There are a lot of razors out there, let’s clear up the mystery. A straight razor is the oldest and most notorious razor out there. Sometimes referred to as a straight edge or knife, the straight razor has been given a bad rap thanks to horror movies like Sweeney Todd. This type of razor consists of a single, permanent blade that folds down into its scales, or handle. A straight razor is sharpened using stones once every 60 or so shaves and is then stropped on a piece of leather, or strop, each time it is used. The younger brother of the straight razor is referred to as the Safety Razor, deemed such since it is in fact safer than a straight razor. The 2 main types of Safety razors are double edged and single edged (DE’s and SE’s). Both types take single replaceable blades and are shaped more like the razors common today, like a T. Single edged razors have one cutting edge on the side of the head while double edged razors have 2 cutting edges – one on each side of the razor head. SE and DE safety razors are fairly similar in operation, but DE’s are more common. There are more divisions and varieties of razors, but these are the basic classifications.
The answer to this question varies. There are few questions to think about: First of all, how much area are you shaving? 2 legs include a lot more area than 1 face, and therefore most women will wear out a blade sooner than a man. Second, how coarse and dense is your hair? Some people are lucky enough to have soft, spaced out hair while others have stubble that grows in fast, dense and thick like bamboo! Coarse stubble will dull a blade faster than soft hair. Third, how often to you shave? If you let your hair grow for weeks at a time, a blade will have to do more work than if you shave every day or 2. Fourth, which blade are you using? While almost every double edged blade will fit your razor, they are all a little bit different. Blades are made from different metals and have various coatings and angles. It will take a few shaves to figure out which blade is optimal for your skin and hair. It’s all part of the wet shaving adventure! But to answer your question, we find that for women a blade lasts about 4 shaves, for men about 6. And since we can see you doing the math in your head, that’s an average of 5 shaves per blade or 25 shaves per pack of blades. A pack of blades is 2 bucks. That’s 8 cents a shave. Can your cartridge razor do that?
It’s not really a question, just something we hear all the time. Women regularly come to us and comment on what an excellent gift our shave sets would be for their husbands/brothers/fathers etc. While it often comes off as the most masculine of daily routines, wet shaving is not just for men. Ladies, you have a lot of area to cover, you might as well do it right! Legs are the same as faces; they deserve a close, smooth, razor burn-free shave. All of our soaps, brushes and razors are suitable for legs and we are even working on our own women’s line of shave soaps, scrubs and aftershaves. So ladies, never underestimate the fun you can have lathering up in the tub!
Not if you respect your razor and pay attention. Any type of shaving involves pulling a sharp blade along your skin, so there is always potential for a nick. The common disposable drugstore razor has dull blades; this means you rarely cut yourself, but it also means you get razor burn, ingrown hairs and have to buy a new razor every couple of shaves. Our razors use sharp, individual blades. They cut hair cleanly without dragging on skin. It is important to learn the weight and length of your razor and respect that it can cut you if you don’t take the time to learn what you are doing. Wet shaving is an art form and skill. It’s not difficult to learn, but it is important to know what you’re doing.
Well I guess…. but why? Next time you’re at the drugstore read the ingredient label of a can of foam…. gross. Could you pronounce any of those “ingredients”? Canned foam consists largely of chemicals and air and doesn’t properly protect the skin, often leaving it itchy and red. Our Copper Hat shave soap is all-natural and amazing for your skin. We formulated it and test it ourselves to make sure it lathers just right while moisturizing and protecting skin.
Shaving brushes are traditionally made from badger hair which is used because it is very soft and water absorbent. Our badger hair comes from China, where badgers exist in large numbers and are considered pests because they burrow in farmers fields and can injure livestock (kind of like gophers on the prairies). Farmers sell badger pelts and some of the pelts are made into shaving brush heads. In addition to badger hair, we also make horse hair brushes. Horse hair is not as soft as badger hair, but it lathers soap quickly and makes an excellent brush for those without skin sensitivities or for lathering legs. The horse hair used in shaving brushes is trimmed from the mane and tail of a live horse.
Watch what you are Throwing Out. Drugstore cartridges are composed of a number of different plastics and metals that cannot be separated and recycled. Disposable razors are even worse. Our safety razors take individual blades that are recyclable (check with your community recycling program on how to recycle sharps)!
The Brush Makes all the Difference. Canned shave foam is full of chemical ingredients and can contribute to razor burn and ingrown hairs. Our all-natural shave soap is formulated to moisturize your skin while the shaving brush distributes lather evenly and helps raise hairs for a closer shave. A brush exfoliates skin, removing dead cells and leaving skin properly prepared for your shave.
