A Manly Shave

So you may be asking yourself "What does the Nebraska Prairie Girl know about a manly shave?"  Well not much, I suppose.  I do know that I watched my dad as a little girl shave with his shaving brush, mug and shaving soap.  I have fond memories of him lathering up his brush and putting suds all over my  face and nose.

 Earlier  in life my husband Dave started to use a brush, soap and mug to shave, mainly from my urging.   Poor, guy just gets married and his new wife talks him into shaving like her father.  He was a good sport and tried it but did not stick with it.   Well now 27 years later, his crazy wife  decides to make shaving soap and guess what, he was my guinea pig.  Actually, this time he was not as reluctant to try shaving with a brush and soap, he was actually excited for me to finish making it.  Maybe it was the importance of his job at hand, he had to try the new soap and give me feed back.  (Husbands seem to enjoy telling their wives what they think when given a chance.)  :)   I made the soap it was a success and my husband loves it.   He said that," his face was smoother and the shave seemed to be closer."  Of course,  he made me feel it for conformation of his finding.  It was smooth, soft and smelled great!  

The procedure for making the shaving soap is much the same as the process I use for the rest of the soap line.  The ingredient list is the same with the addition of Castor oil and Clay.   The Castor oil helps increase the lather and the clay adds slip to the shaving bar. Without the clay you would find it hard to glide the razor across your skin smoothly.

Here is a look into the process I used to mold the soap.  Well first I went to the local home improvement store and purchased 3" pvc.  When asking the friendly plumbing department guy where the end caps where at he asked," what kind of caps do you need we have two varieties." I told him, "I need something that I can remove easily."  Then he had to ask what I was using it for.   I replied, "I am using it as a mold for men's, shaving soap."  Well that nice plumbing guy cocked his head looked at me and said, "Mam, I have sold pvc pipe for a lot of things but never as a mold for soap!" Well,  we both had a laugh and then a discussion about shaving soap, he said he was interested in trying the soap himself.  I thanked him for his help and told him I would get back to him when the soap was done and passed the quality test.  (By Dave of course.)

Well armed with my pvc pipe soap mold, I took to making a batch of soap.  Once the soap was ready I put it into the pvc.   I let the soap cool and set up for 12 hours as I would any other soap I mold.    Then I put it in the freezer to make it easier to un-mold.   My first attempt to un-mold was not very successful.  Try as I might I could not get the soap out of the pvc.  So I decided it needed to stay in the freezer a bit longer.  Many hours later I gave it another shot.  I tell you what I have never had to work so hard to get a soap out of  a mold in my life. 

Finally, with a hammer  a board, three people holding it,  and fifteen minutes of pounding I was able to get the soap to budge a bit.  After that I had to take  a tea break and contemplate how I was going to get the next 24 inches of soap out of the pvc.  Well I decided to go at it again with the board and hammer all the while thinking there has got to be a better way. 

Finally, after another 25 minutes of pounding on that poor soap, with a crazed determined look on my face,  the soap  came out. 

After the condensation dried off of the soap I sliced it into 4-5 oz bars.  

Once the soap had cured for two weeks it is wrapped and labeled. 

What I learned from this little experience.   One- cut the pvc pipe into two shorter sections, instead of one long one.   Two- be patient and let the condensation do the  work for you.   Once the condensation has melted a bit, the soap came out easier.  Whew!

Shaving with Shaving Soap and Brush

Select a good brush.  Brushes come in many variations, Boar’s Hair, synthetic and Badger hair.  The Boar’s hair and synthetic bristles are your least expensive.  Badger Hair Brushes can run anywhere between $20 -$1000 dollars and are the most desired. 

Shaving soaps work best in a shaving mug; you can purchase mugs specifically for shaving or use a coffee mug. Place the soap in the mug.   

Moisten your face with warm water.

Rinse your shaving brush under warm –hot water and let the water soak the bristles.   Take the brush out of the running water. Don’t wring the brush or shake the water out.   Put the brush directly on the soap and swirl around in the mug.  Develop a good lather in the mug and on the brush.  

Apply the brush to your whiskers in a vigorous circular motion.    This will soften your whiskers as well as stand your whiskers up.   The soap will not create a huge lather like shaving cream does; it is not designed to work that way. 
Shave as you normally would using your favorite razor.  When you are finished, rinse with hot water.   

Now that is a Manly Shave!!!!!!!!!!!! 



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