Grooming Artist News Roundup: May 2017

Wet shaving is an ancient art – we’re talking as far back as 30,000 BC, when the ancient Egyptians used flint blades to scrape their faces. So it’s only fitting to pay tribute to this tradition with some wet shaving history lessons. The Star digs deep into Sheffield, England’s long history of straight razor manufacturing, while we offer a history on the evolution of Proraso.

Moving forward to present day, there’s exciting news in the barbering world, with the first female barber ever to win the title of Welsh Champion of the Wet Shave. And with spring vacation on the horizon for many of us, we’ve included tips how to dress for any destination.

We polish off this month’s Grooming Artist Roundup with grooming tips for keeping your skin healthy and your shaving brushes performing optimally.

Enjoy!

A history lesson on Sheffield razors. (The Star)

Barber Sophie Collins is the first woman to win the title of Welsh Champion of the Wet Shave, and goes on to compete for the British title at Barber UK this month. (Daily Post)

How to travel in style for every kind of getaway this spring. (MR PORTER)

A quick guide to exfoliating: the secret tool to better skin and a better shave. (GQ)

Shaving tips for sensitive skin. (Men’s Journal)

Are you a fan of Proraso? Then be sure to read our history of the popular Italian brand. (Grooming Artist)

How to care for your shaving brush so it lasts a lifetime – or longer. (Grooming Artist)

The Grooming Artist News Roundup: October 2016

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Happy fall! This month’s Grooming Artist Roundup is all about refreshing your look for the season and presenting your best self. GQ gives you a rundown of 9 colognes specifically formulated for fall/winter, while Huffington Post UK lists the top 7 spots in England for a luxurious shave and a haircut.

We offer further grooming tips via our blog posts on the benefits of slant bar razors and the best Instagram accounts to follow for seriously stunning shaving setups.

And since we are knee-deep in fall, we’ve included a bucket list of fall activities for families – it’s a great way to make the most of the season.

Enjoy!

An interesting post by the Sharpologist on how Kickstarter has changed the landscape of classic shaving. (Sharpologist)

When it comes to presentation, cologne is indispensible. Here, 9 new colognes to help you smell your best this fall. (GQ)

BBS Shave Studio has just opened in Connecticut, featuring old-fashioned wet shaves along with unlimited ESPN. (New Haven Register)

If you happen to find yourself in the UK, be sure to visit one of the 7 Best Barbers and Male Grooming Services. (Huffington Post UK)

Fall is upon us! Gather the kids and grand kids and pick one of the activities off the Fall Bucket List to make lifelong memories. (Country Living)

The Best #SOTD (Shave of the Day) Instagram accounts to follow. (Grooming Artist)

Why a slant bar razor could be the solution for guys with a combination of thick beard hair and sensitive skin. (Grooming Artist)

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Top 5 Instagrams for all things Wet Shaving

Although many may consider wet shaving to be particularly niche, social media platforms have helped grow appreciation for the art. Instagram, YouTube, and even blogs such as this one allow wet shaving enthusiasts to gather, learn, and most of all, discover the latest and greatest in the world of wet shaving.

Here we have picked our top 5 wet shaving Instagram accounts, from YouTube reviewers and wet shave instructors to world-renowned barbershops and men’s grooming companies. Hopefully this will help you in picking out your next shaving creme, finding a beautiful custom brush, or even just finding like-minded shaving aficionados.

Nick Shaves (@nickshaves)

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@nickshaves

Nick Shaves is a true shaving aficionado and self-described wet shaving instructor, not to mention a YouTube reviewer of all things shaving related. His instructional videos are some of the best we’ve seen, and a great starting point for those looking to get into the complex art of shaving.

Nick also runs one of the best wet shaving Instagram accounts around, with great pictures of all the latest and greatest pucks, cremes, brushes, and razors. Not to mention that all of his pictures include his own in-depth insights into the products being used. We believe his Instagram is a great resource for anyone who is interested in the world of wet shaving.

