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SHAVING FAQS

Professional answers to the questions that our barbers are asked most often. 

     
 

If you have a question you'd like answered please email
themurdockman@murdocklondon.com

RAZORS

   
Is one blade better than five?

Shaving is a game of reduction. On the first pass we shave with the grain, then across, and if needed against to provide the closest possible shave versus the least amount of irritation. 5 blades are the equivalent of 5 passes all at once which can result in razor burn (when too close of a shave is acquired). Marketing has us believe that sticking on an extra two blades for ‘more efficient shaving’ and a cooling pad to substitute for a proper aftershave will suffice for nicks, irritation, and pulled hairs....

 

How do I know when my blade is pulling or becoming dull?

Too much time spent going over and over the same section should be the first indication. Noticing sensitivity afterwards is a good tell-tale sign too.

 

Is a Disposable Blade Straight Razor a good alternative to a traditional Cut Throat Razor?

Disposable blade straight razors are ideal for people who travel a lot and are new to straight razors but not sure if they feel comfortable investing in a full set up. Shavettes are also ideal for people who want to concentrate on purely shaving as opposed to blade maintenance as well.

 

How do you sterilise a vintage safety razor

You should clean an old safety razor with hot soapy water, using an old toothbrush to thoroughly scrub it out. Following up afterwards with a rub of alcohol should do the trick. Metal being a non-porous surface is fairly easy to sterilise.

 

How do you travel with a safety razor?

One advantage that safety razor bearing gentlemen have when traveling is that it’s perfectly fine to take a razor in your carry on AS LONG AS YOU TAKE THE BLADE OUT. Simple stuff really.  

 

How should I store my double edge razor blades between shaves?

Make sure to thoroughly towel dry the razor to prevent rust from compromising the blade. For those who prefer a more elegant way of displaying their investments, razor stands are available to purchase.

 

Why would you own more than one razor?

Different razors will deliver a different shave, especially when paired with different razor blades. Most wet shave enthusiasts have large collections of razors but normally have one favourite.

 

Why is there rust on my straight razor?

A common reason is improperly storing the razor after using. Pat dry (never wipe) with a dry towel or place in a razor stand to allow the water to drip off.

 

How much should I tighten the head of my razor?

Over-tightening the head of your safety razor will strip the screw threads, causing the razor to not tighten securely.

 

What is the safest method of razor blade disposal?

Buying what is known as a ‘blade bank’ is an easy way to store used blades. Otherwise keep the box/cartridge that the blades came in and when you’ve finished using them put them back in. Then dispose of that. If you just throw the blades in a bin, they could rip the bag and subsequently someone’s hands.

SHOP RAZORS>
       

SHAVING OILS AND CREAMS 

   

How do you get a good lather with a shaving cream?

Use a small amount of soap in a bowl – with Murdock cream it’s about a fingertip amount. Soak the badger brush for a few minutes in warm water. Lift the brush out of the water and allow most of the excess to trickle out, until the brush is just dripping but still feels heavy with water. NEVER FLICK or SHAKE the brush as this will dump all the water from the brush which is what gives you a great lather. Mix initially in a bowl to create the beginning of the lather and then apply most of the lather on the face as this action helps to lift the beard whiskers and exfoliate the skin. 

 

How do you use pre-shave oil?

Apply a few drops to your already cleansed beard area and massage in. Steam whenever possible. I suggest doing this at the start of a shower.

 

Is it better to build lather in a bowl?

No, you just begin the lathering process in a bowl. You work it into a better lather on the skin.

 

Do shaving soaps and creams expire?

Creams contain ingredients which may turn ineffective after some time. Hard soaps don’t expire – although they may go very dry.
 

If I use a pre-shave oil, can I use regular shaving cream from a drug store?

It will probably collapse as they won’t have been designed to be used together.

 

Can I use regular soap as a shaving soap?

Only in an emergency as it will leave skin feeling a bit dry and unprotected as it isn’t as moistening and viscous as shaving soap.

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BADGER BRUSHES

 

Why should I use a shaving brush?

Exfoliation around follicles on a daily basis keeps them really healthy – getting rid of any scar tissues built up from shaving. The brush lifts your beard hair away from the skin. The brush also builds your amazing lather from water and just a little soap!

 

Why does my new badger brush smell bad?

It will have been stood on its handle, allowing water to collect in the hairs – meaning they cannot dry out. Either that or you won’t have washed the brush adequately after each use.

 

How long do you soak your brush before your shave?

A few minutes – but if in a rush, swirl the brush in warm water for 30 seconds vigorously. This forces water through the brush quicker.

 

Do I have to buy a brush stand?

It's very much advisable for the longevity of the brush.

 

What size shaving brush should I buy?

The bigger, the more luxurious if you are properly shaving. Smaller sizes are available if you are travelling a lot. 

 

Will shaving oil ruin a badger brush?

Not if it is residual oil from your face. It will help condition the brush, keeping it soft and pliable.

 

Why do badger brushes lose hairs?

You may be wringing it out to dry it – this is the WRONG thing to do! Simply flick the water out as best possible and store the brush with the bristles hanging down, allowing water to drain off. It will lose a few hairs naturally as they break off. 

 

How do you travel with a shaving brush?

With a travel shaving brush which you can find here

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