Cold River Soap Works is a big fan of natural hair shaving brushes! Here we will provide some tips for giving your shaving brush the best care so you can use it for years to come.
Your brush is most likely made of boar bristle or badger hair. These are both hair products so treat it as your own! Wash your brush with a good shampoo and conditioner to keep the hair soft and residue free. If your brush has developed a soap residue, soak it in a 10:1 vinegar solution for a few minutes and then wash as above.
When loading your brush with soap or building your lather with cream go easy. The core of the brush is where the magic happens and mashing down with your brush can twist and break the core hairs and over time cause hair loss and a dimpled effect in the center of the brush.
High and Dry:
When you are done using your brush shake it hard a few times to remove all the water and hang upside down in a stand to dry. If you don’t have a stand dry the brush by allowing it to dry resting on its base.
Using these tips should extend the life of your shaving brush and give you many comfortable and close shaves for years to come! Happy Shaving!
The Ultimate Tallow Shaving Soap!
Using our many years of experience we have been able to gradually improve this line in all areas that matter in terms of performance:
Ease of lather, class leading slickness and glide, remarkable cushion, superb residual slickness and balanced post shave combine to provide a comfortable and efficient shave, each and every time
Lanolin plus shea and kokum butters contribute to the magnificent hydrating quality. Captivating fragrances are blended in house using only the finest ingredients. The result is an unparalleled shaving experience.
The Cold River Soap Works introduction to using a straight razor.
Using a straight razor, is the pinnacle of traditional, old school wet shaving. It does, however, require a high level of experience and skill to use one of these razors correctly. Cold River Soap Works guide below lays out the steps you should take when using a straight razor.
Open the razor by gently gripping the shaft with thumb and three fingers. Ensure the open handle points away from the face. Place your small finger in the crook of the blade. This enables a secure and stable grip and also provides maximum control of the blade whilst shaving.
Wherever you start to shave it is important to hold the skin taut with your free hand to provide a flattened surface. This enables the blade to glide smoothly and freely for a closer shave. The angle of the blade will vary from person to person. We recommend a slight angle of 30 degrees to begin with until you find your ideal way to shave with comfort and ease. This only comes with practise and experience.
The strokes of the blade should be in the direction of the grain of the beard, deliberate, slow and approximately 1 to 1.5 inches at a time. A good tip is to always begin a little way away from the prominent parts of the face such as the chin. Simply work over to these areas with steady strokes.
Step four: to get the smoothest shave possible it is usually necessary to go over the face a second time. This time the passes with the blade should be against the grain of the beard.
Once the shave is complete, simply rinse your face with warm water to remove all traces of shaving lather, then splash the face with cold water to close the pores. Finally, always moisturize your skin after shaving.
Remember to rinse the razor thoroughly with warm water and carefully wipe dry before storing where air can circulate around the razor. It goes without saying that the razor should be stored away from minors.
In the event of any minor nicks occurring, apply a moistened alum block or styptic pencil to the nick to stop the bleed.
It is important to note that proper prep and the use of a quality shaving soap or cream will go a long way to ensure a comfortable straight razor shaving experiencing. We at Cold River Soap Works suggest one of our world famous shaving soaps!
In this article the experts at Cold River Soap Works will give those that are interested an introduction to the basics of Traditional Shaving and Wet Shaving. While the following is geared more towards those that are ‘newbies’, experienced shavers may gain some useful insights.
We at Cold River Soap Works think you will agree – wet shaving is growing immensely!
From trending forums like The Shave Nook to vibrant Facebook communities like Razor and Brush, wet shaving is going through a renaissance of sorts.
But here’s the deal:
Newcomers are having a hard time understanding what exactly is wet shaving.
Well, by the end of this article you will learn not only what is and isn’t wet shaving, but also all the glorious details about this age old grooming ritual that men are rediscovering.
So if you get tripped up by terms like blade exposure, cushion, open and closed comb, don’t worry – we got you covered.
We promise that by the end of this article, you will know exactly what wet shaving is all about and the proper tools to get you started on the right path to a better shave.
So, without further ado, here’s a few basics on wet shaving:
What Is (and isn’t) Wet Shaving and Traditional Shaving?
Wet shaving by very definition is when a you use a razor to completely remove the hair from your face while using water.
