Millions of good men stumble into their bathroom every day for their morning shave. The sad reality of the situation: they all hate it. A nation of men who should know better pick up a plastic cartridge razor with a vibrating handle and wonder “Why the hell am I doing this to myself?”
Well gentlemen, say hello to the safety razor. It’s cheaper, it’ll give you a better shave, and it will, without question, make you feel like a full-grown, ass-kicking man every time you use it.
Ignore the ridiculous marketing hype around those cartridge razors. Let’s talk about why you need to make the change, and how you can get the closest shave of your life with a safety razor.
The Benefits of Safety Razors
Not to be dramatic, but the safety razor absolutely demolishes the cartridge razor in every single facet:
Did you know that the average cost of owning a cartridge razor is $240 a year? And that’s just the standard version. If you’re getting all the extra blades and features and guards…you’re looking $300 gone, just like that.
A safety razor handle will cost you anywhere from $13-$50 bucks, but you’ll keep that thing forever. And the blades are dirt cheap. You can get a 100 count box for about $13. Plus, there are two sides to every blade so you automatically extend its lifespan. Easy winner.
Safety razors have a slimmer design to make it easier to get in those awkward areas like under your nose and around your neck. It takes a bit of practice to reach pro-status, but once you get there, you’ll be hitting those angles with no problem at all.
The marketing machine that is Gillette has been able to convince people over the years that more blades means a better shave. Science has shown that this just isn’t true, folks. In fact, all of those extra blades end up taking off extra skin which can cause nasty irritation. And when those cartridge blades get dull, they end up pulling rather than cutting. Ouch.
The safety razor takes off exactly the amount you need, and you can afford to always keep a sharp blade on it. Once you get the hang of it, the shave that you get from your safety razor makes the cartridge seem like a toy.
There are a few drawbacks to safety razors, namely the likelihood in cutting yourself. As a beginner you can definitely avoid most nicks and cuts by going slow, but learning how to shave with a safety razor really only takes a few weeks. In any case, keep a good vasoconstrictor around in case you do draw a little blood.
You can get your blade from Amazon, eBay, or any other number of online stores. New ones will cost you between $20 and $100, but you can get a sweet old-school handle for a bit cheaper. Ebay has a ton of them.
You’ll also need your double-edged blades, which as mentioned before, are very affordable. Lots of guys like Feather blades which some say are the sharpest. Derby blades are good for guys with lighter hair, and Personna blades are right in the middle.
After that, you just need your badger hair shaving brush and some good shaving cream or shaving soap and you’re good to go.
Now, for your instructions:
How to Shave with a Safety Razor: 4 Simple Steps
- Lather up. A good lather is super important, especially if you have a decent amount of hair to shave off. Wash your face with hot water (or just plan to shave right after your shower) and build a nice thick lather with your brush and your shaving cream. Use circular motions to work it into your hair so it can really soften up.
- Start the Face Shave. Begin your shave starting at your sideburns, and bring the handle down slowly and lightly. Remember, no extra pressure. Let the weight of the handle do the work for you. Shaving with the grain like this helps you get that first big layer of hair off. Don’t worry about getting it super smooth on the first pass. It’s about reduction, not removal.
After you finish a pass with the grain, you can shave cross-grain to get even closer. If you want to get super smooth, you can try shaving against the grain, but be careful. You can get irritation if you’re not careful. Do both sides and move on.
- Shave your Neck
After you’ve got your cheeks and your moustache taken care of, it’s time to tackle your neck. Definitely be sure to apply even less pressure, especially around your Adam’s apple. The skin on your neck is much thinner, so you may only want to do a with the grain pass here.
- Clean and Inspect
Wash your face and neck off with cold water and see how you did. It won’t be super smooth right away, but that’s fine. As you get better, you’ll be able to see what spots need extra passes, and eventually speed up without skimping on quality.Slap some after shave moisturizer on your face, and look forward to your next shave because you enjoyed that one so damn much.
Practice is Key
Shaving really is an art that you have to practice. You can search all of the videos and articles in the world, but your exact technique will be unique to you. If it seems hard at first, don’t sweat it. Just set aside more time in the morning and you’ll eventually become a pro.As soon as you finish that first shave, even if it wasn’t perfect, you’ll know the feeling that everyone’s been raving about when they talk about safety razors. Get you some.