Due to being brainwashed by marketing there are tens of millions of men in the world who use multibladed system razors with patent protected cartridges that you can only buy from the one monopoly supplier. This is very expensive, does not give the best shave and ends up being a chore. Yet there is the fantastic alternative of traditional shaving where you can buy 100 blades for as little as £10, and enjoy a shave that is not only better but which is also an enjoyable and luxurious experience.
So why don’t more men throw away the absurdly expensive system razor and move over to something far better in every way? The answer is partially that they have been brainwashed by billions of dollars worth of advertising featuring famous sports stars. Then there is the fact that most know nothing about traditional shaving. And finally those that do can often be intimidated by the change to new equipment. So I thought I would write a road map to enable people who have trepidations to escape the dark side and enter a new world where everything is better!
Step 1. Throw away all those aerosol cans that you get your lather out of and replace them with a lather you make yourself with a brush (keep using the system razor for the moment). This sort of lather has several advantages:
- The brushing action lifts the stubble into the lather making it easier for the blade to cut.
- The brushing action exfoliates your face, helping your complexion.
- You can use far more luxurious soaps and creams.
- More active ingredient goes on your face.
- The quality of ingredients is usually much higher.
- The time taken to brush the lather on softens your stubble by as much as 80%.
- This is a genuinely enjoyable experience.
For a brush I would suggest a Vulfix 404 badger/boar mix, a Frank Shaving finest badger bought from China on eBay or the incredible value Turkish horse hair brush. All three of these are low in cost and do an excellent job. They are widely used and praised by real shaving enthusiasts.
Then you have the option of a cream or a soap. Basically a cream is just a soap with water already mixed into it to make it easier to use, so a soap is better because it is more concentrated. The soaps I would recommend are Palmolive shaving sticks, Mitchell’s Wool Fat and, my favourite, Otoko Organics. If you must go down the cream route then Taylor’s of Old Bond Street have a great range, their Avocado being particularly lush.
Only once you are settled into and happy with this new regime should you consider moving to step 2.
Step 2. Move to two pass shaving. So lather up as normal and shave with your multibladed system razor. Then lather up a second time and shave with a Wilkinson Sword Classic or a Weishi razor from eBay (do not try anything else) and a razor blade from the supermarket. Watch the Mantic59 videos on YouTube first to get a leap up the learning curve. Both these low cost razors are incredible mild and are less likely to bite than a multibladed system razor, so you will come to no harm as you learn to use no pressure and to get the angle right using short strokes.
Now you are enjoying the better shave that a DE razor gives you whilst getting used to the idea of multiple passes. Your significant other will also be enjoying your smoother face.
Once again get settled into this before moving on.
Step 3. Now is the time to upgrade your double edged razor for something far more effective, whilst still using the multibladed system razor for the first pass. You need to buy an Edwin Jagger razor (do not try anything else) for about £20, or sometimes £15 on Amazon. The model I have is the DE89L. This is a fantastic piece of kit and all that you really need for shaving for the rest of your life. It is very easy to use and will not bite unless you really abuse it, which by now you will know how not to. And it is mightily effective at chomping through the stubble.
This will not take you very long to adapt to, so soon you will be ready for the next step.
Step 4. Now throw away your multibladed system razor and use the Edwin Jagger for the first pass. You can go to a two pass or a three pass shave, whatever gives you the result that you want. And one very good trick is to use the Wilkinson Sword Classic or Weishi for the last pass, being milder it can shave closer.
So now you are set for life, you are having really enjoyable shaves whilst saving yourself a lot of money. But there is more!
Step 5. Upgrade and experiment. When you are on the dark side you only have one supplier, but when you escape you suddenly find infinite choice so you can personalise every single shave to be exactly what you want. Buy a blade sample pack from Connaught to see which one works for you. Look at top end razors such as the Mergress, the iKon and the Feather All Stainless. And maybe buy a top end brush like a Simpson’s or, my favourite, a Morris & Forndran.
Step 6. Enjoy.