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#173702 - 05/23/09 03:07 PM Traditional shaving soap in a bowl, and brush
Frankie Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 09/19/03
Posts: 734
Loc: Montréal, Québec, Canada
I've been shaving with a Gillette Mach3 and using foaming shave cream from puberty.

Now I realize (better late then never) that I would improve things a lot by starting using a traditional shaving brush and shaving soap in a wood or ceramic bowl. It would be economical in the long term, ecological (no aerosol spray cans, no waste) and airport friendly. I'm looking for shaving soap that doesn't have sodium lauryl sulfate in it.

Do you have any recommendations for travel sized or not models and brands? It doesn't have to be a "super or silvertip Badger brush with a tortoiseshell barrel" but I'd like it if most of the material is natural, yet affordable. I know if I want pure badger I'll have to buy a made-in-China product since badges are a protected species in North America and Europe, but on the other hand, they are a crop nuisance in mainland China.

I'd also like suggestions on products that are travel friendly to be put in a leather Dopp kit.

Thanks
Frankie

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#173705 - 05/23/09 03:57 PM Re: Traditional shaving soap in a bowl, and brush [Re: Frankie]
boatman Offline
Addict

Registered: 03/10/03
Posts: 424
Loc: Michigan
I use a shaving brush an mug exclusively.Regular can shaving cream makes my face break out in a rash.I use BURTS BEE'S Bay Rum shavins soap.It is hard to find but worth it.When I find it I buy all the store has.I have also used goats milk soap and really liked it.For my "ditty bag" I use a Swedish folding cup.You can find them in Coghlin"s camping supplies.For deoderant I use a natural deoderant stone.They are a mineral salt that is anti bacterial.You can find them in health food stores.They are nice because they don't melt in high heat.A friend who served in Iraq told me about them.
I hope this helps.
BOATMAN
John

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#173714 - 05/23/09 08:08 PM Re: Traditional shaving soap in a bowl, and brush [Re: boatman]
Chris Kavanaugh Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/09/01
Posts: 3824
Frankie, There are enire forums dedicated to wet shaving that can give you great answers. I use a MERKUR razor. www.eBarbershop.com is my favourite online vendor.

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#173715 - 05/24/09 12:20 AM Re: Traditional shaving soap in a bowl, and brush [Re: Chris Kavanaugh]
ame Offline
Member

Registered: 10/15/05
Posts: 162
Loc: Korea
I know it's not what you are looking for, but I use shaving oil. A tiny bottle is travel friendly and lasts for ages.

A

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#173723 - 05/24/09 03:58 AM Re: Traditional shaving soap in a bowl, and brush [Re: Frankie]
Frankie Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 09/19/03
Posts: 734
Loc: Montréal, Québec, Canada
Thanks for sharing, boatman, Chris, and ame.

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#173727 - 05/24/09 08:15 AM Re: Traditional shaving soap in a bowl, and brush [Re: Frankie]
Onedzguy Offline
Journeyman

Registered: 09/29/07
Posts: 69
Loc: Lost in Waipahu, HI
I know a site that you're looking for. Try Best Grooming Tools.
There are a lot of nice and high end equipment there.

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#173730 - 05/24/09 03:20 PM Re: Traditional shaving soap in a bowl, and brush [Re: Onedzguy]
Art_in_FL Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 09/01/07
Posts: 2432
The cheapest shaving soap, Williams (about $1.50) at any drug store, doesn't have sodium lauryl sulfate in it. It has potassium stearate, sodium tallowate, pentasodium pentetate and tetrasodium etidronate. But no sodium lauryl sulfate. LOL. Rinse well and most people can use it without reaction. Some guys get into the habit of just toweling off the excess, and you can get away with it with most canned stuff, but dried soap isn't good for the mug. I usually shave in the shower so rinsing is quick.

I use a coffee mug for the soap. Got it as a gift, with flowers as I remember it.

