Although relatively new to the scene, The Personal Barber is currently the only artisan offering exclusive traditional shaving subscription packages in the United Kingdom. Each month, The Personal Barber dispatches a new box of delightfully imaginative shaving products to every customer in the UK and abroad.
The Purveyors of Handsome Living
Born out of love of variety and a desire to introduce others to the benefits of wet shaving, The Personal Barber was founded by Bradley Jones after his own personal experiences. Unlike the US, the UK high street tends not to offer the same variety and choice in original products such as soap, oils and balms for shaving. His philosophy was established by the notion of a hassle and commitment-free service that delivers a variety of unique products of quality and provides new experiences for the client.
The Personal Barber embodies the ideal concept of relishing in the rich experiences of wet shaving without ever leaving the comfort of one’s own home.
What’s in the Box
In a similar fashion to other subscription services, The Personal Barber’s monthly treats come in a crafted cardboard box featuring a modest logo and tagline. Inside, the products are insulated with straw evocative of a profoundly pastoral image.
Peeling apart the craft wrapping paper, the recipient feels like a kid at Christmas, and upon separating the straw insulation, the delights are revealed. Newcomers to The Personal Barber receive a starter box, which features a double-edged safety razor and synthetic shaving brush.
Although veterans can opt for an “Advanced Box” when starting their subscription, which substitutes the razor and brush with balms and oils, the notion is that the addressee will have everything he needs to start shaving once the postman has popped it through the letter box.
Aside from the razor and brush, the box delivers a matchbook of alum sticks, two packs of razor blades (Derby Extra and Wilkinson Sword) as well as two unique soaps to try – a wealthy assortment of products to last the month.
Moreover, the new subscriber will be supplied with a handy introduction into the world of wet shaving. These two cards provide an insight into the products received, as well as a clear guide to the correct degree angle to apply when passing the razor across the face. This thoughtful reference would be invaluable to any newcomer to wet shaving that may be feeling a little thrown in the deep end.
The double-edged razor supplied is of a solid build with a balanced weight featuring the Personal Barber logo. Its thin head and reduced blade exposure ensures safe ease of use for even the most novice of wet-shavers. It is an ideal starter razor that provides maximum control when keeping the correct angle and for maintaining light pressure.
The synthetic shaving brush is particularly impressive. It is made from high quality nylon, but provides a softness somewhere between boar and badger hair. It easily creates a thick lather and feels particularly comfortable to use. I couldn’t help but admire the luxury and suppleness of the bristles leaving me the impression that no expense had been spared in providing a high-quality starter brush that will leave the client satisfied. Moreover, future brushes will be supplied with a handsome TPB logo printed on the handle for a real professional feel.
The Personal Barber supplies an alum stick matchbook from The Legends, London. Although not to everyone’s palate, these sticks serve as an astringent that prevents bleeding if you ever cut yourself shaving. Convenient and disposable, they’re a must-have for any wet shaving. Plus, in matchbook form, you can’t help but feel like Humphrey Bogart when you tear one off.
The Importance Of Blade Selection
With an emphasis on variety, The Personal Barber supplies two different packs of razor blades with the box. The type of blade can significantly change the conditions of the shave. For example, my sensitive skin appreciates the slightly dull blade of the Derby Extras whilst it reacts harshly to the Wilkinson Sword’s chromium coating. However, we will all have diverse experiences as the Wilkinson Sword blades can provide a smooth glide across the face whilst Derby Extra can tug on thick hair and stubble. The supply of both ensures the recipient the option to choose depending on his skin type.
Shaving Soaps – The Star Of The Show
Here we arrive at the guest stars of the show – the shaving soaps of the month. The Personal Barber’s vision is to provide an alternative to dull commercial foams and creams that have a tendency to contain harmful chemicals such as methyl propane and propylene glycol. Each month, subscribers will receive new and unique soaps sourced from all over the world that not only smell divine, but are good for you!
An exhilarating and refreshing experience, the lemongrass & lime Mutiny Soap supplied brings a perk to your day and a spring in your step. This durable little bar provides a light yet consistent lather with an invigorating citrusy scent. Mutiny Shaving is also a young enterprising brand founded in 2014 in Newport, Wales. Sharing the same vision as The Personal Barber, they’re an anti-plastic waste and anti-animal testing, Vegan friendly and Carbon Neutral company whose flagship product is the lemongrass & Lime Shaving Soap.
The unusual yet handsome algae-laced chunk from Seadrift Soaps is an all-natural handmade scentless shaving soap. Made in Whitburn, England, and aptly named “A Close Shave,” it provides a thick lather and a deep facial cleanse when applied. The decision to include both a scented and unscented shaving soap shows an element of forethought on behalf of The Personal Barber. Consequently, the shaver can choose the product depending on their accompanying choice of aftershaves or balms. As the Mutiny Soap leaves a slight citrusy fragrance, it can be complimented by a similar aftershave or simply left alone. Conversely, the Seadrift Soap leaves the user the freedom to pick from any product they desire.
The underlying aim of The Personal Barber is to reinterpret the act of shaving as a luxury rather than a chore, which is performed in an almost ritual manner. Unlike cartridge shaving, wet shaving isn’t a mindless task, but a personally enriching ceremony that allows the shaver to develop techniques and dexterity. Furthermore, The Personal Barber thoughtfully hosts its own dynamic blog with the goal of providing an introduction to would-be wet shavers as well as a thorough walk-through for the various products supplied and techniques on applying them.
The Personal Barber sets a new high standard by introducing their new subscription service in the UK. The sheer level of quality of the product samples should attract discerning wet shavers not only domestically, but also abroad. Moreover, there is an exemplary accent on service and forethought with each product being independently selected but also part of a harmonious ensemble. With a high exigency on both client satisfaction and product quality, I would expect The Personal Barber to soon become a leading supplier in unique shaving supplies that will leave its clients gleefully expecting their postman at the door for next month’s box.
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