Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Straight Razor Shaving

Over the weekend, my Wife and I had dinner with a coworker and good friend of hers who has the interesting hobby of shaving with a straight razor.  I have to admit that the idea of holding a large and razor sharp blade to my throat seems a little discouraging to me, and therefore I’ve never attempted it.  However, when I pressed him on why he decided to shave like this, he gave me a number of reasons first of which was the cost.

I’ve praised DollarShaveClub for the affordability of their disposable razors, and have enjoyed using them.  I was in disbelief that there was something cheaper out there other than not shaving.  The basic straight razor shaving kit is comprised of a razor, whetstone (or hone), a strop (piece of leather and canvas), brush, and shaving soap.  A simple Amazon search for these products of mid-range quality yielded the following estimated prices:

Razor = $50
Whetstone = $80
Strop = $26
Brush = $7
Soap = $12
Total Cost = $175

Right off the bat, this seems like a pretty large startup cost just to scrape the hair off my face.  Let’s look into these investments a little more closely.  First, you’ll want to take into consideration whether these purchases are 1 time or recurring.  The mid-level razor is probably good for about 4 years or so, the whetstone will last for life, the same with the strop and brush, and the soap might have to be purchased once a year.  The 4 year cost of shaving in this style is $211.  With DollarShaveClub, I upgraded to their mid-level razor and pay $6/month.  Over 4 years, this will have cost me $288 which also assumes they don’t increase the price.  

Conclusion: It definitely seems cost effective in the long run to shave with a straight razor.  Our friend also mentioned the non-tangible benefits such as creating a morning ritual out of the routine and connecting with his own masculinity.  Either way, I don’t think I’ll be shaving this way anytime soon, especially since my wife walks into the bathroom from time-to-time while I’m shaving and she has some pretty quick arm movements.  Heaven forbid I’m shaving the Adam’s apple during that time!

Wonderful Moment of the Day: Spring has finally arrived!

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