A lot of guys shave because they have to, but they don’t necessarily enjoy it. And it’s too bad, really, because it’s a pretty mindful process if you do it right.
If you’re one of those guys that doesn’t like it, or you’re looking for an alternative to spending a small fortune on the multi-bladed cartridges that most men use, you’re in the right place.
I used to be one of those guys. I shaved every day or two because I needed to, but I hated doing it and tried to get it over with as fast as I could. I tried all the latest multi-blade cartridges – 3 blades, 5 blades, vibrating razors, the whole bit.
But none of them made it any more enjoyable, just more expensive!
The Solution To My Problem
Seven or eight years ago, I came across an article on the Art of Manliness website called How to Shave Like Your Grandpa. It was about something called wet shaving using an old-fashioned double-edged (DE) razor blade – a razor that literally was just like the one my grandpa used when I was a kid – and a good shaving brush and soap.
Something about the idea sparked my interest and I started reading everything I could about wet shaving. That led me to YouTube, where I watched a ton of videos about the process.
It all sounded intriguing so I hopped onto Amazon and ordered all the gear I needed to get started.
I don’t really remember how much of a selection there was at the time, but there’s a ton of stuff on there now. You could spend hundreds of dollars buying different razors, shave creams, brushes, etc.
It’s funny though, most of the stuff I bought originally is probably still my favourite. I don’t know if I just haven’t found the right razor or if I just happened to pick the perfect one for me, but I’m still using that original one more than any other.
And the first brand of blade I tried is still my favourite.
I haven’t used typical drugstore cartridge blades much since then but the few times I have, I’m amazed that I used to shave with them every day. They don’t give me nearly as good a shave and they cost ten times as much as double-edged blades.
The same goes for the cans of chemical shaving foam that I used to use every day. They don’t work nearly as well as a good shaving cream with a decent brush, and I’m really not sure how I put up with them for most of my life.
Probably the biggest difference I’ve noticed is the cost, however. Those cartridge blades can cost anywhere from $1.50 to $3.00 each, compared to 10 to 25 cents each for double-edged blades.
And contrary to what the razor brands would have you believe, you’ll get a much better shave out of a single DE blade than you will from a cartridge with several blades in it. Especially when you consider that you can replace them far more often and still spend less money.
You see, one of the most important things for getting a good shave is a sharp blade. If your blade isn’t sharp, it really doesn’t matter how good everything else is.
One of the biggest problems I had back when I used those cartridges is that I would use them far longer than they’re intended. The blades start to dull as soon as you start using them, and they’re really only meant for a handful of shaves. But I would use the same one for a month or two at a time.
No wonder I was hacking my face up so much. It seems a bit counter-intuitive but a dull blade will do far more damage than a sharp one, as long as you’re careful with the sharp one and you prepare your face properly.
Component of a Good Shave
Wet shaving requires several things:
- A razor
- Shaving brush
- Shaving cream
- A few extras
In this series, we’re going to look at each of those things – what you should look for, how to choose the best one for you and our recommendations based on our own experience.
The series is broken into several parts:
Hopefully a lot of your questions will be answered, maybe even before you know you should ask them. But if you have any questions or want to know more about something particular, don’t hesitate to let us know.
You can comment below or @ us on Twitter. We’ll do our best to answer all your questions, either directly or with a follow-up post here.