Thursday, February 01, 2007
As I get older I’m discovering the joys of a good-old-fashioned, wet shave with a straight razor.
It sounds dumb, but it’s rapidly becoming the most relaxing part of my day. My reliable Norelco electric razor finally gave up the ghost after years of faithful service and, having no where else to go, I confiscated one of Mary’s Lady Schick razors and an ancient bottle of Old Spice shaving cream. The resultant shave was so smooth that I decided I didn’t really need another appliance.
Of course, I’ve never been one to let well enough alone– so next thing you know I’m researching different shaving creams, skin balms, and eBaying for antique straight razors. The best razors ever made (apparently) are circa 1800’s blades, hollow ground, of Sheffield steel. These are highly prized collectibles and I’ve watched online auctions go into the hundreds of dollars. Well, I’m not that rich so instead I hit up my barber for some advice and he offered to sell me a couple of old razors he had for $5! They’re genuine antiques and after a quick hone and a couple of strops, they’re sharp enough that I shave with them very carefully.
WARNING: If you've never shaved with a straight razor (or sharpened a knife) don't attempt it. New razors are extremely sharp and it is literally possible to cut your own throat.
I'm not joking.
You can get the same close shave with a safety razor (check out Lee's Safety Razors) or even the hokey triple bladed Gillette hocked by the Nascar flavor-of-the-week. Start with one of those and work your way to a man's razor.
I’ve also decided that I really like Edge “Active Care Revitalizing Shaving Cream” which comes in a tube, not an aerosol can and claims to be made from "peppermint oil and Marine extracts," whatever the heck that is. All I know is that it smells great and leaves me all smooth and tingly!
After such a close shave, an aftershave balm is a must. Currently, I'm partial to C.O. Bigelow Apothecaries' line of products, particularly the Bay Rum.
The font of all shaving knowledge can only be found at the Shaveblog; other resources include: