The cost of shaving is rising, but the quality just isn't cutting it...

July 29, 2016

The cost of shaving is rising, but the quality just isn't cutting it...

written by: Dan M.  

There are things you should – nay, things you must - know as an adult that shaves.

Whether you're a man or a woman, and whether or not you're shaving your legs, your face or whatever else it is you shave, one of the most important "must-knows" is that you ought to be shaving with a safety razor because what you're using now just isn't cutting it, literally.

If that's something you didn't know, don't feel embarrassed for being out of the loop. It's a fact big razor companies have mischievously kept from us for a long time. At least since they halted their own focus on production of safety razors in the 1970's with the advent of cartridges and other disposables. Since then, handsome profits have been made selling consumers on the perception of convenience all while costing us more by providing an inferior system.

What we don't know can't hurt us, right? No, that's not true at all.

Cartridges & Disposables (Don't Cut It)

Most contemporary cartridge and disposable razors are, among other things, typically bad for your skin. They come with the warranty that, with all of their multi-blade intensity, you will undoubtedly receive a closer, more delicate shave.  As much as their packaging shouts this efficiency and quality though, the truth is these razors can often damage your skin.

They pull at the skin instead of gliding over it causing the hair to be plucked out of the pore. If the first blade doesn't cause such harm then the second (and possibly third, fourth, fifth or sixth blade) just might. The result is the red, bumpy, rash-like skin irritation you've experienced so many times after shaving. Another issue with multi-blade razors is that they frequently cut below the skin which can produce painful ingrown hairs. Undoubtedly, the latter is commonly a user-generated complication occurring when the blade is pressed down too firmly. However, it is one that directly emerges due to the light-weight design of modern razors.

To speak to the efficiency of multi-blade cartridge and disposable razors just recall the process by which you currently shave. You put the shaving cream on, you wet the blades and you shave. A few strokes in and your razor's clogged like a nose during wintertime in New England. At this point, you have to rinse the razor which on paper doesn't sound that arduous of a task. Take into consideration that you have to repeat this step dozens of times throughout the course of your shave added to the fact that it's not as easy as warm, running water to remove the gunk that's caught up in your Mach-whatever. If anything, it's all so inefficient isn't it? 

To make all matters worse, one of the most unfortunate qualities of these razors is that they're not cheap. You've been led to believe what's most widely available is the best option, and the market has priced them accordingly.

That'll be one arm and one leg, please.

The good news is that there is an alternative to all of your shaving misfortunes, should you be so inclined to try. 

Safety Razor Shave

Safety Razors (Make the Cut)

At some point safety razors all but disappeared from the social sphere, seemingly by virtue of the razor companies' self-interest, but they are thankfully making a comeback today.

Here are some key features of safety razors to consider when comparing them to the cartridges and disposables: 

  • Safety razors are heavy-duty: While there are some plastic options available, many models are made of stainless steel making them far weightier than disposables. This means the natural weight of the razor will do the majority of the work applying the perfect amount of pressure to the skin in order to get a wonderfully close shave.
  • Clogs are a thing of the past: Safety razors have only one, albeit sharp, blade. So you won't have to deal with hair, skin and shaving cream getting mercilessly stuck in between blades. This is especially beneficial for people with coarse or thick hair who are forced to tediously clean residue out of their cartridge razor. Sometimes even with a fine-bristled brush!
  • The hygiene, oh the hygiene: The buildup that occurs in multi-blade cartridges and disposables can be difficult to flush out. You don't always get everything. Imagine running an unclean blade over your face the next time you shave. It's unsanitary and could lead to infection. Fewer blades means less clogs, which means a cleaner shave and ultimately less irritation.  A welcome component of safety razors too is that they can be disassembled in order to clean (which you should absolutely be doing).
  • Save your money for your honey: A good quality safety razor will cost you anywhere from $25 to $50, but they will last a lifetime if you take the most basic precautions to care for them. As far as blades go, you can generally use each one for 6-7 shaves, although some of the more conservative safety razor users will use each blade for no more than 3-4 shaves and then replace. Either way, with a price range of .20¢ to $1.00 per blade (depending on quality), you are going to be paying a whole lot less overall, which also means you can buy in bulk and save trips to the store. Then we suggest using all that extra time and money to take your date out for an expensive dinner.
  • Interchangeability is like, really convenient: Being able to change out your blades after they're too dull isn't the only available convenience in the world of shaving. How about being able to mix and match your favorite blades with your favorite razor? If you think you have the freedom to fit most Gillette blades onto a Schick razor, it's not happening. Heck, some cartridge brands even have little compatibility between their own products. Safety razors generally don't have this issue as, for the most part, all double edge blades will universally fit into any double edge safety razor. So find your favorite safety razor, then find the blade that cuts best for you and use that combination for an amazing shave.

Safety Razor      

A safety razor may seem like a luxury at first glance, we'll admit. You've got the beautiful, shiny, vintage looking razor and all of the elegant accessories that come with it. Maybe you think it's not tailored to fit your needs. Well, stop thinking that way.

Safety razors are convenient, efficient, sanitary, and likely more trustworthy than any cartridge or disposable razor you use now. Even if it seems like a special item to own, may we ask when the hell owning nice things became a bad thing?

If anything look at it from a dollars and cents perspective. It's notably cheaper to own and upkeep a safety razor. Yes, of course, if we're comparing a ten-pack of cheapo disposable razors then it's game, set, and match for those bargain competitors. But using that kind of razor is liable to make your face look like you just walked off the set of a horror film.

With safety razors, you're paying less for a higher quality product that lasts much, much longer. 

Safety Razor

If we still haven't convinced you to try out safety razors at home you can always head over to Ball and Buck (the location of our photo shoot) to have the talented barber, Van Capizzano, give you a shave or haircut. 

Happy (and safe) Shaving, everyone! 


Photography: April Gabriel

**Barbershop at Ball and Buck is now open 7 days a week, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. For inquiries or appointments, email Van Capizanno at**

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