I've always used an electric razor since I was old enough to shave. I can probably credit that to its ease of use and illusion of efficiency. The preparation for a shave was nonexistent. I simply cracked open the the case, turned the razor on, and got down to business. Clean up was simple too. I washed out the head and perched it atop its charger if the battery was running low (which was rare since it held a nice charge). Things seemed pretty good, so why the switch? Funny enough, the catalyst for my change was after I had moved states and forgot my charger at my girlfriend's apartment. Feeling the need for something different and a general dissatisfaction for my shaving routine, I decided to suck it up and go the more classic route: the safety razor.
Before I get into my new routine and opinion of it, I'll highlight some explicit ways in which an electric shaver and safety razor differ.
The first, perhaps most obvious difference is the amount of time it takes to shave with the two different methods. The electric shaver is extremely quick which makes it a go-to choice for many (including myself up until this point). It doesn't require shaving cream or any preparation of any kind. The safety razor on the other hand utilizes a wet shave approach which is much more time consuming (if done properly) and isn't as easy to perform. The benefits however are great. The safety razor will give you a much closer shave and will leave your skin in much better condition. Saftey razors, unlike electric shavers, also have the potential to last you a lifetime as you'll only need to replace the very inexpensive blade if you purchase a well-built body.
The basic equipment you'll need to begin is a razor, razor blades, shaving lather, and a shaving brush (preferably made from badger fur). If you're at all curious about anything related to the art of traditional shaving from process to history, YouTube user mantic59 should be your first stop. He is regarded among many around the YouTube community to be the grandfather you never had to teach you everything you want to know about traditional shaving techniques. When I began shaving with the safety razor, my time spent shaving drastically increased. It took a lot more effort and was certainly harder than my quick electric razor. So why am I sticking with it? Because it simply has the better result. I'm doubtful the electric technology could match what this simple device could achieve. And aside from the cleanness of the shave, my skin looks, feels, and smells much better than before thanks to the scented shaving lather I use. I would encourage any techie still using an electric shaver to give a safety razor a try. I recommend stopping in a local specialist shop to check out some of the products and get some more information on the techniques. The Art of Shaving is a nation-wide chain that carries quality products and has knowledgable staff that could guide you in the right direction. For New Yorkers, I was quite happy with my service at The New York Shaving Company which sells affordable beginners kits for people just starting out (like me) and they also ship from their e-store.
I'd be curious to hear who else has put down their electric shaver for good and has gone the more traditional route. Did you struggle as much as I did to make the change? Was it ultimately worth it or do you regret ever trying to fix what wasn't broken?