This is a guest post from reader T.J
TJ Campie is a 23 year old recent college grad who's desire for low cost shaving turned him to the art of wetshaving
When I suggested there be a blog post on wetshaving, I had no idea it’d actually be me writing it. Of course, I had to accept the offer, because if I don’t do it, who will? I became interested in wetshaving last year while trying to figure out how to get a good shave with no irritation, a problem that had plagued me for some time and made shaving a real chore. I ran across some videos on YouTube by Mantic59. His videos on traditional wetshaving spawned an interest in me right away. Whether it was the brush and soap or the single blade razors, I do not know but something about the routine seemed to just make sense. His videos promised a closer, more comfortable shave, even while avoiding the horrendous markup on new razor cartridges, making the switch not only physically more enjoyable but easier on my wallet too!
At the time, I was in college so I didn’t have much time or money to put into the wetshaving practice at the time so I went out and got a new Fusion and some “goo” in a can and did that for a while. I had forgotten about wetshaving until I started my new job in a new town and had some time to stop by an antique store. This is where I found my first safety razor: a 1965 Gillette Super Speed. I later found that the Super Speed was one of the “standards” of wetshavers everywhere and a good starting place. The razor cost me all of $12! So far so good. I needed some blades though, and you may be surprised to know that double edged razor blades can still be found relatively easily in most groceries or drug stores. So I stopped by my local grocer and picked up a pack of blades for a whopping $2. These blades would last me 30 shaves, or about a month, much longer than any cartridge set would and only 1/10th of the price! (You know, they up charge cartridge refills up to 4,000% of the actual cost of manufacture!)
The next important part of wetshaving is the “wet” part. Canned shaving cream is full of non-natural things and contains propellants and things that will surely dry your face out, something that is very counter productive to shaving. Luckily Wal-Mart sells a nice wetshaving set that includes shave soap and a brush for about $8 so I was ready to begin my wetshaving experience with only $22 invested. Not bad when you consider I would be able to shave for a couple months only having to buy a $2 pack of blades once a month.
The whole technique of shaving is very different than with cartridges so there’s some learning curve, but once you master the nuances, you’ll be getting closer, more comfortable shaves, at a cost way below that of cartridges.
I would be remiss if I did not warn you though, once you get into wet shaving, it becomes very easy to go crazy and acquire one of the dreaded Acquisition Diseases! The problem of wanting more razors/soaps/creams/brushes can quickly outweigh the cost savings benefits of wet-shaving! For many wet-shavers, it becomes more of a hobby than a task; collecting razors, brushes, trying new blades or soaps, aftershaves and the list goes on. As long as you can control these urges and remember why you started wet-shaving in the first place, you’ll be on your way to saving hundreds every year, and enjoying your daily shave more than ever.
Before you get started, make sure you check out the Mantic59 videos on YouTube and visit the forums at BadgerAndBlade.com, the online safe haven for wetshavers worldwide.
Good Luck and prepare to enjoy your shave!