12 July 2014

Shaving with a Safety Razor

Recently, I saw an info-graph about the upsides to using a double edge (DE) safety razor. You know…the type our grandfathers used? Yeah, those. According to the information, the average user will spend upwards of $300 annually on cartridge razor refills.

Then there’s the issue with recycling. That is, cartridge razor’s can’t be recycled. And those chemical-ridden shaving gel canisters aren’t too keen on the environment, either.

And those gels lead to the last piece: facial bumps, nicks, cuts, etc. Just plain irritation of the face and neck because of the cartridge razor and the other products.

For years I thought that this was normal. That is, you dealt with it. Or bought an electric razor. For me, the electric was worse — pulled hair, skin irritation, red whelps and bumps on my neck.

I switched to cartridge razors a long time ago and have used them almost exclusively. However, as my skin is sensitive, I had to shave about every-other-day. Once I saw that infograph, however, I started looking into DE safety razors.

The graphic went on to explain that while DE razors may be more of a cost up front, in the long run, they’re a lot cheaper. Blades for a DE razor run next to nothing (an average price of a packet of 5 blades is roughly less than $2, but you can get better blades for a little bit more). And each blade, being much sharper than cartridge blades, averages about 5-7 days before needing to change it out.

Furthermore, instead of buying canned gels and creams that are loaded with chemicals, one can opt for the traditional shaving creams (in a tube) or soaps (in a tin). Most of the time, these creams and soaps are made with natural ingredients and are much gentler on the skin. And they last a lot longer. Several months, in fact.

Plus, the use of sharper blades and better creams or soaps equals less irritation on your skin. No nicks or cuts. No red bumps or ingrown hairs.

And both are much better on the environment. Blades are stainless steel and can be recycled. The all natural soaps and creams are, well, all natural! They just wash out in the sink.

Well, I was hooked! I started looking around for a razor, some blades, a synthetic brush (not animal hair), and soap. Right off the bat, I found some great bargains on the soap. A local organic store was moving locations and needed to make room so they were liquidating some of their slowest sellers. I picked up a soap and cream for half their regular price!

Next, I discovered Maggard Razors. They offer a wide variety of shaving products. While looking at the DE razors they offer, I found their own razors. Their razors are a fraction of the cost of the others they sell. The razor I picked out was their MR18. It has a longer handle and the weight is more of a middle of the road when compared to the others.

I also picked up the Omega Hi-Performance synthetic bristle brush. It’s a beautiful brush. It has a nice weight and it’s really soft.

After my order arrived (I forgot to order blades and they threw in a 5 pack for free), I prepared for my first shave.

But…

The discounted shaving soap I got just didn’t seem to lather like the videos I watched (I don’t know what it is about watching a guy shave, but it’s therapeutic). So I did some research. It seems that’s a problem with this particular brand and, if I’ve learned anything about this process it’s that one needs a good lather for shaving.

According to some of the videos, Mike’s Natural Soaps are very good. So, I gave it a shot. I ordered the unscented one. And let me tell you, those reviewers weren’t kidding! Mike’s Natural Soap is amazing! It lathers up very quickly and stays on one’s face. It’s “slick” and the blade just glides over the whiskers leaving a great close shave.

I also purchased a sample pack of blades from Maggard Razors. From what I’ve read and observed on the videos, finding the best blade for your shave is as important as finding the right soap or cream. After trying about half of the blades, I shaved with the Feather blades.

OH MY STARS AND GARTERS!

Feather blades are made in Japan and are supposed to be some of the sharpest blades made today. I can certainly testify to that. I had a couple days of growth and used a Feather blade. It glided across my hair like...well…like a hot knife through butter! It cut cleanly. No nicks. No irritation. Just a nice, close shave. It truly was the best shave I’ve ever had.*

So, if you’re looking for a change of pace; if you’re wanting to get out of the consumer market rat-race; if you’re wanting to make life a little simpler; if you’re wanting to be a better steward of the planet; if you’ve only had mediocre or sub-par shaving experiences, I would highly recommend making the switch to a DE safety razor. Shaving with one of these razors not only has a nostalgic feel, it’s also meditative and probably the best shave you’ve ever had.



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In the Love of the Three in One,

Br. Jack+, LC

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* This is compared to another shave with blades by Shark. This shave had a couple of days growth, too. And I was using Mike’s soap. So, the only difference was the blade. It pulled a bit while it was cutting.  It wasn’t a good experience. It wasn’t too bad mainly because I had already had some good shaves to compare it with. So, I knew this wasn’t the norm. However, if someone was just starting out, and this was the first encounter, it would most likely be a turn off and result in not trying it again.

1 comment:

amandacorliss1 said...

Some of the old ways are still the best, brother. Like you, I converted from cartridge razors to wet shaving over a year ago with no regrets.