When I was a kid I had a cigar box with two butterfly safety razors that belonged to my grandpa. I remember twisting and untwisting the butterfly mechanism and pretending to shave – not completely understanding how the razors actually worked. After all, they didn’t look anything like the blue plastic disposables that my dad used.
It’s surreal to think that my grandpa was probably my age when he bought those razors and used them for the first time. He may have stopped into the drugstore on his way home from work or he might have bought them from his barber after a haircut. I’ll never know, of course. But either way, it is almost certain that he bought them from someone who knew his name and shook his hand on his way out the door.
In some ways traditional wet shaving supplies were far more available to earlier generations than they are today. Every drugstore had a selection of safety razors, DE blades, brushes and shaving creams. But the variety of products that we have available today at specialty shaving stores and online retailers would have been unfathomable to my grandfather’s generation.
Brick-and-mortar wet shaving stores are a niche market, typically found only in large cities. If you are new to wet shaving it’s worth driving out of your way to explore a retail store. Shaving is a sensory experience. The weight and feel of the razor handle, the smell of the soap, and the feel of the brush’s bristles are all distinctly personal preferences. But more importantly, wet shaving retailers really want to be helpful…it’s a labor of love.
Brick and Mortar Stores
Razor Emporium, Phoenix
Royal Shave, Costa Mesa
West Coast Shaving, Chino
The Superior Shave, Jacksonville
Kailua General Store, Kailua
Q Brothers, Chicago
Maggard Razors, Adrian
Dr. Pennskin Shave Co, New York
Pasteur Pharmacy, New York
Straight Razor Designs, Medina [Update: closed due to retirement]
Portland Shave Shop, Portland
Mini Moustachery, Orem
Tink’s Place, Roanoke
Art of Shaving, 150 locations nationwide
One More Option
[Update: Shave Valet ceased operation due to relocation]
This list is focused on US shaving stores, but there is one Canadian option that is too good not to mention. If you live in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, you have a unique option. Shave Valet is a mobile wet shaving supply company. They have free delivery in the Saskatoon area (the prices are very reasonable) and they even offer classes for beginners. I give them credit for building a creative and unique retail model from the ground up and educating people on getting a better shave (which is also the mission of this blog!)
Help Me Update
Please let me know in the comments if you know a US wet shaving store that is not on this list (I’m sure there are plenty). Please make sure the store carries a full range of shaving supplies (razors, brushes, soaps, etc). There are a lot of stores with soaps and lotions, but it’s tough to find true wet shaving stores. I’ll do my best to keep this list up-to-date. I can also be reached via email at saveyourshave (at) gmail (dot) com
The purpose of this blog is to share how double-edge shaving can help men get better shaves and clearer skin. Here are some additional posts you may find interesting:
Intro to Wet Shaving – A primer on how DE shaving helps give better shaves and clearer skin
Shaving Technique – A “how-to” guide for shaving with a safety razor
DE Shaving Cost Comparison – Analysis comparing the cost of DE shaving vs cartridge shaving (spoiler: DE razors are cheaper than dirt!)
Gear for Beginners – The low-cost tools that introduced me to DE shaving
Razor Aggressiveness Basics – An explanation of what makes a razor “mild” with recommendations for beginning DE shavers