Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Occam's razor

Occam's razor (also written as Ockham's razor from William of Ockham, and in Latin lex parsimoniae) is a principle of parsimony, economy, or succinctness used in logic and problem-solving. It states that among competing hypotheses, the hypothesis with the fewest assumptions should be selected.
The term "Occam's razor" first appeared in 1852 in the works of Sir William Hamilton, 9th Baronet (1788–1856), centuries after William of Ockham's death. Ockham did not invent this "razor"; its association with him may be due to the frequency and effectiveness with which he used it. Ockham stated the principle in various ways, but the most popular version "entities must not be multiplied beyond necessity" was written by John Punch from Cork in 1639.

So what does a philosophic principle have to do with shaving? Read that last paragraph again, and pay extra attention to "entities must not be multiplied beyond necessity"... in short, Occam's Razor tells us that you'll only really need one blade (straight, SE or DE) to shave; having two or more introduces needless complexity to the process.

Monday, 29 April 2013

Shave of the day 29th April

Pre-shave: Dr Bronner's Liquid Peppermint
Lather: Mama Bear's Awakening
Brush: Semogue TSN 1012 LE brush
Razors: Cadet's TP-01 OC and TTO-13, both with Derby blades
Post-shave: Cold water rinse, alum and Krampert's Finest Prototype Menthol

Friday, 26 April 2013

Shave of the day 26th April

Pre-shave: none
Lather: none
Brush: none
Razors: Philips AquaTouch AT890
Post-shave: Krampert's Finest Bay Rum

Running short on time, I decided to try the reasonable expensive electric razor we got for my Better Half to do her legs with in summer - I guess I was thinking that a bad shave was better than no shave...

Wrong! Not only did it do a lousy job on my neck, but my neck now itches.

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Shave of the day 24th April

Pre-shave: Dr Bronner's Liquid
Lather:Derby shavestick with a touch of Dalen d'Men Energetic cream
Brush: Semogue TSN 1012 LE brush
Razors: Cadet's TP-01 OC and TTO-13, both with Derby blades
Post-shave: Cold water rinse, alum and Krampert's Finest Bay Rum

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Homemade shaving soap

One of the other members on my favourite shave-forum have experimented with making his own shaving soap. The results are encouraging and the process don't look impossible to emulate - even if I don't think I'll be allowed to turn the crock-pot into a soap maker any time soon...

Monday, 22 April 2013

Shave of the day 22nd April

Pre-shave: Dr Bronner's Liquid Orange
Lather:  Orange EO soap
Brush: Vie Long 14033
Razors: Cadet's TP-01 OC and TTO-13, both with fresh Derby blades
Post-shave: Cold water rinse, alum and Krampert's Finest Bay Rum

Friday, 19 April 2013

Shave of the day 19 April

Pre-shave: Dr Bronner's Liquid Lavender
Lather:  Mike's Pine & Cedarwood
Brush: Vie Long 14033
Razors: German Balelite Slant with a Feather, and Gillete '58 TV Special with a Wilkinson
Post-shave: Cold water rinse, alum and Krampert's Finest Bay Rum

Thursday, 18 April 2013

Quick review of the Gillette Sensor Excel

I know, I know... dabbling in the Dark Side. But how can we see where the light comes from unless we wander in darkness?

Before I started enjoying my shaves, I was pulling my whiskers off with a Gillette Sensor I was given while in Boot Camp. Never got a really good shave with it - or with any of the electric shavers I've tried over the years - but I persevered for lack of anything better (growing a full beard is just not an option). Last summer I decided to revisit the Sensor, to see if it was as bad as I remembered it to be... having spotted it in the back of the cabinet again, I decided to write up a short review:

The Sensor is a mild razor - which is good, since I needed four passes and some touch ups to get close to the DFS I get from two passes and no touch ups with my DE razors. Honestly Gillette; if this is supposed to be "the best a man can get" then I suggest you all hand in your man-cards. Half an hour after shaving I found myself longing for a real shave - and to add insult to injury I got shave bumps again; something I always had before switching to DE and haven't been bothered with since I switched.

