On Wet Shaving

Posted on September 4, 2016 by Richard Goulter
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It occurs to me I’ve never written about wet-shaving on this blog.

“wet-shaving”, I’d say, is shaving not-with foam-from-a-can / cartridge-razor. So, using a shaving-brush with some shaving-soap (or shaving-cream), lathering the soap for the face, + using a safety/double-edged razor (or a straight-razor) to shave.
Pretty old-school. – I guess in the same way that programmers now may prefer mechanical keyboards, in a “like how it used to be” kindof way, wet-shaving is healthier, cheaper, more luxurious way of shaving.

“Healthier / more luxurious” is nice, but it’s surely striking that it needn’t be all that expensive. If it’s well known that cartridge-razors’ price model is to “sell the razor cheap, the cartridges expensive”, then it’s kindof odd that people would opt for that rather than “expensive razor, cheap blades”.
– As a downside, the main downside to wet-shaving is it can take much longer, and is more difficult than using a cartridge-razor. (Another “downside” is you’ll naturally want to get more out of your shave; you’ll care about your face more than you did before).

Wet-shaving has a strong online community, with plenty of advice / suggestions. – Though, pretty much everything is a matter of “whatever works; whatever is most comfortable for you”.

For Singapore, there’s an online community, sure. Buying supplies is a bit harder. Mustafa Centre sells cheap razors + cheap blades, as well as e.g. Tabac soaps, etc. – Though there’s less variety there now than there was.
– A recommendation I saw was to order from Connaught Shaving; where apparently the shipping cost is free if you order enough (even though the website says this only applies to US, UK, CA). – When I ordered a couple of hundred blades from them, the shipping was 2GBP.
– It’s prob’ly worth picking up a good DE razor. (For myself, I’ve got a Goodfella DE razor; albeit it’s prob’ly too expensive to get outside of NZ).

Of DEs vs Straight Razors, my impression is, the initial investment for SRs is much higher.. prob’ly the biggest difference in effort is maintenance of the blade. DEs take disposable blades; SRs need to be stropped before each shave, and as the blade blunts after some time, the blade then needs to be honed. – So not only is it a higher investment of money, there’re more skills required to use it. (This isn’t helped by that, apparently, outside the US it can be difficult to find a honemeister who can hone a SR for you).

– I think some people enjoy reading reviews about expensive products. (Like cameras or laptops, or fountain-pens or whatever). I’d think wet-shaving is perfect for such people, since there’re various pre-shave oils, soaps (and shaving creams), shaving brushes, DE razors & DE blades, aftershave splashes, post-shave balms, etc.
But even aside from the over-enthusiastic madness, I’d say that just for the (potentially) lower cost for wet-shaving, it’s worth trying.

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