"There's something delightful and dangerous about sliding a thin blade of cold steel across your face. And although it has the potential for instilling a truly rapturous experience for a man, today the act has been relegated to something merely mundane, sterile, and more of a nuisance. Yes, this simple act of shaving.
The act of shaving has been desecrated even in terms of names. The "Bic" razor?! Who wants to live a short, quick, and plastic life? A commodity just like a bic ball point pen, shaving has become mass market, quick and disconnected from the essence of manhood."
"Acne is a problem I am intimately familiar with. While I did not have terribly bad acne as a teenager, I suffered through breakouts, blackheads, and pimples just like the rest of the world. As a young adult, I was dismayed to continue to have the occasional pimple. Usually connected to stress or bad eating, I continued to have acne for a long time. As you can see, I am intimately familiar with this topic and how to combat both teenage and adult acne. Reading this article, you will learn the best practices for shaving with acne, how to combat acne, and better facial care tips."
I recently had a double edged razor blade dilemma, but it all worked out nicely once I recommitted to the best dang DE blades on the market.
I had a big stock of a variety of different double edged razor blades at one point, which left me feeling secure with my safety razor supplies. And then one day, I opened the cabinet and found that I only had one blade left. Oops.
So I stopped in at my local grocery store to pick up some more, only to find that they stock all manner of multi-blade razor cartridges, but no DE blades. I was in the neighborhood of WalMart, so I cruised their shaving products, but again, they didn't stock any DE blades. Evidently hardly anyone buys them anymore (at least in my area).
Finally, I made a trip to the drugstore, and hiding amid all of the many cartridge razors, I found one package of generic blades. Feeling a little whiskery, I bought them, thinking that I could get by with this package.
Yes, I could, if I wanted to only shave with them once, and then only with much pulling of facial hair... I held out for another couple of days, but then decided that I absolutely needed some DE blades that shaved like I wanted them to. No more half-assed shaves with generic blades for this guy...
Enter Feather brand double edged razor blades. I ordered up a 50 count package of Feather blades from Amazon, and within 3 days I was in front of the mirror with a fresh, sharp DE blade in my safety razor. What a relief.
That shave was nothing short of amazing. How could I forget the excellent shaving experience that Feather blades provide? How could I ever run out of these again?
Feather razor blades are exceptionally sharp, long lasting (a week of shaves), and well worth the money. They cut through a week's worth of stubble like a hot knife through butter, and kept on keeping me smooth every morning of that week. In my opinion, the Feather DE blades are the best razor blades on the planet, and I'm committing to keeping an extra box on hand now.
Because life's too short to shave with a shitty razor blade.
"Properly using a straight razor comes with a learning curve. While not a major obstacle to most men, it does require a willingness and ability to master a few basic use and maintenance techniques. Many of today's straight razor users would tell you that it is this very point that attracts them to it, others simply see the additional responsibility as a chore or not being worth the effort, something to be avoided.
One thing is certain; straight razor shaving is not for everyone. So how do you determine whether you are a straight razor or safety razor guy? For the answer to that you really need to look more inwardly, at yourself, your personality type, your value system and beliefs."
"These shave kits have been showing up in grocery stores, mega-marts, and drug stores in the United States over the past year or so, and I'm even starting to see them re-branded for specific retail chains. Though they are labeled "premium," probably by some sales and marketing genius, its a far cry from the genuinely up-scale traditional shaving products. Still, its wide distribution and low price make it a good introduction to traditional shaving, and when used properly may actually out-perform many of the other shaving products on the retail shelf."
In this traditional shaving documentary, Vinnie Morey and Trent Magnano talk about how their unique Hollywood barbershop (The Proper Barbershop), a blend of modern art, street culture blended with the traditional and old-fashioned was born. They discuss their open razor technique using Bluebeards Revenge shaving cream and how a traditional shave is "one of the last things a man can do to really enjoy a service that is not a manicure and pedicure you can do with your wife.".
Fancy upgrades to razors got you down? Feeling the pinch in the wallet when you need to buy cartridges? You're definitely not alone.
From the Wall Street Journal online:
"Jeff Hagan, a 43-year-old investment banker in San Francisco, doesn't need to buy another blade or razor for the next four years.
That's because last year, tired of trying to keep up with the cycle of shaving-system upgrades and price hikes, Mr. Hagan bought 100 Gillette Mach3 blades. Then he found oil that helps double the blades' lifespan.
"I'm basically investing in blade futures," Mr. Hagan remembers telling onlookers at Costco as they marveled at the pile of cartridges in his cart. "That's my hedge against getting forced to upgrade."
Are you an old-school shaving enthusiast? Inherit an old razor that needs some love? Do you search the flea markets and antique stores for collectible vintage razors? Then this might be helpful to you:
"If you are a guy who swears by your trusted vintage razor then it is important that you take care of the product in order to get the best use of it. One of the key ways to ensure it is always kept working at its optimum level, is to clean the razor effectively."
Ready to make the move to a manly shaving tool? A classic way to shave is with a safety razor - a favorite of mine - and now you can pick up a high quality Merkur razor for 27% off!
"The Merkur Safety Razor has a chrome finish. Its double edge design provides a very close shave. Its comfortable handle is designed for a non-slip grip. The safety razor has a straight edge especially great for an extra close shave."
1. 3-4 inch piece of pipe. PVC or Brass, reducers are best. so you can hang dry and no rust.
2. Get a fine feather pant brush. All you need to do is feel for the softness or toughness you want.
4. Water proof glue. I used Shoe Goo but epoxy would be best.
5. Washer rings. So you can seal off the end and adjust the height of the bristles.
I'm a big fan of safety razors, but never really thought about the idea of it changing my life (other than getting a great shave). In an article on Zen Habits, the founder of Badger and Blade shares his insight on how a safety razor can change your life:
"If I told you a way you could improve your health, save money, help the environment, and feel better about yourself by doing something you already do every day, would you be interested?"
"In the long-term, the old-fashioned razors are more economical. The metal blades, which are good for about five shaves, are inexpensive. And there's less waste. Razors last for years, not like the disposable plastic shavers that end up in the landfill after a few shaves. The blades are even recyclable.
"America has a disposable, throw-away society."
What's your preference? Help me out by answering this shaving poll:
The article is full of great tips for those of you considering buying or using a straight razor for your daily shave, and it lives up the high standards that AoM is known for.
My only gripe (and it's small, I admit) is calling it the 'ultimate' guide. It seems that it's the trend on the web to use superlatives for articles (the best, the ultimate, top ten, etc.), so I'm not faulting them for using it. However...
My question to you: Is it the ultimate guide? If not, what is the 'ultimate' guide for straight razor shaving?