There was a time (prior to 1680) when shaving one’s face or body was a project only undertaken by a barber, which was basically like going to the doctor’s office if the doctor’s office was also where you would get your hair cut.
If you consider that hassle combined with the business model of planned obsolescence, it’s easy to see how disposable blades came to replace more traditional shaving. Disposables are more profitable.
However, those traditional methods have not been lost to history. In fact, there is a strong underground for the wet shaving community.
What is wet shaving? It’s the process of shaving with either a straight razor or a safety razor.
The quick history is this: Prior to disposables, shaving was done with surgically sharp blades called straight razors. They look like this:
Straight razors take considerable skill to use and keep sharp. They were replaced by the dual-edged safety razor. Safety razors are made up of a handle, a guard, the disposable blade and a cap.
The blades for these are two sided and flexible. A single blade is sandwiched between the guard and the cap. They look like this:
You may have a family member who still swears by one or both of these tools. There’s a good reason for it. They still work. sing a wet shave system may cost you time, but they are more economical, easier to use than you think and gentler on your skin than your fifteen blade system, and just plain cool.
Using a wet shave system may cost you time, but they are more economical, easier to use than you think and gentler on your skin than your fifteen blade system, and just plain sexy.
With straight razors, there is an upfront cost that hurts the budget a little bit. Good blades are not cheap, starting at $50-100 for a refurbished blade. Artisan blades can be in the thousands.
There is other equipment too, like a strop, the right soap, and a scuttle. The safety razor also requires a cost up front and needs replacement blades, but they are way cheaper than your modern disposable.
Wet shaving will require you to buy some decent soaps and replace parts of your kit from time to time. Brushes can wear out, strops can fall apart, and blades can be chipped if they are dropped.
The net cost of these items is still way less than the running fees associated with today’s disposables.
Easier Than You Think
Costs aside, learning to wet shave is a matter of time. Accidents do happen, but nothing that doesn’t heal.
It’s normal for new wet shavers to nick their skin. Those minor nicks are fertile ground for motivating improved skills.
Most folks switching to a wet shave system will start with the safety razor, then try their hand at the straight razor once they understand blade angles. In today’s world, you can self-teach your technique by amalgamating endless free instructional videos.
More Gentle on Your Skin
It’s not what you think. You may believe that your multi-blade disposable is gentle on your skin, but those blades are shaving your skin below the surface.
For many, this is a source of acne, when cut hairs become ingrown hairs. A wet shave system will require you to make more than one pass to get a baby’s butt smooth shave, but it is possible.
Moreover, when you are done with that shave you can expect your pores won’t clog the next day.
Just Plain Sexy
Learning to shave with a straight or safety razor carries a mystique.
It’s not just for men either. Within the subculture of wet shaving, there is a further division of women who are fed up with pink multi-blade insults to their intelligence.
Imagine the next time you are at a social event and someone remarks on how their skin keeps breaking out with acne. You can suggest a wet shave, sparking a conversation of awe around your honed skill set from days gone by.
As far as time is concerned, perhaps you should be asking what is all the rushing about? Wet shavers swear by the meditative quality of time associated with slowing down.