It's been estimated that the average man spends about 45 days of his life shaving, adding up to roughly 20,000 shaves in a lifetime. Any way you slice it, it's a lot of time spent looking in the mirror with a razor in hand.
Enter shaving subscriptions — an easy and reliable way to have razor blades and shaving accessories delivered to your home on a regular basis, so you can claim back at least some of the time spent on a necessary activity while also ensuring you always have fresh blades.
"A lot of people are using [razor subscription services] because they're able to make and distribute their product at a more reasonable rate than what you'd likely pay going into a store like Target and buying a super-expensive package of razor blades,” says Michael Beckadic, a master barber who owns House of Handsome Barbershop and Boutique in Pittsburgh, ranked among the top luxury barbershops in the world by Maxim magazine.
"You get to pick when you want [the refills] to be there, so you'll never run out of blades,” he says. “Even the [high-end razors] will be at a more reasonable price point."
There are several subscription services to consider, ranging from a familiar drugstore cartridge brand to higher-end blades, shave oils and creams that come at a heftier price.
In addition to deciding how luxe you want to go with the products themselves, also consider how often you shave, so you can adjust your subscription to refill at the right time.
If you shave once a week, the blade will obviously last longer than if you shave every day, says Beckadic, and you can schedule your refills to arrive less frequently.
The texture and density of the hair on your face also affects how quickly a blade will dull. And making sure to dry the blade after use — with a towel, blow dryer or even a piece of toilet paper — will extend its life, says Beckadic.
"You can tell by the tug or pull of the blade if it's time to change it,” says John Rivera, a master barber who owns mobile shop The NY Barber, which serves customers around New York City and Long Island.
As a general rule: a razor blade is usually good for five to seven shaves before it needs to be replaced, he says.
Rivera recommends applying a pre-shave oil to your skin before lathering on shaving cream to help improve a blade's glide.