Archive for November, 2008

Dealing with ingrown hairs

Sunday, November 30th, 2008

Ingrown hairs, also known under the medical term of “pseudofolliculitis barbae”, often occurred on people with curly or afro hair. During the shaving, hair roots are left in the follicle. Most of them will grow out of the follicle, but some will curve and get stuck under the skin. The problem is that these hairs will keep growing under the skin, becoming ingrown hairs. The skin becomes irritated and the body produces a lumpy reaction.

A few products have been created to deal with this particular problem, once the hair already started to grow under the skin. The best solution to cure ingrown hairs is to soak a towel in hot water and apply it on the skin for a few minutes until the skin and the hair get soften. Then, pull the end of the hair out of the bump using sterilised tweezers (to minise infections), without removing the whole hair, just the loose end. The temptation of pluck the ingrown hair is high as it is such a cause of pain, but doing so might imply having the same problem the next time the hair is growing. Helping the hair to stick out of the skin will heal the follicle and solve the problem for a long time.

Understanding ingrowing hairs

Understanding ingrowing hairs

Here is a list of tips to prevent ingrown hairs and shaving rashes:

  • Don’t pull on the skin while shaving as it could make hairs pop out of the follicle. Afterwards, the cut tip retracts into the follicle and might cause an ingrowing hair.
  • Avoid a too close shave: indeed, the closer you cut the hair the more change the hair will grow under the skin. If the hair is a little bit longer, it is almost at the surface of the skin, and will find it way out more easily.
  • Always shave in the direction of the hair growth, so the shave will not be as closed and no hairs will curve under the skin.
  • Exfoliation might help to remove dead skin, often harder, making the growth of the hair easier.
  • In the worst case, try not to shave for a few days for your skin to heal and get strength.
  • The final solution, the most extreme, is to have a permanent hair removal, either through electrolysis or laser.

Shaving brushes for all budgets

Sunday, November 30th, 2008

Shaving brushes can cost a lot of money, depending on the material used to compose the brush, it goes from nylon bristle to the very finest Super Badger. It’s always a luxury to use a shaving brush, particularly if you get it at a discount price!

Entry price: Shaving brushes under £10

This is a small selection of shaving brushes at entry price, perfect for people who want to use them for the first time without spending a fortune.

Omega Shaving Cream and Bristle Brush

Omega Shaving Cream and Bristle Brush

Omega Shaving Cream and Bristle Brush (actually seen at £4.99)

This is a great introduction to shaving with this amazing cream and brush! This fantastic cream has a eucalyptus scent and makes a fine lather. Made in Italy, this cream is comparable to much more expensive brands and has been likened to the famous Proraso shaving cream. Comes with a stylish red bristle brush with Omega branding.

Men-U Barbiere Shaving Brush, Stand and Shaving Crème

Men-U Barbiere Shaving Brush, Stand and Shaving Crème

Men-U Barbiere Shaving Brush, Stand and Shaving Crème voted FHM Award winner! (seen at £8.99)

Italy is a great source for the finest shaving brushes, where they supply the traditional barbiere (barber). The bristles have to be a balance between the right degree of resistance and softness, with the ability to raise the beard and generate a fine, rich lather. Includes a 15ml shave crème tube worth £2.99! This brush exists in black, blue, red and white.

Pure Bristle Shaving Brush

Pure Bristle Shaving Brush

Pure Bristle Shaving Brush (seen a £9.99)

This shaving brush is filled with the highest quality pure bristle hair, which has been carefully graded for use in hand filled brushes. Firmer to the touch, this grade of hair gently exfoliates the skin prior to shaving, it has excellent water retention properties and will provide you with quality shaves for many years to come.

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Birth of the safety razor

Saturday, November 29th, 2008

Before the invention of the first safety razor, or the razor as we know it nowadays, men were using straight razor, and, as you might imagine, did not have any security system to protect their users. As straight razor requires very accurate skills, many accidents occurred, from minor cuts to sever ones (as you could remember from some old comedy when a barber accidentally cut its customer ear).

In the late 18th century, a Frenchman, Jean-Jacques Perret , invented the first safety razor. He was inspired by the joiner’s plane, which are used to flatten, reduce the thickness of, and impart a smooth surface to a rough piece of lumber.

Jean-Jacques Perret's safety razor

Jean-Jacques Perret

As he had a passion for this field, he also wrote a book called Pogonotomy or the Art of Learning to Shave Oneself.

The pogonotome or joiner’s plane razor

The pogonotome or joiner’s plane razor

In the late 1820s, a similar system was created in Sheffield, England. Later, in the 19th century, single-edge blade mounted on a hoe-shaped handle became fashionable and was available in Britain and Germany.

The first American safety razor was patented in 1880 by the Kampfe Brothers, the razor was being described as “a small blade held in a suitable frame and provided with a guard to prevent the edge of the razor from cutting into the skin”. This new razor featured a wire-skin guard on top of the razors-edge.

