8 Old-School Grooming Products That Still Work

Remember that old as the world adage, kids – just because something’s old, that doesn’t mean it’s useless.

Because every little bit of yourself should reflect the kind of person you are, in today’s article we are going to talk about old-school grooming products.

Some of you have probably seen them in your grandfather’s bathroom or shaving kit, while others are far too young to have heard about them.

No worries – we’re going to prove to you that, sometimes, going old-school is better than only sticking to mainstream shaving solutions.

Our choices in Old-School Grooming Products

1. Shaving Soap

Let’s begin our stroll down memory lane with something you guys are going to love – ye old shaving soap. What’s that you ask? Well, not too long ago, that’s before the shaving cream and/or appeared in drug stores, men used shaving soap to moisten their facial hair before the grand finale with the razor.

If this is the first time you’ve heard about shaving soaps, let us try to describe them a bit and, perhaps, provide you with some valuable info.

So, the shaving soap is best described as a hard soap, not unlike the one you use to wash your hands, or the one our grandmothers used to wash laundry.

To use it as a shaving product, you will need to whip it into a lather, as the saying goes. The process’s very similar to what happens when you want to make butter out of cream. Appearance-wise, the shaving soap looks just a hockey puck.

Now, as far as the shaving part goes, this old-school grooming product is great for dry skin and, of course, for keeping those hairs up during shaving.

If you’re able to find shaving soap anywhere, here’s what you’ll need to do for that old-school experience – put it a cup, add water, and use your shaving brush to whip until you get a nice lather. Apply it to your face with the brush and start shaving.

Just because you finished shaving that doesn’t mean the experience’s over. For the best possible feeling, you should consider applying a hot towel immediately after rinsing your face.

Get a nice, clean towel and run it under the tap. Put the towel into the microwave for 10 to 20 seconds, then apply it to the face. Enjoy!

2. Aftershave and Face Tonic

That bottle of aftershave may be the last thing that could save you from those nasty razor burns, but it’s not the only thing our parents and grandparents used to get that spit and polish look.

Long before the aftershave lotion became available, gents took to the barber shop for various hair care products. Among the most popular was the so-called face tonic, commonly used to soothe the skin after the hot towel was removed.

The stuff’s been used for the better part of the 20th century, being slowly replaced by the more modern approach. Although the idea of going to the barber’s shop for a hot shave might have been abandoned, it was never forgotten.

And now, you can have the same post-shaving feeling as your grandfather did if you manage to purchase a bottle of face tonic. Careful with the bottle! The lotion’s pretty potent, so don’t put too much on your skin or else you’ll probably wind up smelling like you just took a dive in a perfumer’s vat.

3. Safety Razors

Forget about interchangeable heads or disposable razors! If you want the best shave of your life, trying getting your hands on one of these bad boys. And now, for a little history lesson. Did you know that the first patent for the safety razor has been filed in New York in 1880?

Back then, safety razors had a single edge which held in place a single blade which could have been replaced. Over the years, the patent evolved. The 20th-century safety razors packed stainless steels razors instead of those made from carbon steel. Why? Because they tend to rust easily.

Nowadays safety razors which take after the original design are made from high-quality stainless less and have an enhanced grill which prevents nicks or more serious injuries.

Why choose a safety razor over a 5-bladed cartridge? Well, it’s all about the distance between the blades and your face.

If you’re one who uses a razor more often than an electric shaver, you should have noticed by now that the blades are set at an angle to prevent the blades from coming into direct contact with the face.

That might do wonders if you don’t want to end up with cuts on your face, but wouldn’t it be nice if you could experience that same thing you do when living the barber’s shop?

Well, you can with a safety razor, but exercise caution. Even though the grill prevents cuts, it’s still something different compared to your everyday razors. Use plenty of shaving soap, slow moves, and a hot towel afterward.

4. Body Powder

Summer time’s great – going to the beach, wearing T-shirts, stuff like that. Unfortunately, the same thing can’t be said about sweat. Yes, we get that you’ve tried every product on the market, but you just can’t shake that icky feeling.

Now, if you’re Gung-Ho about getting rid of that malodorous body odor, you should consider going old-school.

This is where the so-called body powder comes in. If the name doesn’t ring any bells, maybe we should mention that the stuff’s also goes by the name of talcum powder. Yes, the powder that athletes used before their performance can be employed to fend off those nasty smells.

It’s easy to get ahold of – just visit your local supermarket or drug store. If you can’t find one in the men’s body care department, you can always grab one from the infant care.

5. Pomades

If you’re a classic movies buff, then you probably heard the word “pomade” more than once. Now, for those of you who don’t have any clue, pomades are creams used for hair styling. Very popular in the 18th and 19th century, these products were used to give the hair that slick and shiny aspect.

As far as the ingredients are concerned, the first pomades were made from lard or bear fat.

After a while, the manufacturers ditched fat-based ingredients, and, instead, opted for stuff like petroleum jelly, lanolin, and, of course, beeswax.

Pomades are popular even nowadays, especially for those who took a liking to hairstyles such as the quiff, ducktail or pompadour. Try this awesome stuff yourself, we dare you!

6. Brylcreem

Manufactured in the United Kingdom since 1928, Brylcreem is a thick hair cream made from mineral oil and beeswax. Although it might seem like a bad idea to put the stuff on your hair, Brylcreem can really give it that shine you’ve been looking for.

For the best possible results, you should try putting the stuff on after a shower. Just run a comb through and that’s it. Unfortunately, nowadays, Brylcreem is hard to come by.

Still, with a little luck and a quick Google search, you’ll be able to find a can or two.

7. Hair Tonic

If you really want to give your hair that freshly combed aspect, you should definitely try out some hair tonic. Similar to pomade, hair tonic has been used until the ‘70s for hairstyle and to stimulate scalp blood flow.

Regrettably, with the advent of styling products like hair conditioner and mousse, the hair tonic fell behind. Luckily, the traditional barbering avant-garde brought back this golden oldie.

As we’ve said, hair tonic’s commonly used to massage the scalp. It stimulates follicle regeneration and makes your hair look really shiny. Some hair tonics even have scents to make your post-trimming hair smell nice.

8. Styptic Pen

And the last item on our list is the so-called styptic pencil, an item that all of you should have in your shaving kit. What’s that you ask? It’s a chemical pencil laced with an antihemorrhagic substance.

In other words, it helps you treat small nicks. This will come in handy the next time you’ll cut yourself during shaving. Just apply the tip of the pen to the wound, wait a few seconds, and, voila! There’s no more bleeding.


There you have it, folks – the lost but not forgotten grooming products. As we’ve probably mentioned a couple of times, these are kind of hard to come by, but not impossible. Check with your barber to see how you can get ahold of these products.