Matthew Fitzsimmons


Over the past few months, I've been becoming less and less satisfied with the quality of shave provided by my electric razor. The first thing I considered was buying a different type of razor (one that uses foils instead of a rotary version). That was a pretty heavy investment, however, especially since I wanted one that was self cleaning and didn't have a NiCad battery.

A few weeks ago, I read an article about shaving the old fashioned way with a brush, shaving soap, and a safety razor (a little saver and more up-to-date than a cutthroat razor). After hemming and hawing about for a couple of weeks, I finally decided to try it out. The initial cost of entry is actually higher than some electric razors, although the blades and soap are really cheap (if you go with fancy cream made for using brushes, it's a lot more expensive than the soap, but it lasts a while). I got some cream and some soap, so I could give them both a try. My kit also includes some pre-shave oil to help the process along.

So far, I've only shaved three times this way, but I can already tell that I am getting a better shave than my electric razor provided.

There are some problems, however. My neck, so far, is a little raw. I was warned this would happen at the beginning, and I'm confident that it will get better as my skin adjusts to the new shaving procedure. I also need to become more familiar with the razor, as you have to be somewhat precise with the angle. One thing that's nice is that I don't have to press hard to get a good shave. Sometimes I forget, though, and that causes a little bit of trouble.I didn't get around to posting this on the day I wrote it, so here's some updated info.After I wrote this, I decided to see if the special (non-foamy) shaving cream would work better than the soap. Sure enough, it did. I got a closer shave with less irritation and less blood. The problem is that the tube cost about $25 instead of about $5. It will last a while, as it doesn't take more than a pea-sized drop (or smaller), but that's still a lot of money. Perhaps I'll try the soap again after I break my face in to this razor better. I did look at another brand of soap at Target, which is more expensive than the soap I got, but cheaper than the cream. It looks just like my cream, so I'll try that next to hopefully save some money. Target actually sells several different brands of old-style shaving supplies. I'd only heard of one of them in any of the articles I'd read on the subject, but it looks like I'll be able to get buy without paying for shipping in the future. The only downside of using the cream instead of the soap is that I don't get to use my cool new shaving mug. Oh, well.The only time I've ever had a shave this close was when I shaved against the grain with my Mach 3 (which makes for lots of ingrown hairs). So far, though, my skin has been better overall than shaving with my electric razor. I still have a little bit of trouble with my neck, but it's getting much better.

July 3, 2006