Whats Old is New Again - and Never Out of Style
Not often does does a great idea come and go only to be reused again. But it does happen from time to time and in this case with regards to shaving. Many men believe cartridge razors are the only options available to them to perform the daily morning ritual of shaving. However, there are more effective and more affordable options available including safety razors and straight razors.
Prior to the 1950's safety razors and straight razors were the only methods of shaving available to men. As our culture became focused on finding the cheapest and easiest (perhaps lazy) way of doing things, those shaving methods changed. These new methods were presented as revolutionary advancements in technology; in reality, they mark a devolution in the pursuit of self-care. Luckily, there has been an awakening among many men reverting back to the tried and true methods of the past. Safety razors and straight razors are once again coming into vogue due to the numerous benefits they offer. Straight razors and safety razors are not simply a trend, however. Their efficiency, affordability, and the enjoyment using them makes them a timeless choice.
The majority of men in United States shave with some form of cartridge or disposable razor because major corporations like Procter and Gamble, Gillette, Bic and Schick have marketed these products heavily over the past half century. These companies have pushed these products to increase profits while putting these inferior razors in the forefront of the minds of the average American male. Curiously, safety razors (also known as double edged safety razors or DE razors) and straight razors are the shaving tools for the majority of men outside of North America. Their popularity is due to the number of benefits they provide, including a closer shave, affordability, eco-friendliness and a more enjoyable experience.
Achieving A Quality and Affordable Shave Using a Safety Razor
Most men today spend about $200 a year - or $12,000 over a lifetime - using disposable cartridge razors like Mach3, Fusion, Schick Quattro and Bic razors. Conversely, those using safety and straight razors can shave for less than $10 a year or $600 in a lifetime. So how is this achieved?
Safety razors are comprised of a single blade system. The shaft usually costs anywhere from $25 to $50 and only needs to be purchased once and will last a lifetime thanks to the craftsmanship and quality of material used (typically steel). The replacement blades generally range from .20 to .50 cents a blade resulting in a total yearly cost of $10 - $20 even when changing the blade every week. Comparatively, disposable and cartridge razors will cost consumers $90 - $175 a year. Given the ongoing costs of each product, switching to a safety razor will save the average person $5,000 - $10,000 over a lifetime!
Due to the design of the single blade safety razor, shavers experience a closer shave, less ingrown hairs and less irritation, all leading to a more enjoyable shave. The single blade system allows the razors to be drawn more closely to the skin, cutting hairs precisely and even allowing some people to shave less frequently if they wish. Additionally, in multi blade systems (like Mach3’s, Fusion razors, etc.) the very first blade bears the brunt of the cutting since it’s the first blade to make contact with the hair. This causes the first blade to become dull more quickly than the subsequent blades. Most shavers will tell you their first few shaves were great with their multi blade cartridge razors but the following shaves were irritable due to the dull first blade constantly being dragged over the skin. The beauty of the single blade safety razor system is that the blades cost significantly less, allowing them to be changed more frequently. This enables the shaver to always shave with a sharp blade resulting in less irritation.
Lastly, multi blade systems frequently cause ingrown hairs because after the first blade cuts the hair, the following blades, aloe strips, and any additional unnecessary features often knock the hairs to be knocked down into the skin after they are cut. These knocked down hairs grow further into the skin leading to ingrown hairs. The single blade safety razors pass over the hair and skin one time, which allows for a much less irritable shave. For those starting out in safety razor shaving we recommend the Edwin Jagger 86, 87 or 89 series, Merkur 34C in addition to any of the Parker lines.
Achieving A Quality and Affordable Shave Using a Straight Razor
Straight razors are the other single blade system and are also referred to as barber razors, open razors and cut-throat razors. However, don’t let the name scare you, they are incredibly safe. The blade on these razors is sharpened using a stone and will never need to be replaced due to the thickness and quality involved in making these shaving tools. These razors will typically cost between $16 - $150 and because the blade never needs to be replaced the ongoing maintenance costs for this razor is $0. Just like anything else, you get what you pay for and because these razors cost a little bit more upfront, you can expect a high quality razor that will last a lifetime if not longer. Actually, it’s common for these razors to be passed down from one generation to another generation because of their craftsmanship and sturdiness. Due to the nature of the one blade system, the benefits of the straight razor are very similar to that of the safety razor mentioned above: a closer shave, affordability, enjoyableness and eco-friendliness. For those starting out we recommend purchasing either the Dovo or Boker brands.
Shaving is one of the few rituals men get to do each day that defines them as being a man. We urge you to take pride in your shave whether it be for economic reasons, striving for a better shave or simply trying a new way of shaving. You no longer have to deal with costly cartridge razors, shoddy throw away razors, ingrown hairs, dry skin and redness, so take the step and find the shave that works for you - your custom shave. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact us at email@example.com or 203-767-3723 for a free consultation.
To a pleasurable shave,
The Custom Shaving Team