When you watch old television shows, films, or read old books, sometimes fathers teaching their sons how to shave crops up. I grew up without my father, and just learnt to shave the way most people do nowadays – trial and error, with a cheap plastic razor and some cheap artificial soap in a can. I always wondered why fathers ever bothered teaching their sons, as it’s so easy to learn. Eventually, I read about wet shaving with a safety razor, and it made sense that sons got taught – it’s much harder to do.
I wanted to learn to shave with a safety razor, as I enjoy ritual and older ways of doing things, but had no safety razor to try with. However, Emmie found a safety razor & shaving brush for me at a flea market around 6 weeks ago. I already had a safety razor case as a gift from Emmie’s mum, and I dug it out and the razor fit perfectly.
With the use of the interweb I managed to date the razor to the early 70s, but the case and blades (there were a lot included – I won’t be using them though, as they’re 80 years old) are from the 20s. The razor is wonderful, but doesn’t the case just look amazing? Why would you want to use a modern plastic thing when you can have something like this?
It takes a little longer to shave this way, but it’s absolutely worth it. The close shave a safety razor gives is unparalleled by any method short of a cut-throat razor and it’s wonderful to your skin (unlike a modern razor with 4-5 blades, which causes many men so much irritation). Emmie hates it when I use it as she’s afraid of it – they use raw razor blades, and it’s much easier to cut yourself with one.
Shaving with a safety razor is quite different to modern shaving – you do need to get a proper, traditional shaving soap that you lather up with a brush and lots of water, and you need blades and a razor, which is a high cost up front compared to modern shaving, but in the long run it’s worth it. The only waste is some soap down the sink and a solid metal blade, which you can recycle. On top of that, the soap lasts so much longer – you use a toothpaste sized amount of soap, and I estimate my current soap will last well over a year. The blades are incredibly cheap (I recently bought 35 razor blades for less than the cost of an 8 pack of Mach 3 blades). On top of all that, you get an incredibly close shave. I’d recommend it to anybody that wants to give it a go.