As for a brush I got a Berma-Shave brush better than ten years ago and a spare for about $5 each at a drug store and I still haven't worn out the first one. Not much to look at, simple red and tan plastic handle, blond bristles. The bristles are described as "natural" on the box.

Point here is that if you look at the European shaving kit and accessories your going to find out you can spend considerable amounts of coin. Spend some time looking at the high-end on-line specialty stores selling shaving gear and your going to think you need to send a small fortune to scrape off a beard. Not so. Head down to your local drug store and you can get stuff that is cheap and works.

It is no longer possible to buy the quick and dirty double-edged razor at any brick-and-mortar store I know of but the blades are easy to find. Most any drug store carries them. If you want the double-edge razor itself you have to go on-line or visit an antique shop or flea market.

If a straight razor is more your style the best deals on new ones are on-line. There are a very few brick-n-mortar stores that sell them left. you can get old ones at flea markets and antique stores but you really need to know what your after and what your looking at. It is easy to buy a use one that isn't shaped or sharpened well and then get turned off to the entire process. Using a straight razor is something of an art and it takes time to learn, do right, and maintain the blades. All useful skills and character building.

If your busy, impatient, and just want to scrape off the beard with minimum fuss and muss, as opposed to the near ceremonial nature of using a straight razor, your going to like a double edged razor better.

Many straight razor users keep a 'safety' razor handy for when they are in a hurry and don't have time to do it right and enjoy the process.

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#173732 - 05/24/09 03:56 PM Re: Traditional shaving soap in a bowl, and brush [Re: Art_in_FL]
Lono Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 10/19/06
Posts: 1013
Loc: Pacific NW, USA
I like to think that I learned to shave at 40, for alot of years I either ran an electric razor over my face or scraped it with a mach3 and whatever shaving cream came in a can and advertised it was for sensitive skin, which is what I assumed I had. Nowadays as long as I take my time, my skin holds up like a rhino, and I enjoy the shaving ritual. Maybe shaving is wasted on the young...

I'll go with Art on this - I have the same knock off shave brush, more important than badger is to get it hot, wet, and take your time lathering your face, you could do that with a paintbrush if you had to. While I'd love to say I'm using my dad's old gillette double edge, truth be told I use disposable razors and Williams soap, and they do a decent job. Although truth be told after I picked up a cake of Taylor on Bond Street sandalwood on a trip to England I have to say it was a real treat for my skin as long as it lasted. And I only get 1 or maybe 2 shaves out of the disposable blade, I know you can do better but I only shave every third day or so, I have a job and a wife that tolerates 5 o'clock shadows.

All told I'm happier and better shaved than I was with an electric razor all those years.

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#173741 - 05/24/09 10:51 PM Re: Traditional shaving soap in a bowl, and brush [Re: Lono]
boatman Offline
Addict

Registered: 03/10/03
Posts: 424
Loc: Michigan
I use the same BURMA-SHAVE brush.Been using it for over six years.I didn't know how long they would last and bought all that was on the clearance shelf.I have three,new still in the box.If you PM me Frankie I'll try to send you one.I dont think postage to Canada would cost all that much.
Boatman
John

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#173744 - 05/25/09 12:56 AM Re: Traditional shaving soap in a bowl, and brush [Re: Frankie]
Roarmeister Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 09/12/01
Posts: 939
Loc: Saskatchewan, Canada
Interesting... but I don't use any soap or lather at all. I find it gets in the way of fine-tunning the edge of beard... When I first started shaving (ie. 13) much of it was simply copying Dad and using his razor but as I got older I purchased my own electric razer and shaved full face. That never really satisfied me as the electric would give me burns from pressing the skin to much while trying to get that close shave. I eventually went back to a wet razor and ever since I grew the beard, I've gone sans soap/lather. I don't have any more nicks that I did with lather (actually fewer) and my skin has toughened as I aged. Oh and I don't use after-shave; alcohol is murder on your skin. A hot towel is by far the best.

Gillette Mach3 Turbo - although I must admit the lube strip does make it a bit more comfortable, the biggest advantage is the flexible head.

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