Over the past couple of decades, shaving has taken quite a radical turn.
It has gone from a much respected ritual performed by masterfully skilled barbers at your local barbershop, to a routine, everyday activity that people do “because they have to”.
Also, the tools of the trade made the change even more apparent: regular folks shifted en masse from safety razors to disposable or cartridge blades – a move which pretty accurately reflects the hectic, frantic “rat race” lifestyle of today: instantaneous, rushed and kind of lifeless, to be honest.
So, if you want to rediscover the art of good old-fashioned shaving, or simply break away from your rut and find some time to take better care of your facial hair, keep on reading!
There are a few vital points to consider when deciding on what type of razor you want sliding around your face, and here’s what you should keep in mind:
Considering the cost
The majority of men will probably say that disposable razors are pretty affordable, but this is only partially true.
Straight of the bat, disposable cartridge blades are indeed significantly cheaper than safety razors, but they wear out extremely quickly and are likely to skyrocket your shaving costs over time, especially if you have a thicker beard.
By opting for safety razors, you will have to spend a bit more in the beginning, but this device is indubitably a lot more economical in the long run.
Remember, flashy commercials and marketing tricks can deceive you, but math can’t. Put the numbers down on paper and see for yourself how easily you can save when you shave.
A closer, smoother shave
Disposable razors are indisputably built to get the job done, but that’s about all you’re going to get – a mediocre, “acceptable” shave, regardless of the number of blades that the marketers try to throw at you.
If you truly value the quality of your shave, using a double edged safety razor will provide you with a much more comfortable experience, less skin irritation and a better overall quality of your well-groomed chin.
The closer the shave, the more time you get before you need to do it again, meaning your 5 o’clock shadow may even emerge well into the next day. Furthermore, maintaining your safety razor is really quite easy – just make sure your rinse it thoroughly and keep it in a clean place.
A plethora of great “software”
Wet shaving with a safety razor relies heavily on thorough preparation, with the goal of helping you relax the skin and soften the grain.
One of the best ways to keep irritation at a minimum and ensure a smoother shave is to use organic and natural shaving creams and soaps, commonly referred to as “software” (as opposed to the razor itself, “hardware”), when preparing your face for the ordeal. This also includes a soft, gentle brush to help you apply the shaving cream and massage the skin, making it even easier to follow the grain and effectively remove that stubborn facial hair.
It’s also important to emphasize that using these natural creams and shaving soaps directly allows you to avoid all those unnecessary chemicals and preservatives (e.g. paraben) that are being aggressively stuffed into most conventional shaving foams and gels.
Your own private ritual
Men don’t spend as much time in front of a mirror as women do, but they still try to maintain at least a reputable appearance on a daily basis. Switching to safety razors might cost you just a little bit more of your time, but that’s not a bad thing if you channel that time into something you actually enjoy.
Make a manly ritual out of shaving – indulge yourself for a few minutes each day.
Splash some warm water on your face, apply a soft shaving soap, take your time and make that shave count. You can always use this process as an exercise in patience, or even as a form of active meditation – cartridge razors were specifically designed for a world in a constant state of hurry, which is why wet shaving represents the perfect way to drop the tempo and stop to smell the roses (shaving soaps now come in a myriad of great scents!).
The golden standard
It might sound silly to some, but there indeed are things that our ancestors did way better than us, and shaving is indubitably one of them.
Even though our quality of living might be higher, we often don’t get the time to fully enjoy it.
My feeling is that sporting a classic safety razor provides a man with a sense of class and tradition, but this might just be an individual case – I got my razor as a gift from my father a while back, so it holds significant personal sentimental value as well.
Whatever the origin of that “olden-golden” feeling might be, it’s irrefutably there, and that’s what really counts. Additionally, safety razors come in some pretty awesome and attractive designs, so you can choose your favorite!
Safe and sound
It’s already been mentioned that safety razors provide a rather smooth shave, but they also excel at what they were named after – safety.
These fine instruments embody the perfect balance between shaving quality and safety, making them much easier to use than straight razors, while simultaneously being a whole lot more precise and effective than cartridge razors.
Replacing the blades is quite easy, although adjusting the angle of the razor might take some initial practice to fully master. But when you get it right, it becomes super convenient.
Safety razors are indeed back in great style, with a whole lot of functionality to boot – great cost efficiency, a very close, smooth and elegant shaving experience, ease of use and maintenance, as well as a sense of class and tradition.
Furthermore, they embody the old, patient way of taking some time for yourself, allowing you to relax and enjoy something that might otherwise be a daily bother, making it your own ritual of manliness instead.
About the author: Don is a marketing consultant for Shaver Hut. He has been sporting all kinds of facial hair and experimenting with it. He takes great pride in his wet shaving techniques. One day he would love to compete at the World Beard and Moustache Championship.
Image Courtesy: flickr.com/51764518@N02