In 1901, An American inventor named King Camp Gillette and his partner William Nickerson designed a safety razor with disposable blades (as previous system required to sharpen regularly the blade).

Gillette's patent of his safety razor

Gillette's patent of his safety razor

Gillette realised that by selling an inexpensive razor and disposable blade, he could create a new market and generate large profits. In 1902, the manufacturing of this new generation of razors began. It was in 1904 that the sales skyrocketed with total sales for the new safety razor reaching 90000 razors and 123000 blades. The design behind Gillette’s safety razor was based on a thin blade covered by the razor housing, therefore protecting the skin against deep cuts. From this time, people stopped going to barber shops (or ask family members), and started shaving themselves from their own bathrooms.

Shaving gifts: Christmas is coming early this year

Saturday, November 29th, 2008

I have just noticed that Mankind website, dedicated in Man’s grooming products, is advertising a selection of shaving gift sets, such as The Art of Shaving value packages, Geo F Trumper Wooden Shave Bowls, Zirh shaving kits, Hommage razors and more…

The Art of Shaving The 4 Elements of the Perfect Shave - Sandalwood - £29.35

The Art of Shaving The 4 Elements of the Perfect Shave - Sandalwood - £29.35

The Art of Shaving
The 4 Elements of the Perfect Shave - Sandalwood

The 4 Elements of The Perfect Shave combine The Art of Shaving’s aromatherapy-based products, handcrafted accessories and expert shaving technique to guarantee optimal shaving results while relieving and preventing ingrown hairs, razor burn, tough beard and sensitive skin.The Sandalwood Starter Kit, for normal to dry skin, offers 2 weeks’ worth of THe Art of Shaving essentials for achieving a close and comfortable shave. Perfect for travel.

Geo F Trumper Wooden Shave Bowl - Sandalwood (Normal Skin) - £17.10

Geo F Trumper Wooden Shave Bowl - Sandalwood (Normal Skin) - £17.10

Geo F Trumper
Wooden Shave Bowl - Sandalwood (Normal Skin)

Supplied in a hand turned wooden bowl, this fine quality hard shaving soap is specially formulated using essential oils to give a smooth shave and to leave the skin soft.Sandalwood oil extract is moisturising and caring for normal skin. Beautifully presented, these Shave Bowls make an excellent gift.

Zirh Best Seller Cleanse and Shave Kit - £36.70

Zirh Best Seller Cleanse and Shave Kit - £36.70


Zirh - Best Seller Cleanse and Shave Kit

A superb set from Zirh, one of Americas most popular male skincare brands, this set features 4 of their best-selling skin savers. It contains:
- Clean Facial Wash 125ml
- Scrub 100ml (full size)
- Shave Gel Tube 100ml (full size)
- Soothe Post-shave Healer 100ml (full size)

Hommage Monaco Razor - £97.85

Hommage Monaco Razor - £97.85

Hommage
Monaco Razor

With its innovative curvature and precise weight, the Monaco Razor feels moulded to your hand, producing a smooth, gentle shave. And its rubberised, ergonomic handle gives you a controlled grip for a closer shave. The sleek chrome surface and precision fit make grime build-up impossible. A nonslip ejector button is discreetly integrated into the handle.

This is the perfect opportunity to prepare your Christmas presents for your father, grand-fathers, uncles, friends, sons, grand-sons… At this price, it’ll be a shame to miss these deals!

Truefitt & Hill: The British savoir faire

Saturday, November 29th, 2008

As certified by the Guiness Book of World Records in April 2000, Truefitt & Hill is the oldest known barbershop in the world. In 1805, William Francis Truefitt established is company, and become the official hairdresser of the British Royal Court. King George III gave Trufitt its first Royal Warrant.

Truefitt & Hill's Royal Warrant

Truefitt & Hill

Edwin Hill opened his baber shop on Old Bond Street, in London in 1911, close to the royal neighborhoods. In 1935, he created the brand Truefitt & Hill. In 1941, other Trufitt regional outlets were merged into the present company, where the current address is 71 St. James Street, London, since 1994. In addition, other locations were opened on Michigan Avenue in Chicago, Caesars Forum Shops in Las Vegas and Toronto, Canado.

Truefitt & Hill includes a lot of famous clients like the British Royal Family, Members of visiting Royal Households, business leaders, Members of Parliament, Ambassadors and the diplomatic service and visiting dignitaries. Nowadays, Truefitt & Hill holds a Royal Warrant by appointment to the Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.

Truefitt & Hill excels in the manufacturing of gentleman’s toiletries such as shaving creams and soaps, cologne, shampoo and other hair care products. This brand is also famous for its shaving range of accessories, such as razors, decorative shaving bowls, badger-hair brushes and kit bags, all inherited from year of Bristish “savoir faire”.

