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Whether it’s the local pharmacy, ordered in bulk, or through the mail, the fact is you have a lot of options for where to get your razors these days. The answer to your shaving prayers however, may just have been hidden in plain sight all along.
The Safety Razor: Yesterday’s Shave Today
If the thought of using a safety razor for your face or manscaping needs has you scratching your head, rest assured we aren’t talking about a bag of yellow razors sold by a pen company. The safety razor dates back to the 1800’s and was one of the first deviations from the straight razor.
Safety razors as we know them today come in various shapes and sizes. The modern safety razor refers to lightweight, reusable razors with a protective device or barrier that separates a disposable blade from your skin. This minimizes cuts and allows a fresh blade to be installed when the old one gives out.
Shaves Great, Saves Money
Besides its longevity and durability, the safety razor can also save you money in the long run on your shaving needs. Because the handle portion is reusable, only the blade needs to be replaced. Thankfully a package of 100 blades can run anywhere between $8 and $15 with each blade lasting multiple shaves, perhaps dozens depending on how you use it.
Wet Shaving 101: A Beginner’s Guide
Another way to cut down on shaving costs is by learning the art of the traditional wet shave. Depending on your age and who taught you how to shave, wet shaving may be something you’re already familiar with.
Wet shaving is done with warm water and typically a shaving cream or soap. It differs from dry shaving methods such as with an electric razor or any shaving method that doesn’t require soap and water.
If you’ve seen a movie made more than twenty years ago that featured a man shaving, you are likely familiar with wet shaving already. Standing in front of the mirror with a lathered up brush, spreading shaving cream over his face in a circular motion. Ring any bells? He’s wet shaving.
Wet shaving begins with splashing warm water over the face. This helps open the pores of your skin and get the hair ready for shaving.
Shaving cream or foam is then spread over the face with a brush in a circular motion. The circular motion helps lather the foam and distribute it evenly. It also helps the hair stand up straight for even shaving.
Shaving with a safety razor differs from shaving with a cartridge razor. While the concepts are the same, the main differences are the speed and angle of the blade.
When wet shaving with a safety razor, slow and steady wins the race. Trying to make too many passes too quickly will most certainly result in blood. Likewise, the angle must be carefully determined. The specific angle that suits you will vary depending on many factors.
Your specific hair type as well as the blade and razor you use will impact the ideal angle. Even the unique contours of your face will factor in. The best place to being figuring out your ideal blade angle is your cheek. This tends to be the softest, most cushioned part of your face.
Begin with the head of the razor pointing directly toward your cheek. Slowly begin to angle the blade downward. You’ll begin to feel the blade pressing against your skin. A general rule is to hold the razor at around a 30-degree angle. Again, this will vary, but it is a good area to begin with.
As you feel the blade start to press against your skin, slowly let the razor fall downward against your face. Unlike a cartridge or electric razor, you do not need to press the blade into your face. Simply let the weight of the razor and gravity slide it down. Too much pressure will increase your risk of cutting yourself.
There will be a learning curve if you’re not experienced. The best advice is to go slowly and take your time until you get the hang of it.
Wet shaving can also be done in the shower, and while a variety of shaving creams and soaps are available, any run of the mill shower soap or even shampoo will suffice. The hot water from the shower will help open your pores and prepare your face or body for shaving. With a little practice you’ll also find a wet shave with a safety razor will provide a cleaner, closer, longer lasting shave than your cartridge razor ever could.
The Bottom Line
Wet shaving with a safety razor is an exceptional choice for daily face shaving and the high quality and durability make it a great option for the dedicated manscaper as well. Whatever your desire, wet shaving with a safety razor delivers a classic shave that would make your granddad proud.
Beyond providing a close, class shave, the ultimate financial benefit cannot be ignored either. The average cost of the leading cartridge brand razor replacements is between $25-$30 for a package of eight. The average cost of a package of 100 safety razor blades? Less than $10.00 depending on the style and brand.
In the long run, you’ll learn to shave closers and better than ever before while saving money in the process. Now that’s a win-win any way you slice it.