The “modern” shave is a bad deal. March 30, 2015 15:44

We have lost something in our rush to convenience.

Our cultural mantra has been “Faster, Cheaper, Better!” for as long as anyone can remember. If we just advance far enough, we can have it all! There’s a problem with that philosophy  – it's largely a fairy tale.

We are obsessed with making everything faster and cheaper in this country, from cars to breakfast foods. Nothing is sacred, not even our personal hygiene.

We all remember “learning” how to shave. For most of us born after 1950, it went something like this:

“Step One: Squirt this cold petroleum product out of this can.”

“Step Two: Smear it on yourself.”

“Step Three: Scrape it off with the unholy offspring of a utility knife and a plastic fork.”

“Step Four: Enjoy the stinging and bleeding that tells you that you’re an adult now!”

“Step Five: Remember to remove toilet paper bits before you leave the house!”

Once upon a time, proper shaving was something that had to truly be learned. It was a skill, like cooking, or zeppelin repair. It took knowledge, it took practice, it took the proper tools, but most importantly, IT TOOK TIME. Time we have been convinced we can’t afford to spend. From how to build a proper lather, to how to find the best direction in which to pass the blade, shaving should be a ritual. There’s a reason men went to the barber to have it done, and it’s not because things were cheap in the good ol’ days…

It’s because an honest-to-god shave is a luxurious and rejuvenating experience.

Tragically, few of us have ever had the pleasure of a proper straight razor shave. Ask an old-timer if they used to get straight razor shaves at the barber, and watch their eyes get wistful. It is something I believe everyone should experience at least once in his or her life. Yes, they are expensive. No, they are not easy to find. Unfortunately, most barbers and salons nowadays cannot perform shaves - of any kind – in order to prevent the spread of blood borne pathogens like HIV and Hepatitis. I have my hair cut by a barber with 47 years of experience, and even he won’t do it.

Here’s the good news: It is easier (and cheaper) than you think to rediscover just how good a shave can be. With a little up-front investment and a bit of trial and error, you will never go back to the can.

Click HERE for Part 2: "It's time to throw in the towel on your modern shave."