Better Way: wet shaving with a double-edged-razor

A little more than a year ago I changed the way I shave – and I think it is worth talking about.

Shaving seems like a really boring topic. However, given what I know now, I need to share my knowledge.

Consider this: You are probably getting overcharged for razor blades.

As of today, an 8-count package of the leading 5-blade cartridge system costs $28.99.  

That’s about $4 per cartridge.  That is highway robbery!

You really only need one blade …one very sharp blade and the old-school method of shaving: the so-called  “wet shave” technique.

Double-edged razor and blade

Unmodified photo by Barney Bishop on Flickr (CC BY-ND 2.0)

What you need (all are available on Amazon):

  • razor – I have the Merkur Long-Handled Safety Razor 38c
  • double-edged blades – I prefer the Derby Extra Double Edge razor blades 100 for $9.47 or 2% of the cost of a cartridge of the leading brand
  • skin lubricant – I use Proraso pre-shave cream for later days (I’ll use olive oil as a base layer if I haven’t shaved for couple of days)
  • shaving soap – Taylor of Old Bond Street sandalwood is primo
  • badger bristle brush – A warm badger hair brush with warm shave soap feels really great
  • shaving mug – I recommend the Colonel Conk model 119 mug since it really retains heat well

Warning: It is way more easy to cut yourself using this method than with one of the 5-blade monstrosities.  That said, I’ve only cut myself on two occasions when I really lost focus and tried to rush through shaving and got tiny nicks.  This method rewards those who take their time – not turbo shaving like you see in the razor blade commercials.

I highly recommend wet shaving with a double-edged razor. You will get a super-close shave. If you want to learn more about this, search using “wet shave” terms.

A few pointers:

  • Shave right after your shower
  • Let your brush soak in hot water before you use it
  • Plug your sink and let your shaving mug sit in hot water while you shave – reapplication of hot shaving soap feels heavenly
  • Use at least two shaving passes
    • With the grain
    • Cross-grain
    • Use a third pass if you’re on camera later in the day and you don’t want to look like Nixon did in his debate with Kennedy
  • When you’re done shaving, splash your face with cold water

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