7 Tips to Cut the Cost of Shaving by 50 Percent or More

From cheaper blades to better maintenance, there are simple things you can do to slice the cost of a close shave.

The cost of getting a close shave is soaring. Razors and blades have gotten so expensive that you’ll often see them either behind glass or affixed with an alarm at the store.

Fortunately, you can fight back against the high cost of a clean shave. Here are some tips to for getting a smooth shave at a great price.

Buy generic

Know why Gillette advertises so heavily? That’s the only way to convince you to spend $3.50 to buy something that costs a fraction of that to make. Don’t do it.

As with so many generic products, you will do just fine purchasing the no-name version of the razor blade.

Switch to a safety razor

The upfront cost of a traditional safety razor is much higher than its plastic counterpart. But the savings come later, when you purchase blade refills at less than 50 cents a pop.

A new safety razor can set you back $25 and up, depending on how fancy you like it. But there’s no reason to buy new. Look at a thrift shop or yard sale, and you’ll probably find one for less than a buck.

Have your razors delivered

Some services deliver discounted razors to your doorstep. Amazon’s private-label brand — Solimo — is one option. Dollar Shave Club is another. But you might be able to get razors even cheaper through other services, such as Dorco.

Buy men’s razors — even if you are a woman

One tip for women from blogger Edward Antrobus is to never purchase the versions of razors marketed to women.

On a recent shopping trip, I did a side-by-side comparison of men’s and women’s three-blade disposable razors: the Mach3 for men’s and Venus for women’s. There were two differences. The first was color. The Mach3 was a manly black while the Venus is pink. The other difference was the end of the handle. The Venus has a wider spot at the bottom, like a thumb print. And the three-pack of women’s razors costs $6 more.

Do the same comparison yourself wherever you shop and see if pretty pink is costing you a pretty penny.

Wet your whiskers

Splashing the hair with hot water prior to shaving helps to soften it. This extends the life of your blade by lessening the friction. It also makes for a closer shave.

Baby your blades

After shaving, clean your blades with an old toothbrush. Dry the razor after every use, preferably with a blow-dryer to get between the blades. Moisture is the enemy of any sharp edge. Using rubbing alcohol will also eliminate moisture, as well as sanitize your blades.

You can also keep your blades from oxidizing by coating them with baby or mineral oil. Other coatings/treatments we’ve seen mentioned include grape seed oil, almond oil, vinegar or even what the professionals use to keep their blades sanitary and corrosion-free: Barbicide.

Keep sharpening your razor

Keep your blades sharp with a new take on an old-school idea: a strop.

Grab a pair of blue jeans and run the razor along the fabric in the opposite direction you shave. Do this about 20 or so times. The rough fabric sharpens the blade. You can see this idea in action in this YouTube video. The author claims he uses the same disposable blade for more than six months.

What tricks have you found to save on shaving? Let us know on our Facebook page.

Stacy Johnson contributed to this report.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

Angela Brandt
Angela Brandt
I began writing in high school by interviewing rock bands in my hometown of Ventura, Calif. Since then, I've written for many music magazines and websites. After studying journalism at San Diego ... More

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