For millions of men, the daily act of shaving… sucks. We tear our faces up with overpriced razors with blades that go dull quickly and foams that numb the face, deal with ingrown hairs and irritation, and more often than not have stubble within a few hours. That’s the reality that so many of us wake up to every day. It doesn’t have to work like that, though. Shaving doesn’t have to suck.
There are communities on the web that pride themselves on shaving the old-fashioned way, with a safety razor (or straightedge!), a brush, a high-quality cream or soap, and a combination of aftershaves selected with meticulous planning. The group eschews the multi-bladed monsters with their overpriced refills and the cans of foam and gels that mostly numb the face and don’t really help shaving that much… but…
The dirty secret in the “wet shaving community” is that the multi-blade systems work, and for many people work reasonably well. They can produce a clean and irritation-free shave. For many people, a quick shave and shower IS a part of life, and they’re good with that.
The problem is that it doesn’t work for everyone. The multi-bladed razors leave me irritated and with horrible ingrown hair issues due to my fairly sensitive skin and a very thick beard. That combination is disaster when combined with the drugstore razors. For me, wetshaving isn’t something I do because I enjoy it (I do enjoy it, but that’s secondary). Wetshaving is something I do because I HAVE to do it. I use a brush and a cream or soap because the exfoliation and beard softening effects help to prevent ingrown hairs. I use a good aftershave balm and witch hazel because they help to repair the damage done by scraping a sharp blade across my skin. I use a safety razor because it efficiently slices the hair in my beard off closely to the skin without going too far.
For many, that morning chore of shaving and just dealing with the pain of irritation and ingrowns is something they just don’t know how to avoid. For me, it was an accidental click on a blog that led me in the direction of wetshaving. One thing led to another, and over the couple of years I’ve been doing it I’ve now acquired creams, soaps, aftershaves, razors, blades, brushes… and it’s all been a good experience. Shaving went from something I dreaded to a way to kickstart my day in the right way. Rainy and cold outside? Sandalwood soap and aftershave. Hot and humid? It’s a Proraso shave, baby! Face irritated from a bad shave recently? Speick cures all.
The kicker, for me, has been that it doesn’t add that much time to my morning rituals around my shower. Instead of a 3 minute shave I might take up to 7 or 8 minutes. And it’s WORTH IT. I save money by not blowing through the 15 dollar cartridge refill packs every week or two, I save my face with good products, and I feel pretty good starting the day. If you haven’t tried wetshaving yet, there’s no time like the present.
Jeremy is a wet shaving expert and blogger. He runs popular wet shaving blog Punkrockshaving.blogspot.com.
More articles by Jeremy Mahler
Due to the increasing popularity of double-edged razor shaving, many people who know little about this product are now curious as to why this is proving to be so “in demand”. The question this poses to these guys is: why would I want to change my shaving habits?
It is easy to get set in your ways when shaving or undertaking any other regular task. If you have been using an electric razor or Mach 3 blade for what seems like forever, you would be entitled to wonder why you should make a change now. In a previous article we looked at the cost factor which, while very important, is not the only reason to make the switch.
For starters, double-edged shaving can be a luxurious process. Affordable it certainly is, but the sheer pleasure you get from your daily routine is unsurpassed, especially when you consider the chore it is to shave at present.
A number of men have simply had enough of the expensive multi-bladed systems and have decided to make the bold change themselves. Word of mouth certainly plays a part as guys tend to discuss these things when they are on holiday together or have just discovered something new and interesting.
You may be used to wet shaving already (Mach 3 users) or have a tried and trusted electric razor and so need an incentive other than money to alter your morning routine. Well, as you start to take the time to perfect your technique with a double-edged blade, you start to understand what all the fuss is about. You not only get a closer, smoother shave, but also start to enjoy the experience.
The double-edged razor is becoming extremely popular again as the modern man starts to consider the way the older generation used to shave. Once people get hooked, these retro shaving products allow them to experiment with all the creams, soaps and brushes etc. which are also available. The accessories just serve to make this daily task even more pleasurable.
Although double edge shaving is synonymous with luxury, amazingly it is inexpensive to get started. Once the initial kit has been acquired not only will you experience a better way of shaving, but you will save money too! With blades costing pennies and luxury creams that last months there is no reason not to indulge in this affordable luxury.
So, why not give it a try, break your old habits and brave this new world of traditional and luxurious shaving products; you never know, in time, you may even come to look forward to it!
It has recently been reported that British supermarket giant Asda is to significantly reduce the cost of its Gillette razors by up to 40 percent.
And while this is an admirable move at last for those who use the brand’s shaving products, especially when you think of how cheap it is to actually make these blades, the fact still remains that razors which utilise disposable cartridges such as Mach 3 and Fusion still do not provide value for money for the country’s men.
The company has decided to finally act against widespread anger from guys who have been complaining about the cost of shaving products over the past few years. Therefore, it is no surprise then that many of these men are turning back towards retro wet shaving products like double edged razors.
Even though the cost of replacement cartridges may be dropping, by over a third, by at least one supermarket, the truth is, Gillette razor blades will still end up being more costly in the long run. As Britain’s men of shaving age are waking up to the thought that double edged razors are not just a traditional shaving product confined to the distant past, but make for a luxurious and much more enjoyable experience, people are growing tired of the gimmick which Gillette started when replacement razors were first introduced.
Marketing can only get you so far, and now men are beginning to take a stand against the rising cost of shaving products from the likes of Gillette and aren’t prepared to shell out a small fortune on blades which only cost about 5 pence to manufacture (with a 4,000 percent mark-up).
They may have been clever in getting top sports stars like Roger Federer and Thierry Henry to promote their shaving products, but this latest move by Asda only goes to show that while the blanket pricing from Gillette may be over, the damage has already been done. For those switching to the affordable yet luxurious world of double edged shaving, all we can do is welcome you to the real men’s club.