Gillette is definitely not the best a man can get*!
*but it could be if you follow my recommendation.
**the above picture was stolen from Roberto Blank on Flickr who is rather bloody awesome!
So a couple of years ago I wrote a post… THIS ONE about how totally useless the shaving products were in my local supermarket. They always had two, three or even four extra blades that were unnecessary and often even made the razor worse to use. It was clear to me that the only reason these companies, and it wasn’t only Gillette; Wilkinson Sword, Bic and even own brand razor producers and advertisers were jumping on the ‘SUPERFUSION BATTERY ENHANCED DOUBLE QUATRO EXTREME MACHTURBO HYDRO 3, 4, 5, 7, 15’ bandwagon. The thing is, these razors are invented to be fantastic to use… once. Then of course to get that ‘BATTERY ENHANCED MACH HYDRO SUPERFUSION EXTREME DOUBLE QUATRO WITH ADDED TURBO 3, 4, 5, 7, 15’ clean shave, you know, the one that doesn’t leave small clumps of stubble all over your face interspersed with chunks of bloody flapping skin; you need to replace the razor head at a cost equivalent to half a tank of petrol.
Don’t get me wrong, I used a Gillette razor for years – the original sensor before it became so sensitive and the thing worked. I could shave my moustache, beard, head and on occasion even my balls with the thing and every time my skin was left stubble free and silky smooth. Then around 15 years ago they started adding sticky strips which helped clog up the blades and this was soon followed by an increase in the number of blades. The adverts promised the world but the reality was I could no longer use one blade to last the week. At the most it might manage two shaves. To make matters worse the single or double blade design were slowly becoming harder to find and I was quickly becoming an unhappy shaver. So I started my search on truly finding ‘THE BEST SHAVE A MAN CAN GET’. I even tried an electric job once, that was even worse. My face has never felt as messy and unclean than when I used an electric razor.
I taught myself to shave. I didn’t have a father to show me, I just plucked up the courage one day and gave it a whirl. I remember feeling very proud that I had cut myself only maybe 5 times and I was even man enough not to cry when the paper cut-like slits appeared startlingly upon my cheeks and chin. The shock and startling pain that those cuts produce wasn’t even enough to put me off giving it another go a week or so later. The second time was a vast improvement, only a small slit on the side of my nose and a nick under my earlobe. By the third attempt I was a self-taught expert and have been wet shaving since. (except for the one-time electrical ‘test’). If you have never had a wet shave, and I bet there are a surprising number that haven’t, then you really should try it. No other shave will leave you feeling as clean and as fresh, just don’t fork out on those multi-bladed monstrosities. They really are all promise and no… well, you know what I mean. Anyway, it seems a great many men were realising that they were useless too as in late 2014, EVERYBODY was growing a beard. I bet that put the shits right up big razor companies.
So, if you have just come out of your hipster year and are thinking of having a shave, take some advice from me. Believe it or not, I knows my shit when it comes to shaving. Just like I can telly you not to buy hair clippers that require the use of oil (they clog up and even when well cleaned after use will start being temperamental after a couple of crew cuts.), I can tell you that the best shave a man can get is from a single bladed safety razor. If you are old like me, you might remember seeing someone use them pre Remington, but if you are young then here is a picture:
They are an awesome invention that our grandfathers and their grandfathers used daily, morning after morning, year after year. The best thing – apart from the fact that they work flawlessly – is that there are hundreds of different types of razor blades that can be used in them. It doesn’t matter which brand you choose, you can pick whichever takes your fancy, they all use the same fitting. They just work. They are unbeatable for a daily shave.
If you are too young to even know what a razor blade looks like then here is a picture to help:
The other great thing is you can buy five or ten at a time and they cost less than £2 for a pack. You really are spoilt for choice on the safety razor blade front:
As you can see from the above image, even Gillette and Wilkinson Sword make safety razor blades and they are both rather good, but there are many more makes and models, a £10 selection will set you up for six months worth of daily shaves and often much longer. There are just two other essential items you need to get to go with your nice new solid stainless steel safety razor and selection of blades. One is a Shaving Brush (these used to be made from badger hair or some other poor animal – but you can get the same effect using a synthetic fibre one in these modern times!)
And lastly you need some shaving soap. This is a hard soap that comes in a bowl and you twirl you wet, not soaking, badger’s arse brush round and round to create a soft bubbly lather that you lavishly daub all over your face (or any other part of your body that you plan to shave 😉 ).
And that’s it. That is the only equipment you will ever need to have the best shave of your life… for the rest of your life. A basic set up will cost you around £30 all in, or you can get more expensive, and more fancy versions of each element, but apart from having to buy fresh soap and razor blades every once in a while and maybe splashing out on a dedicated razor and brush stand or lather bowl it is the only razor you will ever need again.
The trouble is, your local supermarket, chemist, man pampering establishment wont have these items readily available on the shelves so you have to buy them online from some cracking web shops like:
Who have a huge range of razors and accessories as well as beard care products for those of you who are still feeling a little hipster left inside you.
I got my own kit from these guys and can highly recommend any Edwin Jagger or MÜHLE razor with some Feather blades to get you started! (In fact, two years on and I’m still on my first batch of tester blades.) There are lots of other companies selling these razors and equipment so have a search around or just click the above image and make the step to the real best shave a man can get.
*If you really are worried about cutting yourself then watch a few videos on YouTube – just search for ‘how to shave’ and you will see some big burly American making a real fuss of doing something I worked out all by myself aged 11!