Rediscovering the Lost Art of the Old Fashioned Shave

There was an article in The Chicago Tribune today on a story AoM readers have already got the scoop on–the steady rise in popularity of old fashioned shaving methods. As the piece details, more and more younger men are dropping their cartridge razors and picking up the safety razors of their grandfathers and the straight razors of their great-grandfathers. The article doesn’t mention the Art of Manliness, but I’d love to think that my article “How to Shave Like Your Grandpa“–the very first AoM article ever, posted in January of 2008–had a little something to do with it too!

Read the whole article: “Rediscovering the Lost Art of the Old Fashioned Shave” (@ChicagoTribune)

Hat tip to John N. for this link.

{ 34 comments… read them below or add one }

Scott S December 19, 2011 at 7:37 am

Ever since reading my first AOM article that just happened to be the straight razor one. I have been using a straight razor now and then. I got my first razor from my grandmother it belong to my grandfather. The second one I purchased in. Now I just wish I could find a honesmith in Ontario Canada

Chris E December 19, 2011 at 10:04 am

@ Scott S. Here is one you might try.

Jim December 19, 2011 at 11:43 am

That was the first article I read on this site and this summer I took the plunge and bought a Merkur safety razor with everything I needed. It was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.

Jack December 19, 2011 at 2:12 pm

You should try and email a copy of your 2008 article to the Chicago Tribune writer

Randy Vance December 20, 2011 at 6:15 am

Brett, your articles did inspire me to take the wet shaving plunge about a year ago. I started with DE razors and moved into straight razor shaving. Since then I’ve never looked back to cartridge or electric shavers and in fact my shaves and the tone of my face have improved. I encourage your first time AOM readers or those thinking about it to give wet shaving a plunge. It can be done cheaply as you have pointed out and a lot of on line shaving stores are selling some DE razors with vintage design for very reasonable prices. Thanks again for your interest and this blog. Merry Christmas to you and yours.

David Y December 20, 2011 at 12:14 pm

I switched to wet shaving a few years ago and love it. It is more enjoyable and economical than the cartridge razor I used to shave with.

Merry Christmas to you and to all AOM readers.

Daniel December 20, 2011 at 2:23 pm

This website has definitely converted me as well. I was able to get all of the necessary supplies to DE wet shaving right here in Long Beach, CA within walking distance of my house for less than $30. Although, I am looking for a vintage British Gillette Razor, now. Thanks so much for all the wonderful articles. Merry Christmas, Brett, to you and yours.

Ty December 21, 2011 at 8:54 pm

The article on shaving like your grandfather was life changing. I started using a safety razor and its the best shave Ive every had. I love shaving every morning now

John December 22, 2011 at 3:25 pm

“The article on shaving like your grandfather was life changing. I started using a safety razor and its the best shave Ive every had. I love shaving every morning now”

Ty said the heart of my comment.

I got a Merkur 180 long handle, premium Merkur blades, a Conk brush, mug, soap and stand, and Lucky Tiger aftershave. The morning shave is now the enjoyable ritual it should be, rather than the despised chore that it was.

Thanks again Brett!

Jeremy C. December 22, 2011 at 10:48 pm

This summer, I picked up 2 DE razors and 6 packs of Sheffield Special blades at a garage sale for 5 bucks. I bought them with the purpose of reselling them after cleaning them up (thanks to the restore vintage shaving gear article on this site), but I decided to try shaving with them, even though I was content with aerosol shave gel and disposable razors (it got rid of the hair pretty quick and pretty close). I bought a brush and soap at shopper’s drug mart, and got an enamelware (???) mug from my mom.

I’m hooked! Never going back.

This one reason I give for the benefits of doing this (even though there are plenty) is this: even though I am in my mid-20′s, I still had acne breakouts along my jaw and on my neck for most of my adolescent life. Turns out, my skin was reacting to the residue from the lubricating strip on the disposables if it wasn’t washed off completely. After 3 weeks, my skin and razor bumps were clearing up. After 4 months, the scarring on my face was starting to heal!! Approx. 5 years of destroying my neck with “pharmaceutical” shave gels and “sensitive skin” razors, and all I needed to do was go back to one blade, and natural soap. Almost 7 months strong!!!

I’m glad to see young men disregarding convenience, and returning to quality when it comes to appearance. Other trends will come and go, but the basic philosophy of looking good will always be something that men will carry on through infinite generations.

Brett (and Kate), thanks for everything.

Karl December 23, 2011 at 11:14 am

I stumbled across AOM just about 2 months ago. Both my father and grandfather used a safety razor. My dad used to take out the blades and let me pretend shave when I was a boy. Fond memories. So after reading articles like “How to Shave Like Your Grandpa”, I have decided to take the plunge into wet shaving. I just received my 1961 Gillette Super Speed Safety Razor two days ago. Picked it up on ebay. I also have my badger brush, soap and cup on it’s way. I plan to give it a go this weekend. Thank God we already took our family photos.

There has been such a buzz about wet shaving everywhere I look, but I heard it here (AOM) first. Here is an artilce from my local newspaper if any of you are interested in reading

A nod to you Brett. Thanks for all you do and helping to revive Manliness in us men. Merry Christmas!

James T March 19, 2012 at 6:25 pm

My buddy got me to start going on this website a couple months ago. I have to admit all the articles are a wonderful read. But, “Shave like your grandpa” has been hands down the best. I have since started to wet shave, and I thoroughly enjoy shaving again. The thrill of “Getting” to shave, like when I first started to is back.

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Alex B May 19, 2013 at 7:38 pm

I got curious about straight razor shaving after watching James Bond in skyfall, I figured what could be more manly? I found the article here, bought a straight razor set and I have not looked back!

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