Let’s face it, a quality razor and shaving brush cost some coin and if you’re like Handsome Rob your no dummy. That’s why you want to properly maintain your shaving equipment so you get the most life out of it. Because Handsome Rob has been shaving since he was two, he has the following advice for maintaining your brush and razor:
SHAVING BRUSH MAINTENANCE
First and for most you MUST have a brush stand. The stand allows for your brush to hang vertically with the bristles pointing down, allowing water to drain. The stand also allows for optimal air on the bristle surfaces oppose to laying the wet brush on a surface where water is trapped and can’t escape which will result in mildew and bacteria.
When you are finished with your shave, rinse your bush in warm water so excess shaving cream is removed from brush. Hold brush over sink and gently shake excess water from brush and store on stand. What you do NOT want to do is ring the water from the bristles with your hand in a twisting or wicking motion. Using your hand to man handle out water from the bristles will eventually damage and break the bristles. Gravity and shaking the handle will do the job.
PROPERLY USING YOUR BRUSH
Excessive pressure with the brush to the face while building lather is the number one culprit to damaging bristles which damage is irreversible. Excessive pressure on the bristles with time will flatten or hook the bristle ends and will break the bristles. You will end up with a brush that is not as soft and with less body to hold your lather.
Best way of knowing if you’re using excessive force is to notice how you build your lather. Are you building your lather by doing hard circular motions the entirety of your lather build? If so, you are twisting the bristles which causes them to break and hook particularly in the center or core of your brush.
Not having enough water in your brush also tends to lead to the use of excessive force when building lather. When you have the right amount of water and shaving cream on your brush the lather forms pretty effortlessly. Some guys fall into the habit of starting their lather building with a pretty dry brush and inadvertently it results into a force built lather which consequently damages the brush. Equally as damaging to the brush is not using enough shaving cream on the brush which means you have to put a lot of work into the brush to build the most out of the minimal shaving cream.
The proper way of using your brush is to start the right amount (practice makes perfect) of water saturation with the proper nickel size amount of shaving cream on it. Lightly use the tips of the brush on your face to build the lather. The best stroking pattern for building the lather is a “paint brush” stroke. The paint brush stoke utilizes all of the tips of the brush which gives even wear. It’s okay to use a circular stroke to build lather as long as it’s light and it’s done only minimally in the lather build process.
MAINTAINING BRISTLE FORM
Every now and then (once a week) right before bed time when your shaving brush is completely dry it's not a bad idea to lightly brush the bristles on your shaving brush with a large tooth hair comb to remove tangles. After lightly brushing, use a loose fitting rubber band over the bristles so as to lightly compact. When the rubber band is removed in the morning you will notice the nice bristle form and the fluffiness to the bristles.
Razor maintenance is a no brainer. The following simple acronym of RWS will help you maintain your razor for years to come:
Rinse your razor with hot water after every use. You might want to loosen the razor head connection with the razor blade of your safety razor so you can rinse out the shaving film after each use.
Wipe down the razor with a clean dry towel after rinse. Razor blade should always be removed before wiping down razor so as to avoid injury. Periodically wipe down razor with a q-tip in all hard to reach corners and cracks.
Store your razor in an area where it can’t be damaged. Most razor stands offer a convenient razor storage location on the stand with the shaving brush.