We’re not going to teach you how to shave. We’re sure you already know how to. Your father already took care of that life lesson a long time ago, which may be the sole reason why some of you may have decided to nix shaving altogether to grow gnarly, Paul Bunyan-esque beards. And there’s certainly nothing wrong with that. We love how rebellious beards are.
However, there’s a lot of bullshit scattered about the shaving industry that has plagued men’s faces as well as their wallets for decades. We think every man, bearded or not, should be made aware of these shenanigans and move to restore the sanctity of the classic male shave. Here’s to the evolution of shaving and why it’s a rip-off. Cheers!
According to Makkai.com, roughly a century or so, a man named King Gillette came up with and patented a way to manufacture double edge safety razors with replaceable blades. His business eventually boomed and he single-handedly put barbers across the country out of business as men began to shave themselves.
Sure. This was great for men who could suddenly save a few dollars by shaving themselves at the time, but a new trend for disaster began to lurk around the corner. As the patents for the blades expired over time, more and more ridiculous razors began to surface, jacking up the prices and ultimately leaving you with a less-than-admirable shave.
For example, shortly after Gillette’s original patent ran out near the end of WWII, U.S. Army Lieutenant Colonel Jacob Schick jumped on the bandwagon and patented the first single-bladed injector razor. By the 1970s, BIC disposable razor were thrown in to the mix. Then, in the 1980s, Gillette upped the ante with double-bladed disposable cartridges. From there on out, companies added more blades along with other nonsense intended to provoke men to shave with their razors, all while equating the clean cut man to the “ultimate” man. What’s next? A built in vacuum to suck up your beard trimmings? Unnecessary…
Today’s typical razor vibrates, has up to five blades, comes with an aloe vera strip and, what the hell, even a microcomb to “guide” your stubble to the blades. Because, you know, you need to guide your stubble when you shave. Oh…and you know, you obviously have to use that brand’s matching shaving cream to achieve the ultimate shave. And with ridiculous tongue twister names like the Gillette Fusion ProGlide SilverTouch Power Razor, how could you not buy into the bullshit? You’ve been trained since you were a boy that more is always better, and these brands are only capitalizing on that…all while taking jabs at your manhood.
The lesson here? You don’t have to drop $20 a month every time you need a new pack of razor cartridges. Because they’re so costly, you’re probably more likely to try and make a pack last longer than they’re intended to, meaning you’re eventually shaving with dull, crappy razors. And that never makes for a pleasant shave.
One way to combat the system is to consciously make your blades last longer. According to AskMen.com, it’s important to rinse your blades with hot water as you shave, but it’s not enough to keep them from dulling down. Once you’re done shaving, make sure you clean and dry the blades. The excess water on your blades will cause them to rust on a molecular level. Then, rinse them off in a cup of mineral oil or alcohol, which removes the remaining moisture, sterilizes the blades and then evaporates quickly.
If you want to be ballsy, you may also to invest in a few other, probably more fun shaving options. You can be brave and invest in a straight razor like the one’s your great-grandfather’s barber used to use. Just know that these can be costly and require a bit of upkeep. However, I’ve heard people say they’re well worth it.
You can go a bit less old-school and invest in a great double edge safety razor and simply replace the blades every so often. A pack of double edge blades are generally much cheaper than today’s average blade cartridges and don’t really have to be replaced as often.
If you still like the razor you have today but don’t want to shell out all of that cash each month for replacement cartridges, you can also look into something like the Dollar Shave Club. By now, I’m sure you’ve heard of them. They had an funny Old Spice-esque video go viral a while back and offer to deliver quality razors to your door for roughly a dollar a month.
Sounds too good to be true, right? It is. According to Lifehacker.com, you have to buy the blades in bulk, which can equal up to $90 over the course of ten months if you buy their best razors. But even that’s still better than what Gillette or Schick currently offer. However, Lifehacker also recently pointed out that you can now buy straight from Dollar Shave Club’s supplier, Dorco USA, for a fraction of their prices. They even sell double edge blades to refill your safety razor. Win.
If you’re into the idea of buying into Gillette or Schick’s scam and shelling out an unnecessary amount of money for vibrating razor combs, have at it, sir. But you’re only feeding the machines. Instead, you can save a little cash by shaving smart. That…or you can grow an awesome beard, which apparently has many benefits as well. You decide.
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