Have a comfortable, close shave

shaving.jpgThe Zen Habits blog has a guest post from old fashioned shaving advocate John Koontz, who offers some ways to save money and have a more comfortable shave in the process.

His secret? Ditch the disposable razors and go for the double edge razor. He estimates that after the initial $100 or so investment in the razor, you can save $140 a year from not having to buy razor cartridges. It also means no discarded cartridges going into landfill.

Now I'm a fan of clean shaven men, but if the thought of learning to use a double edge razor (they're called cut throat razors for a reason!) is a little much, here's some tips for getting a more comfortable shave from standard shavers.

1. Prepare, prepare prepare your skin. Koontz suggests shaving after a shower, which is fine but I would suggest that if it's not a long, hot shower, that you dampen a face washer with hot water and hold it on your face for a few minutes. The key is *hot* and *hydrated* - it can really make the shaving process less painful.

2. Shave gently, and with the grain of the hair. You don't need to press hard - if you do you're removing layers of skin along with the stubble. And shaving with the grain of the hair (ie in the direction the hair is growing) makes it less likely that you'll get uncomfortable ingrown hairs and shaving rash.

In case the Zen of Shaving article didn't convince you, I'd also point out that a nice clean shave reduces the chance of giving your loved ones stubble rash (ouch!). And it makes you look and feel good. :)

The Zen of Shaving [Zen Habits]


    Shaving WITH the grain is the key.

    Once I discovered that, my shaving experience changed.

    You get a bit less close, but it's a lot more comfortable, and the lack of irritation makes for a smoother shave in the long term.

    awww cmon sarah...

    you girls know you love stubble rash ;)

    Stay far from me! :P

    Has anyone looked at the edge of various maker’s double edge blades under a 10 power magnifying glass, or, better yet, a microscope, to see if they can see a difference in the blade edges?
    I looked at a Schick and a Merkur under a 10X glass. The Merkur has a rough edge. The Schick has a much smoother edge.
    I checked this out after using one of each blade. The Schick gave me 25 good shaves before it started pulling,
    The Merkur blade gave me a worse (it pulled more) shave on the first shave than the Schick did after 25 shaves.
    I used to get 60 good shaves out of the Gillette Blue Blade. Now I am doing good to get 30 out of stainless steel, platinum, etc.
    Seems the blade makers are just not putting as good of an edge on their blades just so they will get duller faster.
    I have not tried the Feather Blades yet, but have ordered some, as they have a reputation for sharpness.
    A person should be able to tell just how long, comparatively, a blade will last just by looking at its edge under a microscope.
    The whole thing seems to be a "sting" operation though, as sharp blades could go out for weeks and then the makers of these blades start sending out less sharp ones.
    It does seem near miraculous to me that in a century no one has come up with a way to sharpen and strop these double edge blades.

    this one is for Ronald
    there are still sharpening systems for double edge blades . My favourite is the Allegro sharpening system . all you do is insert the blade into the machine and slide it back and forth over the two sharpening stones followed by the leather strop . it even automatically changes the blade so it sharpens all four edges .if you use the older blue steel blades you may get as many as 60 plus really good shaves out of one blade . not bad for something made in the 1920's

    Just because you cant find it doesn't mean it hasn't been made .

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