Posted on October 04 2018
It's been two weeks since my straight razor and hot towel shave at Old 13 Barber Co. As Mike says, I "took one for the team" and let Loren at Old 13 "shave it all off." We're getting geared up for No Shave November, or "Movember," as many people affectionately refer to it, so we wanted to walk you through the process of growing a beard and using nearly all of our products along the way. I've had some form a facial hair for over 20 years and the thought of shaving it all off for what, at first appeared to be a publicity stunt, didn't exactly resonate with me. That is, until I started to talking to many of you, and you were all crazy supportive of this journey and what we might all learn along the way.
To recap, I did a straight razor and hot towel shave at Old 13 Barber Co two weeks ago. Loren, owner and barber, did the shave and as he did it he talked about all the techniques involved in doing a great straight razor shave. It's much more complicated than you might think. Truly an art. In fact, just Google "straight razor shaving techniques" and you'll get nearly 7 million results. Everything from YouTube tutorials to printable PDF guides. Although barbers who provide straight razor shaves are less commonplace today, the tradition is still very much alive. In many states, Michigan included, only licensed barbers are permitted to give customers straight razor shaves and every barber shop is required to have their barber license in plain view on their shop shop wall. My experience with the straight razor and hot towel shave was incredible. I'm sure I'll do it again some day (probably this same time next year!).
Now, my daily routine at week two starts off with our Lavender Body Wash and Odessa Bar Soap in the shower. The eucalyptus and spearmint soap with the lavender wash is like a Van Halen concert of scents and suds. No joke, try this combo Monday morning and you'll forget it's a Monday. After drying off I use our Belle Isle Oil. I put a dime-size amount in my palm and then vigorously rub my hands together to warm up and activate the oils. I then rub my hands over and through my beard getting the oil deep into the skin. Our beard and grooming oils are more for the skin beneath the beard. It's critically important at this stage of growth to keep the skin nourished and hydrated. The better the skin, the better the beard. It's that simple. After working in the oil, I move on to my hair. I use our Dry Clay and some days our Matte Mud. I need (like, REALLY NEED) the strong hold. My hair is an amalgamation of angry curls, determined waves, and committed grays (the only "straight" hair I own). I also prefer the matte finish as opposed to the shine. Either it's my personality or my age, but the whole "shine thing" just isn't my gig.
I'm lucky to work in a fun, creative, and dynamic environment. We call it "The Lab." It's where make the butters, the oils, the taglines, the social media posts, and everything in between. Some days it's my obligatory Detroit Grooming t-shirt or Red Kap workshirt (coming soon, I promise). Other days, it might be our Nike pullover with the DG patch. And nearly every day it's Lucky Brand Jeans and my Ugg Rockville II Boots. Once dressed, I head back into the bathroom to work one of our butters into my beard. Some days I'm feeling the Traverse City vibe of cherry and tobacco. Other days it might be the orange and lavender Belle Isle, the mango and lime Leland, or the vanilla, tobacco, and cedarwood Corktown. I extract a small amount of butter with the back of my forefinger nail and then rub my hands together. I work the butter into my beard and then use our Firm Military Brush to work the butter into my beard AND to start training my beard.
Yes, "training my beard." You see, It's important at this stage to start the regular use of either our Firm Military Brush or our Long-Handled Styler Brush and here's why: You want to start training your beard to grow down. What you don't want (at least I don't) is a beard that grows all crazy and out in a million directions. Regular use of our butters and brushes will allow you to train your beard to grow in much more manageable way.
Once I'm dressed and out the door I head to work, typically stopping for the egg bites and an Americano from Starbucks. When I get to the Lab I take my daily vitamins which include a potent fish oil vitamin, some extra vitamin C (live in Michigan, take lots of C), and one of our Beard Formula Biotins. Our Biotin is 60 caps of 10,000 mcg Biotin whereas most places sell only a 5,000 mcg with 30 caps. This Biotin is a blend of important B and B7 vitamins specifically formulated for healthy hair and beard growth.
As of this writing, my beard is coming in strong and soft. Check out my video interview with Mike! I'll do another blog post in a couple of weeks at the infamous "4-week" mark. Typically at four weeks the beard becomes itchy and uncomfortable IF you haven't been using any kind of oil or butter to keep your skin nourished. You can follow my beard growth journey on YouTube and on my Instagram @detroitgrooming_lou. If you have any comments (keep them to yourself) or questions, feel free to email me at email@example.com.
Hot shoe....burnin' down the avenue....
- Lavender Shampoo and Body Wash
- Odessa Bar Soap
- Belle Isle Beard and Grooming Oil
- Belle Isle Beard Butter
- Traverse City Beard Butter
- Leland Beard Butter
- Corktown Beard Butter
- Detroit Grooming Patch
- Detroit Grooming Collector's Series Tee
- Detroit Grooming Original Red Kap Workshirt (coming in Nov)
- Firm Military Brush
- Long-Handled Styler Brush
- Dry Clay, Strong Hold, Matte Finish
- Matte Mud, Strong Hold, Matte Finish
- Biotin Beard and Hair Vitamins
- Matte Black Straight Razor