Brushcraft (@brushcraft)

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@brushcraft

A relatively small Instagram handle, but nonetheless one of our personal favorites. Chris Trimble creates his own absolutely beautiful brushes and safety razors, regularly showcasing them on his Instagram page. That isn’t all he does, though. Chris also regularly posts reviews on wet shaving items that catch his interest and will even answer questions relating to them in the comments. Chris’ Instagram page is another place we would recommend to anyone who shaves using a brush and puck.

Tony Shaves (@tonyshaves)

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@tonyshaves

Another relatively small but great Instagram page for those into a good shave. Tony regularly posts great compositions of what he’s been shaving with, along with generally in-depth reviews containing his personal insights into the products. Tony runs this alongside his wet shaving review site bartonio.com, but his Instagram posts tend to give a quicker, bite-sized overview of the products he’s reviewing.

Bullfrog Barbershop (@bullfrog_barbershop)

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@bullfrog_barbershop

Founded by Romana Brida, Bullfrog is a traditional style barber shop located in both Milan and Zurich. Brida’s Instagram isn’t strictly shaving related, but more of an overall look into the world of men’s grooming. That being said, a lot of his pictures have to do with wet shaving. His photos are great and offer insight into the latest trends in both men’s fashion and men’s grooming – two things that should definitely go hand in hand.

Brooklyn Grooming (@brooklyngrooming)

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@brooklyngrooming

Based out of New York and founded by Mckenzie and Alfredo, this Instagram is one of the best in men’s grooming and wet shaving. The page features a wide array of beautiful photos, all pertaining to men’s grooming and sometimes men’s fashion, with the occasional post on architecture around the city of New York. This Instagram also has many great pictures of the latest in the world of shaving. Brooklyn Grooming is a handle we would recommend to anyone who is into men’s grooming or fashion.

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What is Straight Razor Shaving?

A straight razor is a razor with a long blade set in a handle and in traditional and current western versions the blade has the ability to fold into the handle. The straight razor is sometimes called an open razor or cut-throat razor.

During prehistoric times there is documented evidence that men used clam shells, stone or flint knives, and even sharpened blocks of iron to shave and cut their hair with. By the Bronze Age many cultures had developed razors designed specifically for shaving and by the 5th century B.C. razors were in common use throughout the world. These early razors were often constructed by the local blacksmith and the quality of the metal and edge could be extremely variable based on an individual’s given skill. It was not until the late 18th century that the first modern straight razors were introduced in Sheffield, England. In 174o Benjamin Huntsman developed the first hard grade steel suitable for use in the manufacture of blades and while this process was initially rejected b the English it was, albeit reluctantly, adopted by the French. Once the success of the French straight razor manufactures was readily apparent the English and eventually the rest of the western world adopted this process resulting the legendary “Sheffield Silver Steel.”

The straight razor was until the early 20th century the most common form of shaving and due to the skill and costs associated with using and owning them, shaving was usually done by a professional barber. It was not uncommon for men from all levels of society to visit the local barber on a weekly basis for a shave and hair cut. The introduction and mass production of an affordable safety razor, most notably by Gillette, in the early 20th century quickly changed this and by the 1950’s the straight razor shave was a dying art.

In recent years the straight razor has made a significant comeback as the desire for a more personal and ritualized grooming experience has manifested itself in modern society. Today many barbers proudly offer a straight razor shave and this trend shows no real signs of stopping. The retail consumer has also embraced the straight razor as they have become more affordable in comparison to the mass produced alternatives, particularly over a period of several years of ownership.

The straight razor is a time-honed tool, designed to give you an extremely close and accurate shave. There are many straight razors available on the market to choose from based on the steel used, functionality, scale materials, and brand. We will be talking about this more in the weeks to come. If you want to learn the different ways to hold a straight razor go here.

 

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