  This handle is comprised of 30 styrofoam cups.  That’s right, 30 of them!  We’re perfecting a technique that re-shapes normally wasted styrofoam cups and packing material into something that will be used again and again rather than ending up in the dump.

For those of you who think that using a material like this is wrong and will only perpetuate it’s construction, I ask… what else is being done with it?  I do not buy any new stryofoam, I simply use up the smoothie cups, meat trays and packing material that would normally end up in land fills.  When the day comes that I can’t find any used styrofoam, this brush handle material will vanish from my repertoire and I’ll be content.

Even if the world ceased production of styrofoam today what happens to all of it that’s left in the world?  I don’t want to see this crap floating in the ocean or drifting on the breeze at the local dump.  I want to see this stuff compressed and re-used to infinity.  Did you know it takes styrofoam up to 1000 years to “break down”???  Or that we currently add over 25,000,000 ( that’s right 25 million) cups to the dump every year! I know that my little brush handles may not completely erase that damage but I hope that it may inspire others to rethink uses for this garbage material!

Cheers

Brad

 

Save for Father’s Day!

Celebrate Father’s Day and save!  From now until June 16th save 10% off the price of all in stock and custom assembled shave sets!

If it’s a custom set you want, stop by www.thecopperhat.ca and drop us a line.  We’ll work with you to assemble the perfect one of a kind set just for your dad.

Cheers

Brad

Shave of The Day (SOTD) March 27 2012

30mm Silvertip CopperHat Acrylic Brush
Taconic Eucalytpus + Mint Cream
61 Gillette FatBoy
Israeli Super Platinum
Adam A/S

This line-up other than the addition of the new blades has started to become my everyday.  As the brush breaks in I’m loving it more and more, the giant knot is fantastic and whips up more lather than I could need.  I’m also really starting to enjoy the Taconic.  It’s a nice smell with a subtle cooling kick that lasts the entire shave.  The FatBoy as always provides a beautiful shave set to 5 and paired with the new Super Platinum blades I get a perfect BBS after just 2 passes that lasts a full 1.5 days.  Finishing up with the Adam which is a great A/S with very little burn and a very nice calming effect on the skin.  Day in day out this setup is proving to be hard to match with other gear.