Saturday, December 3, 2011

Safety Razors

I haven't posted in sometime.  I am working on a book project in my limited spare time and working on learning guitar.  I am pleased to be doing both.  Meanwhile, I have started something new that I thought worth sharing.  I have noticed of late that disposable razors don't produce as many quality shaves as they used to, and they aren't so cheap either.  Furthermore, using disposable razors has always bothered me.  I remember my father using an old safety razor for shaving.  A safety razor is an old contraption shaped like modern disposables, or rather the disposables are shaped like it.  It has a dial below the head which holds the razor, that one turns causing the top to open like a flower or like the cargo doors of the old space shuttle.  This enables one to drop in a slim sharp razor, which, upon becoming dull, is the only item that gets disposed of.  Dad used these for sometime and I would have them as well, but he'd switched to disposables by the time I started shaving and I never saw them on sale at the store.

Anyway, I started looking at straight razors recently, because the whole disposable thing was bothering me.  I was also thinking that going non-disposable has got to be cheaper.  The straight razor thing looked expensive and dangerous, yet still tempting--I may still try it.  However, I decided to try looking into Dad's old safety razors and I found some, though a lot were pricey: $30.00-40.00 and I wasn't looking to test an alternative for that much.  I found some cheaper and wondered about their quality.  I took a walk and found a beauty supply shop not on John Street, not far from Wall Street and there I found just the thing.  It was a Diane D235 Classic Shaver for about $9 and it came with 5 Gillette razors--a perfect starter package!  I also picked up some Wilkinson Sword Double Edged Razor 5-pack for $1.79, so I was set for awhile.  I also found a big bottle of Pinaud Clubman aftershave and another barbershop classic Lilac De Vegetal, apparently also owned by Pinaud.  I topped it off with going for a thin moustache--not too thin though.  I am a history major so I am always in retro mode.  The trendy part of the story is that I started a jar to keep spent razors and showcase how many plastic disposables can kept out of the dump.  I have yet to work out the savings, but $1.79 for five razors comes out to about 36 cents each!  They're sharper and last longer too. 

There's a bit of learning curve to it, but it's really not that big a deal.  The angle is the thing.  Start off with the razor nearly parallel to your face--the blade should not be making contact.  Slowly, tilt it until it does make contact with the whiskers--you won't want to tilt it much more than that.  It will produce a close shave and there is considerably less risk of nicking oneself this way.  The angle is less than 45 degrees.


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