It’s been over a year since I wrote about shaving. And some people might be thinking, “Yea!” But, I find it very calming. Especially since I use a double edge (or DE) safety razor. My shaves have been very smooth—no irritation, bumps, or cuts (well, a couple of nicks but nothing serious).
As with most things one picks up, one starts to seek out other techniques or supplies. And wet shaving (as it’s sometimes called) is no different. I’ve tried various blades and soaps and I even purchased a couple of inexpensive razors at flea markets—one’s even a nice twist-to-open (TTO) or “butterfly” razor . But one thing that I wanted to try was an “open comb” razor.
A lot of DE safety razors have a bar that runs the entire length of the under side of the blade. This leads to less exposed blade, thus making it much safer than a straight razor, especially in inexperienced hands. But an open comb razor has notches or openings in the safety bar, giving it the look of a comb. While this is still safer than a straight razor, it does expose more of the razor blade than the straight bar (or “closed comb,” as it’s sometimes called).
Anyway, as I said, I wanted to try one. But I just couldn’t see myself buying a new razor just for the head and most places don’t sell their razors in parts.
The other day, however, I went over to Maggard Razors, which I do at least once a week. I normally don’t buy anything (most of the supplies one uses in wet shaving will last for months), but just browse around to see what’s new. Maggard Razors was where I purchased my first razor and supplies.
Well, last week I spied their custom open comb razor heads! As they were only $7 (!), I added one to my shopping cart along with a couple of bottles of sample aftershave from Captain’s Choice (Bay Rum and Sandalwood). With speedy shipping the whole purchase was less than $20, and you just can’t beat that.
My shipment arrived on Friday afternoon and I couldn’t wait to try out the new razor head. But I did.
I just finished my first shave with my Maggard Razors open comb razor head on my Maggard Razors MR1 stainless steel handle. My blade of choice is the Feather blade (this was my fifth shave with this blade). These blades are made in Japan and are some of the sharpest around. For my soap, I used the Maggard Razors unscented soap and my brush is an Omega Hi-Performance Synthetic Bristle Brush.
First I have to say how much I really like Maggard’s unscented soap. My skin’s sensitive and fragranced soaps burn my skin and irritate it for hours. So I really appreciate that Maggard makes a soap without fragrances. And let me tell you, their unscented soap just explodes whenever I start loading it into the bush! Seriously. I just wet the brush (since it’s synthetic I don’t have to soak it like one would do a boar hair or badger hair brush), squeeze out the excess water and, after a couple of passes, the foam just erupts inside the container! All in all, it only took a few seconds and I had a nice, rich lather.
After dampening my face, I built a face lather until I got a nice even layer on my face. I then wet the razor in hot tap water and started my shave.
I could feel the blade on my face in a more direct way that I normally do, which is to be expected. It’s not a lot different that the closed comb head, but it was enough for me to notice it.
If I’d been in a rush, I could’ve stopped after that first pass—my face was so smooth! But I lathered up again and proceeded with my second and final pass. (The first pass is always with the grain; the second is “cross-grained”.)
Seriously. I said, “wow” outloud. That was one of the smoothest shave I’ve ever had. I just can’t believe the difference. Normally, I have to do a “touch-up” pass where I feel around for any places that could be a little closer, but not this time. It was just so close and smooth.
I finished up with some splashes of cold water (to tighten the skin back up), Thayers original witch hazel with organic aloe vera, and then splashed on some Captain’s Choice Sandalwood aftershave.
All in all, it was a great shave and I’ll be using this open comb razor for a long, long time.
If you have the mind to, I highly recommend checking out Maggard Razors for all of your shaving needs. They’re great people to work with, speedy on their processing and delivery, and have fantastic customer service.
In the Love of the Three in One,
Br. Jack+, LC