A while ago I wrote a post about the ‘Classic Shave‘ and since then i’ve had a massive response from readers curious about this method of shaving. Since i’m just as new to this as you guys are, I was lucky enough to snag an interview with John who owns the company westcoastshaving.com, a veritable shaving emporium for guys who want to achieve the best shave possible.
On to the questions!
1. So for the benefit of readers unfamiliar with westcoastshaving.com, could you just run through who you are and what your company does?
WestCoastShaving.com is a family run store offering grooming products, specializing in traditional wet shaving. We’re not afraid to offer modern products, they just have to work.
2. The jump from shaving with regular cartridge razors like the gilette mach 3 to double-edge safety razors is a daunting one. Is it worth it?
3. So, say you’ve decided to switch to double edge razors – where do you go from there? Do you have any tips or suggestions for a complete novice?
4. Which double edge razor is best for a beginner?
Best is hard to say. The most popular razor is the Merkur HD 34C. Just about everyone starts with this razor and most find it very good. Of course, we offer a lot of different razors and are happy to help individuals find their perfect razor.
5. What are the best shaving creams, gels, oils or post-shave treatments you’ve come across?
Again, best is hard to define. There are a lot of factors that affect performance. Water hardness, thickness of your beard, skin sensitivities, etc… Then add fragrance preferences and you’ll be hard pressed to get a consensus on what works the best. However, we only offer products that perform for the vast majority of people. If you see it on our site, you know I’ve personally tested it or related products (I don’t test every scent of each soap, cream, etc…). Popular creams are Taylors of Old Bond Street, Proraso, and Speick. Popular soaps include Mitchell’s Wool Fat, Provence Sante, and DR Harris. I’m not a pre-shave oil user myself, but the Pacific Shaving Oil is very popular. Musgo Real, Proraso, and eShave make some very nice after shaves.
6. Talk me through your own shaving routine.
I shave right after my shower, after soaking my beard in warm water for a few minutes. I use a smaller shaving brush, like a Simpson Chubby 1 Best, and use soaps predominately. I lather right on my face which helps prepare the beard, saves me from cleaning a bowl when done, and feels great. My go-to razor is the Merkur Futur and use the Red Personna blade 90% of the time. I do three passes, with a bit of touchup at the end. My skin is on the oily side, so I normally use an alcohol based splash.
7. A lot of my readers find daily shaving through the working week to be extremely stressful on their skin. What can they do to help relieve irritation and ingrowns?
This is a common reason for trying wet shaving with a double edge razor. I myself hated shaving, having the same issues related to painful shaves, irritation and ingrowns. My neck was constantly red, irritated and covered in bumps. With my normal routing, and after the initial learning curve, I’ve enjoyed stress and pain free shaves for years. Additionally, my face has never felt better or been healthier now that I use high quality products.
9. What’s the best selling item on your website at the moment?
The Merkur HD 34C.
10. Finally, if my readers were going to buy just 3 things from westcoastshaving – what should they try?
If you’ve currently a wet shaver and want to try something new, I’d suggest the new Provence Sante Green Tea shaving soap (we have an exclusive on this with another vendor), eShave soother aftershave, and a Cyril R. Salter shave cream.
A massive thanks to John for taking the time out from his busy schedule to talk to SCforM. Needless to say he has completely sold me on the idea of shaving with a double-edge saftey razor! I’m planning to order from westcoastshaving soon in order to try out the products and give you all an updated progress report on my experience complete with pictures hopefully! Maybe i’ll shave one side of my face with my Gilette and the other one with a Merkur and see where I am in a month’s time?
Be sure to visit www.westcoastshaving.com to take a look at and buy any of the products mentioned in this interview. The customer service is excellent and i’m sure any questions you have for them will be answered promptly!