In 2013 I started doing a healthy amount of on-camera work at FOX11 in Los Angeles as their in-house tech “expert.” I grew really tired of my grooming regimen because it was producing lackluster results for my on-air appearances. I think part of it was in my head but electric clippers just never give the smooth shave I’d had with cartridge razors or electric, multi-head razors but those came at the expense of razor rash and ingrown hairs. I figured, hoped, there had to be something else I’d missed. Some other way of getting a great, clean shaven face without the painful rash and ingrowns. Then, I stumbled upon straight razor shaving and the heavens shone upon my face. Nay, my entire household! And with that in mind, I give you my top 5 reasons why you should change your shaving regimen. You’re welcome; in advance. 1. Because shaving with a device called a “cut throat razor” as opposed to a plastic/rubbery contraption makes you look like a total badass. You pick one of those up and you are immediately transformed into something more manly than your previous self. You become The Duke, Shaft, the outlaw Josie Wales, Curly (CitySlickers, not the stooge) a Buffalo Soldier on post, and every other archetypal image of rugged masculinity all held at your neck in a sharper-than-a-scalpel piece of steel. Your wife and children will watch you shave now with reverence and one day, you will pass your well used, still sharp as the day your bought it, razor(s) down to your son(s). Wet shaving/straight razor shaving isn’t just personal grooming, it’s an inheritance. It’s a legacy. 2. Because BBS. In three passes you will achieve something you may never have experienced with a cartridge razor and the accompanying admonitions to avoid shaving against the grain, a “baby bottom smooth” face. I have something to admit. It’s not natural. It’s sacrilegious even. I’m a black man who dealt with PFB and yet I shave against the grain. Did you hear that world? AGAINST. THE. GRAIN. And I love it! And my wife can’t stop touching my face after every time I shave (see again point #1). She’s always been affectionate but I’ve noticed an increased affection for nuzzling since I’ve started shaving with my cut throat. Unlike Axe body spray and beer commercials which promise that women will automatically think you’re a Greek god when you buy their products, straight razor shaving can actually deliver on that promise (unless you’re really awkward, or a jerk, which immediately counteracts the aforementioned effect). 3. 5 blades are NOT better than one! One of the biggest reasons to switch is comfort. Multiblade razors tug, lift and cut which often leads to hair being cut below the skin’s surface which is one of the causes of PFB, aka Pseudofolliculitis barbae, bka ingrown hairs. I’ll keep this one short. Which do you think will cause more irritation: 5 razors, scraping their way across your face, or one? Seems like common sense and maybe at one point when disposable razors were single bladed it was but somehow we lost our way and fell for that pervasive lie that “more is better." If you’re a Special Forces operator, slow is fast, if you’re a monk, less is more, and if you’re a man or woman who regularly gets ingrown hairs, one is more effective than five. Just accept it, trust me. Some things in life are counter culture and that’s ok. You’ll be much better off going against the grain on this one (pun intended). 4. Cost. One four pack of razors will require you to promise your first born child to the manufacturer unless you can guess his name before the child is born. Seriously. And there are no happy endings here. Just smaller bank accounts and heartbroken parents who couldn’t solve the riddle. On the other hand, you can spend as little as $150 dollars and have something that lasts multiple lifetimes without the need for replacement, just sharpening. I’ll let you in on a little secret… if you go the safety razor route (also called a DE/double edge or SE/single edge) the cost is even lower. You can pick up one of those for $20-ish dollars and a pack of 100, yes 100 blades for $11 on Amazon.com. Take that, $30 packs of cartridge refills. 5. The family that shaves together, saves together, and ultimately stays together. Well, given today’s climate I can’t promise the latter but if you and your wife don’t stay together at least you’ll both have the comfort of knowing that during that insanely expensive divorce process that you’re both saving money on shaving supplies. That, and as much as she dislikes you at the moment, she’ll be grateful that you turned her on to safety razor shaving based on your experiences with straight razors and increased comfort you’ve experienced as the result of dragging one blade across your flesh instead of several. I bought my own wife this razor. She was actually fine with her current shaving routine and had no real issues with the way she was shaving other than feeling like it was a little harsh on her skin, drying it out more in the process and forcing her to use more moisturizer/lotion. Her experience after a few weeks of shaving with a DE? She loves it! She says she’s noticed her skin fares much better with the single blade of a safety razor. It’s less abrasive and the process doesn’t lead to her skin being as dry as her previous method, using cartridges. See? Not only am I more nuzzle worthy but now I’m her hero because I saved her skin! POW!! Now, if all of that wasn’t enough to get you to seriously reconsider the doldrums of your current routine, I’m going to hit you with a bonus reason! What can I say, I’m a giver. The last reason to switch is because the shaving soaps and creams are much better for your skin and much more enjoyable than your can of environment destroying, CF propelled, sticky shaving goo. And they have better names! Names that sound gentlemanly. Old School, old world manly. Names like, Taylor of Old Bond Street and Geo F. Trumper. Heck, even the razors sound dignified and elegant, coming from companies with names like Thiers-Issard and Edwin Jaeger. Even with your beer wallet you can enjoy the fine feeling of champagne quality shaves if you know where to look (start on my blog of course and look here as well)!
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