This is a story of how a razor saved the world! Okay maybe I’m exaggerating just a bit, but it is a post about a razor saved my neck, and my face. As I’ve mentioned in other posts, shaving has never been an enjoyable experience for me. Over the years I’d tried different creams and razors with very little effect. Eventually I settled into what would become my routine. Shave, have irritated neck and face, avoid collared shirts, wait 2 or 3 days for irritation to lessen, and repeat.
About year ago I came across an article that really resonated with me. When you strip away all the gimmicks like vibrating handles and aloe strips (yes the strips are gimmick), you’re left with blades. Each new razor seems to add even more blades, but perhaps shaving is an instance were less is more.
Despite what shaving commercials portray, I don’t know of anyone that shaves with a single long stroke of the razor. We shave in short at least partially overlapping strokes. One swipe with a 5 blade razor is essentially 5 passes. Given that these passes overlap or that we often go over the same area more than once, two or three actually swipes can give you the irritation of 10 to 15. You may be thinking, “Why not just use a single blade disposable razor?” I did, and it did help a little, but the second part of the issue is the quality of the blade.
Enter the Safety Razor! The closeness of a straight razor without the work and possibility of separating your head from your neck. Safety Razors when incredibly popular at one time, so what happened? Did they become obsolete in the wake of startling new advancements in shaving? No. The problem with safety razors, and this is documented by the way, is that they were too good.
Good razors with long lasting blades translate to slower and less frequent repeat sales. By creating cheaper, disposable razors and blades you have a cyclical repeat business model. This isn’t conspiracy, and from a business standpoint its brilliant! From a consumer standpoint however the view is a little different. Blades for Safety Razors cost mere pennies, are higher quality, and last much longer. When was the last time you picked up 100 razor blades for around $10.00?
The razors themselves run between $25 and $35 as of the time of this writing and I personally like and use Merkur. I am a big fan of the $1 shave club, and if you use disposable razors its a good way to go. If however you are liking me and fighting a lot of irritation and redness I would encourage you to give a safety razor a try. Shaving with a Safety Razor made a big difference in the closeness of my shave and the amount of irritation afterwards.