Gift-giving holidays stress me out. Rob just doesn’t want for much (that we can afford, at least – boats, cars, vacation homes, riches and luxuries aside), so truly pleasing him requires a lot of thought and creativity.

My brilliant Christmas-gift idea came from a late-night conversation we had. He complained about needing to shave yet again, and I asked a totally honest question: Isn’t there a better way to do that?

He hates shaving because his Sicilian genes granted him with thick, coarse facial hair. The 3-4-5-6-more-blade razors, no matter what the deep, manly voice says in the commercials, did little more than tear his face up, especially with drier winter skin. My poor stud either had to grow a beard (which I’m not fond of) or routinely torture himself.

He shrugged and went about his torture, accepting it as part of what it meant to be a man, and I went to Google.

My search produced a Today Show story that I skimmed then read aloud while Rob stood at the sink, torture device in motion. Rob said it sounded interesting and terrifying at once – single-blade razor? Was that like those switch-blade looking things you sharpen across a leather strop. I had no clue, either, so I researched more.

It turns out the recommended shaving tools for men – particularly those with thick, coarse hair – is a classic safety razor. It has a handle and a head just like the commercialized numbers we’re all familiar with now, but it houses a single razor blade. I dove into the rabbit hole of the Internet and browsed forums and blogs and pooled together a recommended package to present at Christmas.

Screen Shot 2013-01-23 at 4.05.00 PM
Merkur Safety Razor, Vulfix Shaving Brush, Feather blades, Proraso Shaving Cream

A few YouTube searches for demonstrative purposes later, Rob tried out his gift.

“I really like shaving with these.”

I’ve since added Burt’s Bees Rosewater Toner to his toolbelt – deemed on shaving forums as a decent stand-in for a more expensive miracle aftershave. Not only is his face smoother than ever, but the painful razor burn he always fought is basically gone.

Nearly a month later, he’s still perfecting his technique, a task he happily performs in 15-20 minute sessions. No longer the torture, it’s become a pleasant routine. He says he’ll teach Toby to shave this way when he’s older and wishes he’d known how different shaving could be when he was younger.

Last night, we wondered why men strayed away from this classic performance. Why did razor companies drop a tool that not only works better but is more cost efficient?

Rob says it’s strictly money. They found a product they could fancy up and convince everyone was great while gobbling up consumers’ money and leaving many with wounded faces and disdain for the often-necessary product. I don’t want to think it was all for the sake of money, that they initially had efficiency at the product’s root.

It really is a shame, though, that no one really openly advertises single-blade razors and the shave men get from one blade that doesn’t jack up their faces the way five or more in one shot seem to.

If it weren’t for knees and shins and ankles, I’d get an old-school razor like this for myself, but I honestly think today’s plastic, several-blade razors with pivoting heads truly are built best for women’s legs, no matter how close that single-blade shave may be.

 

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2 Responses to Just for men

  1. lindsey says:

    Dave started shaving this way about 2 years ago and hasn’t looked back. He loves all the different products and the razor blades are so cheap after the initial investment it’s not an expensive habit to maintain!

  2. Abigail says:

    Oh wow, Joel hates shaving. I should have him look into this because scruff? So not my thing.

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