Thinking about ditching the cartridge razor? Still on the fence about shaving with a safety razor? If you feel like your only choices are a full-growth face forest or bowing to the multi-bladed disposal commercial machine, then welcome to classic wet shaving. If you are tired of paying a “pink” tax or getting substandard shaves on your legs or bikini area, check out the tradition of a double-edge safety razor.
Here are a few myths and misconceptions about traditional double-edge safety razor shaving that should NOT keep you away.
Double-edged safety razors are dangerous
While this tool can seem intimidating, it is really very simple and SAFE. (Hence the “safety” in safety razor.) Any tool with a sharpened blade will demand a certain amount of respect, but you don’t need to be unduly concerned about a DE razor.
As most of us can attest, carelessness, hurry, or accidents can lead to a cut with any blade. Sometimes the predetermined angle of cartridge/disposal razors makes them appear benign. But those blades still cut.
Learning to use a double-edge safety razor is mostly about finding the right angle (which is much more customizable than those cartridges) and using light pressure (the weight of the razor does the work). Once you’ve honed your technique, you will find that the safety razor gives an exceptional shave with less irritation and it won’t seem so overwhelming or terrifying.
Double-edged safety razors are environmentally harmful
This myth surprised us as wet shaving has largely been determined to be LESS harmful to the environment. But there is a rumor out there that this type of shaving with a safety razor is not good for the environment. Their argument is that traditional shaving still uses “foams”, “goops”, and chemicals that can contaminate the environment and irritate the skin.
We would like to counter. Most traditional wet shavers know the danger of nastiness in big box aerosols and gels and that is why they have chosen wet shaving. Instead of cans filled mostly with air (that does no good at all), they embrace the artisans producing wonderful, natural products to lubricate, protect, and nourish the skin – and the environment.
In addition, you don’t clog landfills with disposal heads and plastic handles. Besides minimal packaging on soaps (especially if you buy refill pucks), the only other disposal part of a wet shave is the razor blade. And even these can be recycled.
Double-edged safety razors take too long
Ok, we’ll concede that shaving with a DE safety razor, brush, and cream might take longer than a shower shave. But is that really “too” long? When you get a better result, we would argue that it takes just the right amount of time.
Many shavers choose the safety razor because it is such a better experience – more meditative, more intentional, more enjoyable. And with all the wonderful scents from creams and aftershaves, why wouldn’t you want to take a moment to take it all in.
Also, as you improve, you might find that your shaves don’t take all that much time, either. Another time saving aspect of traditional safety razor shaving – you might not need to shave as frequently if you get an amazing BBS shave with a double-edged razor.
Double-edged safety razors are just for men
Now, that’s just silly. If you are a shaver, then double-edge safety razors are for you. Whether you are eliminating hair from your head or legs or anything in between, then you can perfect the art of the safety razor.
Many women are discovering the joys of traditional wet shaving as well. The same things that men love – close, long-lasting shaves, wonderful scents and products, cost shavings, and environmentally friendly – are just as attractive to women.
Double-edged safety razors are too expensive
This myth can be debunked with just a little bit of math. Sometimes, shavers will look at the price of a double-edge razor and think that they are expensive. But remember, this tool will not be thrown away, it could last a lifetime. And unlike the razors from the department store with the expensive, multiple bladed heads, safety razors take inexpensive double-edged razor blades that can add up to substantial shavings.
Now, there is a danger with this addictive hobby of getting caught up in acquiring multiple razors, brushes, soaps, creams, and splashes – but you don’t HAVE to. If you are keeping things simple, you can shave for a fraction of what you are paying for replacement cartridge razor heads.
Another cost advantage of double-edge razors is that they don’t discriminate. You don’t have to pay more for a “pink” razor or one marketed to women. There are some advantages to certain types of razors for women shavers (like longer handles), but anyone can shave with the same tool and get the results they desire.
Double-edged safety razors are hard to use
Using a double-edged safety razor is actually quite simple. It might take a little practice and experimentation, but it isn’t hard!
Most safety razors have an end cap on the head of the razor (this tightens down and bends the razor blade). If you rest that end cap on your skin and then tilt the razor (using the geometry of the curved cap) until the blade contacts your skin, you will be right at the correct angle for mowing down those whiskers. See, simple.
Some users are also a bit hesitant about changing the blades. Again, this process is quite simple and just requires a bit of healthy respect for the blade. It is always wise to grasp the razor with a towel or other bit of protection when you are changing blades. Keeping your razor clean and changing blades frequently also helps to keep the parts moving safely and easily.
What other myths are out there? Did we miss something important? Let us know in the comments below.