Safety? Really? Safety.
So, I recently bought a safety razor instead of a disposable one. I have to stress that I made the decision to buy one before seeing the ad on TV with the guy from Pawn Stars hawking safety razors. If you know me, I am not the type of person to be influenced by a television ad. In fact, I’d decided to buy the razor, saw the ad and then actively didn’t buy the razor for a while because of the ad. Then I decided I was being stupid not buying something I wanted because of the ad.
Very, very stupid, but not as stupid as calling this contraption a “safety”razor. It is actually terribly unsafe. In essence what you have is a suicide machine covered by a curved piece of metal. Shaving with this type of razor requires you to carefully approach your face. Don’t sneak up on it. You don’t want it startled. You need to heat your face up, covered it in oil, lather, grab your face in a way to stretch your skin and then very, very, very carefully don’t slit your own throat.
You really need to approach at just the right angle, use short strokes of the blade across your skin. Shave down, lather and then shave back against the grain. Whatever you do, do not rush or hurry. Shaving becomes a longer, more careful and more thoughtful exercise. Generally your thoughts focus on not dying.
Never, never shave with a safety razor when you are feeling down or just a little blue. You might not make it out of the bathroom alive.
Of course you need to recall that the safety razor was indeed safe compared to how we used to shave. The safety razor itself was invented in 1875 and replaced for many the single blade razor that you had to continually sharpen.
Of course, you can go back even further to bronze age cultures and find evidence of razors back then. There is of course a whole Wikipedia page dedicated to this stuff.
You can buy a wide variety of straight edge razors out there, because some men still do appreciate the shave that you can only get with a piece of cold steel across your skin.
The above straight razor is available for only $12.95 and includes 5 extra blades. It’s an incredible bargain compared to today’s disposable razors.
The thought process described at the start of this post really only applied to me the first time I shaved with the new razor. I did my neck with my old disposable for fear of slitting something important, but the next shave was all safety razor. It was about the best shave I have ever had that didn’t involve hiring a barber to do it for me. I have a crappy beard to begin with. If I shave within three days of my previous shave, I tear my skin up something fierce. I have to wait five days between shaves to get anything of value from the experience.
Thus far, I’ve only cut myself once and that was the first time I shaved with the razor. I’m getting more confident with each shave. Soon I will get cocky about my skill level and then . . . well I suppose I should take out a little more life insurance and switch to the straight edge razor for more of a challenge.
I will leave you with a quote from a Dr. John song, “How Come My Dog Don’t Bark When You Come Around?”
I’m goin’ straight down to that barber supply shop, get me a pearl handle, double edge, hollow ground, super blue blade, adjustable, stainless steel, honed edge, both blades on the same side so when I cut you once, you gonna bleed twice, goin’ an comin’. And if you don’ believe me, shake yo head; it’ll be singin’ I ain’t got no body.