Double-Edge razors are all the rage these days. From Baxters of California to Jack Black, a number of companies are trying to convince us that we’ve been shaving all wrong and it’s time to hearken back to the days of old.
So is there any merit to this growing trend? What are the benefits of switching from your typical 5 bladed razor to a double-edge?
We spoke with a self-styled shaving connoisseur to learn what all the brouhaha was about. Turns out, he makes some pretty convincing arguments.
Here are 7 reasons to consider switching to a double-edge razor.
1. Shave Money
That’s the motto of the Dollar Shave Club, and although they currently only offer 5 bladed razors, the point still applies: companies like Gillette are ripping us the hell off and we all know it. It’s infuriating. Even at Costco, a set of my preferred brand, The Mach 3 Turbo, costs $46 for a 24 count. That’s about $2.00 a blade. Whereas if you make the jump to a double-edge safety razor, you can get amazing blades like “Feather” at a price of $16 for 50 of ’em… that’s just .32 a blade! It’s insane, really, the money you can save. For the sheer justice of it alone, it’s worth considering a swtich and sticking it to Gillette the way they’ve been sticking it to us all these years.
But we’re not just about money are we? There’s something romantic about the shaving experience, since the day you became old enough to scrape away that little peach fuzz on your budding pubescent face. It’s a time honored masculine ritual and even if you’re sporting a hipster beard you still have to trim that puppy routinely. Those few moments in front of the mirror, be it every day or every week, are almost a meditation of sorts. And that meditation goes to a whole new level when you use a double-edge razor. The cream, the brush, the bowl. It can bring back memories of an era long gone by, maybe even memories of your father or grandfather. In this increasingly uptempo world of faster-sooner-now, there’s something to be said for slowing things down and harkening back to an age when you took your time. That said…
3. No Extra Shave Time
…just because it feels like you’re slowing down, you’re not really. The recent convert we spoke with says it takes him just as much time to do the actual shave with a disposable as it does with a classy hand-held double-edge. How’s that possible? You fill your cup with hot water, place the brush in the cup and then leave it there to sit while you shower. You don’t have to stand around and wait for the brush to get soft; you multi-task, by letting the brush soften while you take your morning rinse. When you come out, everything is ready to go. The shaving process itself is exactly the same amount of time as with a five-blade. So if you’re worried the switch will cost you precious sleep/breakfast time, it won’t. Minus the shower, you can complete the actual shaving portion in 5-10 minutes.
4. Cool Hardware
For me, the five-bladed razor really comes down to the Mach 3 turbo. I’ve tried them all and wound up with ingrown hairs and razor burn from everything else. I’ve got no options. But if you do double-edge, you can choose from a variety of kickass handles and blades, from all over the world. There are blades form India, Pakistan, Turkey, Israel, Russia… and they all will provide you with a great shave. Our coneissuer recommends the “Feather” brand above (from Japan of all places). I mean, what would you rather shave with? A Gilette Razor from Target? Or an Edwin Jagger DE89 form Germany paired with Feather blades from Japan? That’s a type of badassery that’s bound to impress.
5. The Cream & The Brush
Come on, admit it. Even if you don’t use a double-edge razor right now, there’s something appealing about putting some “Proraso Italian Shaving Cream” on a brush, swishing it around in a bowl, and the tickilng your own face with some soft, smooth bristles. Hell, you could do this even if you don’t switch to a double-edge. Brushes come in as many varieties as blades and handles: Badger, Pure Badger, Silver Tipped Badger, Boar. Pick your animal. A well-taken care of Badger brush can last you 25 years. Simply treat it like your own hair: Every week or so, wash it with a little shampoo, rinse it out, maybe use a little conditiotner, then dry with a towel and hang it up. Our shaving advisor is still using the badger brush that was given to him on his 16th birthday by his father.
6. It’s Not Complicated
Although shaving with a double-edge razor requires a little bit of technique, you should be able to pick it up almost instantly. The trick is to take it slow and light at first, without applying too much pressure. You want to keep the blade angled about 30-45 degrees, and on the first pass just focus on reducing the whiskers. After the second pass, you’ll have total removal. Remember – don’t press down hard. These razors are more powerful than what you’re used to and serious pressure isn’t necessary. Consider practicing on your arm first if you don’t want to risk nicking your face on the first go-round.
7. Better Shave
Isn’t this really what it all comes down to? The double-edgd razor shave is closer and less irritating. If you’re using an electric or a crappy disposable, and you wind up with ingrown hairs, razor burn or pimples, then you should absolutely consider a switch. Experts insist that the double-edge razor is better at providing an irritant-free shave. “Especially for guys with ingrown hair issues,” says board-certified dermatologist Peter D. Hino, MD. And Chris Ramos, a barber at Baxter Finely Barber Shop in LA says, “Cartridges take off extra skin that can cause a lot of irritation for guys with sensitive skin. The safety razor takes off the exact amount you need.”
The shaving industry is being disrupted as we speak, with the old becoming new again. The double-edged razor of your father and grandfather’s day is suddenly back in style, but upgraded to slick, sexy handles and futuristic blades that can provide the smoothest, closest shave of your life. The fact is, making the switch wouldn’t cost you any more time in the morning and would actually save you a bundle of money in the long run. Maybe we’ve all been indoctrinated into the cult of the disposable, the quickee shave, and getting us to change our ways is a challenging task. On the other hand, maybe a throwback to the days gone by is just what’s needed in today’s increasingly frantic and fast-paced world.