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.
It is an Art. Wet shaving is all about slowing down enough to get a quality shave that you enjoy rather than rush through. It allows you to customize a shave routine that suits you perfectly. And man oh man does it ever look cool.
Every shaving brush needs the perfect soap. Unfortunately, the perfect soap can be hard to come by. Many soaps smell great, but don’t lather quite right. Other soaps lather great, but their harsh ingredients leave you itchy or with dry skin. There are a lot of characteristics to consider when creating a great shaving soap. We’ve kept all of these characteristics in mind while creating our own soap.
In the past we have both experienced dry skin, acne, and skin sensitivities. It was very important to us that we provide shavers with a soap that moisturizes and protects skin, but never leaves a residue or makes skin oily. We both test every batch and scent of soap and have found that even the scented soaps are gentle enough to use on sensitive skin.
In the creation of our soap we’ve chosen to use all natural ingredients and organic essential oils that respect both the planet and our skin. The specific essential oils used have been selected for their healing and moisturizing qualities. Our soap lathers quickly, but since it is in solid puck form, will last a long time compared to any canned foam or shave cream.
Currently we have 3 varieties of shave soap:
- Cedarwood & Sage: fondly nicknamed “The Lumberjack Soap” – a woodsy, tobacco scent with a dose of manliness! May invoke images of wood chopping and pipe smoking!
- Benzoin & Frankincense: For those who prefer a lighter, sweeter scent. Reminiscent of a Vancouver Island hike on the first day of spring.
- Unscented: For those with hyper-sensitive skin, the ultimate shave soap with absolutely no scent. Rather than scented essential oils, this soap contains only aloe vera oil.
We are very excited to launch our soap into the world of wet shaving and know it will make a great addition to your shaving routine! We do realize that lathering a soap puck can be a bit tricky for beginners… not to worry! Every soap comes with a detailed “how to” sheet and questions about how to get the most out of your Copper Hat products are always welcome!
To mark the launch of our new soaps, we’re giving some away! Simply “like” this post on Facebook to have your name entered in the draw to choose one of these soaps. We’ll give 3 away on January 15th.
Preparing your Skin:
The best way to ensure your skin is ready for an optimal shave is to start
with a shower. This fully moisturizes the skin and makes your hair softer and easier to shave.
Using an exfoliating wash is also a great way to get your skin ready. If you can’t shower first,
try a simple hot towel treatment – soak a barber towel with hot water and place it on your
face/skin for a few minutes. At the very least, splash your skin several times with warm water
and rub it into your pores. Skin should be damp when you apply lather.
Lathering Soap & Prepping your Brush:
If you are using a shave puck (a hard bar-type soap),
put the puck in your lathering bowl/mug and fill it with warm water for a few minutes. Soak
the bristles (always pointing down) with warm water either in the stream from the tap or in
another bowl/mug (this will fill the bristles with water and help lather the soap). The brush
only needs to be soaked for 30 seconds or so. Before lathering, shake most of the water off
of the brush and empty the water from the bowl containing the puck. Next, swirl the brush
around the puck of soap quickly until lather appears (if you are using a cream from a tub or
tube, put a quarter-sized amount into your bowl to lather). A good lather should take about 1
minute to build. If it seems like not much is happening after a few seconds, add a few drops of
water. If the lather is very bubbly, there is too much water in the mixture and you should
shake the brush out a bit more. The optimal lather will look just like whipped cream – fluffy,
thick and white, but few bubbles.
Lathering your Face:
Make sure your skin is damp, then swirl lather onto your skin moving your
brush in a circular motion. Once you have distributed a thick, even layer over your skin (you
may choose to go over the same spot with your brush more than once), pull your brush over
your skin against the grain of your hair growth (this lifts the hair so that it is easier to cut).
Remember, your vintage razor is probably a lot heavier than the one you bought at
the drug store. Because of its weight, your razor will easily do the work for you – be sure not
to push your razor down onto your skin or hold it too tightly. The best way to hold a
double/singled edged or injector razor is to grasp it at the very end of the handle with your
thumb and a few fingers. For men, it is best to start by shaving the entire face with the grain.
Usually one pass will achieve optimal smoothness, but if another pass is needed, we
recommend re-lathering the entire face and shaving once more across the grain. For many
women, however, shaving against the grain on the first (and usually only) pass works just fine.
Once you have rinsed your skin thoroughly with luke-warm water, splash it
once or twice with cold water to close the pores. Some people can go without any after-shave
moisturizer, but we recommend using something. There are many options available, but any
cream/lotion/balm that cools your skin and leaves it moisturized is perfectly fine.