Author: Alpha Brush & Shaving Co.

https://www.etsy.com/hk-en/shop/AlphaShavingCo

Alpha Brush & Shaving Co. – Announcement.

Alpha Brush & Shaving Co. are proud to announce that we have formed a strategic partnership with The Man Of Siam Thailand (Man of Siam)Company. Alpha are producing world class leading shaving brushes that will be of heirloom quality.

Our online store will be opening on June 30, 2019, and we will be shipping worldwide at the cheapest rates around. We look forward to expanding our product lines prior to launch, and will post images and information over the next month. Stay tuned.

The range will have handles made of premium materials such as bronze, Titanium, Architectural grade Aluminium and more. The shaving brush knots in our premium brushes have been sourced from a leading European supplier and are of absolute premium quality.

We will also be supplying world class leading straight razors, a definitive cut above the rest. We will also be selling premium grade shaving soaps that will soon become a part of many of your collections. We look forward to welcoming you to Alpha.

To sign up for our opening specials and become an Alpha member, just follow the link below. For serious wet shavers join the Alpha Evolution. It will be a paradigm shift in your daily shave.

To sign up just go to:

https://www.alphashaving.com

I am having a giveaway over on Instagram – look at this link:

https://www.instagram.com/p/BvtWRDonfN4/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link

It is giveaway time!! Simply share this photo and tag 5 (five) of your friends and add the hashtags:

#alphashaving #alphagiveaway #alphabrush #alphat400

The lucky winner will get one of my new 1-piece Rubberset 400 tribute brushes with a nice YAQI synthetic knot – what are you waiting for!! Please also take a moment to register at my new website for opening day discounts and offers:

http://www.alphashaving.com

Alpha Shaving
#T400 #AlphaT400 #ShaveOfTheDay #sotd #classicshave #wetshave #wetshaving #shavelikeaman #shavingbrush #shavelikeagentleman #manlypursuits #alphashavingsystem #alphashaving #T400 #AlphaT400brush

Scheermonnik Soek – a soap well worth trying. Review and SOTD 27th March 2019

Ladies & Gents,

Today I used a soap I have had for a while and never used – too scared that I would not like it. I originally bought three of the Scheermonnik range, Soek, Delftes Donderslag and Delfts Wit. I have used all of them except the Soek. Today was the day. The fragrance notes on the Scheermonnik website state:

“A blend of myrrh and orange with middle notes of ginger, cinnamon and cloves. It is then rounded out with caraway seed and vanilla to give it a warm, soothing feeling. This scent is a fine balance of spice, warmth and sweetness.”

I think it was the cinnamon that kept putting me off using it as I am not a fan of the scent or flavour of cinnamon in large amounts – it can tend to be overpowering. Think shopping mall and the cloying smell of a Cinnabbon baking shop – tooooo much.

So while I bloomed the soap, it is a little hard to use without a little bloom water on top for a few minutes, I readied my other shave gear. Here is the line up

  • Razor: Gillette Tech. with Feather blade on shave #1
  • Bowl: Van Yulay Black Resin 5″ Bowl
  • Brush: Alpha T-400 in two tone red/silver with a long boar knot

I soaked the brush for 5 minutes in a nice bowl of plain tap water then I was ready to start. A new lathering technique today from mantic59 – HERE Look at the results!!

Lathering was easy and before long I was looking like Santa Claus – the soap was a super latherer and a super slick result. As you can see I has such a massive load of cream it was easily enough for 6 passes or more, of course I only did a three pass. Uneventful shave but that fragrance – I get the Orange and myrrh and a nice clove hit but the cinnamon is a background note only. It was lovey and I can only describe the smell as that of a nice spiced bun (think Hot Cross Bun)

Note: Scheermonnik soaps were on the verge of being lost to shave-world as the original guy was shuttering production. This would have been awful as they are top class soaps and top class fragrances. Luckily he handed his soaps and business to a new owner who has not only continued to supply the original 4 frags but also introduced a scentless soap called “Puur” with no perfume. Perfect for those of us with allergies or sensitive skin.

I need to complete my collection by buying a 1778 beau Brummell and a Puur. if you have not got a Scheermonnik in your den – buy one now. You won’t regret it.