Of course using just a razor blade and water on your face won’t be too comfortable – therefore, men will incorporate shaving soap or shaving cream (and a slew of other products) for a much more satisfactory shaving experience.
More on this in a minute…
Wet shaving can be conducted by a variety of tools including electric, cartridge, disposable, straight, and double edge safety razors – as we talk about in great detail further below.
Beyond wet shaving, you will also see the term traditional shaving used almost interchangeably.
However, there is a subtle difference between the two:
While there is no formal definition that we could find that classifies traditional shaving, most wet shaving enthusiasts would agree that traditional shaving as the reliance on age old products that were used by men in the 1950s and earlier.
This means a reliance on a straight or double edge safety razor, traditional shaving cream, shave brush, and aftershave.
Therefore, you won’t often see electric, cartridge, or disposable razors mentioned in tandem with traditional shaving.
All Of The Razors That Can Be Used In a Wet Shave
When it comes to deciding on tool to remove your whiskers via a wet shave, you have the 5 options:
• Straight Razor
• Double Edge Safety Razor
• Disposable Razor
• Cartridge Razor
• Electric Shaver
Super brief primer on each of the 5 razors above:
Straight Razors: by and far the oldest, these razors require both an incredible amount of time and care in order to achieve a close shave. There are two types of straight razors, the traditional ones crafted from a single piece of metal, and those that are shavettes that feature an ejectable blade. A traditional straight razor can last you a lifetime assuming you properly hone it and strop it on a regular basis. This type of razor is reserved for the shaving aficionados that really love to shave and have time in their schedule to dedicate to the craft. This razor is always used in a wet shaving environment.
Double Edge Safety Razors: First introduced in the early 1900s, Double Edge Safety Razors (commonly known as DE Razors or Safety Razors) feature a single razor blade that is available for cutting on either side of the head of the razor. With their universal blade fitting, men can easily swap between razor blades and aren’t stuck to a proprietary fitting. Their incredible low long-term cost has made them go through a renaissance period when compared to other market alternatives. This razor is always used in a wet shaving environment.
Disposable Razor: Disposable razors are the razors that you see at the grocery store check-out that come in packs of 10 and usually have a relatively affordable price tag. Their disposable nature makes them great for travel purposes or when you need to shave in a pinch. For daily shaving, they will only last a few shaves before they must be replaced. Disposables can be costly over the long term compared to other options on the market. This razor is always used in a wet shaving environment.
Cartridge Razors: These are the types of razors that most people are familiar with. Coming at a much higher long-term cost – these razors usually feature 5 or 6 blades that will offer a close shave through their ‘lift-and-cut’ technology. While providing a close shave, skin irritation may be pronounced for some men that use this razor. This razor is always used in a wet shaving environment.
Shaving Cream Is The Cornerstone Of Wet Shaving
Shaving cream can come in all different shapes and sizes – from tubes to tubs a quality shaving cream makes a world of difference in a wet shave.
Here’s the deal though:
99% of men reading this are likely relying on an aerosol can for their go to shaving cream.
While cans can be incredibly cheap and convenient, chances are, they aren’t doing justice to your shave – even if you are using a cartridge or disposable razor.
The biggest problem with aerosol cans it that they often come packed with cheap ingredients and colorants that wreak havoc on your skin.
These inferior ingredients, when compared to those in top-notch shaving creams, will usually dry out your skin and leave you with ashy cheeks long after you shave.
Contrary to aerosols, a rich shaving cream that comes in a tube or tub will usually rely on ingredients (in most case natural) that will be effective emollients to retain the moisture of your skin. This ensures that your pores remain wide open while you shave and the hair follicle to swell – ultimately making for a smoother and closer shave sans the dryness post-shave.
While all aerosols can be applied with your hands, nearly all quality shaving creams will require a shave brush for application (covered below).
A top-notch shaving cream is well worth the investment and can really ‘move the needle’ so to speak when it comes to increase shave comfort.
Shaving Soaps? Aren’t They Just Shaving Creams?
Very, very, similar.
Shaving soaps come in a solid form, just like a traditional bar of soap, and will do a terrific job at whipping up a rich lather.
Shaving soaps do require a shave brush to use properly.
Shave soaps are favored by men for two reasons: cost and lubrication.
