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We killed the golden goose (aka DE shaving is a hipster fad)

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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.
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.
 
Hi,

Meh, flannel shirts are supposed to be a hipster fad. Doesn't make my plaid flannel shirts any less effective a -20F. And if my razors and brushes are now a fad, I can't tell when I use them to get a shave that makes me happy.
I thought flannel shirts was a grunge thing?
 
I just don't see it being a fad. The definition of fad is "an intense and widely shared enthusiasm for something". Outside of this website there is hardly any talk, information, or advertisements for DE razors. It's more of a niche market than a fad.
 
I had a longer tl;dr post. I'm editing that down.

I think this post has a playful, tongue-in-cheek quality to it, which I love and makes me smile. I don't think "DE shaving" has become 'hip'. I don't think DE shaving is a fad. I do think that the vast majority of people think of shaving as a chore or burden. So much of life, in general, does not have to be that way. Not cooking. Not working. Not shaving.

More and more, I come back to reflecting on this: T.S.Eliot-The Rock - http://www4.westminster.edu/staff/brennie/wisdoms/eliot1.htm
"Where is the Life we have lost in living?
Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge?
Where is the knowledge we have lost in information?"

Yes, this is the short version.
 
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And also if you look at this thread and poll - the majority of B&B members are middle-aged and up, ...not too many of what would be considered the younger "hipster" group. But just about anyone actively participating on B&B is ok in my book, regardless of age.

link-
I actually got started on the fact that my place of employment started carrying VDH products a week after I said to myself "I wish the fusion blades weren't so flippin expensive." Passed by them a couple of times without giving them a second thought. Then I saw the price of the blades and said I am buying all of this stuff. Self taught because I was fed up with spending $20 for blades every time. My grandma didn't shave anymore and my grandfather uses cartridges so I was forced to lern on my own. Safety razor and canned goo untill I found the whole world of brushes and soaps on YouTube. I was taught by my parents to stretch every dollar as far as you can so I bought everything as cheap as possible. Still use VDH soap to this day. Also helps with my super sensitive skin.
 
I've been wetshaving for over ten years now, so if it's a fad, it's a pretty long-lasting one. And sure, there might be people who get into it for faddish reasons, but there seem to be enough dedicated wetshavers to sustain a niche market long-term.

And I see the Gillette Heritage in the opposite way OP does...it's Gillette caving. They've been pushing a "wetshaving but with the latest Gillette cartridges" model in AoS for the longest time, and it's in their financial interest to get people hooked on expensive Gillette cartridges. Making a DE razor is essentially an admission that that's not working.
 
You appear to be essentially agreeing with me Ashley, and that is very pleasing indeed.

As for my use of the word 'hipster', I'm using it to denote 'a person who follows the latest trends and fashions, especially those regarded as being outside the cultural mainstream'
Essentially, I am. But hipsterism...
Hipster.jpg

...only seems to come in one flavor.

They do have good beer selections in their restaurants though. Even though I've kind of tired of the IPA stuff and gone mostly back to lagers, pilsners, etc.
 
What would one label a clean-shaven hipster I wonder? Perhaps we've just identified a novel sub-genre.

B&B: pushing boundaries, saving lives.
 
I switched from cartridges to DE shaving because DE is cheaper for the day to day supplies such as blades and soaps compared to cartridges and canned goo. Plus, it's more enjoyable IMHO.
 
What would one label a clean-shaven hipster I wonder? Perhaps we've just identified a novel sub-genre.

B&B: pushing boundaries, saving lives.
They're called YUCCIES apparently:

We’re also seeing the decline of the beard as the Yuccie movement gains momentum. You remember Yuccies, right? Those clean-shaven white males who walk the line between free-spirited artist and savvy businessman? Those dudes are all about the beardless look.
 
They were in the 80's/90's. I think the hipsters are re-claiming them in the 21st century

My flannels are working man's flannels. Pinholes from torch-shenanigans, oil stains, and I've got a perfectly formed mold in my right vest pocket for a pack of Marlboro Reds. I think my wife washes them when she finds them after a week, so speak for yourself! 😆
 
Getting more people on board can only be a good thing. It gives suppliers the incentive to keep producing the things we need to shave this way. Without new blood traditional methods will slowly die out completely.

People get into traditional shaving for many reasons. Once they feel the benefits I doubt that many would return to anything else. It may be a fad that ends up lasting a lifetime. Or more when they inspire the next generation. I don’t mind why people start shaving with a de or straight I’m just glad they do. Not least for my own self interest. I would still like to be able to buy de products in 40 years.
 
Releasing the Heritage razor could be an attempt to test the waters to see how well it might sell or simply to appeal to traditional wet shavers who might think of them as a has-been. IMO P&G would be wise to continue such efforts, even if they do not make much money but try to build up the goodwill of their brand based on their long history. I can't see how this is a money making effort as the DE blade model is so competitive and low margin. But if they could figure a way to sell a high quality razor along with DE/SE blades that are so factory sharp they need replacing frequently then maybe they could revive an old product line and make a slim profit while not ceding this corner of the market.
 
Don't most soy boy hipsters have beards?

I got into DE shaving because I was at Wal-Mart and didn't want to spend $30 on Gillette Mach3 carts. So I went with the VDH TTO and picked up a pack of 5 blades for $3. At that time I thought a shiny metal razor and 10 blades for about $20 was a steal.

Who cares if it's a fad. Enjoy it.
 
First thing that comes to mind is that I do not think it is a fad. Its as much of a fad as driving an automobile.
Its as much of a fad as when many people who get a hip replacements. we can drive a horse and we can limp with a cane. We can grow a beard, or we can shave.
Years back before Gillette invented the double edge razor blade, many men had beards. It was difficult to keep straight razors sharp for the average person, so the barber made a living shaving others by his skill. Same as a butcher cutting meat to this day. Not everyone can butcher a cow and not everyone can sharpen a straight razor.
So I think its a choice not a fad. We can choose to buy shave cream out of a can and a cartridge razor and get a pretty good shave out of it. We can purchase an electric razor and get a pretty good shave out of it, i suppose. I never used one.
One important factor with wet shaving is the guy with sensitive skin. Someone who can not handle a cartridge razor all the time, and also some can not stand an electric razor due to sensitive skin. So the only other choice is to grow a beard like a hill billy or to wet shave with quality merchandise.
If anyone with respect for quality who sees a quality safety razor is going to say "hey i want one of those" " I want to try one of those"
I dont mean to contradict the OP. I think the OP made a very interesting observation. I just am voicing what came to mind about the situation.
I have to tell the fast story of always watching my grand pa shave and I always looked at his safety razors and I always was fascinated by them. It was a special time in my life being a little lad admiring my grand pa and always being fascinated by his razors in the medicine cabinet. The old boy didn't make his own lather though, but he did work two jobs most of life and I guess time was a factor. I like making lather, especially because of the fragrances. The older I get the more I like the great fragrances!
 
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