Full title: "Ian's Covid Beard Story and how we came to have a selection of world-class shaving and beard supplies here at Ab Fab."
I could never grow a full beard well. I always had this long awkward phase where I'd kinda' look like a dime store Wolverine without the adamantium claws.. until the covid lockdowns. The single event probably responsible for the birth of more beards than any other single event in history LOL
I had absolutely nowhere to go except home and on walks around the community with my beautiful family.
I ended up growing the funniest leprechaun beard. I really dug it. But I was looking forward to, for the first time in my life, being able to have a proper-looking beard. I wanted to do it right so I started researching: how people take care of their beards (mine was starting to itch), what's best to cut them with (I wanted to use scissors), how to shave well without those expensive Gillette cartridge razors.
So I started looking into old school shaving, too. I looked into straight razor shaving, double-edged safety razor shaving (what you probably think of if you think of your parents or grandparents shaving), mustache touch-ups. It's a rabbit hole, for sure!
I found Seven Potions, out of the good ol' UK, where I and my Sister, Mom & Dad are all from. They carefully source all-natural ingredients for a superior performance in beard care, hair styling and wet shaving. We are the only place in California selling this wonderful product and I love that it is two small businesses working together. Click here to see the Seven Potions website or click here to order their amazing product from Ab Fab.
Let me tell you. Beard Shampoo is not the same as hair shampoo. It made my face feel incredible! I felt cleaner than I had in months. I then used the beard oil and brush and felt like a dog who is getting a scratch at that place he can't reach. Men... this feels GOOD. I have not idea why I didn't start this earlier.
From now on, if I have any hair on my face, I am always using care products to keep it healthy. It makes such a difference to the way I feel, overall.
Next, I looked for how to tame this beast of a fluff under my face. Far too many people were making Santa Jokes and buying good scissors is easier than dieting!
I didn't trust myself not to make a terrible mistake on my beard with clippers and I also wanted the slow control of a good pair of scissors. This way, I could make small changes and see if I dig the way it looked and if I did make a mistake, it was only on a small cut, rather than making a new roadway up the side of my face. This is how it turned out:
[believe it or not, that's my contented face LOL]
But my new fixation wasn't appeased. I needed more. Next, it was on to shaving.
Honestly, I wanted to learn how to use a straight razor. A lot of people are doing it now, and they last forever as long as you know how to take care of them. There is a real community of enthusiasts and there are a million resources to learn how to do it well. And there is universally a name that kept coming up over and over again: Dovo. In business since 1906, they are still the standard for premium cutlery and shave items.
I started to change my mind about the straight razor. I have a 3 year-old around and I am also forgetful. I needed something a bit more... standard. I decided that I wanted to get a great old school safety razor. While researching wet shaving and razors, a handful of names kept coming up across enthusiast blogs, review pages and articles: Merkur (who happens to have merged into Dovo years ago) and Rockwell Razors.
What I ended up getting for the shop for shaving is:
- a Rockwell Razors 2c - widely considered one of the best introductory wet shavers on the market. It comes with a reversible plate so you can use it in either position 1 or 3 (the two most popular settings on their razors). We offer this razor as part of a gift set that comes with a brush and a stand. It's a wonderful gift for a man.
- The Merkur 34G is a beautiful-looking gold-plated heavy duty razor that is easy on the face and universally considered one of the very best
- a Rockwell fully adjustable Model T Razor. An absolutely beautifully-crafted piece of machinery with butterfly doors that is completely adjustable for the complete shave. Start with a higher number, based on your stubble and how aggressive you want the shave to be, and work your way down each successive pass.
- a Merkur detailing razor to get around the ears and below the mustache... any detailing work that you need to do.
I'm really excited about all of this stuff!
I've tried (and love) all of the Seven Potions gear. It's hard to explain. It just feels clean. I hate that sticky sensation that a lot of products get and my hair doesn't generally take well to it. But let me tell you: that salt water hair spray stuff is insane. That + a bit of pomade and I am set.
We just got the razors, so I will let you know how that goes. I will be comparing the Merkur 34G to my Gillette multi-blade razor. I haven't practiced the safety razor stuff at ALL because I want you guys to get the honest first attempt with that equipment so you can get a sense of what it would be like to make the switch.
More to come!