Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Omega 20102, Nuávia, and the iKon Shavecraft #101

with 9 comments

SOTD 2016-08-16

I figured I would use an Italian brush for my Nuávia this morning, it being an Italian soap, so I brought out my Omega 20102, a very nice boar brush. And after loading the brush, I decided to palm lather, since that is an expeditious way of working in additional water. Nuávia can take a fair amount of water, and the lather was particularly creamy and thick this morning. I like the fragrance, which is modest, and the lather is excellent. However, I would not say this soap is worth the price, at least not to me. It is quite good, but it is also very expensive—four times what a good artisan soap would cost, and it’s no better than those.

Still, it’s always good to be using a good shaving soap, and I set to work with the iKon Shavecraft #101, which I think is an overlooked or underrated gem of a razor. Anyone wanting an open comb razor should certainly consider the #101. Three trouble-free passes left a totally BBS result.

A good splash of Van Yulay’s After Dark aftershave splash—a somewhat unusual splash in that it is no vegan, containing emu oil—and my day is well begun.

I think I’ve mention that an alum block makes an excellent styptic if you use, not as you use it for a skin treatment—gliding the block over your wet, shaved face, letting it sit for a moment or two, and then rinsing (and this will indeed stop weepers, but not actual nicks)—but by wetting a corner of the block and pressing it against the nick/cut for 30-40 seconds. That has worked extremely well to stop any bleeding and seal the cut.

I mentioned this on WE and /u/almightywhacko said that the alum was beside the point: applying pressure for 30-40 seconds was the secret, and a clean finger would work as well as the alum block. I have to admit I’m skeptical, but I’ve learned that my expectations are quite often contradicted by experience, so I’m eager to try it. Unfortunately (in a way), I no longer get nicks very often at all.

So I’m asking your help should you have the misfortune to get get a nick in shaving: press the cut for 30-40 seconds with your finger and let me know if that does indeed stop the bleeding and seal the cut.

My skepticism is due to the fact that alum does indeed have some styptic properties—powdered alum is sold as a styptic, in fact—so there is more that pressure at work when you press an alum block against a cut. But what is needed is some actual experience.

I would be particularly interested in hearing from those who try both methods: pressing the corner of an alum block against a cut and how that compares to pressing a finger against the cut. (Different people have different clotting rates: cf. hæmophilia.)

Thanks for your help, and I hope that most readers will be unable to contribute due to not getting any nicks.

Written by LeisureGuy

31 August 2016 at 9:02 am

Posted in Shaving

9 Responses

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  1. You are both correct. Alum has styptic properties, and pressure activates thrombin, needed for blood clotting!


    31 August 2016 at 9:18 am

  2. Good to know. I’m interested in learning the relative effectiveness of pressing with a finger and pressing with the corner of an alum block. It sounds as though pressing with a finger activates one clotting factor, and pressing with the corner of an alum block puts two clotting factors to work. On the face of it, two being greater than one, it would seem that pressing with the alum block would work better (twice as well?🙂 ), but I’ve learned to distrust arguments on issues better settled through experiment. So I’m hoping that someone will post his experience with each of the two methods.


    31 August 2016 at 9:29 am

  3. Pressure takes up to 3 minutes to work so 40 seconds is a stretch.


    31 August 2016 at 11:44 am

  4. Aha. Then the alum block really does bring something to the party: pressure alone can’t do the job so well as pressure plus alum. That makes sense, of course—compounding of cures—but of course what actually happens differs from what makes sense notoriously often. Isaac Asimov said that the phrase most often associated with scientific discovery was not “Eureka!” but “Huh. That’s funny…”


    31 August 2016 at 12:03 pm

  5. I have been using the alum block and pressure on weepers for quite some time. I thought that was a tip picked up from you? Another use for the alum block, from you I believe, is to use it on your fingers to get a better grip on on your face and handle during my shave. I use that process every day. I also use the alum block after every shave.


    31 August 2016 at 1:33 pm

  6. I’ve certainly mentioned the use of the alum block to improve grip—I think it’s been in the book from the 5th edition or even earlier. And when I learned the pressure trick to use alum as a styptic, I blogged it several times and added it to the book update page and also post about it on WE.


    31 August 2016 at 1:55 pm

  7. I agree with your positive take on the 101; it, along with the 102 and the x3 are among my favorite razors. I know each of these has been noted by some as too mild, but I find them to be, in your words, “comfortable” yet still efficient. In a similar style, I also really like the Fatip Testina Gentile. I don’t recall seeing you comment on this one, and I’m curious if you’ve tried it. I put in the same performance class as the 101 and 102. The blade alignment can be a little fussy, but on mine at least it is certainly acceptable. The shave is excellent: very comfortable and exceptionally smooth, but still quite efficient. The effective angle is a bit narrow, but once found is pretty intuitive and very effective. I’ve been a little puzzled that it doesn’t get more regard,especially given its status as one of the very few solid brass razors on the market. It really is a very good razor and its price makes it an excellent value. I highly recommend it if you don’t already have one.


    31 August 2016 at 9:24 pm

  8. I did try a Fatip, but I believe a different model, and found that its shave was okay but nothing special, and I have since sold it. I do know that some really like their Fatip razors.


    31 August 2016 at 9:41 pm

  9. I’m sure you tried the original Fatip open comb razor which is a very different design. It has a large blade exposure and is generally regarded as very aggressive, on par, some say, with the R-41. I can shave with it but it is frankly kind of intimidating. The newer Testina Gentile (Italian for “gentle head”) model is a solid bar design and, as the name implies, is a much less aggressive and more comfortable shaver than the original OC. I find its performance quite similar to the Shavecraft 101 and 102; since I know you like these razors, I’d encourage you to take a look at it.


    1 September 2016 at 8:05 am

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