While shaving creams are great at providing a lubricating layer, shave soaps are constructed a bit differently and are perfect for men looking to fine tune their shave routine – and in some cases create a more lubricated base.
Shave soaps will have a uniform mixture of ingredients that will create an excellent lubricating layer that will be free of air pockets for a comfortable shave when whipped properly.
Shave soaps are also favored by those who use a straight razor as they can, in some cases, be more slick – making for a much more comfortable pass of the blade.
When it comes to price points, shave soaps do tend to be a bit less expensive than creams, especially for the entry level options on the market – however don’t be surprised if you see a triple-milled shave soap commanding a $40 price tag.
If you are a man that is looking to save a few dollars – you can’t beat the affordability of a DE razor and shave soap combo.
If you are thinking about picking up a shave soap be sure to check out the amazing selection of Cold River Soap Works shaving soaps.
Just don’t forget the shaving brush!
Shave Brush Is The Quintessential Product That Defines Proper Wet Shaving
Shave brushes are critical if you plan on ever upgrading your shave cream.
Their uncanny ability to whip a rich lather that will let the razor blade sing is second to none.
But not only do they help generate that rich lather that will bring the most from your razor blade, but they also do a lot of things you may not initially guess.
Shave brushes are effective at providing a gentle pre-exfoliation to your face when applying the shaving cream.
The bristles made from natural hair such as badger or boar will knock loose any dirt or pollutants that have found themselves wedged into the pores of your skin.
Secondly, shave brushes will be incredibly effective at having your whiskers stand on end.
When applying shaving cream with your hands, there is virtually no exfoliation process, secondly, your whiskers, especially when long, will lay flat against your skin. This makes it tougher for the razor to get a clean cut on the shaft.
Finish Your Shave With An Aftershave
When Googling around, you will find that aftershave comes in many different varieties.
What further adds to the confusion is the composition of the ingredients within each product.
When going to an online retailer or your local drugstore, you will likely find any one of the three varieties of aftershave:
In large part, you want to stay away from the splashes and lotions as they often contain alcohol.
While alcohol is a powerful antiseptic, it will dry out your skin which will lead to dryness post-shave.
Also alcohol in splashes and lotions can sting pretty badly if you experienced any nicks or cuts when shaving.
Instead, aftershave balms are chocked full of natural ingredients such as essential oils and witch hazel.
Be sure to check out Cold River Soap Works advanced skin care line of Moisturizing Aftershaves!
Essential oils such as tea tree oil are natural antiseptics that will help to clean out your pores. Witch hazel on the other hand will do a terrific job at closing up your pores post-shave to ensure bacteria doesn’t seep in causing unwanted irritation.
Wrapping Up On Wet Shaving
There you have it, the basics of wet shaving and how it subtly differs from traditional shaving.
If you, like most men, are looking for ways to improve your grooming routine, changing up the tools you use in the morning might be a welcomed addition.
Not only will you have a much more comfortable shave, but you will also be putting money back in your wallet with its lower long-term costs.
Cold River Soap Works advanced Moisturizing Aftershave is designed to moisturize and calm the skin. Formulated with jojoba oil, aloe vera juice plus botanical and plant extracts to re-hydrate, reduce irritation and sooth the skin after shaving.
Available in many of our extemley popular fragrances found in our shaving soap. Alcohol free, non-greasy, fast absorbing and a very light consistency makes this aftershave perfect for even hot summer days.
Due to the overwhelming positive feedback to our PREMIUM base along with requests from our valued customers to add existing SELECT scents to the PREMIUM line, we have decided to combine SELECT and PREMIUM into one line.
What this means:
1. Beginning Friday (April 7th), both offerings will be the PREMIUM base.
2. To avoid confusion and capitalize on the recognizable name, both lines will be marketed under the SELECT brand name.
3. Favorite scents from the SELECT line will become available in the new base.
4. Scents found in the existing PREMIUM line will still be available.
5. Pricing will remain the same, $15.75 to $19.00 (and up), based on costs of essentials oils/fragrances.
6. Matching Moisturizing Aftershaves will be made available in the very near future.
7. There are no planned changes to our OLIVA and Original 100% vegetal soap lines. We will be releasing more scents for these in good time.
