Guest Blog: Shaving Like Your Grandpa Did

Hi! This is Bas, the fiancé of Cyndi.

I’m doing the technical, behind the scenes stuff of this fine eco blogging piece of goodness, on your favorite world wide web. I’m obviously also into her ecological “let’s leave the world better to our children than we got it from our parents” stuff as well. I’m currently 26 years old (from May, 1988) and I am working in IT. This is a great passion of mine. As if working in IT is not geeky enough, I also like to play a card game called Magic, the Gathering. Next to this I like to cook. But you didn’t ask for my very detailed autobiography. So let’s cut to the chase.

I asked Cyndi if she wanted any help with writing content for this blog, as writing is something I like to do. One thing you need to know about me is that I am kinda into shaving. I used to hate it, but I turned it 180 degrees around and I like it very much right now. We’re talking wet shaving here, and I am not using Mach 3 / Gilette Fusion / Star Trek Uber 1337ness blades, which cost you a second mortgage on your house. I’m shaving in a classical, wet shaving way, much like your grandpa did in his younger years.

You see, most of the young guys get their first Gilette from their dads, to shave of the three hairs on their chins. You get a plastic handle with a throwaway knife in it. You can buy this for about 15 euro’s. Four replacement blades will set you back 18 euro’s a package. I have a very soft, light beard, which will absolutely wear out the blade within a week, which is a shave or 3.

Next to this, you will probably also receive a throwaway can with shaving cream, under pressure, for your shaving lather. We love to hate these packages here at Green Blogging headquarters. Next to the package, the lather itself is full of crap too. Unnecessary ingredients which are bad for you, m’kay?

Adding this all up, you will spend approximately 250 euro’s on shaving a year, give or take.

In the good old days, you had an open shaving knife, which you needed to hone, and take care of. This knife would outlive you, and you can pass a knife like this on to your children or grand children. The problem with these kind of razors is that it takes time to take care of them, and great skill in shaving yourself. It’s most likely not the most optimal solution for the busy times we live in. I own one, but the maintenance doesn’t make it practical to use, which will bring me to the razor I use every time I shave myself…

DE89LI’m using a double edge, safety razor, looking not unlike Gilette’s blades. Difference? Mine looks much better and it’s cheaper. I own a Edwin Jagger DE89L razor which sets me back 25 euro’s. I use them with Astra SP double edge blades, which cost me about 10 cents per blade. I buy these in bulk, for about 10 euro’s per package of 100 blades. Not only is this much cheaper, the shaving result is also much better. It takes some time to get used to this way of shaving, but believe me, you do not want to go back to drug store blades after your tried this. The blades look like this, by the way.

screen_shot_2014-05-27_at_5.24.12_pm

I also mentioned the canned shaving creams you can pick up at the drug store, with questionable ingredients, and a package which is hazardous to the environment as well. I’m using a combination of shaving creams and soaps. I use a brush to create a lather of them and then use the brush to apply this on my face. You can do this in different ways, and the soap or creme are all a bit different to get creamy. You can look at the video below how easy this is to do. It does take a bit longer to get this on your face, of course.

Regarding brushes, nothing beats a badger brush, costing you approx 20 euro’s. DISCLAIMER: Badgers are being hunted and killed for this. I personally do not really lie awake of this during the night, as they become a pest in China and farmers kill them to protect their crops. If you do care about this, however, there are synthetic brushes too. These also work really well. It’s a matter of personal preference, mostly.

So this is it. Do you want to cut on your shaving supplies, due to unreasonably prices razor blades? Try the classic safety razor for a change! I estimate drug store shaving blades and cream will set you back 250 euro’s a year. Let’s sum the classic shaving components I use.

Edwin Jagger DE89L (25 euro’s, one time investment)
Edwin Jagger Pure Badges Shaving Brush (~ 30 euro’s, one time investment)
100 Astra SP blades (I use one a week, so 10 euro’s for two years worth of blades)
Nivea After Shave Balsem (4 bottles a year, 5 euro’s a piece. You need these anyway to relax your skin after shaving)
Palmolive Shaving Cream (2 euro’s a tube, 3 tubes a year)

A cheap Rimei safery razor will cost about 3 euro’s on Deal Extreme, and a Vergulden Hand brush will cost you 5 euro’s. So for approximately 10 euro’s you can try it as well. You might want the higher quality stuff, but maybe the cheaper components will satisfy your needs too! I started out cheap and bought a second hand Edwin Jagger safety razor later. I actually won the Edwin Jagger brush in a lottery on a dutch wet shaving forum

Your one time investment will be approx 70 euro’s, calculating the shipping costs as well. After this you need blades, soap/lather, and something to relax your skin. I estimate this will cost you 30 euro’s a year. All these calculations are rough estimates

The drawback is indeed that you cannot get most of these things locally, although there are chances you can buy them at drug stores. Just go and ask for it.

Open Razor

Open Razor

I normally buy my components at www.shaving.ie. I use www.bestshave.net for getting my blades cheap. Just Google around a bit, you will probably find a local store.

That’s it for my first guest post folks. Do leave a comment on how I did, and if you would like me to write some more in the future!

– Bas

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