Life’s zen moments
Long before the modern conveniences of electric shavers and disposable razors reduced this masculine act of grooming to little more than a thoughtless, perfunctory task — like making a cup of instant coffee — shaving was an art form honed and perfected over centuries.
The artists were professional barbers, and using the basic tools of soap, water, a brush, and a single-blade razor, they offered a service, known as wet shaving, first born out of necessity due to a lack of at-home grooming facilities. In time, this developed into a slow ritual to cherish; a ritual of self-expression and care.
Today, wet shaving has experienced a renaissance of sorts, as men around the world rediscover the distinct pleasures — and benefits — of this timeless technique.
Few brands appreciate the art of wet shaving more than Muhle. Founded in 1945 and based in Germany’s idyllic Erz Mountains, Muhle offers some of the world’s finest handcrafted products, from brushes fashioned from badger hair, prized for its soft feel and high water absorbency, to brush handles made from African blackwood, Karelian masur birch, and bog oak preserved in peat bog for more than a thousand years.
Its latest release, the Rocca collection, includes six products — two razors and four shaving brushes — crafted in birch bark and matte-black stainless steel, perfect for adding to your gentlemen’s closet.
And if you still need more convincing, here are five pros to wet shaving.
Your skin is less prone to irritation and infection
Since ample water is used throughout the wet-shaving process, your skin stays more hydrated and plump, making it less prone to irritation. Additionally, the constant tugging at the skin that happens with cartridge razors causes the skin to turn tender, increasing the risk of soreness and bumpy red patches.
The best creams, oils, and other wet-shaving care products are also made from organic or otherwise high quality ingredients, meaning that lesser chemical irritants will be coming in contact with the skin, reducing the risk of irritation.
There’s a reduced risk of in-grown hairs
Traditional single blade razors focus on just shaving hair that’s above the skin’s surface, instead of tugging deeper into the skin to achieve a ‘deeper’ shave. This prevents the hair follicle from retracting beneath the skin, thus reducing the risk of in-grown hairs.
It takes longer for the hair to grow
Though wet shaving takes more time (generally involves two to three rounds with the blade), you’ll enjoy a closer, sharper, and more precise shave as the blade cuts the hair directly at the skin surface.
It’s cost effective
Shaving brushes and bowls can be pricey, but extrapolated over a full year, wet shaving is the more cost-effective shaving method. Quality products can be used for a long time—sometimes a decade or more—and the cost of a single-blade razor is far less than repeated disposable razor purchases. And unbeknown to most, a safety razor does not pose more risk as compared to cutting yourself with a shaving cartridge.
It may require a longer length of time to complete the job, but wet shaving helps you slow down and appreciate the highly personal act of shaving. In fact, this was a rite of passage that boys looked forward to, and took pride in when their fathers introduced them to the world of shaving.