Last year, I decided to transition from a multi-blade razor to a double edge safety razor. In fact, it was a much longer process than I could have imagined. After 20+ years of shaving, I would like to share my transition over the last year.
Before I could transition, I needed to think about what was most important to me when it came to shaving. Was it my skin appearance? Was it the closeness of my shave? Was it how much time it takes to shave? Was it about avoiding Razor bumps? Was it the quality of the handles, razors, shaving cream and or aftershave? All of these questions I took into consideration.
I’ll never forget my first true shave. It was in 1993 on a hot fall day at The San Diego MCRD (Marine Corp. Recruit Depot). I was handed a very small fragile plastic straight razor and some generic shaving cream. I was told to get started shortly thereafter.
Not only was the shaving kit something I received in the Marine Corps something to be frightened by as a first timer, but the whole thing in itself was pretty nerve racking. But I wouldn’t trade it in for the world. Semper Fi.
While spending 3 months at the Marine Corp. Recruit Depot, I learned to really use the Bic straight razor and can remember being impressed by the simplicity and quality of the shave. Fast-forward 22 years and I’ve come full circle. Think about this. Twenty-two years is 8030 days, which means roughly 2676 shaves for me. At $2 – $3 per razor use, that adds up pretty quickly.
I started using multi-blade brands right out of boot camp and continued to use them for the next 20 years. I found the multi-blade brands to be safe, fast and convenient. As I got older and became more conscious about how long my shave was lasting and or how close my bald head shave looked, I noticed that the multi-blade brands just weren’t cutting it (no pun intended). This was the case for the three, four and five razor blade technologies I purchased.
So what did I do next? Well I found a local barbershop that offered straight razor head, face and neck shaves. Needless to say I was in heaven. I truly love my local barbershop and how they can keep the community looking good and feeling good. I went three times a week to the same place, on the same days, in the same chair with the same guy for years. I would get a perfect bald head with beard line up each and every time on top of coming out smelling good. The only problem was the cost and the time it took to go to the barbershop. I personally had to cut down to 1-3 times a month, as my life got filled with children and more pressing matters.
So I began to evaluate ways I could get a similar barbershop wet shave and experience but for less money and time. After doing some quick online research I found that a double edge safety razor was the best option when you don’t have time for a professional shave. I immediately thought of my first shave. After purchasing a quality wet shaving kit with a DE safety razor handle. I learned very quickly, you must take your time and learn a little bit about how to use the razor.
My kit came with a short length stainless steel handle, which took some time to get used to, but it didn’t take long for facial shaves, maybe about 3-5 shaves. For my bald head, though, it took much longer to learn. I got very familiar with the styptic pencil to stop any small cuts from my shaving transition.
With a clean straight razor there’s really no need to go over the same space over and over again. One or two handle weight strokes will do. It’s funny… I continued to use multi-blade razors for a couple of months as I became familiar with the double edge safety razor. When I didn’t have time, I used the multi-blades. If it was a special occasion or if I had time, I used the DE safety razor. The DE safety razor undoubtedly provides the closest shave and it truly gives me the feeling and closeness of a barbershop shave.
As I got used to the double edge safety razor I started using it 2-3 times a week. I noticed that my shave was much closer and that my 5 O’clock shadow took longer to appear around my head. There is the dry skin factor for me, but nothing a good organic aftershave can’t handle.