I do it, and you can too. I shave for under $3 (CAD) a month.
I get excellent shaves and I even can use a new blade every 3 – 4 days and still come out with a very inexpensive and very enjoyable shave.
Here’s How I Do It. (Remember, your mileage may vary.)
1 – Pre-Shave
One of my secrets is to use good ol’ NOXEMA as a pre-shave. I kid you not NOXEMA is a wonderful pre-shave. It costs me $8 for enough to last me for an entire year.
NOXEMA is chock full of eucalyptus and moisturizers. It not only will soften your beard and clean your face, but also cool your skin and tighten it as well, thereby enabling you to get a cleaner, and closer shave.
Here is How I use NOXEMA as a Preshave
- I wet my face with luke-warm water.
- I apply the NOXEMA over every area I intend to shave.
- After messaging my face with it, I let it sink in for a couple of minutes.
- I then wash it off. (This helps further soften my beard….)
Noxema sort of smells and acts like Proraso pre-shave. But you get 3x to 4x as much for the same price. If you really want to economize Walmart has a similar product under the EXACT brand name. It is $5 compared to NOXEMA which costs $8. They both but last an entire year.
Cost: $8 divided by 350 shaves a year = $0.02 cents per shave.
2 – Shave Soap
I actually have 4 that you can use. Each one has its pluses and minuses. But all 3 produce amazing results if you use them properly.
WILLIAMS SHAVE SOAP:
This brand has been around for 100 years. The formula was changed a few years back.
Most people have an issue building a lather with the new formula. WILLIAMS is a tallow soap. It loves to lather. There is a trick to using it. Stay tuned…
WILLIAMS has a nice soapy smell. It is perhaps the least expensive shave soap you can get and for my money, its one of the best. Remember, I own a wet shaving business, I have tried a ton of shave soaps.
Many people do not like WILLIAMS only because they don’t know how to use it.
The trick is to use a synthetic brush like our VINTAGE Series 121 Mirrored Shave Brush. Do NOT use too much water on your brush! Take the brush get it wet (not too wet…) then wring it out so that there is no dripping water from it. The brush should be a little wetter than damp, but not by much!
I use a 6 oz cup as my “shave bowl”.
Next whip a nice pasty lather. Apply it to your face using gentle circular motions so that you work up additional lather on your face.
BTW – I think that WILLIAMS is the slickest of the 3.
If you follow the advice above, it will only cost you about $1 a month. A $2 puck of Williams will last about 2 months if you shave every day.
Cost is $.03 a shave.
ARKO SHAVE STICK.
Derby wins the prize in my opinion as the best of the cheapies. At least for shave soaps….
It has a nice pleasant floral smell. Like ARKO, Derby is made in Turkey. I have found that Derby is a much softer soap than ARKO. Derby also has both a shave stick and soap in a cardboard indestructible bowl.
I usually purchase the soap and not the stick. It works out better. I can get 3 – 4 months usage out of the soap.
Derby lathers up a storm. It is pretty slick. Great protection. Easy to use. Calming scent. I love Turkey, they make great shave soap.
Not being too precise, so don’t hold me to it, I figure that the Derby Soap costs about $0.025 a shave.
I shave with all 3. I get great shaves with each. They all lather as well as anything else, and they all cost no more than $0.03 a shave!
But when I want to splurge and go all out, I pull out the BIG GUNS. It is a bit more expensive and will add about $0.50 a month to my shave bill, but hey I am worth it!
My Absolute Favorite! – Nivea Shave Cream.
At $3.50 a tube (or less) I get about 10 weeks of great shaves out of this superb shave cream.At $0.058 a shave, it does stretch the budget just a bit, but it is certainly worth it.
This has got to be one of the easiest to lather shaving creams you can find; it only needs a small amount of water to explode into a wonderfully thick, creamy and dense lather.
Just a small dab of product the size of an almond is all it takes to make enough lather for three passes. It is absolutely effortless to lather and even the most novice of wet shavers will have no problems with this one.
Even though Nivea is one of the most popular and widely used shaving creams in Europe – you can find it at any grocery or drug store – it’s not that popular in the USA. And that’s a real shame as it really is a great product! I find it as good as Proraso, at one third the cost!
Nivea Shave Cream is a fantastic value for money, and offers excellent performance for close and comfortable shaves. It is also recommended for sensitive skin.
It is the only shave cream I put on the list, and after trying many shave creams at different price points, I can honestly say, Nivea Shave Cream is equal to, or superior to most!
