How To Give Yourself a Classic Shave Like Grandpa Did

Comp Father and son shaving together in bathroom

Did you ever have the chance to watch your grandfather give himself a shave? It seemed like a ceremonious event back then – they really knew how to make it into an art. Thankfully, some of the traditional methods of shaving are making a comeback. And if you want to look and feel particularly splendid for your next interview or meeting, a proper shave just might be the trick.

You may be also surprised that old-school shaving is better for your wallet and a whole heck of a lot better for your face. None of us should be using subpar equipment that gives you ingrown hairs, razor burn, or irritation of any kind. Besides, there’s something kinda kickass about shaving like the great men of yesteryear. Here’s an overview of the key tools you’ll need to shave in the traditional manner:



Straight talk: that white foamy stuff out of the can is terrible. It’s full of toxins and smells that are bound to kill a rat. Don’t put that ick on your face! Shaving soaps, on the other hand, usually have natural ingredients that are nourishing for your face. And it doesn’t take a lot of it to lather up generously, making it last so much longer – months even –  than a can of cream. A good glycerine soap, such as Col. Conk’s, or a shea butter soap such as #1 Gatsby Shaving Soap are great inexpensive options.



Having a good brush to apply the lather is key. It ensures that the soap is applied to underneath each whisker. A boars hair brush is most easily found, and the least expensive. But, if you feel like splurging, get a beaver brush – they’re softer and can hold more water. It feels grand to lather your face with a good shaving brush. Stroke in circles and upward with the brush to apply the soap.



A classic ceramic or Fire King mug will add a venerable touch to your shaving experience. It may be worth it to search for a vintage mug that might be hanging around in the back corner of the cabinet. But it doesn’t really matter what mug you choose; using one will help you lather up the soap efficiently. Put a small bit of soap in the cup and get it wet with a little warm water. Then swish your soaked brush around in the mug to get a good lather. At that point, it’s ready to be applied to your face.



Razors are a whole different conversation, and this is the one area that you might want to veer from how good ol’ Grampa did it. The easiest thing to do is get your razors from a razor club online, such as Dollar Shave Club, and invest in their higher quality razors. They’re still a better deal than the ones at the retail pharmacy, and they get delivered right to your home. Otherwise, you could certainly look into a double-edged safety razor, but do your research and learn how to handle it right.


If you’re looking for more tips to prepare for your next interview, call us at Madden. We can make sure you’re prepared to look and sound as sharp as a new razor.