Like most men, I started shaving as a teenager. At that point in time, I had watched my Dad use an old-fashioned safety razor, which seemed a little scary. Besides, there were all these new-fangled disposable razors with two blades. Two! Surely they’d give you a better shave than one blade. My Dad rolled his eyes at this, telling me it couldn’t possibly be better than what he had. Of course, I ignored his advice and bought a razor called the Personna Double Two.

Meanwhile, I needed to choose a shaving cream, and this commercial hit the air:

When a beautiful woman tells you to, “Take it off, take it all off” I was sold in sixty seconds.

Of course, no gorgeous woman appeared in the bathroom while I lathered my face with Noxzema. Teenage boys are so gullible when it comes to a pretty face. (So are adult men, but that’s a story for another day.)

Eventually, I settled on the Gillette Sensor in my thirties, and used that razor and matching blades for more than a decade. Blades were cheap, you could throw them away, and I didn’t have to handle the sharp stuff my Dad used.

And then… the blades suddenly got expensive. Really expensive. Suddenly two blades weren’t enough. There were blades with three. Then four. Then five.

I didn’t understand why a pack of blades, which were basically a few tiny pieces of stainless steel surrounded by plastic, were all of a sudden costing more than twenty bucks.

So one Christmas, my wife, apparently tired of hearing me complain about the price of razor blades, bought me an old-school safety razor. I’d seen ads about this, and wondered … did my Dad know something I didn’t?

The razor came with a trial pack of blades, so on the day after Christmas I lathered up, gently placed the blade in the razor, and ever so slowly began to shave. I was terrified I’d rip myself to shreds, but incredibly, the razor glided across my face without so much as a nick. By the time I was done it was the best shave ever.

I hit the internet for more info and found a few websites on shaving with a safety razor. Apparently, this was becoming a trend. And I was already doing it wrong. Shaving cream dries out your skin… I needed shaving soap. So I ordered some stuff called Proraso off eBay which makes your skin actually tingle. Then I learned I needed a brush made from a badger’s tail, so I got one of those. Finally, I read that those new to safety razors needed to find the perfect blade, and there was a company called “Try A Blade” which sent a sampler of the 10 most popular blades. I tried them all. Some left me with a five o’clock shadow by noon. One had me looking like I’d gone 10 rounds with an angry cat. Then the perfect blade revealed itself: the Personna Lab Blue. So named because it’s used in hospitals to shave patients before surgery. And a bonus … they are made in the USA!!! I found them on Amazon, expecting them to be expensive.

Get this … one hundred blades for eleven bucks. Eleven cents a blade. And you get about four shaves per blade. 

Goodbye, Gillette.

Guys, our fathers knew something we didn’t. Ladies, if the man in your life has a face like sandpaper by dinnertime, buy him a safety razor. 

Now when I’m in the drug store, I can’t help but laugh when I pass the razor blade section and see the outrageous prices.

By the way, I guess this old school method of shaving is catching on, since those Personna blades have gone up in price. Now they’re about fifteen cents each.

I think I can afford it.

Randy Tatano is the author of more than 20 novels, writing political thrillers under the pen name Nick Harlow, and romantic comedies as Nic Tatano. He spent 30 years working in television news as a local affiliate reporter and network field producer. The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the policy or position of 1819 News. To comment, please send an email with your name and contact information to

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