Is it possible to save money on razorblades?
Aside from razorburn, one of the most common complaints when it comes to shaving is the cost.
Right now, a 5-pack of Gillette’s Mach 3 cartridges costs about £7 in the UK. Those 5 cartridges are the product of hundreds of years of shaving technology; they feature tiny microfins to encourage the correct shaving angle, three blades to avoid unnecessary pressure and an aloe strip to sooth the skin. This is all very well, but when they only last a handful of shaves, it seems that the costs heavily outweigh the benefits.
So what can you do? There are a number of options available to the frustrated shaver. Firstly, don’t worry! You can easily save yourself some money by changing your shaving style or even switching to a different kind of razor.
If you’re browsing this website, you’re likely to be an experienced shaver with your own personal technique, as individual as the next man’s. However, if you’re like most men on the street today who have been shaving with disposable razors and canned gels for years, then the following may be of interest.
Switching over from a gel to a natural cream or soap may very well be one of the best choices you can make. No need to spend a fortune to try it, most creams and soaps are under £10 and will last you nearly half a year.
Not only do they rarely need replacing, creams and soaps will do a far better job of moistening and softening the hair, which will allow your razor to cut through it with unrivalled ease.
If you’re going to try a cream or soap, I can’t recommend a shaving brush enough. Shaving brushes may seem a little ‘over the top’ for most men, but they are a lot better at creating a lather than using your hands alone.
Some brushes such as one made from ‘super badger’ hair, come from the back of the badger where the long, thick hair is very good at withholding water, and builds a better lather. Other brushes, such as the hog hair, synthetic hair or even just plain old pure economy badger hair won’t really hold as much water as the premium variants. However, the rougher hair has other advantages such as helping to exfoliate the skin.
I recently posted on Facebook about the difference of opinion regarding shaving with either hot or cold water. The consensus generally, as I’m sure seasoned shavers will agree, is that warm water is the preferred as it softens the hair, allowing you to cut through it easier with the blade. Others believe that by using cold water, you’re actually making the hair stand up straighter, and can therefore get a closer shave. Be that as it may, the softer, warmer hair will be far more delicate on your blades and will help them last longer.
Another point to consider is the drying of the blade. Typically, I’ve never thought to dry my blade after use, but by rubbing over it a couple of times (in the opposite direction) with a towel and giving it a little shake, I’ve learnt that it certainly helps keep the blades dry so that they don’t pick up the imperfections caused by oxidation. It saves a couple of extra shaves, at least.
Following on from that thought pattern, keeping the blade clean and away from things that could harm it is certainly a good tip to adopt. The Shaving Detective recently reviewed the RazorPit, a small plastic ‘shoe’ device which allows you to ‘sharpen’ your blades or cartridges by running them in the reverse direction along the surface of the RazorPit after every shave.
Although I would argue that what’s happening here isn’t exactly ‘sharpening’, rather ‘cleaning’ the blades of any pieces of dead skin or hair which have built up on your razor during the shave – I do believe that bathroom gizmos like this have the potential to lengthen the lifespan of your blades.
I think it’s important to mention that products like the RazorPit, however, only give you access to one side of the blades if you’re using a cartridge razor like a Gillette Mach3 or Fusion system. Products like MagnaBlade are another option. They purportedly use the power of ‘magnetic fields’ to “increase the bonding power between molecules” making for a tougher and more durable blade. Although the science behind these products sounds like biorhythms, many shavers do report back positive results from using them.
What Does it All Mean?
So what can we glean from all of this? Is there a best course of action to take when trying to save money on razorblades?
I think that in conclusion, there are all sorts of tips and tricks you can use to help maintain the lifespan of your blades, but not all of them may work for you.
Shaving is a very personal thing and what works for one person may not work for another. Experiment with the shaving creams, soaps and brushes you use – as there isn’t always a clear winner. Products such as the RazorPit or the MagnaBlade may help you out, but I think the overall message is that if you take care of your razor blades, then they will last longer.
