Review: Leisure Guy’s Guide to Gourmet Shaving

If you had told me a year ago that there were books written entirely about how to shave, I would have wondered what sucker would spend money on something like that. It’s shaving, you put some foam on your face and run a razor on it. Replace cartridge when dull, repeat. It’s not rocket science. If you’d then told me that I’d someday own and enjoy a book about shaving, I’d have thought you were crazy.

Children of the digital age, this is what we call a book.

Children of the digital age, this is what we call a book.

Yet, here we are.  Leisure Guy’s Guide to Gourmet Shaving is that book, written by Michael Ham. I’d already been following the Leisure Guy shaving blog, Later On, when I came across the book on Amazon, and so with birthday money burning a hole in my pocket I decided to check it out.

Boy, this book would have been useful five months ago.

Inside is a wealth of information about traditional shaving: razors, blades, brushes, soaps, creams, oils, bowls, scuttles, proper angles, cleaning…it really is a one stop source for information on the art of the wet shave. Though as I’m reading it I’m not finding a lot of what I would call new material, what took me weeks to learn through websites, message boards, and Facebook, is here condensed in one handy manual.

Even if you’re familiar with the subject, it makes for great refresher reading when you have a few minutes to kill. And though I’m starting to get some experience in the subject, I’m learning new things and remembering things forgotten as I go back over topics of interest. Case in point: I read last night that after washing your brush in warm water a cold rinse will help protect the hairs. Does that actually work? Heck if I know, but for the 2 seconds it’ll cost me I’m sure willing to try.

So if you’re looking to improve your shave, I highly recommend it. It’s a great resource, and would make a great gift for your manly friends (theoretically almost everything in it would also apply to women, but give a woman a book on shaving at your own peril).


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