Shaving involves a wide variety of experiences for people. For some it is a total chore, some just give up and grow a beard, for others it is a painful experience, while some have made it a painless and enjoyable ritual and an important part of the day to reflect.
How about taking this chore to the next level, making it an experience that's focused on enjoying the ritual, including the aroma, the scents, and the feel of a good quality shave. You pick up that shaving brush and that single blade razor and cleanly and smoothly get the stubble and whiskers off your face. To achieve a smooth, irritation-free shave.
The Safety Razor
Also known as a Safety Razor, the single-blade razor has a special geometry and feels to it when compared to the multi-blades of plastic disposable shavers. The traditional wet shave will give you the closest possible shave with 1 sharp blade while it can also help reduce the uncomfortable effects of ingrown hairs, irritation, and razor burn commonly found from shaving. The outcome is a smoother, closer shave and cleaner with a better feel on your skin and will in most cases delay that 5'o clock shadow.
The Shaving Brush
The brush cleans and exfoliates your face as well as softens and lifts the hair from your skin for a smooth shave. There are many different types of bristles for your shaving brush - Badger, Boar, Horse, and synthetic. In the badger category, there can be 9 different Badger shaving brushes to consider.
A shaving brush is made of the following: Bristle (material), Loft (Height of the bristle), Height (overall length), Base (of the handle), and Knot (the place where all the bristles are knotted and glued together). It is part of the personal experience, the look, feel, and lathering are all personal preferences. I talk in detail about shaving brush bristles Here.
How you use your brush to apply the soap is important. The scrub/scrubbiness of the brush will determine the aggressiveness on your skin and the bristles will lift and soften your hair. The harder the scrub and the stiffer the backbone will both exfoliate your skin more effectively. A softer scrub will be more gentle on your skin...We use a specially designed knot hand-made and hand-tied in Germany. We believe this is the best material and combines both a stiff yet soft experience.
The Soap and Scrub
The "Lather" is a key component of the shaving experience. The type of soap or cream, the scent, and the way it gets whipped up into a foamy lather so it can be applied on the shaving area is half the story.
Shaving soap or shaving cream offers many benefits over modern shaving gels and foams. Shaving soap is not your handwashing type of soap, the soap is specially formulated for the shave. It allows the shaving blade to cut through the beard more easily which results in a closer and more comfortable shave because it is slicker. Handwashing soap is specifically designed to remove dirt and oils from your hands/skin while Shaving soap is designed to provide lubrication for the blade, soften your hair, moisturize, and gently clean your face enhancing the shaving and post-shave experience. When the right soap is matched to the right skin type the pairing is magic and the scent and feel will last for the rest of your day...
Shaving soap is formulated to have a much thicker lather which is what helps protect the skin from razor burn and irritation. The "Slickness" is designed to allow the razor blade to glide over your skin allowing for a smooth stroke. The "Stability" of the lather is an important component that will last the duration of the wet shave, and lastly, the moisturizing ingredients will enrich your skin for a softer and hydrated feel. The post-wet shave feel and experience have a lot to do with your shaving soap.
You get what you pay for
You can get good deals on 100's of safety razors in the market that are cheap or go for that multi-blade plastic razor, and suffer through the experience.
When looking at the choices in the market with safety razors, electric razors, plastic multi blade variants, all are disposable as the blades dull. Even with electric razors, new blades or heads require exchanging, making the exchange expensive. The average cost of shaving with plastic disposables is about $150-$250 per year depending on how often you change your blades
With a single blade razor or double edge safety razor you can always have a sharp blade and it will cost you about $40 per year. The upfront cost for a luxury safety razor is more but it will last a long time. While the blade is disposable it is all metal and therefore much more environmentally friendly.
The Razor Build
Not all Safety razors are built equally. The mechanical design can really change the experience. Things to consider in the head of the single-blade razor are blade gap, blade exposure, blade angle, and how they interact with each other.
A big part of the Cx razor head design at Carbon Shaving Co. is how we clamp and pinch the leading edge of the razor blade, close to the cutting edge - making it less flexible, reducing blade chatter resulting in a stiff blade similar to the shave you would get from a straight-edge razor at a barbershop. Other features include our web design base plate which helps in reducing soap build-up, lowering overall weight, ease of washing and flushing your razor after each stroke. On the materials front, Marine Grade 316L Stainless Steel and Titanium would be considered premium materials which are much more resistant to rusting than 303 or 304 stainless steel or aluminum.
Why consider a change?
A wet shave starts off with warm water that will help to open your pores, soften and relaxes the skin, and raise the whiskers and stubble. The lather and your brush are used to exfoliate your skin, moisturize it, raise the hair more effectively allowing the razor to do its job smoothly. It is like having a facial day spa or barbershop shave versus running a lawnmower on your face with a dull blade. It is a morning or night experience, and with the routine, it becomes a reflective time, a relaxing moment, and can lead to a great start or end of the day.
The zen of the shave comes from the moment you have finished your skin prep and "lathered" with a great soap and brush, the first pass of a razor with your favorite blade, the quiet feedback of the blade and the sound of the sharp blade's feedback with each stroke, the final splash of aftershave or cold water to seal the pores...this is truly a moment which sets the stage for the start or end of the day you plan to dominate.
Is a Luxury Safety Razor Worth The Investment?
There are many manufacturers of a machined Safety Razor. Some pay attention to the detail of their designs, some just finish their razors cheaply or use lower, quality material.
Design considerations include the weight and balance of the razor, how it feels in your hand, the stiffness of the blade, and the smoothness and efficiency of the shave itself. The finish of the material specifically a highly polished surface will reduce corrosion, allows the razor to glide over your skin and makes cleaning it a lot easier than poorly finished razor.
We believe at Carbon Shaving Co we offer a unique luxury DE safety razor to the wet shaving experience using modern, premium materials, proprietary machining techniques and jewelry quality hand finishing techniques.
Through constant customer feedback we have perfected the art of shaving with refined products that deliver a high-end spa feel or a small-town barbershop shave from the past bringing the experience home. To have an effortless shave and shave like a king we offer our Cx lines of razors made with jewelry craftsmanship.
We study the details, listen to our customers, offer options for skin types, and have designed a product truly worthy of being in your family for generations to come. It is all in the details when it comes to the experience, if you would like to know more about our science - Feel free to reach out to us here.
(Blog cover photo credit: @agravic1331 Instagram)