I've never really enjoyed shaving, maybe it's just the thought of taking a blade to your face is less than appealing. In search of a better method I tried multiple electric razors, different disposable types with 3, 4 and 5 blades. It wasn't until I tried shaving with a safety razor that I actually started to enjoy the process of shaving.I'm going to go over the advantages of shaving with a safety razor and how to get started.
What is a Safety Razor?
A safety razor uses a sturdy metal handle that connects to a guard and blade holder. It uses a single double edged blade that fits securely in the razor. The term safety razor came as a result of the guard being a safety feature when compared to using an open blade. Safety razors can last a lifetime and are readily available online.
First off you get a better shave with a safety razor than from a disposable because you're not dragging and pulling on the hairs like you do with multiple blades. With a single sharp blade angled correctly you cut the lengths of the hair and just let the blade do the work. I now have fewer ingrown hairs and my skin looks healthier.
The second benefit is the double edge safety blades cost significantly less than the latest multiple blade disposable. How much less you may ask? When I made my first purchase, I bought 100 blades for about $10 which should last almost 2 years! Compare that to blades from the major manufacturers, you can barely buy 2 blades for that price. The major razor brands are entirely marketing driven. The price you pay is to supplement their advertising and sponsorship budgets. You don't need 5 blades, 1 will do just fine!
Thirdly, it makes shaving more enjoyable. It's an old school way to shave and there's something I like about that. Shaving this way requires a bit of technique and skill which is part of what makes it less of a mundane routine and more of a manly habit. To really get the full effect I incorporated the shaving brush and real shaving cream (not foam variety from an aerosol can). This creates a rich lather and the brush really get in between each whisker.
Below is a list of all the items you'll need to start shaving like a man. There are some upfront costs associated with safety razors but they will be quickly offset due to the less expensive blades.
- Safety Razor: There are several reputable brands but Merkur is one of the best and has a wide selection. If this is your first safety razor, I suggest using the Merkur classic safety razor strait, model 33C. It's not too expensive, about $30 and is easy to use.
- Double Edge Blades: I use Astra and have been very satisfied. Everyone is different though so you could also try a sampler pack of blades from different brands and see which ones work best for your face.
- Badger Hair Shaving Brush: Use this to lather up like real barber. Just wet the brush and use a dime sized smearing of shaving cream. Lather in your palm or a mug to create the best shaving lather of your life!
- Shaving Cream: Again this is actual cream not foam from a can. I use Taylor of Old Bond Street. One 5 ounce jar will last you longer than an aerosol can so the price isn't really that much more.
How to Shave
Again with a safety razor it's beard reduction and not cutting and dragging the hair. The head of the razor also does not pivot. So shave in sections of your face that are on the same plane as opposed to sliding the razor across a long length of your face. If it's your first time just use shorter strokes as you develop a feel for this new way of shaving.
I also recommend shaving with the grain in which the hair grows then reapply the shaving cream to take a second pass against the grain. This ensures a close, smooth shave with less irritation. Once complete splash cold water on your face to close the pores and apply whatever aftershave your prefer. Then rinse your brush and razor, you can take the razor apart to really clean the blade off if you like. (Note: keeping the blade dry is the key to making it last longer. Moisture corrodes the blade and makes it dull, not the actual act of cutting).
Now you're armed with the knowledge to shave like a real man and save some hard earned dough in the process.
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