The quest for a good shave

Razor Burned

Will the Dollar Razor Club live up to its PR?

By Peter Holley April 12, 2013

In my last post I discussed the inherent indecency of modern razor acquisition. Then I publically refused to waste my money on an inferior blade ever again, igniting my quest for the perfect shave.

What I forgot to mention is that the only thing I hate more than buying razors is, well, shaving with them. I know I’m not alone here, gentlemen. The thing is, shaving hurts. Not for everyone, but for people like me.

What do I mean by that? Well, if there’s a spectrum of facial hair coarseness–ranging from thin and wispy to mangled and thick–then I fall somewhere between Abraham Lincoln and Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (Here's a pictorial reference). 

We’re talking a serious Mediterranean facial pelt here. The kind that leaves red marks on my girlfriend’s cheek or could be used to sand a new floorboard. I once broke a barber’s electric razor. It happened in an old school Greek barbershop in Baltimore, where you’d think they’d be prepared for my kind. The razor snagged after coming into contact with the thick, angry barbs, protruding porcupine-like, from my man cheek. Everyone stared.

Really, the only place my beard hasn’t felt out of place was when I lived in Pakistan and, suddenly, I was just another hairy dude in a country full of hairy dudes. It was like coming home for the very first time.

But now that I’m stateside I do whatever it takes to avoid shaving–like sussing out a woman’s tolerance for facial hair on a first date or pursuing a career where an inordinate number of people are unkempt-looking and anti-social. But periodically I do need to shave, say for an interview, which raises the possibility that my sensitive facial skin–particularly on my neck–is going to be subject to several days of painful red bumps and irritation. The only way around this, it seems, is to sport a closely cropped beard using an electric razor or to continually purchase new blades every week, which adds up fast (see last post). 

Enter Dollar Shave Club. I placed a $6 order after my last post and, low and behold, they arrived in the mail just like “Mike” said they would. He also claimed the blades would not only be good, they’d be “F**KING GREAT.” Well, were they? Here’s the skinny:

The membership: Sign up online. For $6 you get a handle and four razor blades, which are replenished once a month. Mine arrived three days after my order in a package with a note that read: “Two wise policy initiatives: Never start a ground war in Asia, and don’t shave with a dull razor.” Agreed.

The Handle: Similar annoyingly, pseudo-futuristic design that makes you feel lame every time you purchase an over-priced Gillette Fusion ProGlide. The Dollar Shave Club version feels a bit cheaper and bulkier in your hand, like driving a Hyundai Sonata versus a Mercedes C series. I don’t like my manscaping tools to look like toys. Whatever happened to classic, simple design? Then again, for $6…

The blades: They’re good, but not exceptional. With four stainless steel blades, the shave was easily superior to a simple Bic razor, but slightly less smooth than an over-priced Gillette. Slightly. After a few strokes I noticed some slight irritation on my neck, but nothing like the irritation I feel after I’ve had my pockets fleeced by Gillette for a razor that will last a week at best. Luckily Dollar Club blades arrive four to a pack once a month, meaning your blade last the same length or time for a fraction of the cost.

Can your girlfriend/lady partner use them? The answer, according to a real life woman I polled, is yes. This particular woman seemed satisfied. And her legs did feel quite smooth. I checked.  

The conclusion: I’m sold. There are slight differences, yes, but they’re minimal in this case. 

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