Straight razors have been on the scene since the beginning of civilization. The earliest known straight razor was an Egyptian rotary razor although there is some archaeological evidence that even early man was already using seashells as tweezers to pull out their hair- the first rudimentary form of shaving.
These days, modern straight razor design is a far cry from its ancient origins. The straight razor is a narrow blade that resembles a knife and folds into a handle. In Japan, it is called the Kamisori, which is their word for a razor. It differs from our straight razor in that it doesn’t have a foldable handle. It’s basically one piece of metal blade with the handle portion wrapped in wood and rubber to provide a good grip on the blade.
Until recently, straight razors have been on a downside, having been overtaken by plastic disposable razors or the electric multi-blade razors which are churned out regularly by razor companies intent on squeezing money from the bearded folks.
But now, straight razor shaving is coming back with a vengeance.
Sales of disposable razors have been declining in recent years, and this is because men are now discovering that a wet shave using a straight razor gives a more closer shave than using a disposable or an electric razor.
It also helps that even Hollywood has gotten on the act, with straight razors being featured in several iconic movies and tv shows, like the latest James Bond movie or the hit, show Mad Men. Straight razors are now becoming a hot trend.
So if you are new to straight razors, you might wonder what the fuss is all about. What makes a straight razor shave better than one made with a disposable. Right?
Here are the reasons why:
If you fell hook, line, and sinker for the marketing pitches that disposable razor companies saturate the media with, then you were probably really disappointed when their latest multi-blade innovations failed to make the cut.
You’re not alone.
You see, the problem with these disposable razors is that they lose their sharpness easily. It’s all in their name really; they’re meant to be single-use, disposable products.
The blades are made from inferior steel, which easily become blunt after three weeks of shaving thrice per week.
In contrast, a straight razor blade can last up to six to eight weeks.
This means that you can go on for a longer period of getting a superior clean shave with a straight razor because its blades remain sharp and keen longer than a disposable razor.
Economists would always tell you to look at initial and future costs whenever one plans to buy something. The practical rule is, if the cost is more expensive than the benefits you are getting from the product, then it’s not worth the investment.
This is the case with disposable razors. Because they don’t last long, you need to regularly buy blades so that you can achieve a nice clean shave by a sharp blade. Over time though, the regular purchases can cost you quite a hefty bill.
In terms of shaving costs per year, disposable razors are the most expensive, with an average price of $100 per year. Cartridge razors come next with an expense ranging from a minimum of $40 to a maximum of $100.
But what if you were told that you could save on future costs (i.e., the money used to purchase blades) by investing on a straight razor? Would you jump on that opportunity?
For most men, the initial reaction would be to shy away from buying a straight razor. Because, truly, straight razors are expensive. The minimum price for a straight razor is at $100, and it can go up to outrageous amounts for heirloom pieces of straight razors- you know, those types of straight razors which are handed down by generations of fathers to their sons, like a family tradition.
But what they don’ t realize immediately is that this is just a one-time cost. In fact, you save more in the long term because your costs per year will only amount to $6.40. Imagine that!
Forget what the ads keep telling you; by now, you will have realized that the number of blades on your disposable or electric razor don’t really provide a great benefit in your wet shaving experience.
If anything else, it would actually have irritated your skin more than a straight razor.
This is because the more number of blades a razor has, the more times a stroke will pass over your skin. So if you use a razor with double or triple blades, you will have double or triple instances that the blade will pass close to your skin.
And believe me, you don’t want that.
The skin can be a very delicate organ and it often easily irritated by shaving. If you have that many blades on your razor, you increase the chances of irritating the skin.
Also, multi-bladed razors generally have razor blades fitted closely together. When dead skin cells and stubble accumulate in the crevices between blades, they become fertile fields of skin bacteria which can aggravate skin irritation.
In contrast, a straight razor’s single blade can be maneuvered across the skin at a gentler angle, while cutting cleanly through facial hair. Because it is a single blade, there are no chances of beard hairs being pulled as it would be through a multi-blade.
A straight razor will cut through the hair close to the skin, lessening the chances of skin irritation as well as the risk of razor bumps and ingrown hairs. For sure, it will give you more comfort than a disposable would.
Straight razors save the environment. Seriously.
Because these are not plastic, it won’t clog up your local landfill. In fact, because it’s made of stainless steel and hardwood, it will be recyclable and biodegradable.
That’s, of course, assuming you’ll be needing one to throw away. Which you won’t. Really.
Straight razors are durable and, if properly cared for, can last a long time. Enough to be an heirloom piece that you can hand down to your future generations.
In fact, this is probably the best part of owning a straight razor, especially since 2 billion plastic razors are thrown away each year in America. Knowing that you can help stop plastic pollution by not using plastic razors adds a whole new level of responsibility in your shaving experience.
Here at Naked Armor, we take that responsibility seriously by ensuring that our straight razors are crafted with minimal ecological footprints.
Our Solomon and Bela Straight Razors are made with high quality Japanese stainless steel blades in the tradition of the Samurai. These are matched with valuable sandalwood that has been sustainably sourced and will give you the added benefit of mental wellness due to the beneficial essential oils in present in the wood handles.
These razors will make your shaving experience more luxurious and worth your while than any other brand of straight razor.
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