There is in this century a marketing angle with a following that seems to sell the beard as talisman of masculinity. This way lies beard shampoo. And, beard oil. Sadly, these are both, as they say nowadays, "a thing."
There is also a marketing angle with a following that sells shaving as a ritual of the male grooming sort. So a blade holder is a "grooming tool." It's all kind of kinky in a Freudian way. Best not think about it.
I pass over the cut-throat razor and the misnamed double-edge razor (only presenting one edge at a time to the whiskers, it should be called the double-single-edge razor) as dangerous and inefficient.
I used to wonder whether the feeling of a closer shave after using a twin-blade razor was merely subjective. In the early days of twin-blade technology, the advertisements accompanied by animation (the animation clip begins at 0:40, and yeah, dig those 60s hairdos and side-whiskers!), claimed that "the first blade pulls the whisker away from your face, and the second blade cuts it off" or something like that. Since Inquiring Minds Need to Know, I gold-panned a spoonful of whiskers out of my shaving water one day and examined them under the microscope. Because Science! Lo and behold! The whiskers did NOT appear to have been sliced twice as in the animation. The whiskers did appear to have been partially cut by the first blade and cut off by the second. Nice.
By now civilization has fallen to such an extent that it is possible to buy razor cartridges with six blades. Maybe more, I didn't look. I think all of the more-than-three-blade cartridges fit on a pivoting head razor. What the point of the pivot is, I don't know. Close shave? Doesn't perform. Comfortable shave? I tried a four-blade pivot-head razor for a week, once. It was a bloody mess.
The mythologization and fetishization of shaving has been accompanied by a drastic increase in the cost.
You can basically pay as much as you want.
I choose to try to keep my shaving cost under a dollar a week. That's getting harder.
Some day the Schick Xtreme 3 disposables at Sam's Club are going to go over $1.25 per piece and I'm probably going to:
- Go with the needs-a-shave look and cut my hair and face once a week with the #1 attachment on the clipper.