When trying to come up with a shaving routine that works, different men have differing points of view on how to go about it. Some minimalists view just a razor and a source of lather as the complete package. Others are swayed by the latest advertisements and flood their bathrooms with an extensive range of shaving supplies. Unfortunately, whether it's due to lack of proper care or sheer overkill, the result of both these strategies often seems to be an unsatisfactory shave (usually coupled with some sort of annoying skin irritation or rash!)
Even though men might disagree on what their ideal shaving kit should contain, there are a few essentials that should be present in any case. All of these items work together cohesively to give you the smoothest and closest shave possible. Even though you can add a product here and there based on personal preference, there's absolutely no room to compromise on these five essentials. So, to make the task of building your own shaving kit much easier, we've put together the following list of items you absolutely need to include in your shopping list.ITEM 1: Razor
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It's arguably the most indispensable item in your shaving kit, which is why selecting the best razor for your shaving needs is such an important decision. If you're just starting out with shaving, a cartridge razor would be the best option for you. It's much easier to shave with, and requires a lower initial investment. In contrast, double edge safety razors aren't just pricier, but shaving with them takes more time to master as well. However, the average monthly cost of a safety razor is much lower than cartridge razors thanks to the disposable blades that they come equipped with. Some kits are even designed for straight razors, which might be the instrument of choice for the more experienced shaver. Whatever your choice of blade may be, your shaving kit is incomplete without one.ITEM 2: Lathering Agent
Once you've picked out your razor, the next step is to find a suitable lathering agent. There are a lot of options in this department as well, ranging from shaving creams and gels, to shaving foams and shaving soaps. A quality lathering agent not only makes for a smooth and comfortable shaving experience, it also provides nourishment to your skin and leaves it refreshed and hydrated after every shave. Sub-standard products cause dry skin, leading to other forms of skin irritation including those annoying rashes, nicks and cuts.
A quality shaving cream or gel will help build up a rich and luxuriant lather that is ideal for a long, indulgent shave. If you have a day off and want to devote some time to personal grooming, this is the option to go for. In contrast, the best shaving foams provide a light, airy lather with just a couple of sprays. If you're a man who's constantly on the move, this is what you need to achieve a classy clean-shaven look that's also incredibly low on maintenance.ITEM 3: Shaving Brush
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Once you've navigated through the different types of razors and lathering agents out there, the next step is to find the right shaving brush. They build up additional cushioning on your face when using a shaving cream, allowing for a much more comfortable shave. They also help your facial hair stand up on end, making it much easier for the razor to slice through it and provide a closer shave. Natural hair shaving brushes, such as badger, boar, and horse hair, are available at varying price points depending upon how they feel on your face and their lathering capability. As an animal-friendly alternative, you can even opt for synthetic shaving brushes which are soft on your skin while offering great water retention.ITEM 4: Pre-Shave Oil
If your sensitive skin is regularly left red and raw every time you shave, then the right pre-shave oil or lotion can be a gamechanger for you. These prepare your skin by opening up the pores on your face, helping flush out oil, grime and bacteria that act as blockages. They also help soften the otherwise bristly and wiry facial hair, helping the razor glide effortlessly over the contours of your face and offering a much more pleasant shave every time. This minimises the risk of post-shave skin irritation, rashes and cuts, improving your overall skin health and enhancing your appearance.ITEM 5: Aftershave Lotion/Balm
Another essential item in all the best shaving kits is a quality post-shave product that ensures your skin is taken care of. We've all grown up seeing our fathers finish off their shaves with a quick splash of aftershave lotion, and sneakily applied a bit ourselves to savour its subtle sting and heady scent. However, almost all of these lotions contain some form of alcohol, which is a great antiseptic but also dries your skin out. If you're not keen on experiencing that all-too-familiar sting after every shave, a quality alcohol-free aftershave balm keeps your pores clean while also ensuring that your skin stays moisturised and healthy.Bonus Add-Ons:
© Shutterstock1) Shaving Stand
The perfect add-on to your shaving kit, a shaving stand is not only practical, but also aesthetically pleasing. Even though it doesn't contribute to your shaving routine, it adds an element of class and elegance as you display your shaving supplies in your bathroom. It's also a great way to dry out your razor and brush, protecting them from oxidation and bacteria.2) Replacement Blades
Picking out the best safety razor or the perfect cartridge razor is pointless if you don't have replacement blades to turn to once these lose their edge. There are a number of quality blades that fit safety razors which you can stock up on without fear of rust. Similarly, having a couple of replacements for your cartridge razor handy will help you keep up with your shaving regime at all times.3) Shaving Bowl
Although these aren't very high on the priority list, a dedicated shaving bowl helps whip up a nice foamy lather, acts as a resting place for your brush, and lends a professional touch to your shaving kit.4) Travel Bag
If your work requires you to keep traveling from place to place while also maintaining a clean-shaven visage, then you need to invest in a sturdy case which can fit all your shaving gear. When choosing from the best travel kits for men who are constantly on the go, there's a wide variety of great options that will keep you from falling behind on your shaving routine even when you're on the move.
5) Electric Trimmer/Scissors
Just because you're not completely clean shaven doesn't mean you don't need to maintain a shaving kit! Even the most hirsute of men need shaving supplies and regular maintenance to keep their facial hair well-groomed. Whether it's keeping a bushy beard in check or trimming around the lines of a trim moustache, a pair of scissors or an electric trimmer helps you maintain that rugged look by allowing you to groom your hair with extreme precision.