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Shave like a man: a broke-ass man

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I just can’t.

When did shaving get so complicated? Three blades, four blades, five blades. Moisturizer strips. Batteries. Paying an arm and a leg.

Our current troubles started in 1971 when Gillette introduced the Trac II — a razor with two blades — and began an arms race.

The shaving behemoths became so bloated, so ridiculous, that they were disrupted by the even-more-ridiculous Dollar Shave Club, which incidentally, sells “THE EXECUTIVE” razor, with six (!) blades.

dollar-shave-club


There must be a simpler, cheaper, better way to shave.

Here’s the skinny:

For $25, you can shave for a year with a safety razor, blades, and shaving cream.

razor-blades-astra-blades-shaving-safety-razor-blade-angle


Waxing romantic

Out of all the simple pleasures in life, why did they have to ruin shaving? Is it not an elemental ritual — using a sharp piece of metal to cut the hair off your face, alone in the bathroom, shaving cream turning you into Mrs. Doubtfire?

It’s a time to slow down. To watch carefully. To do the job right. You can feel the razor scraping across your face. It gently tugs at hairs as it cuts them.

And after a shave, a good shave, don’t you feel clean and fresh and young and happy? You slide your hands across your now-smooth cheeks. Like a baby’s bum.

Shaving. The last secret ritual of men. Passed down from father to son. A sacred, symbolic act.


Tools

Let’s start with a safety razor. I bought the second-cheapest one on Amazon. It’s made of metal, the razor fits snugly. It has a nifty screwing mechanism. You can see it pictured above. $12.50.

Blades. Spring for a big box and you can get 100 blades for 10 bucks.

astra-razor-blades-wet-shaving-blade

Each blade has two edges so that’s like – double the value!

Shaving cream. Barbasol. You can find it for a buck. ONE DOLLAR. End of story.

Barbasol picture courtesy of Barbasol.

Barbasol picture courtesy of Barbasol.


Do it

Shaving is shaving, but the safety razor is little different than you’re used to. This diagram helped me find the right cutting angle. Once you find it, it’s the same as any other shaving.

razor-blades-astra-blades-shaving-safety-razor-blade-angle


Adding it all up

Razor – $12.50

Blades – $10

Barbasol – A buck.

That’s actually less than $25. Amazing.

But…

What about the name safety razor? Sounds a bit lame, doesn’t it?

Take heart: these are undoubtably more dangerous — and therefore cooler — than the multi-bladed variety. The blades are quite sharp and they give a smooth shave, even cutting through moderately heavy growth.


This post sponsored by Your Mother, who wanted me to tell you “Dear, please shave that thing off your face. It’s just not… you. You look so much better clean-shaven, and younger! Trust me, I’m your mom.”


 

Further reading:

A Brief History of Shaving – Mental Floss

A Look Back at the Gillette Trac II Razor – Headshaver.org

Badger and Blade — History of shaving, shaving FAQ

HAPPY SHAVING!

edit:

over at r/Wicked_Edge, Reddit user ACMEanvils shared his tips for getting a good shave using safety razors and assembling a shaving kit for less than $25 (and some fascinating info about Turkey):

reddit-screenshot-wickededge

 

Thanks ACMEanvils!

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Sam-O - Bargain Hunter

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Samo is a local curmudgeon. He can be reached by carrier pigeon.

1 Comment

  1. The Art of Shaving
    May 12, 2015 at 3:45 pm

    Safety razors are beautiful things. They can last for an extremely long time if you maintain them properly as well.