Zero waste shaving: the cutthroat's guide

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The Savage investigates how to shave ounces off your lack of credibility and finally become a man in your girl's eyes

A better way

Shaving - the best a man can get. But what if you could do better? What if, beyond all aesthetic considerations, past how many crunches you can get through of a morning, above your cardio performance or whether that chiselled jaw line might one day cut glass, there's a better, purer way to shave? What if there's a way that doesn't leave you looking like Freddy Krueger during a dry T-zone day? What if there's a way that improves your sexual potency? What if there's a way that reverses global warming1, increases salmon stocks2 and halts tsunamis3, saving millions of lives? Welcome to zero waste shaving. And I'll tell you nerds one thing: If you spent years making bloody julienne of your jawline with a god-awful disposable razor you will be crazy primed for the eco-friendly shaving experience. To my mother.

Why zero waste?

While every Simple Simon miscer whines like a little bitch over Gillette's toxic masculinity ad, there's a real issue about the $3.5 billion shaving industry that actual grown-ups should be concerned about. 163 million Americans are using disposable razors, meaning that in the region of 1 billion are winding up in landfills each year. Bear in mind that real-life sanitation workers have to handle your garbage and end up getting their fingers and thumbs sliced to ribbons by your shitty BICs, Schicks and Dorcos running the very real risk of Razor Aids. Consider too that, unlike you after you discovered your girlfriend was banging your friends two at a time, the plastic in disposable razors never breaks down. So, you're either contributing to the global landfill timebomb or straight choking the oceans out.

Candidly? It's not a good look for you, like that neckbeard you attempted while your girlfriend was getting triple teamed by those lacrosse jocks in her first semester.

Ethics, man

So, what to do? Not about your girlfriend - that skank is beyond redemption. I mean about your choices as an autonomous moral agent operating freely in the universe. Well, here's a start: invest in a traditional safety razor. Quite apart from the fact that they are typically made from recyclable stainless steel, there are beaucoup benefits to taking the plunge on this one. Don't believe me? Check it out.

Old shave twat
Yer da with his old safety

Close to the edge

With a bit of effort and practice you will produce a jaw line that looks like it was shaved by a pro, rather than your current effort which looks like a Bulgarian porn star's bush after the first time she took a dry razor to it during a particularly harrowing attack of the DTs, howling at imaginary attackers, shaking like a shitting dog.

Rash choices

A 5-blade cartridge razor has five blades attacking your skin at once, like that time you had an outbreak of zits at basketball practice, increasing the irritation factor rather appallingly. A single blade is lower impact, leaving you, your stupid face and the planet significantly happier in the process.

Make it last

Much like your best friend compared to you in the sack, a safety razor lasts longer. This naturally makes it more economical and a much more viable long-term option, much like your best friend.

Safety razors raise your sexual value

And Christ knows some of you soy boys need this one. They have style, they have grace and, crucially, they give good face. One look at that magnificent retro-styled contraption atop your bathroom cabinet and that broad you somehow managed to persuade back to your hovel will immediately add one point to your out of 10 score (raising you to the lofty heights of 4 - congratu-fucking-lations).

And frankly LOL anyone still using cartridge razors. Come on, man. Do better.

Cutthroat prices

This will cheer you niggardly skinflints right up. The blades for a safety razor are cheap, fam. You're looking at 100 blades for under £10 y'heard? Now, even to someone like you, with the worst maths since Kenny Dalglish took a look at the £35 million Newcastle United suggested as a joke for Andy Carroll and said "Yes! That's an absolute snip for someone who I can only assume is the right candidate to replace Kop legend Fernando Torres," this adds up to an extraordinary economy. Look to change the blade every 5-7 shaves so you don't blunt your appeal. As da gawd Fiona Apple said "you're more likely to get cut with a dull tool than a sharp one". Bleed dat.

At your disposal

Don't be a filthy skunk and just throw those old blades in the rubbish. That's a chump move and if you're a dumb enough bag of shit to believe in karma, means you will be reincarnated as James Corden or some other lower lifeform. As mentioned up top, refuse worker Razor Aids is a real issue. Carefully place the used blades in a tin then take it to a scrap metal collection site or recycling centre when it gets full. It really is that simple, like your nephew since you dropped him on his head as a child, the drooling cuck.

