One of the many unique and interesting products used in traditional wet shaving is the shave stick. A shave stick is an odd piece of gear, it is basically (as the name implies) a bit of shaving soap formed into the shape of a stick. This stick will usually have a base for the user to grip and will sometimes have an outer casing made of plastic, but is often just wrapped in foil. Many shave sticks (Arko, Palmolive, etc.) are extremely inexpensive; however, some of the higher end sticks cost more and come in a smaller volume than the equivilant soap puck from the same company. Just as buying prepared food costs a bit more than the raw ingredients, opting for a shave stick over a larger puck of soap will often cost a bit more because the value provided is in the convenience of the product rather than in the volume. And a shave stick is definitely convenient. While a shave stick is often thought of as an easy way to bring soap along when traveling, it can also be used at home to cut down on overall shaving time and mess. To use a shave stick, you simply wet the end, rub it across your wet face and neck (or legs, or whatever), use an appropriately moist shave brush to create lather, and go to town. There is no bowl to rinse out, no puck to clean off, and rubbing the soap directly onto the surface to be shaved reduces soap waste as well.
Most major shaving product manufacturers offer shave sticks, even the many independent artisan soap makers will often offer their products up in the form of shave sticks. If your favorite shaving soap is not available as a shave stick, all is not lost because creating a shave stick is relatively simple. Any container into which soap can be formed or melted can be used to create a shave stick, and there are even twist up containers created specifically for housing home made shave sticks.
The shave stick may be virtually unknown outside of the traditional wet shaving world, and may not get much attention INSIDE of that same world, but it is a product worth looking at. The easy clean up, low maintainance, and portability of shave sticks make them the perfect item to transition new folks from corporate dominated cartridge shaving to the more rewarding land of traditional wet shaving.
Twist Up Shave Stick Container: