In the James Bond movie Skyfall, there’s a scene where Eve tells James Bond, “Sometimes the old ways are the best”, right before he hands her a straight razor. Straight razors and safety razors have become popular in the last few years as men embraced traditional shaving practices and tools. I, too, followed and have been using a shave cream that requires lathering with a shaving brush. But if there’s one thing that hasn’t gone traditional in my shaving arsenal it’s my razor.
Like most guys, I started shaving using three-blade cartridge razors before I made the switch. The marketers behind them told us that they were the best razors out there with multiple blades, pivoting heads and handles with fancy grips. But what they didn’t tell us was that you could only get at most three decent shaves before they start to dull and the lubricating strip becomes depleted. More blades also increases the chances of irritation while the larger head makes it more difficult to shave tight areas. And the pivoting head makes it hard to get a close shave as one cannot control the pressure and angle.
Fed up with expensive cartridge razors that don’t last and don’t give a close shave I switched to using disposable twin-blade razors. Compared to cartridge razors they are inexpensive and cost-effective. Fewer blades mean less irritation. Every week I use a new one with a maximum of three shaves. This way I always have sharp blades and a functioning lubricating strip. And like a safety razor the head does not pivot so I can control the pressure and angle giving a closer shave.
If you’re going to start using disposable twin-blade razors my advice is to throw away all those lazy habits you’ve acquired while using cartridge razors with more than two blades and pivoting heads. It all starts with the way the razor is held. The absence of a pivoting head means you’ll have to rely on your hands. Do this by holding the end of the handle with a light yet firm grip allowing it to move with the contours of your face. Use short instead of long strokes and rinse the razor every 2-3 strokes to prevent cut hair from getting in the way of your shave. Oh, and preparing your face using a scrub, pre-shave oil and using a good shaving cream goes a long way.