Check the technique

Fair warning: the first few times you try it you'll be self-harming like a Bullet for my Valentine fan. Plopping that bendy blade between the two pieces of the razor head will be a sobering moment. Your carotid artery is just inches away. Your feeble motor skills and shit brain are now the only things that stand between you and certain death. So, it is entirely possible you will be nicking your thumbs like crazy and bleeding like a Johnny Depp groupie who just asked "Hey shit-for-brains! How come you sold out with that lackwit pirate stuff?" Suck it up, bro. The pain is worth it.

Towel head

Fail to prepare and prepare to fail, so says every worthless Inspo Instagram no-hoper but there is some truth in their inept platitude spouting. The towel technique in wet shaving is one of those small things that make a big difference. That it is almost certainly the most pleasant part of the entire process boosts the likelihood of you sticking to it which always helps.

Take a clean face towel and run it under a tap until it is soaked. Wring it out to the point it is damp, not sopping and then microwave it for 30 seconds full power. After allowing it to cool down for a couple of minutes, test the temperature by placing a small portion of the towel on your face. Once it has cooled down sufficiently, apply to your full face for 30 seconds. This softens the bristle, increases water absorption and ensures less wear and tear on the blade. It's a win-win for the universe, like the time your MDA-blitzed girlfriend dumped you by text then gave dome to the population of the neighbouring frat house in celebration.

Foam if you want to

Foamy brush

Getting a lather going is the next step. We know that aerosols are out because you are harming Indonesians every time you squirt, like that hooker you bought drinks for while backpacking in Bali. So how to get foaming like your girlfriend every time your best friend is mentioned? The best route is using cream, a bowl and a brush. Much like your girlfriend’s affection for you, the brush in question will be synthetic. The Savage is not a puritan. Not everything in his domain is vegan but he at least expects some effort. Splurging out on dead badger fur for your shaving brush? Do better.

Building up the lather will take a little more time than the instant fix of an aerosol can but it will be worth it. With a couple of warm tablespoons of water in the bowl, put approximately 1 mL (1 cm cubed) on your brush and start whipping up the cream in circular motions, like your best friend does when he's warming up your girlfriend. Continue this until the lather has a whipped egg white consistency much like your girlfriend when she - ah, you get the picture. Apply liberally to your bristles and let the fun begin.

Diagram of beard growth grain
Vegan grains, bro

Go with the grain

Sometimes it's good to go against the grain, like it would have been a good idea that time everyone told you your girl wasn't cheating on you and you went along with it. But when it comes to shaving, the best practice is to examine the grain of your facial hair and go with it.

You probably think you've got a pretty good idea of the direction your beard grows in. You're probably wrong. Check this out >>>

Note, this image is just a guide. Every face is unique. Let your screams of agony be your guide.

Working the angles

It's quite likely you are used to shaving with a head that swivels or pivots. So, it will come as something of a shock to you when you discover that our boy the safety razor does not bend, break, nor fold. This is a challenge, one with an occasional bloody outcome if you don't take care. Try it without a blade a few times to get a proper feel for it. The consensus is 30 degrees, coincidentally the angle your best friend fucks your girlfriend at and she comes every time.

The shave itself

Now we're motoring. Let your strokes be short and straight, like the ones your best friend taps your girlfriend with. Slow and steady wins the race. It is key to let the weight of the razor be your pressure. Again, you are used to applying extra pressure because of the flimsy lightweight shit you've been embarrassing your face with. Watch it, young 'un. This is some Bruce Lee "be like water" shit. Generations of men mastered this technique. You can too if you stop being such a punk about it.

EPILOGUE: Shaving your junk

Taking a cold blade to your knackers. Few things concentrate the mind as sharply. The Savage will not judge you if you choose not to take your meat and two veg in your own hands on this one. Let's be real about this though. This is in the 1970s where you could parade down the beach in a pair of budgie smugglers, a forest of pubes shamelessly framing your folly. Nor is this the 1980s where broads would think nothing of shoving a pair of fuzzy nuts in their mouth and juggling them like Haggis and Charlie until the sunrise. Naw, dog. Dames ain't even about that nowadays. Like your girlfriend's infidelity, some manscaping is inevitable. You need to trim your junk one way or another and if you're committed to zero waste shaving then that means the safety or the cutthroat. Given that the only people shaving with cutthroats are hipsters and psychopaths, that means that you're going to have to bite that particular bullet.

And frankly this dude guides you through that particular jungle better than I ever could.


1 Citation needed.
2 Screw you.
3 Fight me, see what happens.

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