Thursday, February 28, 2013

The DSC Conspiracy

Obligatory inclusion of the brilliant Dollar Shave Club commercial:

LOVE that. Aside from the old Ortho Orthene Fire Ant Killer radio spots - it's probably the only commercial I have enjoyed over and over again. All commercials should be like that.

You can go to their site and look up all the details for yourself. See the different blades they offer, their ridiculously low prices, and their process of shipping it right to your mailbox.

About me:
I'm a beard guy. I like to keep the beard nice and thick. Sometimes long and crazy-looking.
I am a head-shaver. I usually shave my head 2-3 times a week depending upon how lazy I am, and how many special occasions there are. Also - my head is round is most spots, while faces are often flatter in a lot of ways. I hope I don't need to explain that. I shave in the shower, a really hot one, not in front of the sink. I don't know why everyone doesn't. I used Edge shave gel. Anyway - those factors might mean that I'll be looking for something different in a blade than you are.

With Dollar Shave Club I went with the 4X (see right). I thought the 6-blade seemed a little excessive, and since I went from the Mach 3 (3 blades) to the Fusion (5 blades), it wouldn't be that big of a deal. They sent me a handle and 4 heads for $6.  Since I got it, I've used the same blade 3 times. I wanted to give it a couple of runs before I drew any conclusions.

All I drew was blood.
Seriously - OW. I'll admit that I probably have some sensitive skin, but my head's been shaved HUNDREDS of times. It hasn't hurt that bad since some friends shaved my head in college with a disposable. I suffered from the classic "Shaver's Paradox" - that is, a shave that looks good, but feels AWFUL. The first shave felt great to the touch, but burned like hell. The second was uneventful except for a little nick, which I hadn't had in a while, and burned a little less. I thought - "Ok, cool, I'm getting used to the new blades". The third was on a Sunday and was probably the worst shave I've ever had. Tore me up, and left me bloody in places I hadn't bled before.

This 4X is not going to work. For a couple of reasons.
The head on it pivots too much. It was difficult to find the angle and keep it against the skin. Upon comparison to the Fusion blade, it seems to have the same range of motion- but the 4X wants to bend, and the Fusion doesn't. As a result, the Fusion kind of sticks to your head, and with the 4X I had to choke way up on it, and put a finger behind the blade to make it flush.
Also - there actually ISN'T an aloe strip. The marketing says it has one. After 3 uses, nothing on this blade has changed color or faded one bit. It feels like rubber or hard plastic. No wonder it hurt so bad.
It might actually be great for shaving faces, but it just doesn't do the trick for heads.
I admit to having been overly optimistic about this. Because of the great marketing, I wanted to like it more than it deserved to be liked. It was all sizzle and no steak.
Before I completely give up on DSC, I decided to upgrade. I have changed my settings to receive the Executive, their 6-blade version, and give it a try. It might actually be a closer match to the Gillette Fusion. I'll let you know how that turns out.

Here's my conspiracy theory:
Dollar Shave Club is actually a creation of Bic/Schick/Gillette to teach us a lesson. You think razor blades work pretty okay, but cost WAY too much? Well, here, then! Here's a discount version using cheaper material and lower quality! What's that you say - it doesn't do the trick like the leading commercial brands? DUH. Come on back to our newest 10-blade battery-powered model with a flashlight, GPS and nose-hair trimmer.

This morning, I actually used my wife's disposable HEB brand razor that she shaves her legs with. It's big and clunky and pink - and ended up being the EASIEST, BEST SHAVE I'VE EVER HAD. I see another change in my future.