I wouldn’t consider my stubble super coarse but I do give a blade a good workout. Here goes.
1. What preshave is the best for the kind of coarse hair that gets stuck in a brand new blade and can cause bleeding when rubbed over someone else’s skin?
I don’t generally use pre-shaves, I’ll wrap my face in a hot facecloth for a minute or two, unless I’m in the shower where I’ll just let the hot water soften things up.
2. Are there differences in the soaps besides scent?
Some, but the better quality stuff will usually be sourced with more natural products and not contain stuff like parabens and SLS, which is probably good to avoid anyway. Here is a link from Pop Mech on making your own. Super easy and you can scent it any way you like.
3. Do you scrape off some soap for for each lather or just put the whole bar in the cup? (I always assumed that the whole bar went in the cup but some of those bowls are just big enough for the bar and I don’t see how you could lather with no extra room, also a tutorial with some handsome Scottish man had him scraping some off the bar)
Never done it that way. I wet the brush ( I have one from the Body Shop I’ve had for years) on the bar, pick up some on the brush and then use a separate bowl to whip into a lather. Or use cream straight in to the frothing bowl. I also have an antique shaving mug that was my great grandfather’s that I will use once in a blue moon.
4. Is it normal for brush hairs to come off and mix with the lather or does the beginner’s kit have a shitty brush? If so, what’s your favorite brush?
Some hairs will come off initially, but if it’s more than one or two I’d look at getting a better brush. I’ve had great success with Body Shop and Wilkinson artificial badger and boar brushes, but super expensive isn’t necessarily better, just fancier. A quick look on some shaving forums and reviews may help here. The nicest brush I ever used was a badger hair brush with a teak handle that felt like a caress on the face. It was a splurge that I may do again one day.
5. Do you use any kind of after shave?
I use Nivea presently, but have used many others in the past. It is a good idea to have some kind of moisturizer on your face after shaving.
6. How often do you shave?
Daily during the week. Once on weekends. There is some variation there as I like growing a beard in the winter.
7. What’s your favorite scent? He got vanilla since it was one of the only scents he recognized other than fir and it’s hard to choose scent over the internet.
Sandalwood is my personal favorite and the shave cream I use is Taylor’s of Old Bond. Great stuff. In the shower I use Pro-Raso Green which is a eucalyptus/menthol which is nice as well.
8. What’s your preferred online vendor?
I order most of my stuff from Fendrihan’s
9. Are there differences in the blades? I was very surprised by how flexible the blades he got are. They are paper thin!
I bought a multi pack and tried a few out. I prefer Feather and the Merkur blades. I wasn’t fond of the derby or Astras, although some people really like them. I use a Merkur Futur handle which is adjustable. That way I can tailor how aggressive the cut is.
10. How do you dispose of your blades safely?
The 10 -packs come with a plastic contianer that stores the used blades. Once they are full I recycle them.
**11. Anything else you can think of we should know? **
Don’t get too wrapped around the axles about techniques and products. Try a bunch of stuff and see what works. Remember that expensive isn’t always better. A basic brush like this one will do about as good a job as this one. It may be a little coarser, but you can go away for a nice weekend to make up for it on what you didn’t spend.
Also, get a brush and razor stand to let them dry off. Dipping the blade in alcohol afterward kills germs and helps the blade last a little longer as well.