Men: The reason your family wants you to start wet shaving

Wet shaving has a lot of benefits: smoother shaves, less irritation, lower cost, lower environmental impact.  But there is one major reason that few people have considered.  The reason is selfless and altruistic, but also a little self-serving at the same time.   It is the real reason your family wants to your start wet shaving – whether they know it or not.

Wet shaving makes gift giving easier for your family and friends.  Much easier.  Many men can be difficult to buy for.  Our hobbies tend to be expensive, we don’t wear a lot of jewelry or accessories, and candles/lotions/etc don’t typically show up on our wish lists (I’m generalizing here).  More importantly, many of us just buy everything we want throughout the year.

Think back to your last few gift-giving holidays.  Did you receive the same few things year after year (a box of golf balls, bottle of cologne, polo shirt, gift card to Best Buy)?  If you find receiving gifts a little boring think about how the giver feels.  Every giver wants to see the spark of someone opening something new, exciting and unexpected.  But they don’t get to experience that when we are in a “gifting rut”.

Wet shaving opens an entirely new category of gifts for people to give and receive.  Not only do you get to enjoy the benefits of a great shave, but your family and friends have a new opportunity to give you something you will truly enjoy and appreciate.  Here are four key reasons that wet shaving supplies are perfect gifts and why your family will appreciate your new hobby.

There is something at every price point

Not everyone needs/wants to spend the same amount of money on a gift.  Your niece probably won’t spend as much money on you as your spouse.  It’s easy to come up with a great gift if your budget is $1,000, but what if it is $10, $20 or $50.  Consider all of the gifts at different price points that wet shaving opens up:

(Links go to an example on Amazon)

$5-10 stocking stuffers

  • Razor Blade Sampler
  • Alum Block

$10-25 gifts

  • Artisan Shaving Soap
  • Quality Pre-Shave Oil
  • Shaving Bowl
  • Aftershave

$50-$100 gifts

  • High-Quality Razor
  • Razor & Brush Set
  • Ultra-Luxury Shaving Cream

It’s experiential

Science shows that people get more enjoyment out of experiences rather than material things.  For instance, people tend to enjoy a vacation, concert or movie more than a watch, phone or clothing.  But one challenge is that experiences can be expensive and difficult to give as gifts.

While a puck of artisan shaving soap may not be an “experience”, the act of shaving itself is.  People are increasingly choosing slower, more ritualistic practices like wet shaving, as I recently wrote about in Becoming our Grandfathers.  Wet shaving gifts become part of the overall experience, allowing someone to enjoy the gift for weeks, months or even years.

Its memorable

Science also shows that memories are strongly linked to smells.  Giving a gift like a great smelling soap, cream, or aftershave gives the opportunity to cement that experience in the recipient’s mind through their sense of smell.  Men can only own so many bottles of cologne, but there are endless combinations of excellent-smelling wet shaving products.

For my last birthday my parents gave me a tub of Art of Shaving Bergamot & Neroli shaving cream.  Its a woody and citrus scent that is quite a bit different than my other shaving creams.  In a rotation it may last me a year or more.  Years from now I won’t remember the brand, the package or the name of the shaving cream.  But there is a good chance I will remember the scent and the fact that it was a gift from my parents.

It’s consumable

This point is simple but important.  We all have enough clutter in our lives.  We have enough novelty socks, coffee mugs, picture frames and coffee-table books.  Everyone appreciates a great gift that doesn’t add to the clutter of their home.  Many wet shaving gifts are consumable so the recipient can get a lot of joy out of them without having to clear out the junk down the road.

So now what?

Taking up the art of wet shaving will make gift-giving occasions more enjoyable for you and the ones around you.  You get the experience of a great shave and they get to give a gift that you truly appreciate.  But nobody will give you these things if you aren’t already wet shaving.  Which is why I am writing this post now – 5 months before many of the gift-giving holidays.

My advice is to start now.  Look at the resources on my blog, Sharpologist, Badger & Blade and YouTube.  Look at some of the gear on my Gear for Beginners page.  Find some basic tools with high ratings and buy them wherever you want – there are a lot of great retailers online and in brick and mortar stores.  Don’t go hog wild on expensive equipment – get some basics, focus on technique and see if you enjoy wet shaving.

It is almost certain that you will be hooked.  A few months from now you’ll have a wish list of great razors, brushes, oils, soaps and balms.  It will be one of the easiest and most enjoyable gift-giving seasons ever – both for you and your loved ones.

Further reading

Intro to Wet Shaving – A primer on how DE shaving helps give better shaves and clearer skin

Shaving Technique – A “how-to” guide for shaving with a safety razor

DE Shaving Cost Comparison – Analysis comparing the cost of DE shaving vs cartridge shaving (spoiler: DE razors are cheaper than dirt!)

Gear for Beginners – The low-cost tools that introduced me to DE shaving

Razor Aggressiveness Basics – An explanation of what makes a razor “mild” with recommendations for beginning DE shavers

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