What should be in a “wetshaving starter kit”?
San Francisco, CA
A new wetshaver's starter kit should include a quality safety razor, a basic shaving brush, a shaving soap or cream, aftershave balm, and a nick stick. For a first razor select a fixed-head model from Edwin Jagger or Merkur (see Your First Razor), and look for a medium-sized shaving brush. The ideal brushes for beginners are usually pure or best grade badger because the hair is durable and affordable. When choosing a soap or cream, start with a scent that appeals to you from a reputable brand, such as D.R. Harris, Trumpers, etc. There are many low-cost and artisan products out there -- some of which are very well made -- but the reputable brands provide consistently good results so that you can learn how to shave properly with your new tools. As you adjust to shaving in a different way, it is also likely that you will experience some irritation or nicks at some point, so select a good nonalcohol aftershave balm. This will provide the most comfortable and soothing relief, unlike an aftershave splash that can sting if your skin has any irritation from shaving. Also grab a Pacific Nick Stick for stopping any small nicks or cuts. This product is not only very affordable, it will stop any bleeding quickly. A starter kit should be kept simple, so that you can focus on learning how to wetshave and enjoying the process. Plus, if you damage a brush or decide that wetshaving is not for you, there is not a significant loss of investment.