Honorable inexpensive mentions.
Wilkinson Soap in a Bowl. Palmolive Shave Cream, and Van Der Hagan Shave Soap.[hr]
3. NOW FOR THE BLADES:
All of these blades can be purchased on Amazon or Ebay easily. If you purchase more than a year’s supply of 100 blades, for under $10. Or to look at it another way, they all can shave me for about $0.025 a shave!
I have listed them from favorite, to good but no cigar. Blades are very subjective. But here are some you may want to try.
Almost all of the blades listed are chromium, or platinum coated, with few exceptions.
1 – Shaver Boy (China) – A Delightful Surprise.
This is a Chinese blade that is better than any other blade I have tried. I was looking to purchase 100 Astra blades on eBay and while searching found Shaver Boy. They had sold 80,000 on eBay alone. The revues were spectacular. By the way, eBay is the only place you can get them. Anyway, they had a 5 star (or perhaps 4.5 star review.) It was from 400 people! They also advertised that they had sold 80,000 blades.
So I tried them!
These are amazing blades. They will cost you $7.99 Canadian + $5 Canadian for Shipping. So $12.99 Canadian which currently is about $8.65 USD.
I can get at least 5 shaves with 1 under $0.09 blade.
2 – Gillette Wilkinson Sword (India) – Very good blade.
Sharper than most. Very smooth shave. Every time I recommend these, I get a huge thank-you, and I have never met anybody who doesn’t like them.
They are my usual “go to” blade.
They are about $7.50, usually are delivered free from India, and they always take 3 to 4 weeks to get.
They can also give me about 5 shaves. Not too shabby, eh?
3 – Voskhod – Smooth, Sharp, Plentiful.
(and you can add most blades called Rapira which are also very good. Note: if you are a beginner, stay away from Rapira Super Stainless, a great blade, but VERY sharp!)
In my opinion. and again YMMV as they way, Voskhod is the sharpest and smoothest of the lot.
Many people love Astra SP and would put it on par with Voskhods. I personally have tried to like Astra SP blades but….. YMMV (your mileage may vary….)
Voskhod is coated with Teflon which helps balance out the sharpness of the blade. They give me a very smooth shave and are a cinch to shave with.
4 – Dorco Prime (ST-302) – Ouch!
This blade is super thin and by far the sharpest blade of the lot! I use it in very mild razors with it only. (Merker 23C, Merkur 34C, Edwin Jagger 89 series, our JAVA Americano and Espresso. Otherwise I get cut.
If you are new to wet shaving, you may want to look elsewhere. I have found however that a mild razor and a sharp blade in many cases are an unbeatable combination!
The ST-302 (also called DORCO PRIME,) can usually be found at around $8.50 or so for 100 blades. They last me about 4 shaves in a mild razor.
5 – DORCO Regular (ST 301) Yawn! – These blades are pretty gentle, They are kind of the “Chevy” of double edge blades. At least to me.
The Dorco ST-301 is somewhat sharp and somewhat smooth. They are very plentiful, good to shave with, and pretty inexpensive. Dorco also makes the ST-300 blades. These have been discontinued, but are the same as the ST-301, except for the packaging. The ST-300 can be found for six or seven cents online.
The cost? About $0.08 a blade (usually under $10 per hundred.) They last me about 4 shaves. Hey, but I used to own a Chevy. I won’t tell you the year though.
HONORABLE MENTIONS – Shark Chrome (sharp and last), Rockwell (not bad and cheap), Super Max Platinum, and Gillette 7 O’clock (Green).
STAY AWAY FROM – Topaz, most Chinese blades, Laser, 7AM, ZsaZsa, Zorick although the platinum ones are not too bad…) or any blade made in Bangladesh.
AFTER SHAVE CARE:
Shhhhhh! this is also a huge secret. So don’t tell anyone. Promise?
Guess the cat is outta the bag!
I sometimes use an aloe after sun gel. This acts as a shave balm and an after shave lotion. It costs me $1 for a tube that lasts me 100 shaves.
That’s it. I sometimes use an alum stick or block, and sometimes I will use Aqua Velva. That’s it.
Okay let’s review what I pay per shave…..
- Pre-shave – $0.02
- Shave Soap – $0.03
- Razor Blade – $0.025
- After Shave Gel – $0.015
Total is $0.09 per shave which is $2.70 a month! I get great, amazing and enjoyable shaves. I hope that you do too.
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