Here are the rest of today’s shave photos for your viewing pleasure and for those of us who missed the last article about Jayaruh brushes here is a LINK to his brush adoption page. This is the original ARTICLE.

 

Shave Photos!!

Jayaruh Brushes and how to get one!!

Click HERE to adopt a Jayaruh Brush

I am still in Mexico on a business trip and it is a national holiday today – the birthday of Benito Juárez – it is not time for a history lesson so if you want to know more then follow the link.

The line up:

  • Soap – Crows Nest Murky Waters
  • Razor – Merkur Futur
  • Brush – Jayaruh #215

Today’s shave was nice apart from me cutting myself again… but that is not the point of the post. The lather was super, the bowl was great and the blade cut me – shave over!! The point of this post is to introduce to a wider audience the brushes made by Jim Roe, otherwise known as Jayaruh on The Shave Den forum.

I came across Jayaruh by chance. You know that in forums people have signatures and some of them have clubs – ie sub-groupings of like minded people who have the same taste in brushes, or soaps or whatever – for example The Chub Club. I began to notice a few people had one called the Jayaruh Owners Club – intrigued, I started to look up this mysterious Jayaruh. It seems his brushes were sought after. I MUST have one and become a member I thought… so what I did was a bit naughty. I found Jayaruh and contacted Jim in a PM. I asked him about his brushes, I wanted a Rubberset 400 style if possible, with a boar knot. He had just the brush – Jararuh #215. So behold, JR #215 fitted with a lovely Omega 10098 boar knot. Tt is beautifully turned by hand in some exotic wood [Bocote] or other and an aluminium ferrule is threaded on to the handle. The boar knot is aces.

I did not pay for my brush – I swapped him for an Alpha T-400!! – he’s happy, I’m happy!!

If you don’t have a Jayaruh brush then you need one. Visit his blog at THIS SPOT and contact him about “adopting” one of his brushes. There is even a worldwide Google Map HERE to show you where the brushes are currently living!! You might see mine in Hong Kong has a special icon – because I made the map for him and showed him how to update it dynamically

Jim is a great guy and an easy bloke to deal with – come on, what are you waiting for – lets get a Jayaruh brush on every continent!!

 

Here are the rest of the shave pics from today

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Simple Saturday SOTD – a sharp blade, a nice brush and a super cream

Many of the reviews I have done over the time since I started wet shaving have been of high end soaps and creams. That’s just the way it tends to be – I mean why not show off your best right? A lot of us forget that out there in the wet shaving wild there are dozens if not hundreds of everyday soaps and creams that are priced from less than a dollar to the mid twenties and all points in between. One such soap I used today – Musgo Real.

Now Musgo Real is, in my opinion, worthy of a place in everyone’s shave chit. Mugso Real is a light very pale green cream soap from Portugal – you can find it HERE.

The fragrance is what I can only describe as manly, barbershop, masculine and just nice. Soapy – yes. The fragrance notes on their website simply says “Woody and Oriental” but to me it is much more complex than that – yes those notes are there and can be detected but that is behind the soapy smell – the soapy smell of a laundry day with your Mum, the scent of a freshly dried cotton bed sheet that has been washed by that same Mum and then dried in the glowing sunlight of a summers day – y’getting it?

From the website:

“Musgo Real was first launched in the 1930s, and it remains a classic, found in Portuguese houses over several generations.

The brand retains its masculine aesthetic, while the products, offered in four different fragrances, have kept their rich formula.

Each of its lines are blended with lanolin, glycerin, shea butter and walnut oil to ensure a moisturizing, yet close shave. The range includes soaps, shaving cream or soap, aftershave, pre-shave oil and colognes.”

Luxury masculine aesthetic products with vintage inspiration!!

The rest of my stuff for today was:

  • Merkur Futur
  • Feather Blade on shave #1
  • Van Yulay black resin bowl
  • Future Chubby Prototype in black with a 28mm silver tip badger

Musgo Performance

I squeezed out a teaspoon full of the cream into my bowl. The badger knot had been soaking for ten minutes whilst I showered so I started lathering up. Take a look at the results – click on a photo for a closer look! This is after less than 2 minutes twirling…

I completed a three pass with plenty of lather to spare.I cut my nose, just I was feeling smug the Feather cut me. Styptic.

