Inauguration day shave: Vie-Long horsehair, Van Yulay After Dark, and the X3
Horsehair brushes work best if soaked before each use, so I wet the knot well under the hot-water tap and let the brush stand while I shower. After my shower, I’m ready to shave, and so is the brush.
I like the fragrance of Van Yulay’s After Dark, and the lather is wonderful. This soap is not lard-based, but it is not vegan since it uses emu oil. Its ingredients:
Stearic Acid, Aloe Vera, Coconut Fatty Acid, Castor, Glycerin, Potassium Hydroxide, Coconut-Emu-Babassu-Olive-Argan-Jojoba-Oils, Calendula, Extracts, Poly Quats, Sodium Lactate, Allantoin, Silica, Liquid Silk, Bentonite Clay, Essential Oil, and EO’s and Fragrance
I added a driblet of water three times as I loaded the brush, each time brushing the small amount of added water until it disappeared into the brush and lather. It’s a very slick lather.
Three passes with the X3 resulted in a totally smooth face. Some men report that for them the X3 is inefficient and they have trouble getting a smooth result. That is not at all the case for me: I routinely and easily get a very smooth result in three passes, although the razor does feel mild. But that’s how it feels, not how it performs (at least not for me).
A splash of After Dark aftershave, and we have a new president.
A note regarding the Standard razor:
Nonstandard aspect of the Standard handle: A reader just queried me on whether the Standard handle works if you remove the little double-threaded lug. (I used LocTite to secure the lug permanently in the Standard head, so that my Standard works is now like any three-piece razor: a threaded lug attached to the cap, and a tapped handle to match.) I have used that Standard head on several different handles, and it now is on a Wolfman handle. I did not try the handle with other heads, since the reason I switched handles was that I didn’t especially care for the Standard handle, but prompted by the reader’s comment I experimented using the Standard handle with some other heads:
- With Maggard V3A head: works fine
- With iKon X3 head: works in terms of threading, but the Standard handle is not tapped deep enough so I could not fully tighten the head
- with Above the Tie S1 and R1: doesn’t work because the threads are a mismatch
I don’t understand what is going on, but it seems clear that you can use the Standard head (with the little lug) on other handles, but the Standard handle in general doesn’t seem to work with other heads. It would be better to buy a handle separately—e.g., one of these.