Shaving With a Safety Razor

First of all, the name “safety razor” doesn’t make any sense any more. It was originally a great leap forward from the straight razor. Instead of scraping a naked blade their faces, men had the option of a razor with a bit of a metal guard on it. I imagine it was a great leap forward in the field of not having people slice their faces up every morning. But today’s razor options are a million times safer than the safety razor.

There’s a growing population of people using safety razors. It’s not strictly nostalgia, because there are valid reasons to be vexed with the state of shaving currently. I don’t really mind multiple blades, but I’m pretty sure it’s gotten out of hand. The only razors Gillette makes come with either three or five blades. And the cartridges are really quite expensive! Whereas a safety razor uses these old-timey double-edged razor blades that are much cheaper, assuming you can find a drug store that sells them.

I suppose there’s an aspect of nostalgia involved in using a safety razor, but it’s not as strong as it could be. Straight razors are where it’s at if you really want to feel like a Victorian gentleman. But then you have to get involved in razor strops and other gadgets designed to keep your blade sharp. And I’m enough of a modern person that I want to just buy things that are already sharp.

But it turns out that safety razors are a trap. You start by buying a safety razor that costs about the same as a new pack of five-bladed modern dealies. Then the Internet kicks in. Because of course the inexpensive razors won’t do. Not for the true connoisseur. There are collectors. There are genuine gold-plated models from decades ago. You can easily spend more money on safety razors than anyone ever did from buying cartridges.

There’s also a whole thing about shaving soap and badger-hair brushes vs. beaver-hair. I kind of can’t be bothered with that. Regular shaving cream seems to work.

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