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Do You Really Need Pre-Shave .....

Can someone please explain what are the benefits of pre-shave?

Do you have to buy a pre-shave produced by a shaving company or is standard glycerin based soap just as good?

If you are convinced that pre-shave is an advantage, then, are artisan soaps like PAA CK6 really that good?

Which is better pre-shave or bloom water and excess lather in soap puck after loading the brush?

If you read the ingredients and instructions on a pre-shave soap it’s very similar to shave stick. Therefore can you use a cheap shave stick as a pre-shave?

I’m be interested to hear answers from the community, I’m getting confused with marketing and advertising.
 
You need a pre-shave prep to soften the whiskers, but you do not necessarily need a pre-shave soap.

The stress here is on ”need”, there is no rule against pampering yourself with this ritual but most experienced shavers seem to agree that pre-shave soap does very little to improve a shave that could not be had from a simple warm water sponge, wash-cloth, or towel.

There are also very few soaps that truly do require blooming.


After years of traditional (usually straight-)shaving, I consider them practices that extend the ritual, but they are neither necessary nor do they produce measurably superior results.

Which is not to say that some people can’t nevertheless enjoy them…



B.
 
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No, I do not.
I don't think anyone "needs" pre-shave products, unless you consider water a product.
But if you enjoy it, and you don't mind the expense and time involved, then there's certainly no harm in doing it.
I'm going to invent some Pre-pre-shave products, you know - something that gets your face ready for your pre-shave product! :lol:
 
I love the scent of Proraso Green so I like to add that "layer" to the experience, especially during a straight razor shave where I'm really trying to take my time and leave no stone unturned. Can I live without it? Yes. Does it add to my enjoyment? Yes. Can it hurt? No.
 
Of course nobody needs preshave any more than anybody needs post shave products or $200 razors.

Post shave feel with MDC is not spectacular but I'm finding use of one of those Japanese charcoal soaps (like the PAA cube) applied before lather really does improve things.


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I never use a pre shave product. A shower and then a rinse off with water just before lathering. Plain old water is the best preshave product, though splashing some on your face for a few seconds isn't enough. If you don't have the patience for hydrating your beard properly then maybe an actual pre shave product is for you.
 
It doesn’t improve my shave at all and I really had hoped but the PAA Cube is a good slick big block of face soap for cheap. Not a fan of the hype though. Don’t get me wrong I studied what I got in way of use. When this one eventually comes to a end I will buy another for what I do like about it but I wouldn’t as “pre shave accessory/software” but great hand and face wash soap.
2 drops of glycerin whipped into your lather makes a explosion of lather in your bowl or face lather. And draws more moisture into your skin in post. Not as slick cool advertising factor or sold as a must have.
But it’s all about your enjoyment if you like it there are a million ways to play.
 
Due to my health equipment I am limited to 2 showers a week and all other days must be a careful sponge bath so I don't have the advantage of a shower first every day. Due to my desire to be clean shaven my prep is using glycerin soap to wash my face and leaving it on. Then I will add the bloom from my shave soap and leave it on. If by chance my face dries a little too much while I am mixing the lather and prepping the razor then I will do a light hot water splash before applying the shave lather. I've tried some other methods and products for a "pre-shave" but this routine is the cheapest and easiest prep I have found that actually works for me.
 
There may be a difference between needing a pre-shave and needing specialized pre-shave products.

Some form of pre-shave has been part of the shaving tradition and shaving best practice for over 100 years, and I would suggest that having some kind of pre-shave is a fairly significant component of getting a great shave.

For example, in the "Standardized Barbers' Manual" published by the Associated Master Barbers of America (copyright 1911), they go into quite a bit of detail about the importance of the pre-shave. In the manual they recommend applying a "good coat of lather" and to "rub the lather well with a rotary movement so that the soap will be worked well into the roots of the beard." They recommend taking two to three minutes to do this. They then recommend that a "turkish or steam towel" be applied to the face and left in place while you strop the razor. Once the razor is ready, they recommend using the towel to remove the lather, being "careful not to rub against the grain of the beard." Then they say that you are ready to proceed with the shave.

So to me this is a pre-shave.

Today, in our bathroom, rather than in the barber's chair, there are many ways to get this, and I agree with all of the comments that have been posted in the thread already:
  • Warm water splashed on the beard
  • Washing the face with soap
  • Simply showering (my usual method)
  • Applying some kind of modern pre-shave product
  • Or, my favorite, and something I have done many times: apply some lather and then a warm towel for a few minutes
  • (And likely many more ideas)

I think any of these methods are completely functional and would adequately prepare the beard to be shaved. It probably comes down to personal preference, but I suspect adding some kind of pre-shave is pre-requisite to a better shave overall.
 
There may be a difference between needing a pre-shave and needing specialized pre-shave products.

Some form of pre-shave has been part of the shaving tradition and shaving best practice for over 100 years, and I would suggest that having some kind of pre-shave is a fairly significant component of getting a great shave.

