Soap Sisters Update – Potential Hijinx

As time marches on, you may be thinking about your Christmas shopping already or about other gifts.

I noticed that the Dominican nuns in New Jersey who have Seignadou Soap, aka the  Soap Sisters (do they ever need an affiliate program, like the Wyoming Carmelites) now have shaving soap, mug and brush sets for men.  Good price, too.

Do not … not… confuse the shaving mug for a coffee mug…

… cappuccino, anyone?

Buy soap now and tell them Fr. Z sent you.

UPDATE:

  • Buy a razor strop HERE.
  • Buy an entry level straight razor HERE.
  • Buy a better straight razor HERE.
  • Buy a really nice straight razor HERE.

UPDATE 13 Nov 2245 GMT:

I received a note from Sister “Seignadou Soap” Manageress (my emphasis).

Looked at our orders and there was a huge list since last night! Could suddenly everyone be thinking that it was time to order from us? Then I saw your blog entry! THANK YOU! Your reward will be great in heaven!
We are especially grateful because we are dealing with some huge expenses repair our building so every order counts!

Thanks, readers!  You are helping the Nuns in New Jersey!

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About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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24 Responses to Soap Sisters Update – Potential Hijinx

  1. RichR says:

    These are fun to use. Makes you feel like your grandpa.

    A tip to buyers: put the soap in the cup and zap it in the microwave for a few seconds to melt the disks of soap into the bottom of the cup (watch it so you don’t over heat the soap…stop it as soon as the soap has melted). This way when you go to get soap on the brush, the soap doesn’t rattle around in the bottom of the cup.

  2. RichR says:

    Oh yeah, wait for the soap to cool off before you start using the soap. I’d hate to have someone burn themselves.

  3. Where’s the razor? If they added those, it would make for a complete shaving kit.

  4. APX says:

    @brotherjuniper

    I’d like to see a comeback of the straight razor, and the old fashioned way of shaving. The risk of cutting one’s jugular might actually make people think twice before they try to shave while driving.

  5. So um, let me try to decipher this old school method: you put soap in the cup, melt it, put it on the brush on your face, and it’s like a shaving cream you use before you use a straight razor? or is it an after shaving moisturizer?

  6. Joshua08 says:

    Young Canadian,

    It isn’t that complicated. The melting tip was just to get it stuck to the bottom of the mug so it doesn’t rattle. A few uses and the soap will do that by itself. It is used for shaving, and it is what was used before the cheap canned aerosol “cream” was popular.

    You merely need to put the soap in the mug, wet the brush and then brush on the soap, then brush it on your face. It is good to perhaps warm the mug (fill the sink with hot water and put the mug in to warm) because then the lather feels warm and nice. Not necessary, but some say it makes a better shave. You also want to use a circular motion and it is suggested that you hold the bottom of the hair on the brush with the tip of your fingers, squeezing a bit (the idea is that the brush lasts longer, less likely to loose brush hairs)

    Personally I use an old fashioned shave cream, Proraso now. I have used shaving soap before as well. You can get the cream in a tube (like toothpaste) or in a little mug like container. With the tube you just put a small amount (dime size) in the mug and whip it up with the brush. Either way, old fashioned cream or shaving soap lasts a very long time and came out cheaper than buy a can of shaving cream and works a lot better. The difference between a shaving can type cream and old fashioned shaving cream is like the difference between whip cream from a can, and homemade whip cream. The latter is fuller and works better.

    I use a straight razor (they still make them) when I have time. When travelling or in a rush I use an old fashioned double edge safety razor. The blades are far cheaper than the new fangled “5 blade” cartridges. You can get them like 10¢ a blade, platinum tipped. Closer shave and less razor burn too

  7. APX says:

    All these shaving complexities make me thankful for waxing. No stubble, no bleeding (usually), no worrying about razors, no daily shaving, and no razor burn.

  8. Tantum Ergo says:

    Straight razor shaving is indeed catching back on. There’s a series of preparation steps that are traditionaly done, and the actual shaving is done with great care and precision (with wonderful results.) Kinda reminds me of the TLM.

  9. wmeyer says:

    I’ve not tried this method, except in the barber shop — not a stylist, a barber — but I do have advice: If you’re going this route, give serious consideration to the “really nice straight razor” to which Fr. Z provided a link. It’s made in Solingen, Germany, and I have a pair of scissors from Solingen that I have used now for over 30 years — hugely better than the Fiskars stuff you find everywhere. They’re sharp, comfortable to use, and always effective.

  10. BTW… when I first moved to Rome, many years ago, I had an old … ollllld… barber who cut hair entirely with a straight razor.

    It was disconcerting at first.

    Can you say Sweeney Todd?

    But… he was fast, good, and the superlative gentleman. He was an amazing barber and his lore was deep, as the ancient Romans already knew with their famous proverb about barbers.

    Then he died on me… just as my poor tailor died on me.

    Moral: Never come near Fr. Z with anything sharp.

  11. Andy Lucy says:

    I am a fan of the Fromm razor, as I have used one for years. If you are going to start shaving with a straight razor, do yourself a HUGE favor and get the razor strop. It will help immensely… I would also advise finding an old hand to show you how to hone the blade. Fromm’s are sort of peculiar, as they have an odd bevel to their blade that makes it interesting to hone. After you get used to it, you’ll never go back to disposable razors again. [Tell us more about the how you sharpen it.]