The Wellington Set: Truefitt & Hill Luxury Razor and Shaving Brush Set

The Wellington Set: Truefitt & Hill Luxury Razor and Shaving Brush Set

This is a list of Truefitt & Hill most popular range of products:

  • Full shaving and fragrance lines include Trafalgar, 1805, Grafton and West Indian Limes.
  • Fragrance-only lines include Clubman, Freshman and Spanish Leather colognes.
  • Shaving-only lines include Almond, Sandalwood, Rose and Lavender.

If you want to see all Truefitt & Hill’s line of products, you can download the Truefitt & Hill catalogue. (more…)

Shaving in religion

Friday, November 28th, 2008

Christianity, Hinduism and Buddhism

Some Christian churches practice the tonsure, a rite of shaving the crown of the head of a person joining a monastic order or the secular clergy, symbolizing admission to the clerical state.

The similar practice is found in some Hindu and Buddhist monks and nuns, the shaving of their hair from the scalp of the priest being a symbol of their complete renunciation of the normal life.

Amish men have the tradition to shave their beard until they get married, then they are allowed to grow it.

Islam

The Sunnah is a islamist tradition of the Prophet Muhammad (highly recommended to followers), consisting of growing a full bear and trim the mustache. Some drastic believers impose this tradition, calling people not wearing a beard “Haraam”, meaning “the prohibited”, Others call this tradition “Mustahabb”, translated as “good act.

Judaism

The Torah forbids Jewish men to shave their facial hair with a razor. The Jewish community is debating to find out if it is permitted to shave using an electric razor.

Facts: How many times do we shave in a lifetime?

Friday, November 28th, 2008

An interesting fact is that, in average, a man will shave 20 000 times between the age of 15 until the age of 75, which added together correspond to spending 5 months of their life shaving! A study showed that 90% of American over the age of 15 shaves regularly, with 75% shaving on a daily basis. The average 15 to 20 year old male shaves 275 times per year, while shaving frequency rises to almost daily for men aged between 20 to 65.

The first razors in history of mankind

Friday, November 28th, 2008

Today, we will be looking at the shaving through history, a good way to see the improvements made by mankind. The first technique used to shave facial hair was base on the usage of shells sharpen with stones. From 3000 BC, the first copper tools were developed, and the first copper razors were created.

Shaved Egyptian priests

Shaved Egyptian priests

Historians believe that the notion of personal hygiene may have emerged around this period, or perhaps earlier with Egyptian priests. Later, in the 4th century BC, Alexander the Great strongly promoted shaving to his army.

Alexander the Great's shaven image on the Alexander Mosaic, 2nd Century BC

Alexander the Great

Discover: Task Stop Burning After Shave Balm

Thursday, November 27th, 2008

Task Stop Burning After Shave Balm is a treatment balm made of fresh plant extracts, also enriched with pure oxygen molecules which compensate for the dehydration of the skin and help to preserve its youthful appearance. This after shave minimises redness and small cuts, as it uses witch hazel extracts known for softening the skin and closing the pores. The Aloe Vera and Cephalipine extracts will ensure the hydration of your skin and help healing of minor cuts.

Task Stop Burning After Shave Balm

Task Stop Burning After Shave Balm

Some people will say that Task After Shave is a bit more expensive than competition, but quality doesn’t come cheap. Its citrus smell is also very refreshing after a shave. This balm comes in a 75ml package, and can be purchased at around £16.

Twin-blade razors: The hysteresis effect

Thursday, November 27th, 2008

Twin-blade razors use the “hysteresis effect”, discovered in 1964 by Mr Welsh, meaning that when a blade engages a whisker, it extends the whisker of the hair follicle before cutting it, and there is a finite amount of time before the stubble fully retracts. Therefore, if a second blade reached the stubble before it retracts, it will produce an exceptionally closer shave, for a longer time. The first “hysteresis effect” blades were then created by mounting the twin blades on a cartridge, as it featured on the Atra razor in the early 70s.

Twin blade cartridges

Twin blade cartridges

Meanwhile, Gillette worked on its own tandem blade system and created the “Rex”. The researchers found out that there system produced an equality close shave and virtually nick-free shave, taking full advantage of the “hysteresis effect”.

Many studies have been done to confirm the efficiency of this effect. Gillette performed slow motion microphotography to demonstrate that hysteresis does work. The interesting part is that men magazine tested too different kind of blades, including twin-blades, and the result went the opposite way! For example, in 1974, Consumers’ Research magazines tested four cartridge razors and declared the best to be Wilkinson’s, the one from the selection being single blade (The Wilkinson blade was good for 40 shaves, compared with 7-10 for Gillette, Schick, and Personna. Big problem for the twin blades: they got clogged up with gunk pretty fast). Many studies were done, the result never changed.

The down side of the hysteresis effect, is that the stubble could get cut so short, that the hair will grow back under the skin causing ingrowing hairs, inflammations, infections, and sometimes worse! Remember to hydrate your skin generously, get your whiskers wet enough and use foam to prepare the beard for the shave.


Health