For example, in the "Standardized Barbers' Manual" published by the Associated Master Barbers of America (copyright 1911), they go into quite a bit of detail about the importance of the pre-shave. In the manual they recommend applying a "good coat of lather" and to "rub the lather well with a rotary movement so that the soap will be worked well into the roots of the beard." They recommend taking two to three minutes to do this. They then recommend that a "turkish or steam towel" be applied to the face and left in place while you strop the razor. Once the razor is ready, they recommend using the towel to remove the lather, being "careful not to rub against the grain of the beard." Then they say that you are ready to proceed with the shave.

So to me this is a pre-shave.

Today, in our bathroom, rather than in the barber's chair, there are many ways to get this, and I agree with all of the comments that have been posted in the thread already:
  • Warm water splashed on the beard
  • Washing the face with soap
  • Simply showering (my usual method)
  • Applying some kind of modern pre-shave product
  • Or, my favorite, and something I have done many times: apply some lather and then a warm towel for a few minutes
  • (And likely many more ideas)

I think any of these methods are completely functional and would adequately prepare the beard to be shaved. It probably comes down to personal preference, but I suspect adding some kind of pre-shave is pre-requisite to a better shave overall.

I’ve always agreed with this, your brush work and steam towel are your pre shave. As the basis for your shave. It hydrates the stubble, opening the follicle and softens it making it easier to cut. While hydrating your skin and exfoliating.
But honestly today I don’t see too many using the hot towel. For head shaving a hot towel over lather with a shower cap on top to help lock the heat in while I shave my face has been a really good method I’ve been using for the last couple years.


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I limit what goes on my face to 1 good quality soap, it’s simple and works for me. I do however often take the time to rub in excess lather with my hand first. Really agitate things and create a nice slick soapy base. It’s sort of a pre shave ritual using that days shave soap. Soap and water for me.
 
I've been using a shave balm before going outside on hot days. Not only as a follow up in shave routines but on non shave mornings as well. Later in the day when I can give myself the time I need to shave I find the shave much more smooth, even after 4 hours.
No I don't need to do this but I like it so why not?
 
I've been using a shave balm before going outside on hot days. Not only as a follow up in shave routines but on non shave mornings as well. Later in the day when I can give myself the time I need to shave I find the shave much more smooth, even after 4 hours.
No I don't need to do this but I like it so why not?

There are a great many things we do in our day to day lives that are done simply because we like doing it. We don't do a cost benefit analysis before deciding, we just do it because we want to.
Why should our shave be any different?
Need to is an entirely different matter.
 
Can someone please explain what are the benefits of pre-shave?

Do you have to buy a pre-shave produced by a shaving company or is standard glycerin based soap just as good?

If you are convinced that pre-shave is an advantage, then, are artisan soaps like PAA CK6 really that good?

Which is better pre-shave or bloom water and excess lather in soap puck after loading the brush?

If you read the ingredients and instructions on a pre-shave soap it’s very similar to shave stick. Therefore can you use a cheap shave stick as a pre-shave?

I’m be interested to hear answers from the community, I’m getting confused with marketing and advertising.
Some form of preparation can improve your shave a lot and make it more comfortable. You don't have to use a specialized preshave product but there is no harm in it and some of them are extremely good.

The goal of preparation is to clean the face and soften the whiskers by hydrating them. This takes maybe two or three minutes.

A dedicated preshave soap like PAA The Cube 2.0 consists of a glycerin soap base with extra ingredients for slickness and skin conditioning. If you face lather, you can use it for prep and discover it also boosts the lather and (optionally) adds menthol, which I personally consider a very good thing. An 8 oz. bar of soap cost $6 on sale which will last for ages so not unreasonable. It makes even cheap shaving soaps work better.

Ach. Brito Glyce is a similar product. Whole Foods Market has 4 oz. bars of good glycerin soap for about $2. That would work, but not as well as the Cube, IMHO.
 
Some form of preparation can improve your shave a lot and make it more comfortable. You don't have to use a specialized preshave product but there is no harm in it and some of them are extremely good.

The goal of preparation is to clean the face and soften the whiskers by hydrating them. This takes maybe two or three minutes.

A dedicated preshave soap like PAA The Cube 2.0 consists of a glycerin soap base with extra ingredients for slickness and skin conditioning. If you face lather, you can use it for prep and discover it also boosts the lather and (optionally) adds menthol, which I personally consider a very good thing. An 8 oz. bar of soap cost $6 on sale which will last for ages so not unreasonable. It makes even cheap shaving soaps work better.

Ach. Brito Glyce is a similar product. Whole Foods Market has 4 oz. bars of good glycerin soap for about $2. That would work, but not as well as the Cube, IMHO.

Hi 59
You are correct regarding the price of a PAA Cube in the States is $6, however in the UK it cost over $15 and a good quality bar of glycerin soap, Pears, cost only $1.30.
Also are you sure that the Cube will better or are you making an assumption.
Many Thanks for your reply.
 
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