  12. UncleBlobb says:

    @FrZ Including a sharp tongue.

  13. Ecclesiae Filius says:

    I use a double edge safety razor. Gets a really close shave. I will be ordering from the sisters. Thanks, Father, for this post.

  14. Tom says:

    Some time ago I became curious about wet shaving. I started by going back to a double-edged safety razor with a brush & soap. It was ever so much better than the cream in a can or the gel (which I really do not like) with a cartridge, and a much more satisfying way to shave. After a short time I became curious about using a straight razor, and bought one, tried it, and after a couple of weeks began to prefer it. Now it’s all I use unless I’m in a hurry (NEVER rush with a straight!) Yes, I suffered a few small wounds, but that is what a styptic pencil is for, and now I rarely need to use it. It takes me 3 to 4 passes to get a really smooth (called BBS) shave now, better than anything with electric or cartridge. Finish up with an alum block, a cold splash and some witch hazel or after-shave.

    Honing is an art for sure. I have some Belgian coticules which I believe are the best, and there are quite a few variations. They are becoming rare, but I now have a lifetime supply, probably for someone else’s lifetime too. I’m still learning to hone, but I do get reliable results now. I would love to have a real-life tutor, but there is much information available on the internet of course. My first tries actually made the blade worse, and it was disheartening to say the least. After some practice and much reading, I am now able to put on a respectable, if not the best, edge when starting from one that is just becoming unusable. Stropping is much easier to learn. Get your straight from the SuperiorShave dot com, and Jarrod will put a perfect edge on it for you before he ships, and you can go for several months with only stropping. I buy nearly everything from him now because his prices are competitive, and he has a wonderful web site and excellent photography of his products. Best of all, he will take time to answer questions if you’re just getting started. (No, I don’t work for him! I am, however, a very happy customer.)

  15. Mike Morrow says:

    I used such devices (made by Old Spice) in the 197os while serving on a ballistic missile submarine. The propellant gases contained in common aerosol shaving creams of that era could potentially contaminate the submarine’s closed atmosphere regeneration equipment, and thus were not to be used.

  16. misternaser says:

    Started using a double edge razor and shaving brush more than a year ago and after the learning curve, finally stopped despising shaving. Just got the sisters’ shaving soap but have yet to try it since I’ve got a beard for the winter.

  17. justanothercatholic says:

    I thought the tube with the cream was overly surpassed… And now I find people who like the straight blades. I’ll stick to the barbasol can and a fusion 5. I’ve got a max of 30 min at the bathroom. But I would like to see nicer handles, as these modern products are horrible.

  18. irishgirl says:

    My paternal grandfather was a barber by profession (he died four years before I was born, so I never knew him), and he had some really cool shaving mugs with the names of customers on them.
    I don’t have them now-my older sister took them.
    Using a straight razor makes me think of an incident in the life of St. Brother Andre of Montreal. He was on traveling for ‘[St. Joseph's] Oratory business’ via train, and one of his friends who came with him awoke one morning to find the Brother standing in a swaying car, face all lathered up and wielding a straight razor.
    His friend was horrified: ‘Stop it!’ he said; ‘You’ll cut your throat with that thing!’
    But the Brother went right on shaving-he assured him that he wouldn’t hurt himself.
    It’s kinda cool to read that the straight razor is making a comeback.
    Father Z-I’m sorry that you lost your old Roman barber and tailor.
    ‘Moral: Never near Father Z with anything sharp’….Ha, that’s funny!

  19. This is awesome and the price is perfect. Getting one for hubby!

  20. jdcarriere says:

    Don’t bother with the cheap straight razor. One that cheap can’t possibly hold an edge. It’ll be more trouble than it’s worth. The second razor isn’t a razor, but rather a handle that holds disposable blades.

    If you do nothing else, switch to double edged safety razors (c. 1960) and soap and brush as the good sisters are selling.

    Even if you’re shaving with Gillette’s latest 76-blade cartridge or whatever, the soap and brush will improve your shaving experience immeasurably. Fill the cup with hot water with the soap in there. Likewise soak the brush in hot water. Give it a few minutes, pour off the water and shake out the brush. Build a lather in the mug just like you’ve seen in the movies, then apply it to your face.

    It’s not complicated, and you’re going to like it.

  21. I received a note from Sister “Seignadou Soap” Manageress (my emphasis).

    Looked at our orders and there was a huge list since last night! Could suddenly everyone be thinking that it was time to order from us? Then I saw your blog entry! THANK YOU! Your reward will be great in heaven!
    We are especially grateful because we are dealing with some huge expenses repair our building so every order counts!

    Thanks, readers! You are helping the Nuns in New Jersey!

  22. JonPatrick says:

    I don’t think I could handle sharpening a traditional straight razor (I seem to make every blade I try to sharpen duller) but I am intrigued by the idea of switching to the shaving soap and traditional double edge blade. The prices for the Gillette 27 blade thingy keep getting more ridiculous. At the supermarket they have to lock them in those special boxes to prevent shoplifting now.

  23. BV says:

    Yes, please do help these Nuns, and if you are in Summit, NJ or the area, please visit the moanstery chapel, open all day for Eucharistic Adoration.

  24. Jbuntin says:

    RAZOR STROP YIKES!!! My grandpa used to threaten to beat me with his razor strop on a regular basis. ( I was in need of a good beating at the times he threated) He never hit me with it, but… it still scares me. LOL