Out of everyone I know, there are about 3% of us that have extremely heavy beards, and I am one of them. Shaving is a necessary pain; when done well, you feel like a million bucks. Unfortunately, I can count the times I have had a crisp, smooth shave with no pain, razor burn, cuts, or other casualties on one hand. Double cut? Forget about it.
So when the wet shaving craze hit a couple years ago, the idea of going with an old school double edge safety razor spread like wildfire among that 3% of us. Emails were traded. Conversations were started over drinks. What if, we all asked ourselves. Could this be the answer we were looking for?
Over the last two years my shaving experience has improved. For one, I started using shaving soap and a brush versus shaving gel. I also started shaving right after a hot shower, leaving my face wet while I brushed on the soap. This has actually helped a great deal (this is the main principle of wet shaving – leaving a layer of water between your skin and the soap – I am heading of questions from women and weak-bearded men in one fell swoop).
This week though, I broke down and bought my first badger hair brush and double edged safety razor (I have been using a bristle brush [made presumably with boar’s hair] and a Mach 3 Turbo). I tried them out last night.
First of all, I felt like a kid shaving for the first time again. I was scared of cutting myself tremendously, so it was a mixed bag of emotion once I was done.
Overall though, I was impressed. I bought a Merkur Hefty Classic Open Comb razor. It’s small; smaller than you would think. But it has a good weight to it. The Open Comb feature helps with razor burn supposedly, and while weird at first, I found it did help. This morning, I am still mostly smooth with a few rougher patches that I probably missed for fear of massive cuts (the Merkur blade that comes with it is extremely flexible and extremely sharp). Compare with my usual morning after shaving experience of “nearing five o’clock already, and my neck burns like little needles of pain.” I even tried double cutting a few stripes on my face. Not only did it not hurt, but is in fact still smooth today.
The badger hair brush was worth the money as well ($30). It not only spread much faster and easier, it will last a lifetime of use. My father still has his badger hair brush which he received before I was born. I used to use it when I was a kid. It is exactly how I remember it (this is also presumably why I felt like a first-timer again).
I’ll write an update next week after continuous use, but so far, I may be rocking the Merkur from now on (even for the blades alone – a pack of 10 double edge blades are only about $5 versus the $10 for a 4 pack of Mach 3 Turbo blades – plus the double edge blades last longer).
You can also browse through the Parlor archives.
Keep up to date with my email newsletter. Newsletters are sent at least quarterly.
Stay up to date with my Feed in your favorite newsreader!
Check out who is linking to me with my Technorati Profile.