Why Wet Shaving? Has Classic Shaving Become Obsolete?
Many men who have never tried the classic way to shave often ask, “What’s the point?” This is a very natural question as in grocery or drug stores we all see flashy plastic razors with four or five blades that can vibrate, shaving gel that comes out of a container, all backed by sophisticated marketing that promises you an even better shave than the previous model.
Surely this has to be much better than using the same style of equipment that your grandfather used? Is not classic shaving obsolete? Here we will look at some reasons behind these myths and explain a little more about the benefits of wet shaving.
Myth 1: Shaving With a Classic Razor, Like a Straight Razor or Safety Razor is Difficult And Takes a Long Time
Men who have actually tried a classic razor such as a straight razor would agree that this simply is not true. After a couple of shaves, it goes both as fast as with a three, four or five blade razor and the chance of cuts is minimal. The only reason that classic shaving may take longer is that most people like the shave so well that they choose to take more time to really savor the experience. With cheap foam from a pressurized canister and a plastic razor, you will most likely try to get the job done as quickly as possible and continue on with a hectic day. With the proper equipment, your shaving can become a hobby and something you are looking forward to enjoying rather than simply the next chore to do.
Myth #2: More Blades on The Razor Gives a Better Shave
This is something manufacturers of razor blades claim in order to be able to sell razor blades at an increasingly higher price. One blade is more than enough, and many people find that a double edge single blade razor actually cuts hair easier than with a multi-blade razor. A multi-blade razor causes hair to be pulled out a bit and then cut, which often results in the hair being cut too deeply into the skin so you get ingrown hairs and razor bumps (pseudofolliculitis barbae). You will often notice some “pulling” of a little skin since multi-blade razors drag and cut hair simultaneously. A classic razor will cut the hair cleanly without any sort of picking or pulling of the skin and ingrown hairs and razor bumps are soon a thing of the past. In recent comparisons, the Mühle R89 closed comb razor recently was “Best in Test” – compared with Gillette Fusion Pro Glide and disposable razors!
Myth #3: Classic Razors Are Expensive
Classic razors are slightly more expensive to buy, but not nearly as much as one might have thought. A Gillette razor costs of approximately $15, while a classic safety razor starts at around $25. However, you will quickly realize that in the long run, a classic razor becomes much cheaper as the classic razor is made of metal and will usually last a lifetime. Experts who are skilled in their profession lovingly craft razors that are so beautiful and functional that they are often collected as art, let alone providing the best shave possible. Razors you buy in the store are simply cheaply mass-produced plastic gizmos that require expensive new razor blades. Would you rather hold a classic razor of metal or something that looks like a vibrating plastic toy? If one looks at razor blades prices, we get the following result: Price per razor Gillette Fusion ProGlide Power 4 count refill: $16 ($4 per blade – price from amazon.com) – Price per razor blade for a classic razor starts from $0.30.
Myth #4: Classic Shaving Creams And Soaps Are Expensive
It is clear that a pressurized canister with foam from the store is cheaper than a proper shaving cream or shaving soap. However, if you compare how long they last, what kind of ingredients they contain and the quality of the shave, you quickly get a different view of the matter. If you use a shaving cream or shaving soap with a shaving brush, it will easily last for half a year or longer before you need to buy again. Cheap shaving products contain ingredients that are bad for your skin. You get what you pay for and cheap products often contain synthetic ingredients that are low cost in production, but also not very good for your skin. Most of the classic shaving creams we recommend are completely free of synthetic ingredients and harmful chemicals like paraben but instead uses natural ingredients which both work better and are not harmful to you. Shaving cream or gel from the pressurized cans often contain added chemicals to prevent the foam drying out as it comes out of the canister under pressure. These chemicals will certainly dry out your skin. Many cheap products also use “trace ingredients”: meaning that for example, the packaging may state “contains aloe vera” but in reality, only a tiny fraction of a percentage is actually in the product, and the rest are cheap chemicals. Classic shaving creams contain ingredients that make your skin moisturized and nourished while shaving and you will notice the difference before and after shaving. In addition, the aroma of the various products is greatly appreciated by most users. Would you rather smear on a bland synthetic foam on your face or enjoy scents like eucalyptus, lavender, lime, rose, sandalwood and other varieties? Classic shaving creams and soaps are all desirable fragrance variants and make shaving a sensual pleasure!
Myth #5: A Shaving Brush is an Antiquated Tool
A shaving brush is actually a very important component of classic shaving and ensures you will get a better lather out of a shaving cream or shaving soap. In addition, the shaving brush makes you use less cream or soap per shave. Standing in the bathroom and lather up shaving cream or soap while enjoying the exotic aromas are a great part of shaving that many shavers look forward to each morning. Although a good shaving brush will cost a $15-25, it will last year after year if treated properly. It is an investment in wellness, and many people gradually expand their collection since hand-made shaving brushes are works of art in themselves.
Benefits of Classic Shaving
- Gentler on the skin: Blades scraping over your face are certain to cause some slight damage. Shaving with a razor having several blades multiplies the effect and often leads to ingrown hairs, razor bumps, and skin irritation. A switch to traditional shaving helps alleviate this problem.
- Shaving as a pleasure: Most men are not particularly fond of shaving, which is not surprising considering the products you can buy in the grocery store. Men who go over to wet shaving are quickly learning that as shaving becomes enjoyable it often becomes an important part of the day. Not only is it more fun to shave with proper equipment, but it is also very satisfying when you have mastered how to make a good shaving lather or in getting the perfect shave with a safety razor or straight cut razor.
- Price: As shown previously, you will save money on razor blades, and most shaving creams and soaps are – if viewed over a period of time – not more expensive than cheaper, inferior products.
- Relaxation: In a hectic schedule, it is not often you get time to relax a little and do something completely for yourself. Many use shaving to do just this. Standing in the bathroom lathering up shaving cream or soap, enjoying the great aromas and appreciating a proper shave is widely compared with a Zen ritual where you can totally relax and live the moment.
Just Get Started
It may be intimidating to shave with a straight edge razor or safety razor for the first time. However, there is a good reason why a razor called “safety razor”. The only thing you risk is to get a couple small nicks the first few times while you work on your technique. Many people start their first shave without cuts. To learn how to use a straight cut razor is a somewhat longer process to learn, but will give very good results. Once you have made the leap, you will find that shaving will soon become a very satisfying experience.
If you had told a man 100 years ago that you are shaving with a razor that has five blades that vibrates, he would likely think you were crazy to do some fool thing so dangerous. This is simply about the natural fear of the unknown. Go for something new and look back in amazement and say, “Why did I not try this before”!