While the world drives forward in search of innovation, more discerning types are finding themselves looking back to ages past in search of comfort, class or simply a better way of doing things. Competition has overcomplicated so much of our world, and the trends, techniques and craftsmanship that our parents and grandparents were familiar with are beginning to become popular once again.
A major return to traditional methods is taking place in men's grooming. For the past few decades, shaving has been regarded as a necessary evil to keep a man's face stubble free, or to tame a beard or moustache. Today, it's seen more favourably as an indulgent ritual of self-care, and men are looking for products and services that fit this ethos. It sometimes feels like razor manufacturers are engaged in an arms race, competing to see who can offer the most blades and the most impressive extra features, from built in moisturising gels to vibrating handles. This means the cost of shaving is shooting up, while the quality of the shave doesn’t improve. It’s actually the case that more blades doesn’t get a closer shave, and it can actually cause more skin irritation, leading to rashes, cuts and possibly ingrown hairs. Classic doubled edged safety razors are enjoying a resurgence in popularity – while they’re a little more dangerous than modern razors, with practice you can enjoy a closer, smoother shave. They’re also cheaper, over all: the cost of buying a new blade for a retro razor is far less than buying a packet of new cartridges for a modern razor handle. For those wishing to complete the vintage shaving experience, it offers the scope to shop for essentials and accessories like shaving soap and badger hair brushes.
This is all good news - it means that despite their increasingly busy schedules, people are taking the time to keep up their appearance, and this commitment has lead to the creation of an industry that favours a slowed-down, methodical approach to grooming. In this age of speed and convenience, mindful activities are more important than ever. Faster isn't always better!