Father’s Day is June 17 this year. Please put down that tie!
We always think of fathers as easy to please. Father’s rarely complain about what they are given on father’s day, and are grateful for simply being acknowledged. As a society, we don’t make a big deal about father’s day; it’s rarely mentioned, or is marketed as a day to “leave dad alone to watch sports.” While this approach may be what some fathers are looking for, the majority of fathers want time with their family, and want meaningful, long-lasting gifts.
That’s why for this year’s father’s day, we suggest you put down that tie and make your father some handmade soap. So why would soap be something a father would want? It’s Mom that loves the scent of Lavender; why would Dad care about getting soap? This year, make this father’s day special by giving your father the gift of a good shave. Start your dad off on an old, but forgotten, tradition of shaving using a real razor.
No, this won’t end up as the episode of the Simpsons where Homer gets shaving cuts all over his face. Instead, this is shaving that your dad will grow to appreciate, and get enthusiastic about. So what’s the big deal? Why would dad get excited about shaving? Well, it has a lot to do with the loss of old fashioned traditions that were replaced by marketing gimmicks and falsehoods.
As time goes on, we learn that the best way to shave is with greasy, shaving cream that stings, and razors with multiple blades. I too was deceived by this for most of my life. One day I went to go get new razor cartridges for my overpriced multi-blade razor. A new magic vibrating razor with 2 cartridges was a quarter of the price of buying a pack of 5 razor cartridges! Of course I had done this so many times… purchased a razor, purchased the replacement blades, while grunting to myself about how the cartridges cost more than the razor itself; how it was both a waste of money and bad for the environment.
I had switched from the foam to the gel, back to the foam, and then back to the gel again; never getting the shave promised; just accepting that I was doing something wrong, even though as the years went by I was gaining more and more experience shaving. I tried washing my face before to warm up my skin, but nothing improved. Then of course I would have to wash my face after to get all the gunk off. I never liked the oily, sticky feeling those gels or foams gave; nor are they good for the skin.
One day it all changed. I did a search about shaving online and read about the differences of the razors of the “old days.” I discovered that the best way to shave was by using soap and an old fashioned safety razor! So, this whole time I was fooled. I would get a closer, smoother shave using these old methods, while saving money too! My first step was to research what kind of razor I needed.
It came down to safety razors, and straight razors. Straight razors are the ones that barbers use; the kind that I would rather not take the time to learn to use safely (and the kind that gets a bad rep in movies). The other kind of razors, called safety razors, are what the multi-blade razors that we use today have replaced. They are made up of steal components that you unscrew to put in a new razor as needed.
The downside of using a safety razor? Well, I would say there is none. I have read that you need to be more careful than using an expensive multi-blade razor, but I found this not to be true for me. Keep in mind I have very sensitive skin. I regularly use to cut my face and have razor bumps after shaving; so much so that I usually shaved about two to three times per week at most to avoid the feeling. Over the years I tried everything; electric razors, various brands of razors, different shaving techniques, more or less frequent shaving, nothing ever worked for me until I started using safety razors.
So what are the positives of using a safety razor? I rarely get cut; in fact, in the past 2 years, I probably nicked myself like 2-3 times at most. That is how many times I would nick myself every attempt at shaving with a multi-blade! I never get razor bumps, and can shave weekly or daily with the same results; a smoother, closer, softer shave without the irritation. I almost forget what razor bumps feel like!
Keep in mind, I’m rushing when I shave, and going against the grain, both of which are shunned upon in the shaving community. While I don’t recommend doing either of these things, I am merely trying to point out things which I was concerned with before beginning shaving using a safety razor. I find that the more I take my time, the closer my shave is, but regardless of the technique, my worst shaving session is always better than my best shaving session using the overpriced multi-blades. By the way, the blades last, and last, and last. The average blade lasts me about a month.
So you have the razor, the blade, and are ready to begin; now all you need is a shaving brush, a bowl, and soap. Yep, that’s right, soap. No need for gels, foams, or anything else. You won’t need to wash your face after shaving; simply splash some water on your face and you feel clean as can be. Simply throw the soap in a bowl, put a very small amount of hot water over the soap, and lather with the brush; that is all there is to it! You will be a pro in no time.
When it comes to aftershave, I have always had to use aftershave; at this point, I just need a good lotion. About half the time, when I’m rushing to get out to work, I even forget this step and still, have yet to get razor burn or razor bumps. So, find a good non-greasy lotion for your face and you are good to go!
The cost? A good blade will set you back about $30. There are some priced much higher, and some lower; but that’s about average what you should expect to pay. There are few brands left; and most enthusiasts suggest finding an old used one from a family member of shopping online. I purchased some new ones on Amazon and am happy with my purchase.
You can use any bowl, and can find shaving brushes for under $10 in most stores and online. The blades cost about $15 for 100 blades. Yes, you heard me right. I use to go through blades quickly; with these, I use about 1 blade per month and always get a great shave. I usually switch prior to ever getting a weaker shave. So my 100 pack should last me about 4-5 years!
By the way, I suggest getting a second razor for your significant other. My wife borrowed my razor one day and was shocked at how well it worked, and how much it saved her from cuts and razor burn. I purchased another razor for her and the same 100 pack of razors. She uses natural soaps purchased at a local farmers market and finds them much more effective than using all the sticky gels she once used.
Till next time, keep making great soaps!