“Do People Actually Use This Stuff?”

Shavers have been using straight and safety razors and shaving brushes for hundreds of years; disposable and drug store cartridge razors and canned shave foam are the new kids on the block.  Wet shaving with brushes and straight or safety razors is tried and tested and is in the middle of a revival.  People just like you are sick of paying top dollar for cheaply made disposable razors that end up in the landfill and leave them razor burnt.  Our brushes are custom turned by Brad and always one of a kind.  There is nothing like choosing your very own quality shave soap, luxurious lathering brush and the razor that’s perfect for you.  Now that’s a shave. And yes, people use these.

“What is That? One of those Knife Shavers? Blade Razors? Straight Edges?”

There are a lot of razors out there, let’s clear up the mystery.  A straight razor is the oldest and most notorious razor out there.  Sometimes referred to as a straight edge or knife, the straight razor has been given a bad rap thanks to horror movies like Sweeney Todd.  This type of razor consists of a single, permanent blade that folds down into its scales, or handle.  A straight razor is sharpened using stones once every 60 or so shaves and is then stropped on a piece of leather, or strop, each time it is used.   The younger brother of the straight razor is referred to as the Safety Razor, deemed such since it is in fact safer than a straight razor.  The 2 main types of Safety razors are double edged and single edged (DE’s and SE’s).  Both types take single replaceable blades and are shaped more like the razors common today, like a T.  Single edged razors have one cutting edge on the side of the head while double edged razors have 2 cutting edges – one on each side of the razor head.  SE and DE safety razors are fairly similar in operation, but DE’s are more common.  There are more divisions and varieties of razors, but these are the basic classifications.

“How Long Does a Blade Last?”

The answer to this question varies.  There are few questions to think about:  First of all, how much area are you shaving?  2 legs include a lot more area than 1 face, and therefore most women will wear out a blade sooner than a man.  Second, how coarse and dense is your hair?  Some people are lucky enough to have soft, spaced out hair while others have stubble that grows in fast, dense and thick like bamboo!  Coarse stubble will dull a blade faster than soft hair.  Third, how often to you shave?  If you let your hair grow for weeks at a time, a blade will have to do more work than if you shave every day or 2.  Fourth, which blade are you using?  While almost every double edged blade will fit your razor, they are all a little bit different.  Blades are made from different metals and have various coatings and angles.  It will take a few shaves to figure out which blade is optimal for your skin and hair.  It’s all part of the wet shaving adventure!  But to answer your question, we find that for women a blade lasts about 4 shaves, for men about 6.  And since we can see you doing the math in your head, that’s an average of 5 shaves per blade or 25 shaves per pack of blades.  A pack of blades is 2 bucks.  That’s 8 cents a shave.  Can your cartridge razor do that?

“I Wish I had a Man to Buy this Set For!”

It’s not really a question, just something we hear all the time.  Women regularly come to us and comment on what an excellent gift our shave sets would be for their husbands/brothers/fathers etc.  While it often comes off as the most masculine of daily routines, wet shaving is not just for men.  Ladies, you have a lot of area to cover, you might as well do it right!  Legs are the same as faces; they deserve a close, smooth, razor burn-free shave.  All of our soaps, brushes and razors are suitable for legs and we are even working on our own women’s line of shave soaps, scrubs and aftershaves.  So ladies, never underestimate the fun you can have lathering up in the tub!

“Is it Easy to Cut Yourself?”

Not if you respect your razor and pay attention. Any type of shaving involves pulling a sharp blade along your skin, so there is always potential for a nick.  The common disposable drugstore razor has dull blades; this means you rarely cut yourself, but it also means you get razor burn, ingrown hairs and have to buy a new razor every couple of shaves.  Our razors use sharp, individual blades.  They cut hair cleanly without dragging on skin.  It is important to learn the weight and length of your razor and respect that it can cut you if you don’t take the time to learn what you are doing. Wet shaving is an art form and skill.  It’s not difficult to learn, but it is important to know what you’re doing.

“Can I Use Canned Foam with My Safety Razor?”

Well I guess…. but why?  Next time you’re at the drugstore read the ingredient label of a can of foam…. gross.  Could you pronounce any of those “ingredients”?  Canned foam consists largely of chemicals and air and doesn’t properly protect the skin, often leaving it itchy and red.  Our Copper Hat shave soap is all-natural and amazing for your skin.  We formulated it and test it ourselves to make sure it lathers just right while moisturizing and protecting skin.

“What is the Brush Hair From?”

