Shave Like a Man

"Proper shaving has become a lost art. Today’s average male has no clue about the fine art of the traditional wet shave that their grandfathers and some of their fathers used to take part in. Instead, they’re only accustomed to the cheap and disposable shaving products that companies market. I’m not sure when or why it happened, but the tradition of passing down the secrets of a clean shave abruptly stopped. Thankfully, this glorious male ritual is making a comeback."
My set up

So begins a post called "Shave Like Your Grandpa over at The Art of Manliness (go read their whole post!). I have been using a double edge safety razor (the "classic wet shave") for about a year and a half, and will never return to the overpriced cartridges. Here are four reasons why you should convert as well (Wives, this would be an awesome gift!):

First, cost. A pack of 4 or 5 cartridges will cost you $16-20! I used to use the Gillette Fusion, and this was the case. For those who don't want to spend a ton on shaving, this typically causes one to use the blade for much longer than you should, which means a sub-par shave. Double edge safety razors, on the other hand, are extremely cheap. I bought a variety pack of 50 that will last me a very long time. A quick search on Amazon turned up a variety pack of 100 for $23.77! I typically shave using one side about 6 or 7 times, then use the other for another 6 or 7. That means I only use around 24 blades a year. That would average out to around $6 a year on blades. With the Fusion, using a cartridge every two weeks, I used to spend around $120 a year on blades. That is significant.

Second, a closer shave. Companies today are just adding blade after blade, which is actually worse for your skin. One blade should do the trick, and it can with a double edge safety razor. I usually make two passes each shave and the shave is much, much closer than with the popular multi-blade cartridges. Once I got the hang of it, I was really shocked at how close a single blade cuts. With the double edge safety razor, you also have much more control since you can see the blade against your skin. Trust me, your lady friend will appreciate it.

Third, manliness. I realize that some readers will object that manliness consists of no shaving. I hear you. Charles Spurgeon said growing a beard was a manly, beneficial, natural and scriptural thing to do. Who can argue with Chuck? In fact, as I type this post, I haven't shaved in about three months. But for those of us who shave, this is a much manlier ritual than the old can of goop and the plastic cartridge. The whole routine of making your own lather, using a badger brush to apply it, and holding a piece of steel in your hand just feels manlier. I used to hate shaving everyday, but once I started going with the classic wet shave I actually enjoy it.
Train him up in the way he should go.

Fourth, it's greener. You'll no longer be chunking plastic cartridges twice a month. A nice razor should last a lifetime. In fact, if you are ready to graduate to a man shave, you might ask around to see if your grandparents or somebody still has theirs. Then your old razor will bless your grand-kids later!

Here is what you'll need and what I have gone with:

  • Razor - you may can find one from a family member, or perhaps at an antique store. I grabbed the Merkur 180 Long Handle for $33 and am pleased with it. Double edge razors come with a short handle so I thought I'd want a long one, but I don't use the last half of the handle anyway so a short one would be fine.
  • Badger brush - I first bought a shave kit for like $6 at CVS (similar to this one), but that brush didn't last very long so I bought a Tweezerman from Amazon for $12. Warning: may stink at first!
  • Cup - you can just use a coffee mug or something similar for this. I use the one that came with the cheap CVS shave kit (similar to this one).
  • Shave soap - So much better than the green goop! I am only on my second bar. I used the first one that came with the kit, but now am using Col. Conk.
  • After shave - I first grabbed Clubman Pinaud from Walgreens, and continue to use it but now I buy from Amazon. Smell like a dude.
So man up. You may want to watch some tutorials on YouTube to help you get the hang of it. It took me several days before it felt comfortable - and there was blood.

You won't regret it.

Any suggestions from those who are old-timers at this?