Those classic wet shaving tools your great grandfather used are making a comeback. Traditional straight razors, safety razors, boar’s hair brushes, and shaving soap are all making their way back into bathrooms worldwide. Unlike modern shaving tools, these items aren’t disposable and that’s precisely what today’s consumers want.
Why are consumers ditching the convenience of disposable razors?
Consumers have been using disposable razors since the 1960s when Gillette perfected the production of stainless steel blades. Prior to that, razor blades were quick to rust. After Gillette perfected the stainless steel razor blade, they launched the first disposable razor and debuted the first double-bladed disposable razor in 1971.
For decades, disposable razors satisfied consumers, but in recent years people have been waking up to the fact that they’re paying more for an inferior shave.
Convenience comes at a price many consumers aren’t willing to pay
According to Sharpologist.com the average cost of using disposable or cartridge razors is $111 per year and that’s not including accessories like shaving cream, pre-shave oil, and aftershave. One-hundred dollars per year doesn’t seem like much money until you compare it to the average cost of a safety razor, which costs less than $5 per year. You can get 100 replacement blades for less than ten bucks total.
Department stores like Walmart and Target are stocking their shelves with basic safety razors, while online shops like shave.net offer consumers a variety of tools including basic and high-end safety razors, brushes, and more.
As more people rediscover the lost art of classic shaving, disposable razor companies will need to develop a new game plan. Especially since consumers are becoming aware of the environmental impact of disposable razors. While many consumers are ditching their plastic razors to save thousands of dollars in the long-term, others want to save the planet.
Disposable convenience is harming the planet
Disposable razors, handles, and cartridges are only a small portion of plastic waste being dumped into landfills worldwide. However, they’re being thrown away at an alarming rate. On page 10 of this October 1990 issue of the EPA’s Environmental Consumer’s Handbook, the EPA states that 2 billion disposable razors are produced each year.
All of those razors eventually end up in landfills, while traditional shaving tools are built to last for generations.
Although saving money and the planet are noble pursuits, there’s another reason consumers are reviving the lost art of classic shaving: they enjoy a traditional shave.
People enjoy a traditional shave
Shaving with a straight razor or a safety razor is a treat. Not only will you get a better, closer shave, but it’s fun and makes you feel good.
While marketers want people to believe their lives will be easier when they don’t have to bother with the drudgery of preparing for a traditional shave, many consumers disagree. There’s an art to preparing for a traditional wet shave and many feel a sense of pride and accomplishment afterward.
Preparing thick, creamy lather with a brush requires more skill than pushing a button on a can of shaving cream. In the end, the harsh chemicals in canned shaving cream will dry out your skin while good shaving soap will hydrate your skin.
There’s something soothing about seeing the hair disappear with just a few short, light strokes compared to the desperate pushing and scraping required with a disposable razor. The single, sharp blade of a safety razor requires no more pressure than the weight of the razor’s handle – another satisfying feeling you can’t get with cheap plastic.
Perhaps the final reason consumers are switching back to classic shaving is the absence of irritation, razor bumps, and rashes. Disposable razor companies want consumers to believe they need special products and special razors to manage these problems when all of it can be avoided by using traditional tools.
The future of shaving is the comeback of old technology
Disposable razor companies are coming up with all kinds of gimmicks from 7-blade razors to heated razors, but nothing beats a classic wet shave. The future of shaving is 100 years in the past, when every bathroom in America was equipped with a single-bladed razor capable of lasting for generations.