I hate shave-bumps with a passion - it used to be because the next shave would slice them open, meaning I'll dislike shaving even more. These days I hate them because it means I have to take a couple of days pause from shaving... things change even if they stay the same.

On the other hand, the shave was better than I got from the Sensor before I switched to DE, so I guess it highlights the benefits of a good prep and a great lather.

On the upside, the handle is rock solid and near indestructible; it has lasted twenty years so far and still see regular use when my Better Half do her legs. I guess it highlights the Gillette Idea; they will pretty much give you the razor, and then gouge you on the cartridges. Which is fitting in it's own way, since the cartridges will gouge your face just as efficiently as Gillette will gouge your wallet...

Bottom line? Rock solid razor, not so much blades. Bad for your wallet and face - Your Mileage May Vary off course, but please don't skimp on the prep-work if you go for cartridges.

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Shave of the day 17th April

Pre-shave: Dr Bronner's Liquid Lavender
Lather: Mike's Natural Rose & Cedarwood soap
Brush: Turkish No6
Razors: German Balelite Slant with a Feather, and Gillete '58 TV Special with a Wilkinson
Post-shave: Cold water rinse, alum and Krampert's Finest Bay Rum

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

A Real Man Shave


...in my opinion the Gillette is optional and might easily be swapped for a Merkur, a Parker, a Cadet, a Lord, a Yuma, a Feather, or any other DE razor.

But you DO need water and lather for a Real Man Shave!

Monday, 15 April 2013

Shave of the day 15th April

Pre-shave: Dr Bronner's Liquid Peppermint
Lather: Mam Bear's Awakening
Brush: Semogue TSN 2012 LE mixed badger-boar
Razors: German Balelite Slant with a fresh Feather, and Gillete '58 TV Special with a fresh Wilkinson
Post-shave: Cold water rinse, alum and Krampert's Finest Prototype Menthol

Friday, 12 April 2013

Shave of the day 12th April

Pre-shave: Dr Bronners Liquid Peppermint
Lather:Proraso menthol and eucalyptus croap
Brush:BodyShop Synthetic
Razors: Racer and Yuma, both with a Wilkinson blade
Post-shave: Cold water rinse, alum and Krampert's Finest

Thursday, 11 April 2013

Review of the Semogue 2012 The Shave Nook's Limited Edition mixed boar/badger brush

About eight months ago I bought a limited edition brush from the Portuguese brush maker Semogue, who made a mere hundred of the beauties for my favorite shaving forum - The Shave Nook.

It have become one of my most treasured brushes - along with my Vie Long 14033 mixed badger/horse - and yet somehow I have not yet written a review for it... well, consider that fixed at least.

The TSN '12 LE is a wonderful brush; it has just the right mix of backbone and softness to make it great for both face and bowl lathering, good flow, great handle and it holds enough lather to do three passes with ease. It's also rock solid - to my knowledge it hasn't lost a single hair yet, despite being used one to two times a week since I bought it. With a bit of proper care it should last longer than me, which means whoever gets to clean up after me can put it up for sale in fifty years time...

The knot is about 22mm wide with a 55mm or so loft, and is a 50/50 mix of boar and badger. For me - who isn't all that much into badger - it served as a beautiful introduction to badger hairs... to the point where I can both see what all the fuss is about and realize that for me it's not worth bothering putting down a large wad of money on a pure badger brush. Your Milage May Vary off course, but I prefer a bit of springiness and scritch.

The TSN '12 LE is also very quick at picking up soap, making it the only brush I own that is liable to be overloaded - something to keep in mind since my favorite lathering bowl isn't that large. It works just as well when face lathering, but since I only face lather when using a shave stick the risk of overloading is non-existent.

While the majority of the brushes ended up with regulars on The Shave Nook, it was also picked up by members on other forums. If you spot one for sale it's definitely worth picking it up... if not, you'll just have to do what I am doing now; wait for the 2013 LE brush.

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Shave of the day 10th April


Pre-shave: Dr Bronners Liquid Orange
Lather: Prairie Creations Walters Soap
Brush: Semogue TSN 2012 LE brush
Razors: Racer and Yuma, both with a Wilkinson blade
Post-shave: Cold water rinse, alum and Krampert's Finest 80 Below

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Quick review - GzD shave stick

Some time ago I picked up a GzD shaving stick, partly to bulk out an order from Turkey and partly because I suffer from various Acquisition Disorders... like many shavers do.

