We are coming up on the anniversary of a very important event in the life of my face. A couple of years ago, I put down my multi-blade, took up an old-fashioned, double-edged safety razor and slipped back in time to where shaving is an art form and a pleasure.
It all started with razor burn. With an increasing number of blades in the cartridge (5 at that point), the experience was getting worse, not better. In my frustration, I Googled shaving and two things I found surprised me.
The first was that the invention of multi-blades was not about the best possible shave. Razor companies didn’t like the fact that you could use anybody’s blade in your razor. With multi-blades, only that manufacture’s cartridge will fit. So, once you buy the razor, there is no competition for cartridges and no surprise: the cartridge is the expensive part.
The second thing I found is a large movement back to safety razors. Why? The blades are inexpensive and can last a month or more. Oh, yes, and the safety razor gives a far better shave. Less cost, less razor burn and a better shave — I was converted.
The razors range around $20-$40 and up on ebay or you can buy new ($50 to $250) from the manufacturer or on countless other sites. I found my Gillette “Fat Boy Adjustable” in a pile at an antique shop down in Quechee, VT for $7.
Then I went back on-line and searched for blades, pre-shaving lotion and aftershave lotion. By the time I was done, I’d spent around $75 for supplies that lasted for months.
The final step, learning to shave, was the hardest. I ended up on a website called Art of Manliness. It sounds corny, but the site features a lot of old-fashioned advice from how to tip your hat to how to shave your face. So, I printed out the shaving instructions and studied like there were final exams.
When the supplies arrived, I spent another couple of weeks just staring at the razor. The first time I put in a blade it was like a space-docking maneuver. I was so afraid of slicing my finger off.
Yes, it was an ugly learning curve. The hardest part turned out to be not the razor, but the speed. I had to learn to take my time. Once I achieved that, the shaving became not only easier, but pleasurable. To my surprise, I now actually enjoy shaving!
So, grandpa/ma, don’t throw out those old razors; save them for the kids or sell them on ebay. Your style of shaving is coming back!
Aging in Place, it doesn’t happen by accident.