First of all, I’m 70 years old and still not dead. As far as being faddish goes, many young people are going to DE’s primaryily because they are aware of the consequences of constantly throwing plastic in the garbage and spending absurd amounts of money on cartridges when DE blades are dirt cheap. Personally, I hate DE’s. I began shaving with a DE in 1964 and there was always a nick here and a nick there. I hate carts simply because they don’t shave well regardless of the number of blades they manage to squeeze in one. I shave with straight razors, not because of fadishness but because they are the most elegant (meaning simple) shaving device ever made. They don’t nick and give the most comfortable and close shave possible. One only has to take the time and commitment to learn to maintain and use one. The only waste is soap down the drain. Fad? I don’t think so.DE shaving was once the norm. Regular everyday Joes lathered up and loaded up, and scraped away at their facial skin like it was nobody’s business.
But all good things must come to an end. Carts have dominated since the 80s, and DE was left to the old guys. Once they died out, DE was dead.
But there has been a renaissance, and this thread is about asking why.
People have pointed to the Internet. But how has the Internet contributed? Wider dissemination of information? Greater choice in products? Maybe. But something has to be contributing to that curiosity. What is it?
I posit ‘fashion.’
Yep, just as beards, sailor tattoos, and quiff/fade haircuts were/are all the rage recently, so has DE shaving become a fad.
We’ve seen the rise of specialist shaving stores like Art of Shaving, Etsy stores full of wood turners making brushes, and artisan soap companies trying to recreate ‘vintage’ scents. Even regular barbers now stock TOBS soaps, and at least have a couple of safety razors to choose from.
But you’d have to say the the final nail in the coffin to this DE shark-jump was Gillette’s ‘retro’ Heritage offering. Complete with faux leather case and traditional-style scrawl on the front, the Heritage completely captures the essence of a hipster led sell-out. I mean, doesn’t this razor come with a Muhle head? It’s not even a Gillette razor; it’s a composite razor designed to cash in on the fad!
That’s right folks, DE shaving has become a fad. And we only have ourselves to blame.