What weird and wonderful methods do you adopt to keep your blades alive? Let me know in the comments, below!
Yesterday I received two large packages full of shavers and trimmers. A total of four electrical shavers and a body groomer arrived from Philips and Braun. I'll make some thorough reviews of the different models over the next months, but I'll start in a few days with a brief comparison of the models.
From Philips (Norelco) I'll be testing the entry level razor, PowerTouch 920CC along with the new AquaTouch 890 and the SensoTouch 2D RQ1180.
From Braun, I'm up to test the Braun Cruzer 6 Face Cruzer and the Cruzer 6 Body and Face.
As you may imagine, reviewing five different electrical razors on one single face can take more than just a day or two. But I'll do my best to give you a heads up on all the models in just a few days. That should give you a chance to get the right model on your Christmas list.
If not already, make sure that you're subscribed to my newsletter (fill in your email in the top of the right hand sidebar). I'll be updating you shortly on my experiences with these electrical razors.
Note on review products; The Philips products have been lend to me, and I will be returning them as soon as the reviews are completed. The Braun products were part of a press release kit and was sent to me for review purposes.
I almost dropped my cup of coffee this morning, as I was checking up on the Shaving Detective website. All of a sudden, this quiet morning (my 34th birthday by the way), I found myself annoyed by Gillette and their marketing efforts. Why?
Have you read the article about Gillette Young Guns 2011? It's not really about shaving, but about a Gillette marketing stunt called “Gillette Young Guns” featuring new, upcoming sport stars from the US.
That's cool with me – and I have featured their video on my site for the last two months, showing it to nearly 5.000 visitors. A lot of these visitors came to my site just to watch this video – and some ended up as new “Shaving Detective fans” instead. So all in all, we all benefited from this.
But… Gillette has pulled the plug on this video and simply removed it from YouTube. This is what made me mad this morning. Why on earth would they do that? Why remove a video that has gone viral and is featured on many blogs around the world? I just don't get it.
I could understand it, if I had just linked to the video on my own initiative. But Gillette actualle emailed me directly with a press release and a link to the video.
I have worked with online marketing, communication and development for the last 12 years. I never expected this from someone as big as Gillette.
An apology to anyone but Gillette
I'm sorry guys, but I just had to get all of this off my chest. It has nothing to do with shaving at all. But I promise that my post tonight about some of the products I got in London will be.
Until then, take care!
I am going to London tomorrow morning… A few years ago, I would instantly be thinking of Westminster Abbey, the Thames, musicals and… pubs! But today I am the shaving detective. Even though I am traveling with my wife this weekend, it certainly will influence our plans for the trip.
Names like Taylor of Old Bond Street, G.F. Trumper, Truefitt & Hill and other great brands were totally unknown to me when I last visited London. Some of the oldest and most classic barbershops in the World are located in central London – all within perfect walking distance of each other. And London is full of places to visit for me as a shave blogger. Murdock London and others might be on my list as well.
Even though my wife has already planned our trip with an uneven amount of shopping time, I am sure “barbershop strolling” is not part of her initial plans. Anyway, I expect to visit at least a few of the old barbershops and bring some nice products with me back to Denmark on Sunday.
King of Shaves Azor 5 and Shick / Wilkinson Hydro 5
Speaking of nice products. For the first time ever, I will leave home without any shaving gear at all. As I arrive in London, I will get hold of a few products I still need to review on Shaving Detective.
Next week, you can expect my unbiased view on the King of Shaves Azor 5 razor along with the Wilkinson Hydro 5 (known as Shick Hydro 5 to my US readers). None of these razors are available in Denmark, and I am looking forward to get my hands on them.
I will probably not check my email while I am away. If for some reason you need to contact me while I'm in town, I'll be staying at the Americana Hotel at Gloucester Place. You can always send me a text message at (+45)26828308.
