(Ladies, this post is about shaving but don’t turn away just yet, there’s something here for you too!)
Quite a while ago I wrote about ways to save money while shaving, such as using cryogenically treated cartridges that last longer than regular cartridges, and using common shower supplies as shaving lather. While I have been happy with my savings in that area, I felt there may still be room to reduce the cost of shaving so I went back to searching. That’s when I came across wet shaving.
I’m a younger man and haven’t been shaving all that long, young enough so that I didn’t know and had never thought about what shaving was like decades ago, though I had seen straight razors in movies and such. As it turns out, the razor has been through many stages of evolution and innovation in it’s history.
You see, a man named King Camp Gillette saw an opportunity in the shaving industry. Before the safety razor, getting a shave meant going to a barber shop. After that the first safety razors used special blades that actually had to be sharpened. King Gillette thought if he could make a blade that was cheap enough to manufacture and fairly inexpensive to buy, he could basically create a profit machine. If enough people owned his razor handle, they would have to buy his disposable blades forever, and that’s exactly the world he created with the birth of the double edge safety razor. He got government contracts so these razors were part of the standard kit issued to recruits in the army, and he quickly became a household name.
As innovation in the shaving industry progressed though, the cartridge razor was introduced, the price and profit margin increased because of the advances in technology that made manufacturing cheaper. The cheap to make, fairly cheap to buy and very convenient cartridge razors became the standard of today.
Now the double edge razor has taken hold in the market again with hobbyist, enthusiasts and frugalists (that words not trademarked ..yet 🙂 ). The double edge safety razor is a very well built and solid piece of construction which uses a single, double edge razor blade set between the top and bottom of the head of the razor, and those razor blades are extremely cheap by today’s standards. This was my answer. I started to do research and although this is a cost saving method for some, many people take up shaving with a safety razor as a hobby for enjoyment! I couldn’t imagine shaving for fun..but I actually have grown to really enjoy it. It’s very therapeutic, with the creams, scents and hot lather.
Back to the financial aspects of wet shaving. Double edged razor blades are much cheaper than cartridges. You can buy a pack of 10-15 double edge razors for about $2-4 depending on what brand but the blades will all work and the differences are based on personal preference. The blades I bought are found at Rite-Aid and are on the lower end of blades costing about 1.80 for a pack of 10 blades. Depending on how long they last, that is a pretty significant savings considering my previous methods monthly cost was just under the price of this pack of blades.
I have now been shaving this way for about 8 months and I can safely say that my average life per blade is about 3 weeks. Most wet shavers will vouch that a double edge razor will last about 5-7 shaves, but wet shaving has granted me another benefit, having to shave less often. After some practice I am able to get a much closer shave which lasts longer than my shaves used to. I now only have to shave about every other day, or even every third day though that is a bit of a stretch.
Based on my previous calculation using the cryogenically treated cartridges, I was spending $1.62 a month on shaving supplies. With my new setup, using a safety razor and a pack of blades from the drug store which includes ten double edged blades, I’m now spending about $.25 a month on blades!
You do have to factor in the fact that I had to purchase a razor, a shaving brush and some shave cream or soap but the fact that these razors practically last forever, you can find very well crafted and good quality razors on online auction sites. There are also full shave kits you can get that include everything you need to get started, very inexpensively. The shave kit I picked up cost just under $8 which included a brush, shaving bowl and shaving soap. The razor I purchased cost $7.
Add all the costs together, and divide them by the year to get a monthly cost which comes to $1.27 a month for the first year, and only about $.25 cents a month for years to come.
And as promised, here’s a little something for the ladies. In the name of science, and since my wife is afraid of anything new 🙂 I did actually shave my leg, just one, to see how effective this shaving method was on leg hair. I read from a few sources that many women stand by these razors as a great way to reduce razor burn, as it does for manly faces and after shaving my one leg, I have to agree. There was no razor burn or redness..I’ll spare you the photos..
As always, I am a quite verbose and sometimes fail to get my point across, so if you want a few more opinions on the topic, here are some other PF Bloggers that wet shave!
Image by Dharion br>
Tags: advances in technology, barber shop, blade, disposable blades, double edge, edge safety, government contracts, household name, innovation one, invention, king camp gillette, lather, profit machine, profit margin, safety razor, straight razor, straight razors, ways to save money, wet shaving, younger man