Please bear with us during this transitional phase. We are presently working to fill out the new SELECT line-up with requested favorites and exciting new releases. We appreciate your patience and support!
So you’ve purchased your shave brush, now what do you do? Well, if you have an animal hair shave brush you will probably need to prepare it for its first use. More likely than not the first few times you use that brush you will be aware of an unpleasant aroma. Its very common and should disappear after a couple weeks of use, but you can hasten the process several ways. First, you can soak it in a solution of 1 part distilled white vinegar to 9 parts hot water for about 10 minutes, agitating the brush gently every couple of minutes. Or you can thoroughly massage the brush hair with pet shampoo, a gentle dish washing liquid, or even some shaving soap or cream. Then let the soapy brush stand for about 30 minutes. But no matter how you prepare the brush be sure to rinse it very thoroughly with warm water, gently wipe the bristles dry with a towel, then allow to finish drying for 24 hours. Don’t store the brush in an enclosed cabinet or it may not dry properly.
Loading the brush is simply the process of applying enough shaving soap or cream to coat the tips of the brush. Before loading, wet the brush thoroughly. Its best to let it soak in a basin of hot water for a couple minutes: that will make sure the brush is thoroughly saturated. Then grab the brush by the handle and give it a couple good shakes to get rid of excess water: its better to start out with too little water and be able to add a bit than to start out with too much water and have to try to adjust the other variables. Now you’re going to load the brush. How you load it depends on what kind of product you’re using. If you’re using a puck of soap or a tub of cream, place the tips of the brush on top of the open container, press down slightly, and swirl the brush on the product until the tips of the brush are well coated. If you’re using cream from a tube, squeeze a almond sized amount of cream onto the center of the brush.
Now you’re going to use the brush as a mixer to combine the soap or cream and the water to build a lather. If you’re going to lather directly to your face, the building and applying process goes on at the same time. Or you can build lather in a bowl or large mug then apply it. Building lather in a bowl has the advantage of creating a warm lather if you use a heated container. In either case, you’re going to use gentle massaging and swiping motions to mix water and product. Don’t press the brush all the way down but rather use just enough pressure to spread the brush hair out slightly. Pushing down too much will release too much water at once and it will be difficult and more time consuming to make a decent lather. If the lather looks dry or sticky like white school glue, briefly dip the tips of the brush in water and continue lathering. You’re looking for soft peaks of lather, sort of like a pie meringue, without a lot of foamy-looking bubbles. This process could take a couple minutes depending on variables, so now is the time to enjoy the sensory feedback you should be getting from this process: the pleasant scent and the feeling of warmth from the lather, and the feeling of the bristles on the skin. Now you’re ready to shave!
OLIVA is our vegan based shaving soap. Extra virgin olive and jojoba oils plus kokum and shea butters provide class leading slickness and post shave nourishment.
Currently offered in three amazing scents;
Pure zesty scent of pink grapefruit with a mellow back pepper undercurrent.
Aquatic notes of salty air captured on a sea breeze mingle with light citrus and classic herbal notes of thyme and rosemary.
(Essential & Fragrance Oils)
Fresh honey comb and spicy wood notes of cedar and amyris.
(Essential Oils plus Pure Honey Extract)
OLIVA shaving soaps are 4 inches in diameter and have ample head room for efficient loading of the shaving brush. Each soap comes beautifully packaged in a handsome heavy gauge, jar with a screw top lid.
To perform the shave, first shower or hold a hot wet towel to the face; this softens the outer layer of hair allowing for an easier cut. Prepare the brush by soaking it in water, then gently shaking the majority of the water out. Gently press the tips of the brush into the cream or soap gathering enough material to shave with. Lather your soap in a bowl or on your face using a whipping motion and adding water as needed to create a thick lather that resembles whipped cream or meringue. Holding your razor against the face an an approximate 30 degree angle, shave with as little pressure as possible in the direction of hair growth. Remember to use short strokes and rinse the razor often. After you have completed the first pass, re-lather and shave across the direction of hair growth, then rinse the lather from your face. After rinsing apply your choice of aftershave, whether a balm or alcohol based splash.
We will update this information soon with in-depth looks at hardware (brushes, razors,etc), software (shaving soaps, creams, aftershaves, etc.) and advanced techniques to help you master your shave.