It is natural to compare and contrast the GzD agains the one Turkish stick 'everyone' knows; the Arko stick - it don't matter if you love it or loath it, it seems everyone has an opinion on it.

The GzD is just as good at making lather as the Arko is, it's a bit softer so it might be easier to bash into a bowl if you're not a face latherer. The scent is not nearly as strong as a freshly unwrapped Arko, and reminds me more of an Arko stick that have been left unwrapped for a month or two.

The GzD gives decent glide and cushion, and can be recommended if you just can't handle the scent of the Arko. It seems to in general be more expensive than the Arko though, and it comes without a wrapper in a card board box - the box don't stand up to much abuse, and I had to wrap mine in some parchment paper so I could handle it better.

Monday, 8 April 2013

Shave of the day 8th April

Pre-shave: Dr Bronners Liquid Peppermint
Lather: RazoRock XXX
Brush: Vie Long 14033
Razors: Racer and Yuma, both with a fresh Wilkinson blade
Post-shave: Cold water rinse, alum and Krampert's Finest Bay Rum

Friday, 5 April 2013

Shave of the day 5th April

Pre-shave: Dr Bronners Liquid Orange
Lather: GzD shave stick
Brush: Turkish No7
Razors: Cadet TP-01 OC and Cadet TTO-13 TTO, both with Lord Cool blades
Post-shave: Cold water rinse, alum and Krampert's Finest Bay Rum

Thursday, 4 April 2013

Review of the 'new' Turkish No6 horse hair brush

A while ago I reviewed two Turkish brushes - the imaginatively named No6 and No7 - and was in general pleased with the result. Sometime after I had bought the two brushes however, the No6 was 'upgraded' by the manufacturer:
Please note, this product has been revised according to customer requirements.
Now, more quality, and aesthetics
Seeing as how I PIFed my original No6 away, I just had to get a new one... well, so I told myself at least.
The handle sits somewhat better in my hand than the original No6 did, due to the slightly more bulbous shape. The knot is very similar to the original, but the mounting of it is now done with a slightly better looking plastic ring.

In use the new No6 is more or less indistinguishable as the original No6 - good backbone, good flow, very little scratching. It'll make lather just as good as a more expensive brush, but you'll find it'll hold less of it - more than enough for two passes though.

There is - as it was with the original No6 and the No7 - some discussion online as to the nature of the knot - horse or pig. Personally I suspect it's a case of 'whatever we can find', but since Turkey is a predominately Muslim country I lean towards horse. Or at least partly horse - my original No6 certainly smelled rather strongly of stables, but a few hand lathers fixed that.

There is also a lot of indications that the quality control can be at best spotty - some users reports their brushes developing a 'crater' in the middle after a while. But for a brush costing about the same as a cup of coffee, can you expect perfection?

To repeat what I said in my original review; the No6 would be an excellent first brush for a newbie not wanting to spend much money on a new hobby. It'll would also be a good "first horse" for more experienced shavers who wants to try something new. Or you could simply get one just for the fun of it - letting you get one more brush in your rotation without laying out more money than you would for a cup of coffee.

Can you afford not to try one?

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Shave of the day 3rd April

Pre-shave: Dr Bronners Liquid Peppermint
Lather: Mike's Peppermint & Rosemary Soap
Brush: Vie Long 14033
Razors: Cadet TP-01 OC and Cadet TTO-13 TTO, both with Lord Cool blades
Post-shave: Cold water rinse, alum and Krampert's Finest Bay Rum

Monday, 1 April 2013

Shave of the day 1st April

Pre-shave: Dr Bronners Liquid Tea Tree
Lather: Prairie Creation's KISS Cream w/ Tea Tree
Brush: Semogue TSN 2012 LE brush
Razors: Cadet TP-01 OC and Cadet TTO-13 TTO, both with fresh Lord Cool blades
Post-shave: Cold water rinse, alum and Krampert's Finest 80 Below