The History of Wet Shaving: Truefitt & Hill

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If you’re a wet shaver, you’ve probably been indoctrinated in the three Ts of traditional wet shaving: Taylor of Old Bond Street, Trumper, and Truefitt & Hill. All three brands are based in Britain and are even located in the same shopping district. Preserving the nostalgic elements of wet shaving, these brands are considered to be the best in the world.

At RoyalShave we understand that one of the wonderful things about practicing wet shaving is that it links us with a rich historical past. It’s a legacy that we carry on every time we start whipping up a lather, or put a razor to our face. As such, today we will be taking you back in time to the rise of the standard-bearing Truefitt & Hill, recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records as the Oldest Barbershop in the World.

Check  back for our next wet shaving history lesson soon!

The Beginning

Up until the early 1800s, British men and women wore powdered wigs. Grooming regimens focused on making these wigs look lavish, a feat usually accomplished at the barbershop. But by about the beginning of the 19th century, barbershops began offering more options for pomades and hair products, allowing the vogue to sway on the side of natural, shorter hair.

In 1805 William Francis Truefitt opened one of the first barbershops in London, quickly becoming known as an exceptional barber who helped Britain’s gentry look equally regal for society events as for everyday. Soon Truefitt received the highly revered Royal Warrant to His Majesty, King George III, becoming the Court Hair Cutter, Court Hair Dresser, and Wigmaker.

An Esteemed Clientale

In additional to serving the Royal Family, Truefitt boasted as his clientele some of the most notable figures of the time – according to the Truefitt & Hill website, “glancing at Truefitt’s appointment books is like reading entries from a ‘Who’s Who’ of distinguished society and names of those who shaped the history of the world…”

Among these famous patrons was Sir Winston Churchill and William Gladstone, the Duke of Wellington, as well as entertainment figures like Frank Sinatra, John Wayne, and Fred Astaire.

In 1935 Truefitt acquired the hairdressing business of Edwin S. Hill & Co., moving into Edwin Hill’s old space at 23 Old Bond Street and becoming the Truefitt & Hill we know today.

Long-Running Royal Ties

Since the brand’s inception, it has served the Monarchs of Great Britain for nine consecutive reigns, and to this day Truefitt’s barbers visit the Buckingham Palace or Windsor Castle to attend to the Royal Family.

Find out more about Truefitt & Hill on their website, and shop Truefitt & Hill at RoyalShave.

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Common Shaving Problems: How to Prevent Ingrown Hairs

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Dragging a sharp blade across your face can have consequences. Ranking high amongst these is the ingrown hair, the annoying younger brother of the pimple. While giving up shaving is the best resolution, it’s not the most practical solution for most of us. So how do you keep your countenance looking good without sacrificing the razor? We’ve got your guide to keeping ingrown hairs at bay.

What are ingrown hairs?

When you shave, your hairs become very sharp and as the tips grow out, they can curl back into the skin, piercing it and causing inflammation, bumps, and soreness. Ingrown hairs tend to be more common for those with curly hair.

How do I get rid of ingrown hairs?

Add exfoliation to your skincare routine

What skincare routine, you ask? If you don’t have one yet, now’s the time to start, because when it comes to ingrown hairs, prevention is the best defense. Exfoliate daily with a gentle scrub (like Billy Jealousy Liquidsand Exfoliating Facial Cleanser) to remove dead skin cells that clog pores and hair follicles. And once a week, opt for a strong facial polisher to really get rid of the gunk (like Billy Jealousy Assassin Deep Exfoliating Scrub). If you have sensitive skin, start slow and increase the frequency with your tolerance.

If your skin is particularly reactive, only exfoliate the night before shaving.

Before shaving

Wrap a warm towel around your face and neck and wait for your hair to soften from the hot water. Alternatively, shave right after you shower so your hair is weak (that’s a good thing when you’re shaving) and your pores are open.

During shaving

The way you shave is a big part of the razor bump equation. Use a fresh, sharp blade, since dull blades can tug on your skin and cause more friction, leading to razor burn and ingrown hairs. Also, since fresh blades offer a crisp cut, there’s no need to do several passes over the same area, which can anger your skin.

Shave in the direction your hair grows to reduce spikiness.

After shaving

Relieve freshly-shaven skin with a rich aftershave balm or serum. Zirh Soothe Post-Shave Solution contains aloe vera to moisturize irritated skin, and retinyl palmitate (a form of vitamin A) to speed up cell turnover and reduce healing time, thus preventing clogged pores and ingrown hairs.

What if I already have an ingrown hair?

First we suggest giving your skin a breather. Stop shaving for a few days and let your skin go through its regular repair processes. During this time, remember to moisturize and feel free to try a cream formulated expressly for ingrown hairs, like The Art of Shaving Ingrown Hair Night Cream, which exfoliates skin as you sleep.

If you wear a tie or a high collar, loosen them both. Stiff collars and ties can rub against your neck, causing more irritation and slowing recovery.

If after this waiting period the pesky ingrown is still there, you can take matters into your own hands.

To remove your ingrown hair at home, warm up the area with a wet towel or steam your face over a bowl of hot water. Then use a pair of tweezers to lift the hair out of the skin.

You can also consult a professional aesthetician, who has all the tools to quickly pull that thing out with minimal damage.

Ingrown-Hair

SHOP: 1. Billy Jealousy Liquidsand Exfoliating Facial Cleanser, 2. Zirh Soothe Post-Shave Solution, 3. Truefitt and Hill Ultimate Comfort Pre-Shave Oil, 4. Billy Jealousy Assassin Deep Exfoliating Scrub, 5. The Art of Shaving Ingrown Hair Night Cream.

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Why use badger hair as a shaving brush material?

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The reason to use a badger hair shaving brush is that it offers the ideal balance between water retention, softness and durability when compared to the other options, something that is not found in other materials. Badger hairs are hollow, which is why they hold more water than boar or synthetic hairs. The hair quality of a badger brush is superior because of the inherent characteristic of the hair. The badger hair comes in 4 grades that are based on where on the badger’s body the hair is taken from. The main difference between them is the softness of the hair and the amount of hair available on a given badger.

The badger hair absorbs lots of water and this is beneficial to a good shave because water creates a foamy lather and the lather is essential for a good shave. The badger hair used exfoliates the skin well. The natural hair of a badger hair shaving brush stays firm and warm when shaving. A normal brush does not. e.g. When placing the badger brush into a warm bowl of water it stays firm, the hairs don’t go limp, whereas a normal hair shaving brush when dipped in a warm bowl of water looks heavy and limp with water pouring out of it. This will not give you the foam you need to shave.

The availability or amount of hair a badger has in each grade effects the price

Why choose a badger hair shaving brush? You will get the quality worth paying for.

Interested in a badger hair shaving brush?  http://bit.ly/1vhdKCV

 

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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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