If you have followed the advice contained in the pages of this website, you are already well-stocked with the essential equipment that you need in order to get started with traditional wet-shaving. You have a great safety razor. And you paired it with high-quality double-edged stainless steel shaving blades. You bought yourself a genuine badger-hair shaving brush. Then you acquired some really high-quality shaving soap or cream. And you purchased both a good pre-shave cream and an outstanding post-shave balm. But you’re not done yet. Let us take a look at three vital accessories for your shaving collection that will make your daily shave an experience instead of a chore.
Naturally, the first question you might ask is: “why should I spend yet more money on accessories that don’t directly improve the quality of my shave, but only serve to clutter up my bathroom?”
I respectfully submit that you are looking at things in exactly the wrong way. You are looking at shaving as a daily chore – and this is the wrong paradigm.
Think instead of shaving as a ritual that allows you to take a little slice of time out of every day to appreciate the little things in life.
Tradition Gives Discipline and Focus
I strongly believe and advocate that male grooming is not merely an end in and of itself. Instead, the way that a man grooms himself should reflect the way that he treats himself – as a man of high value who takes his time over things that are worth the effort. And shaving is very much worth the time and effort required. That is why this site argues forcefully in favour of treating shaving as a ceremony with clear steps to be followed.
That is precisely the point of getting these accessories – to setup your toiletries space in a way that reflects order, discipline, cleanliness, and focus.
None of these three accessories is expensive. All are exceptionally robust and will last for years. They are easy to acquire. Two of them are absolutely essential when you travel on the road. And all three of them will complement your existing shaving collection beautifully.
The first of these accessories is of course:
A Shaving Razor and Brush Stand
A stainless steel razor and brush stand is more than merely aesthetically pleasing. This accessory is in fact essential for proper care and maintenance of your razor and especially your brush.
There are many different types and styles of brush stand to buy. Most of the cheap ones are made out of plastic. DO NOT BUY THEM. They do not last and they look and feel ugly.
Instead, make sure that you get yourself a proper stainless steel chromed brush stand. My personal favourite, which I bought for myself years ago, is the Perfecto Chrome Razor and Brush Stand. This stand is not at all expensive but it will last for years.
The Perfecto stand is designed with a heavy, solid base construction. It comes in three pieces that you can assemble in seconds. The rubber-coated bottom plate ensures that the stand itself will not slip on a wet surface.
The stand will allow you to keep your safety razor upright, and will let you hang your shaving brush upside down. Your brush will dry naturally with the water running down along the bristles. As a result, your brush will last longer and provide a comfortable shaving experience for many years.
This is not merely an important accessory for your own shaving experience. It is the perfect gift for a man that you respect and admire – your father, grandfather, uncle, or even son, when he gets to the right age.
The razor stand is an essential accessory for your home shaving assortment. But what if you are travelling? How can you ensure that your razor will be protected? For that, you need to get yourself:
A Leather Travelling Case
These days it is of course impossible to carry a safety razor in your hand luggage on an aircraft. So you have to put your razor itself into your checked baggage. And this inevitably causes all sorts of problems.
While stainless steel safety razors themselves are very solidly built and robust, their opening mechanisms can be damaged if they are left to rattle around unprotected inside of a travelling case. Now imagine if they are simply tossed into a suitcase without any protection. If that safety razor itself contains a double-edged razor blade, then it is likely that the inside of your travel case or suitcase will get sliced up by the extremely sharp blade.
It goes without saying that the razor, the blade, and the suitcase will not benefit from any of this. Nor will you, when it comes time to use the razor.
You can spare yourself all of these problems by simply investing in a leather travelling case from Parker.
As for whether this is essential – well, let me tell you a story.
I once went on a road trip with my family and didn’t take my safety razor along because I didn’t have a good way to protect it at the time. During that trip, I had to subject myself to the misery of shaving with a flimsy plastic cartridge razor for ten days. NEVER. AGAIN. The instant that I got back from that trip, I ordered this exact leather case. I have never travelled without my safety razor even for a single day since.
As a result, that one small investment in a simple leather case has paid for itself many times over.
Of course, if you are travelling, you also need to take with you:
A Blade Bank
Suppose you finish using both sides of a double-edged razor blade. Where do you put it?
You cannot in good conscience leave it in the trash. That is dangerous to you when packing up and carrying off the garbage. That is dangerous to others who handle the trash afterwards. These blades are entirely recyclable and can easily be turned into new and sharp razor blades.
So, instead of throwing away that steel and wasting it entirely, why not store the blade in a blade bank?
Now, you could always just keep the plastic or paper packets in which your razor blades are kept to store the blades themselves. The plastic Merkur blade packets, for instance, have a special slot into which you can insert used blades and keep them. You can do the same with the paper packets used for Gillette Blue razor blades.
Instead of keeping those small fragile paper packets or plastic containers that can easily be lost or break, though, why not keep everything in one big, sturdy, distinctive, high-capacity container?
Buy yourself a simple blade bank for this role. The bottom can be removed by you, but will not detach itself from the main case when travelling. The product is made entirely out of metal. This is not an expensive product, but it will last for YEARS.
Best of all, when it is time to get rid of all of your blades, literally all you have to do is seal up your blade bank and drop it off at your local recycling centre. Then, just get yourself a new blade bank, and start again.
Based on my personal experience, it’ll take you, oh, about five years of continuous shaving to get to the point where you actually need to do this.
Shave Like a Professional Barber
With these three vital accessories for your shaving collection, you will walk into your bathroom in the morning and look up on an assortment of tools used by professionals. You will be the proud inheritor of and participant in a tradition that stretches far back in time and connects you with the men of your family history. Those men did not know what it means to waste time and effort with a poor-quality shave. They took pride in their appearance and made the effort to take good care of their faces and beards.
With these three simple, cost-effective, straightforward accessories, you be able to preserve your razor and brush for years to come, you will save VAST amounts of money, and you will help preserve the environment.