In one of our recent articles we focused on the straight razor, also known as “open razors” or “cut-throats” or “barbershop razors.” The next type of razor we are going to take a close look at is mostly known as your Grandpa or papa’s razor. For me personally it has always been known as my “dad’s” razor. Every Sunday morning I can recall standing in the bathroom next to my father while he shaved his face. As I glared at him, I studied his every move, as his hand would skillfully move that double-edged razor all over his face.
He would lather up a large bubble of shave cream in his hands and then systematically apply it to his face. Then he would turn on the bathroom facet and making sure the water was really hot. Every little detail seemed to be thought out. My dad didn’t skip a step. He would pick up his safety razor after wetting it under the hot running water and shave his face with very little effort. I couldn’t get over how impressive it was to see his razor gently glide on his face. It was like a grand illusion. One minute the side of his cheek was full of stubble and whiskers and with one clean strategic swoop of his razor the stubble was gone.
My father understood what it meant to be a gentleman, but not just any gentleman. He lived a lifestyle of being a dapper gentleman. Guys the lifestyle of a dapper gentleman means that even shaving our face is just as important as the shoes we choose to wear. Our faces are walking works of art. Your face deserves better than a plastic disposable razor that will tear you up literally. That’s why today we are going to talk briefly about the safety razor or double edge razor.
For the sake of your time I will spare you the history of the double edge razor and simply give you some points to ponder. Just like anything else in this world there are advantages and disadvantages to shaving with a double edge razor. First, a safety razor is less expensive to replace, simply because the blades are more affordable in price. The double edge razor is just that…a double edge razor. What this means for us men is we can get ten shaves out of that blade. Most packages of razor blades come in packs of twenty-five. Do the math. It adds up to a lot of shaves for less the price. The second advantage is that you don’t have to replace any batteries. Finally, another serious advantage is a double edge razor leaves less ingrown hairs.
As far as disadvantages go with a safety razor you will need some practice to develop skill with it. Obviously unlike a Gillett Mac 3 razor, we can’t run the blade carelessly along our face without creating cuts or scrapes. It requires a little extra time and patience. Something else that I have personally discovered, is when I don’t shave for more than one day, the blade will pull on your facial hair.
If you have been shaving with a razor like a Gillett Mac 3 and have a desire to shave with a straight razor, a double edge razor is a great way to bridge the gap between the two before committing to take the plunge. Finally I would like to leave you with some recommendations for razor blades and double edge razors. Please know that these will all vary in price, but I have used all of these brands of double edge razors as well as the razors themselves.
Kensington Classic Double Edge Razor
Merkur Double Edge Razor
Merkur Special Addition Double Edge Razor
Wilkinson Classic Blades