How to Select and Apply Moustache Wax

Close portrait of a man with a beard and mustache. Brown jacket, white shirt, brown background.

So you’ve decided to cultivate a moustache. It is a look most befitting of an elegant gentleman, and is without a doubt incredibly attractive to the fairer sex. But how does one begin?

Today we are starting with the basics – how to select and apply moustache wax to keep your facial hair healthy and trained to a desirable shape.

Natural vs. petroleum-based

It’s worth noting that while both natural and petroleum-based moustache waxes work well, petroleum-based waxes do not penetrate the hair shaft – rather, these waxes coat your hair. Natural waxes, on the other hand, do penetrate your hair shaft, offering extra conditioning. Typically natural waxes have a beeswax base, like Dr. Dittmar Original Hungarian Moustache Wax.

For basic hold and taming stray hairs, a wax with light to medium hold will do. For a twizzler worthy of the World Beard and Moustache Championships, you’ll want strong or extra strong hold.

There are several ways to get the wax warm:

If you’re using a wax in a tin, warming up the wax will help with application. You can run the tin under hot water for a minute, or hit the tin with a blow dryer on a low setting for a couple of seconds. Be careful not to make the wax hot, which will render it runny and useless. You want to aim for a smooth consistency or else it won’t go on evenly.

If you carry your moustache wax around with you, simply leaving it in your pocket should warm it up enough for application.

hr_439-003-00_stern-moustache-comb

Stern Moustache Comb

The application

1. Before application, make sure your hair and fingers are dry.

2. Slide your fingernail over the wax, scraping a small amount onto the top of your nail.

3. Work the wax back and forth between your thumb and forefinger, forming a ball.

4. Starting from the center, work the wax through one side of your moustache with your thumb and forefinger, finishing with the tip. To ensure the moustache wax distributes evenly through your beard and that no hair clumps occur, comb through with a moustache comb like the Stern Moustache Comb.

5. Repeat the process on the other side of your moustache. To keep the look natural, don’t twist the ends.

To create a fancy twizzler:

Add more moustache wax to your facial hair, styling it to the look of your choosing (the Dali, Tom Selleck, or pencil moustache are all wonderful). Twist the ends towards your face for a handlebar look. To seal the style, blast your moustache with cold air from your blowdryer.

Tip: Always start with less and only add more as necessary. Even the fanciest, largest ‘staches don’t require a lot of wax and are waxed in sections.

To train your moustache:

After adding more moustache wax to your facial hair, create a center part and comb hair in the direction you want it to grow. Done daily, this will train your whiskers to keep away from your mouth.

Regarding touch-ups:

Use as little wax as possible if you plan to do touch-ups throughout the day.

The History of Wet Shaving: Taylor of Old Bond Street

edcharmain

Keeping it in the Family

First and foremost, Taylor of Old Bond Street is a family business. Passed down over the course of 4 generations, the company keeps the operation small and immensely attentive, offering discerning wet shavers what they call the “Taylor Tradition” – products with pure, natural ingredients and a product range that “includes the luxurious and the unusual.”

Taylor of Old Bond Street was founded on September 1st, 1854 by Jeremiah Taylor, the great grandfather of today’s Chairman, Leonard Taylor. The business began as a hairdressing salon on Bond Street, and soon enough Taylor of Old Bond Street gained a reputation amongst the British gentry for superior hair and scalp treatments extracted from natural ingredients.

Jeremiah’s son, Ivan, later took over the business, using his expertise in chemistry to develop many new treatments.

In 1930, Ivan’s son, Sidney, expanded the business, opening up a second location on Jermyn Street. And today, Sidney’s son, Leonard, continues to be at the forefront of Taylor of Old Bond Street, creating hair, skin, and beard products that epitomize classic British style.

baffiabuffo

A Commitment to Quality and Style

Taylor of Old Bond Street’s philosophy of balancing natural, high-quality ingredients with refined elegance has been a hit with wet shavers since its inception. Whether you’re lathering up their perennially popular Sandalwood Shaving Soap or applying their Bay Rum Aftershave Lotion, you always feel like a gentleman.

Taylor of Old Bond Street products are reliable and add a touch of understated elegance to your shave den.

Today you can visit Taylor of Old Bond Street at 74 Jermyn Street, located in the heart of London’s fashionable West End. Stop in for a relaxing barbershop shave or simply admire the dizzying array of shaving soaps, brushes, razors, and every wet shaving implement you could imagine.

Find out more about Taylor of Old Bond Street on their website, and shop Taylor of Old Bond Street at RoyalShave.

Untitled-1

Post-shave routine: should you use an alum block?

Muhle Alum Block

Muhle Natural Alum Stone

You’ve set down your razor, dried out your brush, and refreshed your skin with a warm water rinse followed by a cool water rinse; what’s next?

