There is no doubt that wet shaving attracts a certain tribe of people. As unique as they all are, I believe there are certain fundamentals that align and attract people to wet shaving. Through my wet shaving journey, I have been cataloging certain characteristics of those people.
Core Values are the beliefs of a person or company that often dictate their actions and behaviors. That being said, I thought I would take a stab at trying to determine some of the core values that align wet shavers.
Wet shavers are often frugal. They like a deal and probably prefer spending less, rather than purchasing the most expensive item for ego or prestige. The cost savings of wet shaving aspect draws many people to this awesome method of hair removal. Paying .30 cents for a blade is much more attractive than $3.50.
The one interesting thing is that wet shavers will almost always invest in quality. I know this sort of contradicts the frugality core value, but wet shavers know where to invest. This is because they know that the tools will last a long time if taken care of properly.
I see this investment in quality on the consumer and the maker side of things. From the consumer point of view, many people have no problem investing in a safety razor or straight razor that will last their lifetime. These high standards are also upheld on the maker side of things. There are many amazing artisans making fantastic shave soaps and cream with top notch ingredients, as well as beautiful brushes, razors, etc. In the wet shaving world quality and longevity is really important.
Many wet shavers are keen on recyclability and are concerned about the long-term effects of the consumables they use. This is why many choose a safety razor because the blades have no plastic and are 100% recyclable.
We all like speed in efficiency, but there are some things that are better when done slow and with great intention and wet shaving is no exception. Whether you are shaving your face, head, legs or underarms, taking one’s time is important to the wet shaver of today. Intentionality can be found in preparation, in building a beautiful lather, and taking one’s time during the shave. Wet shavers don’t mind taking the time, because this makes shaving “Zen Like” for many.
Wet shavers love to share knowledge, tips, tricks and even gear. It’s not uncommon for shavers to trade samples, do a PIF (Pay it forward), pass along gear to other wet shavers. For example, I am part of a private Facebook group [Canadian Wet-Shavers] and I have never seen a more welcoming and knowledgeable group of people. This group has newbies, enthusiasts, aficionados, vendors and makers and serves as a great place to geek out about wet shaving.
Wet shavers love and appreciate the legacy of an old tool that has lasted for generations. Whether it’s an antique straight razor, safety razor or brush, wet shavers appreciate tools and things that were made to last. Many also draw parallels of shaving to loved ones. Imagine the stories these pieces could tell if they could talk! The scents of certain soaps or aftershaves can instantly bring back fond memories. Call it nostalgia or call it legacy, it’s an important value indeed.
One trait that I have noticed is that many wet shavers are collectors. Of course anyone who is in the acquisition phase of their journey knows exactly what I mean, but this doesn’t always have to only pertain to shaving gear. Wet shavers often have a collection of something. These collections could include watches, coins, knives, antiques, stamps, etc. Next time you meet a wet shaver be sure to ask them what else they collect, as you might be surprised!
Some people have the ability to focus their intensity on one meaningful task or hobby and they do it with great intention. I’m not sure what a psychologist would call this, but I call it embracing a path to Mastery. We all know that person that when they get into something, they REALLY get into it. I may be that guy… ok, I’m totally that guy.
Whether it’s frugality, quality, recyclability, intentionality, community, nostalgia, focused intensity, or the love of collecting things, there is a common thread that connects like-minded people to participate in art of wet shaving. I’m sure there are many more core values of a wet shaver, but these were the ones that resonated with me based on my personal observations. Here’s to many great shaves!