What can I say, if you don’t have Musgo then you NEED to buy some. My tube has a darker green colour and the current tube colour is a lighter shade but it is the same great soap.

And for those that like photos – here are the rest of the photos from today’s shave

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Today it is all about the brush – SOTD 5/March/2019

Hi,

as you all know I am also a brush maker/vendor [Alpha Brush & Shaving Company]. I have been working on a new brush for a few weeks and now it is coming to fruition and I want to tell you all about it. More later but first the SOTD:

  • Brush – Alpha Future Chubby 3D Printed in black nylon
  • Knot – 28mm silver tip badger bulb
  • Razor – Drew Dick Damascus 1/4 hollow
  • Bowl – Van Yulay black resin
  • Soap – The Holy Black/Caswell-Massey Regents Soap

The shave was awesome, the Holy Black soap performed like a trooper and produced a nice thick, Neroli/barber [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neroli] shop scented, lather with plenty for 3 passes. The Drew Dick razor – what can I say – superb, this is my second time using this Damascus steel quarter hollow blade and boy is it sharp. I had prepped with 3P and waited ten minutes for the brush to soak, a small scoop of soap, about a teaspoon full, also blooming in my bowl.

The Razor in Detail

The razor is one I ordered from Drew Dick last year and finally got my hands on it in the summer (UK summer – JULY) as I get stuff mailed to my relatives home in the UK to save postage and pick it up when I go to visit – it is like Christmas every time… It is a Damascus 8/8″ blade with a very slight smile. It is quarter hollow and has black horn scales and as you can see it is a Damascus blade – did I mention DAMASCUS? I think it is something like 30 layers – anyway handsome or what? It is wicked sharp. I have Three Drew Dick razors now and I love them all.

The Bowl – 5″ Van Yulay Black Resin

Yes it is a distinctive Van Yulay bowl. I bought two Van Yulay bowls last year, one light blue and one black. I misplaced the black one and only found it a couple of weeks back so here it is on show for (maybe?) the first time. Anyway it looks great and works great too. I don’t know the manufacturing process but to me it seems it is pressed from some sort of resin and it pretty much renders it unbreakable although I have not done any specific drop testing, and I won’t. The texture is like honey comb and it helps whip up a great lather in no time. The “comb’ also retains a little water. One thing that it does that does not please me though is that the soap tends to get stuck down inside the pattern so I have to mash the brush to get it out and even when the shave is completed I still see some unused soap in those dimples. The bowl is big enough, grippy and I like it apart from I use too much soap. For creams it is a dream!!

The Soap – The Holy Black/Caswell-Massey Regents Soap

From THB site:

“This shaving soap is made in our classic hot-process formula and made with only the purest essential oils and absolutes that we could source. A Rosemary top note is surprisingly mild while adding a eucalyptic (sic) element to this otherwise strictly citrus fragrance. Heavy on the Neroli oil and Bitter Orange Absolute, the floral orange notes are the obvious stars of the show here. Lemon and Sweet Orange oils balance out the bitterness of the Neroli and Bergamot and lend a fresh but not cloying aspect to this simple yet elegant offering. Due to the low flash point of the essential oils used in this soap it had to be made in very small batches at low temperatures, although highly labor intensive, we think this soap is worth every minute of work that went into it.”

All those fancy words mean something to a perfumer – I just love this soap – it lathers well, is stable and slick and smells great. Nothing more to say!!

