Thursday, May 7, 2009

Bring Back the Double Edge

Continuing on the theme that sometimes the old ways really are best, today I want to talk about shaving, and specifically the double-edged razor. I started using a double-edged razor back in college in the late eighties on the recommendation of a roommate, who said I'd have fewer razor bumps. It was also cheaper, which was a big plus for a student. After college, I added a brush and soap to the process, also cheaper, but more time-consuming. After losing the razor holder in a move in the nineties, I went back to shaving cream and twin-blade razors.

Recently, after buying a new razor holder on Amazon, I decided to give the double edge another try. I'm here to tell you that it's even better than I remembered. The blades are cheaper, and the shave is much more comfortable, and my razor bumps have gone away. By the way, I don't know how long it takes stainless steel to rust, but plastic is estimated to take a thousand years to break down in landfills (not sure how they know that, however).

There are some things you need to know if you want to try it. First, the blades are extremely sharp and you'll have to put them in the holder by hand. Be careful, as you'll probably see the blood before you feel that you've been cut. Once in the holder, you don't have to worry about getting cut as much, but you still need to be careful. Next, a brush and soap isn't essential, but if you have the time for it, your patience will be rewarded. The most important thing is to use a light touch. Since there's only one blade, you won't cut all the way down to skin level on the first pass, so don't try. As long as you're patient, you can go over the same area two or three times without any irritation.

A good holder will cost you about twenty dollars; mine included ten blades. You can get the blades at Kroger or Meijer for under three dollars for a ten-pack. You can get the brush and soap with a little bowl for about ten dollars. At five to ten dollars for a five-pack of multi-blade razors, you'll break even in under six months. But the improved shaving experience will be more than worth it.

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