I've heard all the excuses, and I get it. Shaving at home is cheaper. It's easier, it's faster. It doesn't require any pre-planning. It's good enough. Does that sound familiar? It's a common school of thought. But if you're willing to put your predispositions aside for just a minute or two here, I think I can convince you on why you should be getting your shave done at the barbershop with the famous cutthroat blade.
The Raw Beauty of the Cutthroat Razor
With a name like "cutthroat", it's hard not to love and fear such a blade. Unlike the razors you get at home, called safety razors, there's nothing "safe" about the cutthroat. Okay, I exaggerated. This blade is perfectly safe in capable hands, and the name actually is speculated to originate from a brand by the same name, not any maniacal murderer out there using the razor as a weapon. Although, that might make an interesting King novel. Anyway, these razors, also called straight razors, were the shaving tool of choice for most men prior to 1950, and especially loved by men at war.
Straight razors were originally made as rudimentary shaving tools by blacksmiths around the 1500s, perhaps even earlier. Men at this time didn't often shave, but when they did, this is what they used. From there, the razor grew in popularity as brands and material changes came to light. The steel razor would go on to hit pique popularity in the mid 1910s because men and women alike loved the especially close shave that unveiled a comfortably smooth face underneath.
Like Uber is to cabs, eventually new technology comes in and disturbs the traditional way of things. This happened with a 1901 invention by King Camp Gillette, who invented the razor similar to that which you have on your bathroom sink now. The safety razor was, and is, about convenience and do-it-yourself ease. But as with most of the best things in life, convenience isn't a part of the formula. If you want better than basic, you need to ditch convenience and go the extra step.
For those not willing to overlook the tempting price tag of a grocery store razor and the ease of the kitchen sink, it's okay. Barbershop chairs will still always be full with men that appreciate shaving as the art that it is, and are happy to treat themselves to the experience of being in a barbershop with like-minded men of all walks of life. It's here that these men will sit back in our chairs with a relaxing hot towel draped over their face. Then, they'll get products massaged into their skin to improve the shave and the appearance of the skin. With a barber's skilful finesse, the razor passes the skin painlessly with the help of high-quality warmed up shaving cream, and it completely eradicates stubble and stubborn hairs. After the shaving part, there's time for another hot towel and some aftershave. When the whole shave is over, customers leave relaxed, at ease, and take home with them a super clean, close shave.
The whole experience of getting a shave might seem excessive, but it truly makes a difference. Taking proper care to get a good shave versus doing it at home has a few different personal benefits.
A cutthroat shave is one of the last things reserved for men. The lines between things that were traditionally reserved for just men or just women are blurred, but a barbershop shave is one thing that will remain strictly male. This makes it one of the manlier activities out there, an experience that every man deserves to treat himself to. When it comes down to it, barbershop cutthroat shaves aren't even very expensive. Are you worth it?