Shaving brushes are traditionally made from badger hair which is used because it is very soft and water absorbent.  Our badger hair comes from China, where badgers exist in large numbers and are considered pests because they burrow in farmers fields and can injure livestock (kind of like gophers on the prairies).  Farmers sell badger pelts and some of the pelts are made into shaving brush heads.  In addition to badger hair, we also make horse hair brushes.  Horse hair is not as soft as badger hair, but it lathers soap quickly and makes an excellent brush for those without skin sensitivities or for lathering legs.  The horse hair used in shaving brushes is trimmed from the mane and tail of a live horse.

“So, Why Should I Switch?”

Do the Math. Safety razors take blades that cost $2 for 5, or 40 cents a blade.  If each blade lasts 5 shaves that’s 8 cents a shave.  How much was your last drugstore razor and blade purchase?

Watch what you are Throwing Out. Drugstore cartridges are composed of a number of different plastics and metals that cannot be separated and recycled. Disposable razors are even worse.  Our safety razors take individual blades that are recyclable (check with your community recycling program on how to recycle sharps)!

The Brush Makes all the Difference. Canned shave foam is full of chemical ingredients and can contribute to razor burn and ingrown hairs.  Our all-natural shave soap is formulated to moisturize your skin while the shaving brush distributes lather evenly and helps raise hairs for a closer shave. A brush exfoliates skin, removing dead cells and leaving skin properly prepared for your shave.

Quantity Does Not Equal Quality. As you draw a 5 blade cartridge over your skin, the first blade acts as a snowplough, dragging your shaving cream with it. Now, multiple blades are shaving unprotected skin; that is like dry shaving over and over again every time you use that razor! The result: irritated skin smeared with a gooey substance deposited by your cartridge to camouflage razor burn.

It is an Art. Wet shaving is all about slowing down enough to get a quality shave that you enjoy rather than rush through. It allows you to customize a shave routine that suits you perfectly.  And man oh man does it ever look cool.

The Micromatic – This Lady’s Best Shave

I love vintage razors and I have tried almost every style.  I love double-edged razors for their versatility, injectors for their speed, and straights for their incomparable closeness… but this week I found my perfect leg-shaving razor.

The Razor

The GEM Micromatic is a slick looking single-edged razor with some weight to it – 64 grams to be exact.  It is a twist-to-open style (perfect for me since I tend to lose removable razor heads) that takes standard GEM single-edged blades.  The Micromatic was manufactured for a few decades between the 1920’s and 40’s and came in a wide variety of packaging, from hinged Bakelite and leather cases (some lined with velvet) to brightly cololured cardboard boxes.  It was never marketed as a women’s razor, but after my test run, I believe it should have been.

The Shave

My brush of choice was my silver-tipped badger hair set in pink acrylic, made by none-other than my husband, Brad.  I used a wonderful shaving soap that was hand-made by a Vancouver Island soap-maker, Dragonfly Dreaming.  I love this soap because it is all-natural, lathers quickly and with a lot of body, and is extremely gentle on my sensitive skin.  The weight and angle of the Micromatic did all of the work for me, gliding smoothly over my skin.  As usual, I over-thought my knees, shaving with the blade more perpendicular than parallel to my skin and that caused a bit of irritation around that bony area.  As with most single-edged razor, the Micromatic’s head is angled exactly right to guide your shave – you simply move the head of the razor flat against your skin.  In future, I will adhere to this rule more strictly when using the Micromatic around my knees.  On the rest of my legs the Micromatic was flawless.  It was a very quick, 1-pass shave and there was no razor burn or red bumps at all.

The Result

My overall result was amazing!  I am thrilled with this razor for many reasons, the main one being that I shaved my legs 3 days ago and they still feel like day 1!  For me, that is better longevity than what I get with a straight razor shave (the king of all shaves, ever).  I have used more brands and models of razors than most women (and men) out there, and the Micromatic has quickly become my favourite for a smooth, long-lasting shave.  I still believe that a double-edged razor is fantastic for its ease of use and versatility, and that injectors are an extremely quick and easy shave, but when I am looking for a slightly more involved, but long-lasting shave, I will definitely turn to my Micromatic.

It should be noted that Brad also tried this razor and his results were not nearly the same as mine.  He found that the razor had a hard time manoeuvring around corners and bony areas of his face – similar to that of my knees.  For that reason (it’s lack of agility around bumps and bones), I think the Micromatic is perfectly suited for the long, straight area of a woman’s legs.