Shaving does not have to be a chore; it does not have to be a routine task, or a painful way to start your day. Getting a perfect shave is easy to do with the right information, practice, and likely, a slight change in your shaving gear. This article is part one in a series aimed at helping the average guy (or girl) improve their daily shave through weekly articles that give you the information necessary to make considerable improvements to your shaving routine.First, what is the perfect shave? What is the goal we are trying to accomplish? Moreover, how do we go about getting there?
The perfect shave should be an uncomplicated and easy shave that is baby smooth, without skin irritation, redness, ingrown hairs, and of course is painless. I would also like to add that the perfect shave should be inexpensive on a month-by-month basis. If you are currently getting that type of performance from your cartridge or electric razor then, there is no reason for you to keep reading this series. However, most people want to improve their daily shave, they don’t want to continue to spend over $70 a year on replacement cartridges for their razor, or they have to deal with skin irritation and/or ingrown hairs on a daily basis. Even if you think your cartridge razor already offers an amazing shave, there is likely still room for improvement. For example, cartridge shavers often find using real shaving soap and a shave brush offers a noticeable improvement over using canned shaving cream or gel. If you want to learn how to spend $10 or less a year on replacement blades for your razor, or no longer want to have to deal with a shave that leaves your face red and irritated then I encourage you to continue reading this series.
The biggest change you can make and the most rewarding step in the right direction towards getting the perfect shave is to switch to wet shaving. So how does wet shaving compare to shaving with the typical 3-5 blade cartridge razor? Well, it’s a lot cheaper, the average replacement cartridge for a 3-5 blade razor costs $2-3 dollars. Compare that to the $0.1-0.2 of a replacement blade for a safety razor and you start to see where I am getting at. Now let’s see how the two compare on a year by year basis. For example, let’s say the average replacement cartridge for a 3-5 blade razor costs $2.25 and lasts just one and a half weeks this, means the typical shaver spends over $75 a year on replacement cartridges. With a safety razor, although you replace your blade ever 3-5 days you can get a year’s supply of a wide variety of blades for under $20 or if you’ve found the perfect blade you can get a year’s supply for $10 or less.
Now admittedly there is an additional cost for making the switch to wet shaving, which involves getting the gear to do so, but it doesn’t have to break the bank. A complete starter kit should include a safety razor, shave brush, shave soap or cream, razor blades, either an alum block or styptic pen, and should cost no more than $25 (if you’re on a budget). Yet, let’s remember that even with the $25 upfront cost and $10-20 spent on a year’s supply of replacement blades, wet shaving is still miles ahead of cartridge razors and the $75+ spent every year on cartridge blades.
The final added benefit that wet shaving offers over a cartridge razor is that it uses only one blade instead of 3-5, which keeps your face from getting irritated. With the 3-5 blades of a cartridge razor, your facial hair is pulled and cut by each blade. All of that tugging and pulling on your hair can often leave your face irritated and red. A safety razor uses just one blade that is sharper and therefore capable of cutting your facial hair in three passes. This sharper blade also helps reduce the chances of getting an ingrown hair. Whereas cartridge razors require shavers to press down on their skin in order to get a close shave (often cutting the hair too close and creating an ingrown hair), safety razors require little to no force and have a gap built into the razor head to prevent your hair from getting cut too short.
I hope that by now, I’ve sparked your interest, and you’re interested in giving wet shaving a try. The next step is purchasing awet shaving kitand then starting to work on the fundamentals of wet shaving, which include building lather and learning how to efficiently use a safety razor. You’ve seen just how cheap shaving can be and that dialing in on the perfect shave is within your reach. The next article will focus on one of the fundamentals of wet shaving; using a shave brush with real shave soap to build a dense lather that protects your face from irritation and provides a smooth shaving experience.