There must be 50 ways to leave your lover, so the song says. I thought of calling this blog, 50 ways to leave your [plastic multi-blade] razor. Whilst 50 good reasons could be found for justifying stopping the use of plastic razors, there’s only one way to leave it: just stop using it. Simple.
What are the alternatives though? Well, I like to think that the straight razor makes a fine alternative to those plastic things. The best a man can get? You’ve obviously never tried a straight razor.
The straight razor makes a fine alternative to those plastic multi-blade razors.
This blog is about the straight razor as an alternative to the modern plastic cartridge razor.
If you’ve read any of my blogs, you’ll know that I care about the environment that we’re leaving for our children. It bothers me that plastic razors, which have done so much to reduce the pleasure that a traditional shave can provide, are part of the plastic poison affecting our beautiful planet.
Plastic razors are no longer justifiable. So, what’s holding men and women back from going straight?
Here are five common misconceptions about straight razors which, I think, are stopping a lot of people from making the transition to a straight razor.
- Sweeney Todd
You know, the whole cut throat thing. Straight razors are dangerous and scary. Scary in a way that a Rattlesnake or an angry Bear is. Well, if misused, straight razors can be dangerous.
The good news is, straight razors cannot possess your mind, forcing you to injure or disfigure yourself. The straight razor is a tool, possibly the pinnacle of the development of shaving technology. It was created to shave you, not harm you.
You probably handle more dangerous things every day. Do you drive a car? Well, that’s probably a great slice of the danger cake as any of us can handle. Looking indoors, do you have a kitchen knife in the kitchen? Let's play a game, imagine going into your kitchen now and grasping a knife. Ok, now I bet that you would never grasp it by the blade, or start hacking yourself with it, would you? Of course not.
You have to believe me here. You have to trust yourself. You can be trusted to shave with a straight razor just like you can be trusted to handle dangerous things or machinery.
Shaving with a straight razor is not scary, it’s got a frightening reputation, but don't let that put you off. It’s actually quite relaxing and intuitive. More importantly it’s enjoyable. Don't deprive yourself. Straight razor shaving's best kept secret is this: shaving is simply a matter of wiping the shaving soap lather off your face.
- They’re Just for Men.
Wrong. Straight razors are a fine alternative for women too. Remember that prior to 1900, anything that needed shaving was shaved with a straight razor. Many straight razors were branded and sold for women in that time. Why should men have all the fun of using a razor, stopping plastic pollution and saving money?
- I should learn to use a Double Edge Safety razor or Shavette first.
Nope. There’s absolutely no benefit from using a disposable blade straight razor, commonly called a shavette, or a traditional safety razor first. Shavette’s look similar to a straight razor, but I think that they are vile instruments. They’re not straight razors but a safety razor blade with a long handle.
I have heard customers state that they have read on Shaving Forums that a straight razor should not be attempted until someone is proficient with a shavette. There is no progression. Your straight razor technique will not ultimately be improved by using a shavette, except in one area: making a good lather from shaving soap.
Otherwise, there is absolutely no obstacle to stop you from going straight from a Mach3 to a straight razor.
- They’re difficult to use and maintain.
Again, there’s no hiding the truth. Compared to moving a piece of steel encased in plastic, with a lube-strip around your face (or legs etc.), a straight razor might seem difficult. But, all that’s required is concentration and a sense of enjoyment. Once you’ve finished your shave, you can add a sense of achievement to that list. Really, it’s just a matter of wiping the lather off and working out how to do this. Razors are not complicated or difficult to use. I promise.
If you think straight razor shaving is difficult, this poor chap didn't even have YouTube!
Sure, the art of straight razor shaving has its own vocabulary, but beyond moving the blade across a leather strap, there’s very little in the way of maintenance that’s required. For more information about maintaining your straight razor read my blog on the topic of maintenance.
- Too much choice.
Don’t you just hate it when you decide to buy something, and the variety of options available to you is bewildering? Choosing a straight razor can be a bit like that. There are so many types of blades, so many vendors.
In reality, there are four things which you should bear in mind when choosing your first razor.
- The point. I recommend a round point, square points can be more challenging;
- The grind. A hollow-ground razor would be ideal. Too much of a hollow grind becomes like a finely tuned racing bike: fun but unforgiving.
- How wide? Razors come in a variety of widths, usually described as fractions of an inch, which is 8/8". Too wide a razor becomes difficult to handle. Something like a 5/8" or a 6/8" is ideal.
Lastly, you need a razor that is surgically clean, super sharp, but buttery smooth to shave with. That’s where I can help.
Fancy making the leap to a straight razor? We should talk.
Visit my Store and find your first straight razor.