Whether it be the steep cost of cartridge razors or the promise of a smoother shave, many guys today are making the switch to a double-edge (DE) razor. The problem is, there is so much new information about double-edge razors, blades and accessories that it can leave you scratching your head with more questions than answers.
To make building your safety razor kit a little easier, we put together the following checklist for you.
The first thing you need for your razor kit is, of course, the razor. There are quite a few options for you to think about. For instance, you will need to decide if you want a fixed blade or if an adjustable safety razor is more your speed.
Next, you have to consider the safety bar. You can get doubled-edged razors with a straight safety bar or an open-comb design. An open-comb razor will provide a more aggressive, closer shave, but that also comes with the higher likelihood of nicks and cuts.
There are also options for the length of your razor's handle and the weight of the razor overall. When deciding which length is best suited for you, the general rule is that the handle length and weight should be relative to your hand size – smaller hands mean a smaller handle. But really, the main idea behind this rule of thumb is to make sure the razor feels comfortable in your hand so that you can execute a smooth shave.
Finally, you'll need to consider the size of your safety razor. For instance, if you have finer features, you may need a safety razor with a smaller head.
Of course, that razor you just picked out is pointless if you don’t have any blades - this is a highly personal choice. Merkur and Feather have a great reputation for being sharp, close shaving blades. To save face for the double-edge beginners, we recommend trying the less aggressive blades until you feel comfortable gliding over the contour of your face without nicks and cuts.
If you are new to double-edge shaving or haven't tried many blade brands yet, grab a sampler pack (like this one). You'll be able to try old school brands along with some of the newer independent labels.
No razor kit would be complete without shaving soap. It really is a game changer. That foamy stuff you find sandwiched between toilet paper and frozen food at your local supermarket will work, but we don't recommend it. A quality shaving soap makes your whiskers soft and makes shaving easy. We offer solid soaps as well as shaving creams, shaving oils and shave gels. Here are some of our favorite shaving soaps that produce a great lather and feel amazing. Many of them come in their own containers but if not, you'll need to grab a mug or shaving dish.
If you are going with shaving soap, you'll need to pick a brush as well. There are many different types of brushes out there, utilizing different animal hairs. However, the best brushes are made from badger hair. You may also find some made with horse hair or boar's hair, which are less expensive, but lower quality - but still more than up to the challenge.
If you are serious about shaving, go with a badger brush. However, if you are new to the whole thing and are unsure whether you will like wet shaving, a cheaper brush isn't necessarily a bad thing. You will also find some differences in construction. Ebony and Ivory are popular handle choices, but you will also see tortoise, horn and chrome.
If you are committed to wet shaving, a stand is a necessary way to take care of your razor while also sprucing up your bathroom decor. Hanging your razor will help it dry properly and keep your counter clean so both your partner and skin will thank you.
What happens if you leave your razor to dry horizontally, you ask? By leaving your razor on its side to dry, air can't circulate and your blade could rust. Many shaving stands (like this one) also include a way for you to hang your shaving brush. This is important for helping the water drain away from the bristles and thus increasing the longevity of your brush.
Regardless of whether you choose shaving soap or another type or lather, there are some accessories that you should not leave out of your razor kit. The first is a styptic pencil. Let's face it, gents. Small nicks happen, especially when you are new to shaving with a safety razor. A styptic pencil stops bleeding fast and looks a lot better than a tiny piece of toilet paper drying to your face. Plus, it helps prevent infection by sealing your skin.
You can also get larger styptic bars made from alum potash that can be applied to your entire face for a smoother look. Alum bars work much like styptic pencils but are less aggressive and not as well-suited for spot treatment.
Finally, complete your razor kit with some after-shave solutions. Many men like using an after-shave balm or lotion to take away redness and soothe irritation. A good after shave can also help prevent ingrown hairs and those unsightly red bumps. This isn’t the only defense against irritation though; there are more options to combat razor bumps and burn, which you can check out here.
Are you still curious about how to build a razor kit? Take a look at our frequently asked questions or contact us. We are happy to answer any questions you have about our products and which products might work best for you.