You will spend about 45 days of your life shaving. That’s 1 092 hours or 65 520 minutes of dragging a blade across your face and watching your beard go down the drain. The latest trend of full beards have picked up quite a bit in the last while. But many men are still clean shaven, either because they don’t like hair sprouting from their face or their employer would frown upon the bushy look.
The Manliest Shaving Method
Since the creation of the first disposable razor and thereafter the electric shaver, lots of men have opted for the convenience of these fancy inventions. But lately men are realizing that it’s not all about buying the cheapest foam and throwaway razor blades.
A lot of men are rediscovering the pleasures of an old-school wet shave with a straight blade razor or safety razors. Add a bit of fancy soap and a cool shaving brush, and you’ve got your very own barbershop at home! The Economist has reported that sales of disposable razors are falling. This includes prominent brands such as Schick and Gillette.
After a while shaving might start feeling like a schlep, a daily chore you are obliged to do. But when you remember that it’s your manly privilege to make hair sprout from your chin, you’ll start looking at shaving a bit differently again. Your daily shaving routine can be a moment of self-indulgence each morning or evening. Take a moment out of your busy daily routine to deliberately slow down and take care of yourself.
There is just something about the traditional straight razor that makes you feel like a real man. They are also sometimes called a “cutthroat” razor, living on the edge of getting it right or slicing your throat open. When you’re done, admiring your clean cut face, it’s a great moment of satisfaction.
You could also opt for a safety razor, which is a little bit less dangerous. You can pop in a fresh blade every few weeks. Both straight and safety razors are much more environmentally-friendly. There’s no plastic involved. And both razor types will give you a closer shave than any electric shaver ever could.
Selecting Your Gear
The following are a few items that will make your straight or safety razor experience more pleasant. The razor, a scuttle and a brush. You can decide whether you want to use shaving soap or just stick with shaving cream from a can. And don’t forget the aftershave to keep the germs away after using an open blade on your face.
The scuttle is also called a “lather bowl”. It basically looks like a flat cup. This one is very important if you will be using soap, you can whip up a lather storm with your brush in it.
Next the shaving brush. Don’t go for the cheapest option you can find. Rather look for a badger or horsehair brush that will last you a lifetime if you look after it properly. You want a brush with a lot of hair packed close together to assist with the lathering process as well as applying the foam to your face.
The sharpening strop is important if you decide to use the straight blade razor. When do you need to sharpen the blade? When it starts pulling your hair out, instead of cutting it.
The debate of shaving soap vs. shaving cream is in the end a personal choice. But if you want to stick with the full-on traditional shaving experience, try investing in a good soap.
And then, selecting the actual razor. The following are a few options, including complete kits with all the gear you need to start experiencing the traditional shaving method.
BOG Shave Ready Straight Razor
A classic straight razor with modern appeal. This is a high quality razor that will offer you the best shave of your life! With the 4” stainless-steel blade you will be able to quickly tame your beard. The blade folds into the handle for convenient storage inside the tin carry case or safely in your bathroom cabinet. You also get a luxurious velvet bag to neatly fit into your suitcase when travelling.
Parker SRB Straight Edge Barber Razor
A professional grade stainless steel blade that is much stronger than cheaper aluminum. The snap/lock blade holder guarantees you insert the blades securely. Five Shark stainless steel half-blades are included with purchase. These are designed to fit in perfectly in straight edge razors. The end of the blade has a rounded tip to minimize cuts.
KingOfHearts™ Classic Barber Beard Shaver
Everything you need to start your traditional shaving experience! The shaver has a classic wooden handle with the straight 6″ stainless steel blade fitting tightly into it. This whole kit has a great vintage feel to it. The synthetic bristle brush will outlast your trial and error lathering attempts. The straight razor sharpening strap is made of split leather that will help you maintain an impeccably sharp razor at all times.
GBS 5 Piece Shaving Set
The set includes a stainless steel barber straight edge shaver and leather case, a badger-hair chrome brush and chrome stand and a chrome shave soap bowl. You also receive 25 free blades plus a GBS soap. With this razor you can save money on expensive cartridge refills. The razor will not rust or tarnish. The stand is great for drying your brush properly after use.
Be a Man, Put a Naked Blade against Your Skin
So, are you brave enough to switch to the traditional shaving method? Or are you too scared you might slice an artery and bleed out while trying to prove your manliness?
Once you’ve experienced the glorious feeling of an ultra-close shave, you won’t go back to any other method. In the beginning you might cut yourself a few times, but once you’ve got the hang of it, you will agree that using a straight edge razor is truly the manliest shaving method of them all.
This article was contributed by Andries from manomics/shaving. Manomics.com is a men’s lifestyle site that focuses on topics such as grooming, health and fitness.