While you can move straight to the aftershave, we’d like you to consider adding one step in between: using an alum block. An alum block looks like a big crystal slab (which is, indeed, what it is) and could be your savior if your skin veers on the oily side.

Consider the following Alum Block 101.

What is an alum block?

An alum block is the world’s oldest aftershave – 4,000 years old, to be exact. Used by the ancient Egyptians for its healing properties, alum is a mineral that is both an astringent and an antiseptic.

You can rub an alum block over your skin after a shave to stop nicks and cuts from bleeding. Alum feels cool and refreshing, but be warned that it can also cause a stinging sensation as it kills bacteria. Using an alum block regularly can actually lesson the severity of acne and other skin maladies, since it cleans your skin and then closes the pores.

In addition, an alum block can give you feedback on your shaving technique, since a better shave will cause less sting. Because alum is such a dense mineral, a soap-sized block like Muhle Natural Alum Stone can last you a year, sometimes even a few years.

Beyond shaving, you can use alum as a natural, fragrance-free deodorant. If you have oily skin, you can apply alum even on days when you’re not shaving to dry out grease and pimples.

Are there different types of alum blocks?

Alum blocks are either made of potassium alum or ammonium alum. While both types work well, ammonium alum tends to sting less.

How often do I use an alum block?

It depends entirely on what your skin can tolerate. While many men can use alum after each shave, some men apply the block every other day, or weekly. Alternatively, if you have sensitive skin you may want to avoid alum altogether. The salts in alum may be too drying, causing irritation and redness.

How do I use an alum block?

After rinsing your face with cold water, run the alum block over your still-damp face. Be careful to glide the block rather than rub, since the pressure may cause abrasion. It’s best to rinse the alum off after you shave, but you can let it sit on your skin for a few minutes first to enhance the toning effect.

Then apply your favorite aftershave. Voila! You’re done.

How do I care for my alum block?

Let the block air dry and store it away from water. You can also place it in a plastic container or Ziploc bag when not in use.

What’s the difference between a styptic pencil and an alum block, and can I substitute one for the other?

Alum blocks and styptic pencils are two entirely different beings. A styptic pencil is made of either titanium dioxide or aluminum sulfate anhydrous, and is a tool strategically designed to stop bleeding from nicks. Alum blocks can also stop bleeding, but they are primarily a skincare treatment.

Untitled-1

How to Care for a Leather Strop

RoyalShave Red Latigo Leather Strop

A straight razor just can’t do its job without a strop. Made from horsehide or cowhide, strops come ready to use, but a bit of maintenance will keep them in perfect shape to align your razor’s edge for that balance of sharpness and comfort on your skin.

An effective strop will realign the blade’s edge for a more precise cut, as well as remove microscopic pieces of metal that could otherwise cut your skin.

Keep reading for our best tips on how to care for your leather strop.

General strop care tips:

  • Always hang your strop to maintain the strop’s shape and to prevent stiffness.
  • If you have a strop composed of one leather strop and a twin mesh or linen strop, use the linen or mesh strop first, then proceed with the leather strop. But whether you use the linen or mesh component is your choice – only the leather component is absolutely necessary.
  • Always strop before you shave and never after. Stropping before a shave aligns the blade and gets it in good form, whereas stropping after a shave means making microscopic breaks in the cutting edge (the cutting edge becomes slightly bent after a shave).

William’s Mug Shaving Soap

To care for a new strop:

To be clear, you don’t need to break in a strop before using it. You can start using a strop right after you get it.

But should you wish to increase the draw, rub a small amount of neatsfoot oil into the strop. Other good options include mink oil, William’s Shaving Soap, and leather conditioner. Start small – only use a little bit to start and let it absorb completely. You may repeat the treatment until you’re satisfied with the outcome. If your strop is particularly dry, you should add more; if it’s too oily, simply wipe off the excess with a cloth.

You can also warm the strop with the palm of your hand, which will coat the leather with natural oils to keep it strong and supple. Do this on its own or follow it up by loading the strop with neatsfoot oil, mink oil, or William’s Shaving Soap.

What to do if your strop feels stiff:

If your strop is stiff, you’ll notice it makes a slight scratching noise when you glide your razor over it. Usually, stiffness is caused by lack of use and age – the longer a strop sits there, the more dust it’ll accumulate.

Resist the urge to roll the strop in an attempt to loosen it up – this will only cause wrinkles and tears in the strop, rendering it useless.

The best thing to do is simply to condition your strop. Rub your hands on both sides, and apply one of the oils mentioned above if the strop still feels stiff. Repeat this process every time before you strop your razor.

Another method is to clean your strop with saddle soap and a soft bristle brush or sponge.  After scrubbing the leather clean, wipe off the excess and let dry.

For more on strops, check out our post on the different types of strops available and the characteristics of each one.

Untitled-1

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 63 other followers

%d bloggers like this: