I’ve come to the conclusion that Gillette and Schick et al are only pushing newer and more expensive “shaving systems” on us just for profits. I haven’t seen any real improvement on the quality of the shave and, due to the ever-increasing number of blades, I only find it more difficult to shave if I’ve been neglecting for a while… ’cause shaving is annoying dammit!
Since I’ll be taking a trip soon, I didn’t want to spend a whole lot on new cartridges and disposables are just a hassle to carry. Plus I can’t guarantee a steady supply of newfangled shaving utensils where I’m going.
Enter the Safety Razor
Boy, I haven’t touched one of these since I got my hands on one that belonged to my grandfather. And I can see why more and more men (and, statistically, some women) are turning to these to shave beards. I can lay off shaving for a while and pickup again without worrying about skipping and catching. Like a 6 wheel pickup accelerating with the brakes jammed on one wheel leaving a streak of rubber (or in this case blood).
The good :
It actually is a closer shave than the standard disposable, dead battery and power loss proof and it will last a long time. In fact, the standard cartridge will only last 2-3 shaves for me before having to toss out and the handle part becomes obsolete in a few months. I can actually stock up on blades for literally pennies a piece vs $10 – $15+ for conventional cartridges and the razor itself should last years with proper care.
Can you believe that even with my sporadic shaving habits, I was still spending around $150 on shaving supplies a year?
It’s even easier to clean, because the whole blade comes out for a thorough rinse whereas with the cartiridge and disposable, I have to use the thumb over tap, water hose, trick to force water between the blades almost after each stroke!
Nicks galore! This was actually due to user error and should subside once I really get the hang of it, but you will have at least one or two nicks per shaving session no matter what considering the number of strokes involved. Better man up bucko!
Reaching tight spots like under your nose and, if you’re like me with a freakishly large Adam’s apple, the neck, is a bit tricky.
The hang of it
Apparently, rushing is bad! Take your time when wet shaving, with a safety razor. The “safety” part depends very much on your cooperation.
Wet thoroughly with warm water for at least a 30 seconds first and lather well.
Hold the razor at a 45 degree angle to your skin; this depends on the model, but the upper and lower metal pieces should be touching your skin the same time as the blade sandwiched in the middle so only the very tip of the blade is touching the skin (so that’s 3 contacts). Yeah, this ain’t like your standard plastic piece; you really have to pay attention.
If you had let your beard grow for a while and are shaving now, you should increase the angle a bit so the bottom metal piece is off the skin and the blade is also slightly hovering above the skin. This should allow a very short trim first and then you can lower the angle as above (kinda like the standard two blade razor, but you’re doing the second, closer, shave yourself).
Overall, I think I’m going to stick with my beta test of the safety razor since it was well received and I may keep the upgrade even well after the trip.