Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Things That Annoy Me #2

I hate to shave. Since my genetic heritage is solid Italian stock, shaving is not optional. It takes so long. It is so fleeting. When I first started shaving as an 11 year old girl--yes, it was necessary--I would fantasize about being able to cover only the places I wanted to keep hair and then submerging myself in a vat of hair destroying magic potion and I'd never have to shave again. So I hate shaving.

Here is what annoys me: Razors! Why are they so expensive? Why do they not work?

When I get a fresh razor out, I can get one good shave out of it and then it's dull. Given the price of these things, I use it more than once, but the rest of the week is different stages of increasing dullness until it hurts. That's the clue to get a new blade.

For years, I have used the plain Venus razors bought in bulk from Costco, and they used to work okay, but the price keeps going up and up while the blade declines even more quickly. Sometime in the spring, the plain razors were gone and in their place were these fantastic fru-fru razors with built-in shaving cream. Being the skeptic I am, I did not want to buy 20 of these puppies until I had tried them first. I trekked to Target and spent an obscene amount of money for four measly blades. These things were nearly worthless! See those big gel bar things? They almost completely prevent the actual blade from making contact with your skin. You go through the motions of shaving without accomplishing anything. How wonderful!

I returned to Costco after my little experiment ruled out that particular razor to assess what else is available. I saw a giant pack of the disposable version and decide to give them a try. They were a little cheaper than the fru-frus which was good. I figured I have used the regular Venus replaceable blade for years and the disposable version should be pretty equivalent. Right? How wrong I was! Oh what fresh hell is this? The odds are 50/50 whether or not the blade is even sharp the first time it is used. Getting through a complete shave without the blade going dull halfway through is apparently too much to ask of this version.

I already blanch at the cost of the Venus. It's around $3 a blade. Is that not insane? But since the plain razor is no longer at Costco, I would have to buy them at Target which means $4 a blade. Crazy. I am an adherent to Instapundit's conspiracy theory that the razor companies start to use inferior steel on older razors to encourage you to buy the newer model because I don't know how else to explain a product that used to work well which is now garbage.

I am finally getting to the end of this pack of disposables and will soon have to decide what to try next. All I want is a razor that doesn't go immediately dull which doesn't cost a small fortune and does not cause ingrown hairs. Is this so much to ask? Maybe it is.

Does anyone have any suggestions?


JoAnna Wahlund said...

I share your frustration. Might be time to invest in an electric razor.

Anonymous said...

Dollar Shave Club. My husband has a thick beard and sensitive skin, and he says these are great. I haven't tried them on my legs yet, but they are less expensive than the Schick Quattro, so it's only a matter of time before I try.

The Sojourner said...


Somebody is going to have to teach my poor slightly-Italian daughters how to shave.

Tia said...

by a classic safety razor and a box of blades. Something like this and this

The blades are so cheap you can basically leave them in even though that dulls them, and they will last you FOREVER. The way to shave is basically to just do a light quick pass, not worrying about getting everything, and then doubling back. My husband switched to these about 8 years ago and it was transformational. He has a very bushy beard and hates to shave and this was a game changer for him. The disposable Gillette kind are terrible by comparison. I don't even have a razor, I just borrow his and it basically works fine for both of us to have one razor.

Tia said...

Actually, those razor blades aren't the right kind, you get the double-edged kinds. Just keep the razors on a high shelf where little hands can't get to them.