I'll be back on Sunday – with my mind full of inspiration and my bags full of great products. Or at least as many as I can fit into the bag, once my wife has finished shopping at Westfield.
Did I forget someone? Mail me today (Wednesday) before 9 PM GMT at [email protected] – and I'll respond before leaving. 🙂
Gillette has announced the launch of its Gillette Young Guns program by unveiling the 2011 roster of six rising stars in their respective sports: Matt Ryan and Ray Rice from football, Evan Longoria and Carlos González from baseball and Denny Hamlin and Kyle Busch from auto racing.
The campaign will launch in US this weekend – but I have been allowed to show you the video before it's released to the public…
Enjoy! You probably know the guys in the video much better than me..
UPDATE: For some reason, Gillette has removed the video. Read my comment about this here!
Gillette Young Guns is a sports marketing platform connecting Gillette?s full line of grooming products with avid sports fans in North America. The program highlights up-and-coming stars and gives fans an in-depth look into the keys to their success both on and off the field. The Gillette Young Guns will appear in print and broadcast advertising, consumer promotions, point-of-sale materials, online and public relations activities.
The 2011 class of Gillette Young Guns was selected not only for their individual sporting accomplishments and future potential, but also for their strong leadership qualities. They are a group of exceptionally motivated young men who hold themselves to high standards on and off the field. Through the expanded Gillette Young Guns program, Gillette will provide fans greater access to this next generation of rising stars. The first opportunity for fans to engage with the Gillette Young Guns can be found in the latest issue of ESPN The Magazine, where fans will be able to view exclusive video content on each of the athletes via Quick-Response [QR] Codes on their mobile devices.
?I?m honored to be partnering with Gillette and joining such a talented lineup of athletes,? said Matt Ryan, starting quarterback for the Atlanta Falcons. ?I look forward to scoring big for Gillette and its passionate fans nationwide.?
?Be Ready? is the central theme of the Gillette Young Guns advertising campaign. This creative concept taps into a core truth that all men need to be ready for the moments in life that will ultimately define them. Gillette encourages men to follow in the Young Guns? footsteps and ?Be Ready? every day.
UPDATE: For some reason, Gillette has removed the video. Read my comment about this here!
You would expect shaving equipment to be widely available everywhere. I live in Denmark, and we generally consider ourselves as a highly developed society. We have been named ‘the happiest people in the World', and we like to spend our money on high quality products. At least the products we can use to show off with. When it comes to shaving, we're generally left with a few brands and extraordinary high prices.
A few good online shops have emerged in the last few years, but the average man doesn't buy shaving equipment online. Chances are that he'll go to the super market – and find two different Gillettes with replaceable blades and a no-name disposable razor. The larger super markets may have a 5-pack of Gillette DE blades, but don't expect more than that. Visiting a drug store won't help much, as the stock is pretty much the same.
I have never seen any other brand of DE blades than Gillette in a Danish shop. I went to Germany earlier this month, and a normal drugstore had 4 different brands of DE blades – and several qualities in each brand.
As a shaving detective, I buy most of my stuff online. Especially from shops in England, but also from Germany, Sweden, USA and a few other places.
Are we still vikings?
Back in time, Denmark (and the rest of Scandinavia) was the home of the Vikings. Vikings are usually depicted with a large beard and wild hair. Today, more than a thousand years later we still consider shaving and grooming to be… well, unnecessary at best.
I like buying stuff online, but when it comes to buying a shaving gel or after shave, I would still prefer to buy it in a “real” store. But flying to Germany or London every now and then just doesn't fit my budget.
Where do you shop?
Do you find it hard to get the shaving equipment you like? Or is this just a thing I'm experiencing in Denmark?
Let me know where you get your equipment – online or in a brick'n'mortar store..
And finally, let me wish you all a Merry christmas! I'll get back with a few articles in the next few days. Take care!