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March 12, 2014



I save hundreds of dollars a year by having a beard! Actually, part of the reason I have a beard is I get terrible razor burn on my neck. I've never found a way around it. Evidently its a common problem among African American men and I basically have "Afro-hair" - from my Sicilian heritage (one of my great grandparents or great-great grandparents was likely Northern African).

Anyhow, my issue is in-grown hairs - the hair pattern is such that if they're cut too short they grow sideways back into the skin. Its a mess. Right now I keep a relative trim beard and use a beard trimmer to shave my neck. I don't get razor burn because it doesn't cut too close to my skin.


I would like to grow an ironic beard but I hear that's too trendy right now.


Jeff.....You should grow a "Black Beard The Pirate" beard & wear a bandana. Sell some of your watches & get a harley hog.


Jonny: This seems to be the go-to electric for African American men: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Wahl-Cord-Cordless-Shaver-/281269783715?pt=US_Shaving_Hair_Removal&hash=item417cfc4ca3

By the way, all the way back in college, I had an African American roommate (and was friends with guys who actually told me I should join the Black Student Union even though I'm white!). They used a product that was a powder you mixed with water and put on the skin----then removed with a shaving spatula. They said it was good for ingrown hairs. I think the stuff was called "Magic" or something. Anyway, they didn't have to shave as often when using this stuff. So I decided to give it a try----figured I'd like to skip a few days shaving too. Problem was that my skin wasn't conditioned for it. I wish I had photos----I ended up with red burns all over my face and neck from the chemicals in that stuff! I certainly drew a few laughs from my friends.


Thanks, Angelo - I'm going to bookmark that razor in case I ever go clean shaven again.

Jeff, true irony is never trendy, which means that either ironic beards aren't ironic, or they aren't trendy.

LA doesn't seem like a very beard-oriented place. You might have to move to Portland, OR.

Tom Welch

Try "wet shaving" and save $$$

Tom Welch

Try http://www.artofmanliness.com/2008/01/04/how-to-shave-like-your-grandpa/


Save even more, buy a Norelco electric shaver...


Huesby: I use an electric most of the time, for convenience. But regardless of what the commercials say, electrics can never cut as close as a blade.


When did the blade people start thinking their stuff is made out of gold?
For the record good old fashioned double edge razor blades for safety razors are 100 for about $11 on amazon.
A razor? $6
I've been using this kind all of my life, and it works just fine.
I say ditch the modern overpriced stuff and get yourself a real razor.
Of course there's always a straight razor for those that know what they're doing, but maintenance is a pain.


I have to say----when I shaved everyday with razors and shaving cream, the single edge "Bic Metal" was my favorite. Worked great. It was a disposable. You could use it with any shaving cream and hot water----gave a great shave. But since around 1999, I've been using Wahl electrics. Sometimes, if I want a really close shave, I'll take a blade out but most days, a quick going over with the electric suffices.


For cheap, here's another vote for double edge blades. You can get decent ones for 10 cents each, and I get a week's worth of shaves out of one. If it's a decent brand.

Unfortunately "decent" depends on your razor and your face, but companies like West Coast Shaving and others will sell sample packs featuring several different choices, to help you find one that works for you. They're not the only ones who do this but the're the only ones I remember at the moment.

That said, the problem with a double edge, for me, is that it is slow. You never press with a double edge, just keep going over your face gently until it's smooth enough to suit you. This takes time. That's why I've exiled my double edge to weekends for the most part.

Weekdays I use a Dorco four-blade razor. They make 2, 3, 4, and 6 blade razors at less than that other company-- what's it's name? It sells vastly overpriced razors to support its main business of buying ads and sponsoring athletes-- anyway, Dorco is a good deal less expensive and works very well for me. With theirs you can also buy the 3, 4, and 6 blade heads and find which one you like best, because any of them will snap to any of their handles.

Shaving "cream" makes more difference to me than the razor blade does. The most common, foam in a can, works worst for me. Gel in a can is a bit better. Brushless shaving cream in a tube better still. (A couple stores in my area, including Walmart, sell Cremo, which is just fine.) Best of all, for me, is either shaving soap whipped up in a mug with a brush (very cheap stuff) or brush-type shaving cream in a tube. Proraso from Italy is kind of expensive, but you use a dab about the size of a peanut and whip it up to lather on your face with a shaving brush, so it lasts a long time. I think it works better because whipping it up with the brush allows a bit more time for the beard to soak, but regardless, this is what works best for me.

As for ingrown hairs, I myself have never suffered from them. From what I've read, though, there are two razors a bit less trouble than others in this way.

The first is the double edge again. What causes razor bumps is shaving close and having the hair curl back into the skin, which depends on (1)having curly hair and (2) shaving close. You can't do anything about having curly hair, but the double edge razor takes many passes to give a really close shave. Just don't do so many passes.

The second possibility is the Bump Fighter, a special razor expressly designed not to shave too closely. Therefore it reduces the chance of razor bumps.

I doubt either of these will help much if you're REALLY prone to razor bumps, but in marginal cases they might do the trick.

One more thing about the Bump Fighter. The replaceable head version of this razor (it also comes in a disposable version) accepts the old Trac II blades. I haven't heard much good about actual Gillette Trac II, but the knock-offs from Persona work pretty well for me and cost a lot less.

Tom Welch

I second West Coast Shaving!

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