Now – THE BRUSH – Future Rubberset 400 Inspired Chubby

This brush is inspired by, among others, Rubberset 400, Merit 99-x series and the Charcoal Goods rendition of a Rubberset 400, I noticed he has done a nice rendering of a futuristic looking chubby and I wanted to make something similar. I did email him on the subject of that brush a while back and even asked for his drawings (hee hee, he did not give them..) but he did say that “You are certainly welcome to pursue a similar design as there is no way to get a design patent or anything like that on a clone of an existing product. Good luck and would like to see what you come up with.” So I fired up my CAD software (I use Autodesk Fusion360 if anyone is interested) and got to work. I made something that was not quite right looking and then lost interest after a few weeks as I was not getting the results I wanted, instead concentrating on my redesigns for the T-400 and the Chubberset and some other new brush projects. That was until two weeks ago when I was chatting on WhatsApp to a customer in Australia – no names, no pack drill. He was looking for a chubby design so I showed him a couple of designs I was working on including this one – he helped me over the course of two days make refinements to the shape, the degree of chubbiness and the curvature until it was in a place that I really liked – I mean the brush looked great on paper and the 3D renders looked superb too.

So – bottom line is I had a design that I liked and the got it 3D printed at a local professional print works. Here is the result, with a beautiful 28mm silver tipped knot fitted. It is a lather beast…

I am having a very limited number of these made, right now, in 3D nylon, Titanium and Bronze – this is not the place to sell stuff but you know where I am. I will also have an aluminium (Spelling of Aluminium), cost effective, version in the near future. The bore is 29mm, height 65mm and max width 43mm. I have the handle fully bored out to keep the weight down – in the 3D printed ones I weighted it with some coins and filled the void with hot glue – the metal versions will also be fully bored out to keep the weight down, especially with the bronze ones, and I can then weight the handles to suit and I intend to fill the void with resin.

Finally – here are some renders of my bronze version!! 10 are being made – 6 are sold already.

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My first ever synth shave – Crows nest Tortuga and Art Razor 8/8″ Capitaine. SOTD 12/Feb/2019

Shave of the Day 12/Feb/2019

Today’s shave is kind of grabbed between travel trips. I came to India thinking I was staying 3 days and I packed a straight just for the hell of it. When I got here the plans changed and I am only staying one day and then I am off to Korea tomorrow. So it is a quick shave and then pack up again ready for the flight. This is an unusual shave fro me in that I am using a synthetic knot – this is the FIRST time in two years of proper shaving that I have used a synthetic. So why not go big eh?

The Brush

This is called “The King” or the “King of Chub”. The brush is a doorstop, designed by my own good hands and machined to sheeny perfection. It stands about 50mm tall and is 47mm wide at the widest point. A true stubby chubby. The knot is a 30mm, yes you read that right, a 30mm synthetic set just deep enough to give is a whole lot of back bone. The brush feels as soft as a badger with the backbone of a nicely broken in boar – a little scritchy but nice!!! This was my first ever shave with a synthetic knot.

The Razor

Today’s razor of choice is a Capitaine from Art razor in Ukraine. This is a beast of a razor with a fantastic edge, Yuri over at Art Razor sure knows what he is doing – if you have not got an Art Razor then get one… This one is an 8/8” near wedge and again is is AWESOME. Swedish carbon steel, great scales and perfectly polished.

The soap

The second one in my stable from Crows Nest – Tortuga which means tortoise in Spanish apparently. The flavour notes for this soap are:

“Safe haven of dangerous, boisterous, drunken, and bawdy. Tortuga is pirate heaven, now make it yours.

The captains private blend of cuban tobacco, amber, spices, cherry, and clove”

It is the amber and the cherry that particularly appeal to me here and it is a rich cherry cake smell. I love it. It lather great after a short bloom, 40-60 seconds tip loading and 2-3 minutes whipping up.

Please please PLEASE Crows nest start making soap again – we need the Jack Daw!!

Other gear

Van Yulay blue resin bowl, Waterhouse knives wide strop and Proraso white preshave

Altogether and awesome three pass and clean up. Followed by my new favourite, St. John’s Bay Rum

Regards

Steve

SOTD 6/Feb/2019 – Drew Dick 9/8″ Quarter Hollow & Crows Nest Murky Waters

Today’s shave was long overdue although I have n excuse as I have been ill with Bronchitis and mostly lying on the sofa feeling sorry for myself and coughing hard. I had about 7 days growth so it is time AND a nice shave always makes you feel good no? So I set myself up as follows

Razor: Drew Dick 9/8” In Black Acrylic scales
Soap: Crows Nest Murky Waters
Bowl: Van Yulay blue resin
Pre-shape: Proraso White
Aftershave: Clinique Extreme moisturiser and St. Johns Bay Rum to follow

The shave was awesome – watch the video as it says more than I can ever write. Needless to say I ended up with a DFS and a great fragrance all round.

