December 11, 2012

My New Shave

Ever since I started shaving I have not been a fan. My super-sensitive face skin became irritated by every method I tried. Over the years I’ve had every type of disposable razor out there. I’ve used 2, 3, 4, and 5 blades. I’ve had two different electric razors. Foams, gels, lotions, salves… I’ve tried it all. I’ve never been happy with the results.

Over a year ago my best friend told me about the wet shave. Essentially the wet shave is how a guy used to shave his face back in the 40's and 50's. I get an image of a barber lathering up the clients face. It is like that, but without the straight razor. I was eager to try it, but the initial cost is quite high and I ended up talking myself out of it. I was convinced that all these years of technological advancement would undoubtedly outperform a 70 year old shaving method. I forgot about the wet shave and spent the last 12 months dumping more money into Gillette fusion blades.

Then I signed up for my free week trial of The Magazine and read The Wet Shave by Lex Friedman. I sent a message to my friend and asked him if he was still shaving “old school”. He was. He still loved it. I was sold.

The Hardware

I added all of these items to my Amazon wish list and sent it to my parents for ideas for Christmas. We exchanged gifts with them at Thanksgiving and they got me my entire shaving setup. They are awesome!

The Transition

My first shave was slow and I hadn’t broken in the brush so there were bristles all over the place. It did feel pretty nice though, and the results were good. I immediately loved the soap and lather method. There is no way I will ever go back to canned gel. I wasn’t as excited about the single blade safety razor right at first. I had to rethink how I shave. I cut myself more than I ever did with the 5 blade setup, but it is no big deal. I just have to go a little slower.

Going in my main concern was with the increased time it would take to complete my morning routine. Most mornings I am rushed. I typically only shaved every other day. Going to an every day shaving routine was going to be tough, especially if it took longer. I was worried I wouldn’t be able to stick with it just because I didn’t have the time.

The Results

Over the last couple weeks my face is the most comfortable it has been in years. The positive effects were immediate. I haven’t had any irritation at all. While it does take me longer to shave, I have started to look forward to it. I feel like I am taking care of my face, and not just shaving it.

The actual act of shaving isn’t better than it was before. I do like the feel of the soap and the brush, but the razor creates a stinging sensation on the skin that I didn’t experience before. It is simultaneous pain and cooling relief. I’ve almost come to enjoy it. I have a little more trouble getting a good shave on a couple parts of my neck where the hairs grow weird. However, my technique is improving.

After the shave is over my face feels much better than it ever has other methods. I am not quite sure what to attribute it to, but it doesn’t matter. It is awesome. I can shave every day without my neck getting red and burning afterward, and I am thankful for that.

The shave feels closer than it did with my 5 blade razor, and my skin feels better.


In the last three weeks I’ve spent more time shaving than I did the six weeks prior to that. However, It hasn’t been a hassle. Shaving has been as close to enjoyable as I ever thought it could be. My face has been pain free despite the occasional cut on my neck.

I haven’t mastered the wet shave yet, but I feel like I am getting better. I can use a blade 4 or 5 times before switching. In a year I will go though about 65 blades,a whole $6.50 in cost. My cost with Gillette Fusion blades was about $50 per year. I’m not sure how to estimate the savings on shaving gel, but it is significant as well.

I think this is going to work out well.

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