Monday, December 10, 2018

Why You Should Use a Double Edge Safety Razor


I have been using Dollar Shave Club for a while now and definitely saved a lot of money on blades compared to store brands, you may remember my post about them. I can't remember if I was Googling something or if I ran across it on Facebook or YouTube, but I saw or read about someone using a double edge razor.  I then searched YouTube about double edge razors and some of the YouTubers mentioned how close of a shave you can get without irritation.  I've always had issues with razors giving me irritation, usually on my neck, sometimes it would be worse than others. Because of this I typically would only shave about twice a week, sometimes I would go even longer between shaves.  I was under the impression, like most people, that safety razors were dangerous. But they are not, that's why they're called safety razors.  It was a safer alternative to the straight razor.

You typically get skin irritation due to the amount of blades raking across your skin on a razor cartridge.  Razors cartridges now days have 3, 4, or even 5 blades on them. A double edge safety razor only has 1 blade with 2 sides. I can usually get 3 to 4 shaves from a blade and shave every other day. I had to replace the Dollar Shave Club cartridges once a week.

I bought my first double edge razor kit from Amazon, it's called the Gentleman Jon complete shave kit. It includes a razor, 5 blades, a badger hair brush, a shave soap puck, and a stainless steel bowl. You get all that for $55. I know what your thinking, "That's a lot of money!" The thing is, you only buy most of this stuff once. The only 2 things you need to replace are the soap pucks and razors, but not very often. You can get 100 razors for around $10 and soap pucks for under $10.  The Gentleman Jon razor wasn't too bad, but seemed a little abrasive to me.

A few weeks later I purchased an old 1950s Gillette black tip and red tip razor.  From what I read on the internet, the red tip was suppose to be a little more aggressive.  To me the black and the red tips have a similar feel when you shave. You can purchase these razors for around the $20 mark on eBay, which is outstanding.  Once you purchase a couple razors you should be set for a long time.

There are also different types of aggressiveness for the blades. I purchased the Astra Superior Premium Platinum Double Edge blades on Amazon.com for $10.99. That's right at 11 cents a blade.  So not only do you get a better shave and less irritation, you save a ton of money.  The next set of blades I'd like to try are the Personna Double Edge Razor Blades, 100 for $12.45 on Amazon.com.  If you're not sure which blades you'd like to get, you can buy variety sampler pack and try different ones.

Now lets talk about soaps.  Again this is going to be another area of personal preference, there are tons of soaps out there. I don't really have a favorite because I like to use different ones at different times.  You'll also need a shaving bowl to place some of the soaps in, others come in a container that you can directly shave out of. Here's a list of some of the soaps I have:

What the Puck - Blue Barbershop - Link
Men's Soap Company - Rockies Sandalwood - Link
Col. Conk Shave Soap - Variety 4 Pack - Amber, Lime, Bayrum, Almond - Link
Formula T Barbershop - Shea Butter & Tallow - Link
Sir Hare - Barbershop Fragrance - Link
The Blade Grim - Smolder - Link

There are different types of brushes as well.  There's badger, boar, horse, and synthetic for you PETA fans.  Boar is the most aggressive and the most popular is badger, which is less aggressive.  I haven't seen much talk about horse hair, but purchased one from Target from a company called Cremo  (You may have seen me mention them in a past post).   The horse hair brush is by far the softest one I have, but I only have a badger and horse hair brush.

Now that we have all the products sorted, lets talk about the preparation and order.

1. The first thing you'll want to do is run some warm water into your shaving bowl and place your brush in the bowl.  You should wait a minimum 5 minutes before you start shaving, this allows time for the brush to soften up.  You can also let it soak while you take a shower (this is what I typically do).

2. Once you're out of the shower you can start making the shaving foam. What I do is squeeze some of the water out of the brush and start swirling it around on the soap in the soap bowl or container.  You'll want to do this until you get a good foam lather.  If you can't figure this out there's a lot of good YouTube videos on how, it doesn't take long at all.

3. Now you'll want to lather up your face. I will usually splash my face with warm water first, then brush the foamed shaving soap on. Be sure to cover everywhere you want to shave.

4. Now start the shaving process. You'll want the weight of the brush to do most of the work, so don't go pressing the razor hard against your face, gently pull it down. You'll want to go with the grain of your facial hair if you have sensitive skin (like me).  Remember that you have 2 sides of the razor to use, and you can rinse the soap off the razor while shaving.  Once I complete a full pass on all of the hair on my face I will soap up my face again and make a second pass.  If your face isn't as sensitive as mine you can even make a third pass against the grain for a buttery smooth shave.

5. Now that your done you can rinse your razor and brush off in the water. I then place mine on the stand I purchased on Amazon.  This allows the brush to dry out and not have any fowl odors.

I know what your thinking, this sounds like it's a task and it takes a long time to shave  (this was my assumption as well). I assure you that's not the case.  You can complete the steps above in under 5 minutes.  You'll be surprised how smooth the shave is and how you have less irritation.  I was like "Why didn't I find out about this sooner?"  I am now hooked.

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