The one thing I do want to point out specifically is the soap: Crows Nest Murky Waters. This is a soap I picked up very luckily by being online and in a FB shave group at the very moment that the man that makes it started taking orders for a new batch. I think he said he had only 30 of each soap on hand and I snapped up two – Murky waters and Tortuga. That was more than a year ago and I have not seen a batch sold since – he does have a website – crowsnestshaving.com so you might try e-mailing the guy and urge him to start making again. The soap lather easily, is rich and stable. Just look at my pictures and in the video. The fragrance notes are:

“A situation or circumstance that is foreign, unclear, and unfamiliar and altogether dangerous as a result.

Swirling together in a dark pool are tones star anise, cinnamon, wood, and amber.”

It is a very simple combo but my oh my does it work. Spicy but not too much, woody, but not too much – it just works. I am after a Jack Daw soap too in order to complete my trio of Crows nest soaps and I emailed the guy yesterday – no answer yet!!!

Anyway dudes happy shaving – Steve.

 

Shave Of The Day 26/Jan/2018 – Jack Jarvis Thai Ginger Zest & Merkur Futur @ #6

Dudes – I find myself in India again and in need of a good scrape. I have a few days growth and I had the feeling as I was packing for this trip that the only beast capable of removing it apart from my straights and kamisoris is the Merkur Futur.

Let us take a look at the razor first. The thing about the Merkur Futur is that it is adjustable over a large range from mildly aggressive to insane aggressive level. Lets have a look at some photos and numbers. The Futur is adjustable over 6 settings (some claim a setting above #6 and below #1 but this is kind of splitting hairs. I cannot get my own Futur above #6 but I can certainly get it below #1 – for clarity sake I will call the settings 1 thru 6). According to my web searches, and I have not measured them myself, the blade gap settings are:

Setting # Blade Gap (mm)
1 1.12
2 1.19
3 1.35
4 1.47
5 1.60
6 1.65

Here are some photos – I can tell you that when you are first about to shave with a Futur that #6 looks more like a 1/4″ than under 2mm. Maybe it is the fear factor. Nevertheless the range of blade gaps put the Merkur Futur at the top of the range when it comes to aggressiveness. I have photographed the razor set at #1 and #6 loaded with a Feather blade. The Merkur Futur also won’t break the bank at around $60-70 for the version shown here in satin finish. The polished versions and gold plated versions are a little dearer.

P.S. Despite the big head on the Futur it is easy to shave under the nose – it is a myth that you cannot…

The shave

I decided to go full on kamikazi and set the razor at #6. Loaded with a brand new Feather blade with was sure to do the trick. You know what it is kind of scary… My soap of choice today was again the Thai Ginger Zest from Man Of Siam. This soap is growing to be one of my favorites and today did not disappoint, a gingery, zesty fragrance that gets better as the shave goes on. I soaked my brush and left the soap to bloom with a teeny bit of hot water on top. I loaded the tips – this is important guys – don;t over mash your brush into the soap. It will achieve two BAD THINGS 1. Overloading with soap and 2. Brush damage. Look at the photo below – load the tips only.

The tips duly loaded I lathered up. I forgot to bring a lather bowl this time so I hand lathered and then transferred to my face for a final whip. The lather is smooth, small bubbles and shiny slick. Pass #1 on setting #6 – unbelievable – using the Futur with a decent blade is like rolling a cool stone over your face. There is barely any feeling of cutting whiskers and yet they disappear like magic. Rinsing is a dream too with the large blade gap. 4 days growth almost gone in an instant. Pass #2 was again on #6 and ATG and pass #3 – I set the gap down to #3 and I tell you there was no hair left to cut. As I did the pass I realised that it was all gone anyway so all I was doing was removing lather. All in all a great shave and a super experience with the Futur. it remains my dearest DE razor and despite it’s scary reputation there is NOTHING to worry about. Treat it with respect and it will not bite you.

Now the obligatory gallery!