Why Use a Safety Razor?
If you are still using a multi-blade razor, it is time to refine the way you shave.
Most people today lack a passion for the art of shaving. This not only applies to men, but to women as well as shaving is common for both genders.
Shaving should not be a dreaded mundane task, like ironing your clothes or doing the dishes. It has been marketed as a chore by companies trying to sell disposable products, throw them out and buy a new one. Repeat.
Shaving with a safety razor becomes an experience. You take your time, choose a nice shaving cream or soap, and use a shaving brush to create a rich lather. Time is taken when making multiple passes, and attention is paid to the direction of hair growth. Skin type is considered when choosing the appropriate shaving creams, soaps, blades, and aftershaves.
The result is fantastic and I encourage men and women to return to this classic and refined way of shaving. If you are not quite clear what a safety razor is, click here.
There are several reasons to switch from shaving with a cartridge or disposable razor to a shaving with a safety razor.
The main points (in my opinion) are:
I was the kind of guy that would frequently get irritation on my neck from shaving, and I just accepted this as a result from shaving. I did not find that electric razors gave me a close enough shave, so I would shave in the shower with a 5 bladed disposable cartridge and whatever aerosol gel as the supermarket that said it was for sensitive skin (thinking that alone should solve or help my issues).
Shaving with a safety razor is more than just switching to a new razor. Once you learn the proper techniques and find the products that work best for you, the result is an unbelievable shave. It makes sense that running 5 blades over your skin several times without reapplying a lubricating medium is not good for your skin and can cause irritation.
The majority of people that comment about switching to a safety razor indicate they experience significantly less irritation than with using multi-blade razors. In my opinion this is not only due to switching to the single blade, but the fact that they now likely use better products and follow a better shaving regime that results in a better quality shave overall.
There is no question that overall it is less expensive to shave with a safety razor.
Using disposables, I would personally use a new cartridge every week. At $3 a cartridge (and that’s looking for deals), that is $156 a year.
An excellent safety razor (check out the Edwin Jagger or Merkur 34C) is about $40-60, and then blades are between $0.10-0.30 each (if you buy packs of 100). On the high end, if you spend $60 on a razor and $30 on blades, you still have $66 to spend on a quality shaving brush and you are good for two years instead of one. That’s half price! It gets better, the next two years is only $30 vs. $312 for cartridges.
Now truth be told, due to the low cost I use 2 razor blades a week now instead of the one cartridge, so the true comparison is now $30 vs. $156 per ongoing year, which is still great and you get to use a new blade every second shave.
I have left out the cost of creams, soaps and aftershaves, as it is my opinion that the cost for these are irrelevant – even if you continue using a cartridge you should use better quality shaving products. You also have the option to keep using the same cream and aftershave you use now and you would still get a better shave with the double edge safety razor.
That does lead me to my last comment about price: if your goal is specifically to save money, be careful. It is easy to get caught up trying new products and spend hundreds of dollars on razors, blades, soaps and creams.
Fortunately for me saving money was not my goal, so I enjoy trying as many new things as I can which also led to me starting this site. The other plus is that even if I did stop now, I could enjoy endless combinations of luxury shaves for the next 10 years, and I still would have spent less than I would have on cartridges.
If the cost and quality of shaves just wasn’t enough, you can also rest easy knowing you are even reducing your environmental impact.
Cartridge and disposable razors come in plastic packaging, the creams usually come in aerosol cans. When you compare this to a single razor blade wrapped in a small amount of paper, there is actually a large amount of waste saved over time.
The following is a picture of a common cartridge style razor with 4 blades compared to a common safety razor with 4 blades. I have not included the hard frustrating plastic packaging the cartridge razor comes in, nor the cardboard box the safety razor comes in.
For many people, and certainly for me, shaving has now become a passion that I enjoy. When you actually enjoy the art of shaving, the process becomes almost meditative and the alone time to relax and clear your mind is beneficial to both your mind and body.
I will point out again that shaving with a safety razor does take a bit longer (especially starting off), but it can be time spent positively rather than as a task that is loathed and equivalent to a chore.
With a better quality shave you look and feel better, and personally I enjoy not having large amounts of irritation on my neck anymore.
The other point that can be made is how nice your washroom now looks with attractive razors, brushes, mugs, bowls, and cool bottles of aftershave. There is also the feeling you get when holding and using a well-made safety razor compared to a cheap disposable.
There is a possibly perceived negative and that is the fact that there is the investment of time required. It typically takes a bit longer to shave since you are following a better procedure, and there is time required to try out different blades, creams, soaps and aftershaves to find combinations that work the best for you.
That said, I enjoy trying the products. I have also found in life (many times the hard way) that you get what you pay for, and time spent is a form of currency.
Even if you do not use a safety razor and stick with a cartridge, you will get a better shave if you take your time and follow proper procedure even using inferior products.