May 29, 2005
This fine, lazy Sunday I had nothing but leisure time, so I shaved with the funky little Dovo Shavette — it’s kind of a training bra cut throat razor, for guys wanting to try a straight razor on the cheap. The $20 Shavette mimics a real straight razor by using half of a double-edge blade for the cutting edge, so you take a regular DE blade (I used a Merkur), snap it in half, and insert one of the halves into the Shavette.
I’m not nearly as comfortable shaving with a straight razor as I am with a safety razor, but the Shavette is pretty easy to get the hang of. A few nick-happy shaves to begin with, but you pick it up pretty fast.
And once you do, oh man. What a close shave this thing gives! It’s just a cheap stamped metal piece of crap, but give it a good blade (Dovo is Merkur’s parent company, and their DE blades are especially smooth and forgiving, which is even more important when you’re dealing with a naked blade than it is in a safety razor) and this thing can shave circles around any DE I’ve got.
I bought a Shavette because I was in Vegas recently and got a barbershop shave at the Truefitt and Hill shop at Caesar’s, and it was by far the closest shave I’ve ever gotten. The razor this gentleman, this Jedi, this ARTIST used? A stinkin’ $20 Shavette! In the right hands, it can outshave just about anything out there. I would never have believed it until I got the shave of my life with one.
Couple of tips, courtesy of the T’n’H master barber who shaved me:
1. Pacific Shave Oil (www.pacificshaving.com) applied on the wet face before you lather does wonders in letting the Shavette’s blade glide over your face without irritation. The little $6.95 bottle lasts over 100 shaves, they say. I don’t notice any benefit when using this stuff with a DE shave, but it makes all the difference when I shave with the Dovo. Why, I have no idea.
2. Shave with NO PRESSURE when you use the Shavette. I know I say that for every razor, but this time I really, really mean it. Bear down with a naked blade and you will draw blood. Lots of it. A Shavette will almost wipe the whiskers off your face like a brush without any downward pressure whatsoever — just guide it over the curves of your skin as if it was a butterfly just coming to rest on your face. A light touch and a good blade like the Merkur and you’ll be astonished by the shave this el-cheapo training bra cut throat delivers.
Will I shave with the Shavette every day? No — it takes me at least twice as long as when I use a DE, and while I do enjoy my morning shave, I don’t have the time nor the mental focus every morning to swipe a naked blade over my face. Plus, I do love using a good DE — it has its charms and advantages too. But every now and then I love whipping the Shavette out to see how close I can get to that mythical Truefitt and Hill barbershop shave.