Matt Broderick is the man behind the Why I Wet Shave blog, which is a one-stop resource for people who are brand new to wet shaving. On the blog, he provides interviews, resources, product reviews, and other content that can help a new wet shaver.
In this interview, Matt shares his story, explains what wet shaving actually is and why guys should start wet shaving, provides wet shaving tips, and more.
***If you're interested in getting started with wet shaving, download a free copy of the "Wet Shaving Toolkit: 21 Resources to Help You Get Started with Wet Shaving."***
Tell us about yourself. What's your background, and what motivated you to launch Why I Wet Shave?
Matt: My name is Matt Broderick. I am a husband, father to twin boys, and a veteran. I have listed these in a very particular order as these are how I try to order my priorities.
I am a very hands-on individual and tend to gravitate toward a lot of traditional hobbies. I have tried my hand at blacksmithing, beekeeping, woodworking, and a slew of other interests.
About five years ago I started taking an interest in traditional shaving (ie Wet Shaving). I signed up and participated in multiple online forums and discussion boards and poured over anything I could get my hands on.
As time went on and I became more proficient with wet shaving, I starting noticing a trend of the same kind of questions being asked by people new to the wet shaving hobby. Other forum members and myself would point them to references that someone had written up in another post or try to answer the same question over and over.
After doing this for awhile I wondered why there wasn’t a resource that just went over the basic techniques of wet shaving. No need to go digging in forum archives or wade through hundreds of other posts that go into slight differences between two high quality products.
Based off of this, I decided to learn how to put up a website and start a blog about wet shaving basics called “Why I Wet Shave… and why you should too!”
What is Why I Wet Shave all about? And what makes it different than the other men's grooming blogs out there?
Matt: Why I Wet Shave was started with the intent of being a one-stop resource to learn the fundamentals of wet shaving. This includes topics ranging from how to prep your beard, differences in types of razors, terminology, how to deal with problems such as acne or ingrown hairs, and the pros and cons of different types of equipment.
As time has gone on, it has also come to include interviews with different people involved in the wet shaving hobby, listings of other resources, a few product reviews, and whatever else I think would be beneficial to a new wet shaver.
As far as what makes Why I Wet Shave different, my goal is to educate new wet shavers so they can make a more educated decision when getting into the hobby. I am not trying to promote any specific method or piece of equipment.
If I can help you achieve a better shave (better skin, closer shave, less money), then I am doing what I set out to do.
What exactly is wet shaving?
Matt: Excellent question! While there is no hard and fast rule on what defines wet shaving I tend to boil it down to three core tenants:
- The use of water as a lubricant or as a major component of the lubricant (soaps, creams, etc...).
- The use of a manual razor that uses a single cutting edge for each of the shaving passes.
- The use of a shaving brush to build and apply a lubricating lather.
If you want to learn more about the Core Tenants of wet shaving please check out this article.
Why should guys start wet shaving (if they don't already)?
Matt: There are a number of benefits to taking up wet shaving.
- Reduced Costs: Once the initial investment of buying new equipment done, the daily cost of shaving drops to pennies a day.
- Better Skin: The use of a shaving soap and brush will exfoliate your skin and apply nourishing ingredients for your skin.
- Reduced Waste: No more cartridges being thrown away every few days.
- Better Shave: Why most of us started was to achieve a better shave.
What is the biggest mistake that guys make when it comes to wet shaving?
Matt: Wet shaving is experiencing a bit of renaissance right now. There are more soaps, creams, razors, brushes, and post shave products available now than there has been since the cartridge razor became the standard way to shave. It’s a great time to be wet shaver!
Unfortunately, many new wet shavers feel the urge to try EVERYTHING as soon as possible. This often leads to a situation where a new wet shaver - who doesn’t have very sound technique - changing up multiple aspects of his shaving routine on a daily basis.
If you end up having a memorable shave (either good or bad), you aren’t going to know what caused the difference. Was it the new soap, how you lathered with your brush, water temp, angle of the razor, different brand of razor blade, or are you just getting better at wet shaving?
I highly recommend sticking to a shaving routine for at least a week and then changing out ONE aspect (blade, soap, aftershave, etc…) and trying your new routine for at least a week. Evaluate whether or not you obtained better or worse results and change out something else. Rinse and repeat.
If you could give just one wet shaving tip, what would it be?
Matt: Don’t be afraid to ask questions! If you jumped in with both feet and it looks like you lost a fight with a cougar, don’t despair. There are a LOT of wet shavers who have had the same experience.
Go on the forums, Facebook groups, or the blogs out there and ask for some hints and tips. The wet shaving hobby is filled with people who truly enjoy helping others. Don’t be afraid to ask a question!
And what would your one grooming tip be?
Matt: Grooming is essentially all about how you present yourself. All of the latest styles or brand names will not make as much difference as you being comfortable in your own skin.
Take the time to properly care for yourself and people will notice. This is everything from a good haircut, proper hygiene, well maintained clothing, to a proper gig line.
Do you have a simple and quick wet shaving routine that you follow that you can share with our readers?
Matt: There are many variations, but here is what I do for my daily routine:
- Set out my shave gear. Start soaking my boar brush in a cup of water.
- Take my (warm) morning shower (softens hair follicles).
- Squeeze excess water from brush and load brush with my choice of soap.
- Splash COLD water on my face and commence to face lather with my brush.
- Perform my first pass shaving with the grain or the beard.
- Splash more COLD water on face and re-lather.
- Perform second pass, this time across the grain of the beard.
- If a week day, I will touch up my jawline and call it good. On the weekend I will do a third shaving pass against the grain.
- Rinse off lather with COLD water and apply my current after shave.
- Get a kiss from my wife and fish for a compliment on my shave :)
How can our readers learn more about what you're up to and connect with you online?
I also organize a shaving meetup every year in Seattle. If you live in the area and would like to meet some fellow enthusiasts check out www.SeattleShaveCon.com.
Step Up Your Grooming Game
Thank you to Matt for the interview! Lots of really good stuff about wet shaving in here, so hopefully, you learned a thing or two.
If you're thinking about stepping up your wet shaving game (or even just getting started with wet shaving), check out the "Wet Shaving Toolkit: 21 Resources to Help You Get Started with Wet Shaving."
Click the image below to get a free download of the "Wet Shaving Toolkit."
In addition, below are some ideas of products that may be able to help you out...
Game Day's Pre-Shave: Invigorating Scrub - which prepares your skin for a close shave...
Triumph & Disaster's Old Fashioned Shave Cream - which softens and prepares your whiskers while also delivering a smooth, close shave...
... and Portland General Store's Whiskey Aftershave Splash - which bathes the skin with the nourishing properties of the sea...