HOW TO BE SURE YOU WILL RECEIVE YOUR ORDER FOR THE HOLIDAYS

As you all know, each and every one of our straight razors and strops are handmade. This is a process that takes a lot of work and time. We know that this season can be stressful when it comes to considering lead times and shipping times. To give you certainty that your orders will be received in time, please take note of the following dates and plan accordingly:

NOVEMBER 12, 2018

This will be the last day to place an order for built-to-order straight razors to guarantee shipments will be received before Christmas. For those of you keeping track, that’s next Monday! Orders for built-to-order razors placed after this date will be shipped in 2019. As always, there is no guaranteed delivery date for custom razors.

DECEMBER 17, 2018

This is the last day to place orders for any in-stock products and strops in time for a December 24th arrival. Orders placed after this date will be shipped in 2018.

If you are reluctant to make a decision before these cutoff dates, we do offer gift certificate codes and have an assortment of razors and shaving accessories in-stock at our brick-and-mortar location, Portland Shave Shop. While you’re at it, you can schedule a shave tutorial, sample soaps and aftershaves, learn how to strop, and even get a haircut or straight shave with one of our barbers to look extra sharp in time for your big holiday party!

Thanks for your support and we hope you all are enjoying a happy and healthy holiday season!

 

Yes, Barbers & Stylists Can Use Real Straight Razors

You may have heard that conventional straight razor use is illegal in professional barbershops and salons, or that they are somehow unsafe for you or your clients, or that only single-use blades are permitted. This is a MYTH perpetuated by decades of misinformation, and we’d like to set the record straight.

 A Portland Razor Co. Deluxe strop hangs from a vintage barber chair strop hook.

A Portland Razor Co. Deluxe strop hangs from a vintage barber chair strop hook.

State Board has the answer

Each state’s health authority lays out specific requirements for clean and safe practices in barbershops. We have checked rules & regs in many states including OR, CA, WA, CO, UT, PA, FL, TN, NY, NJ… In fact, the only state we have confirmed explicitly prohibits use of conventional straight razors is Rhode Island!

Now, obviously we are not lawyers, we are just advocates for a better world with a more sustainable culture. As such, give your local health authority a call. We have phoned different states and most often the response to, "Are reusable straight razors illegal to use in the shop?" is, "Who told you that? Of course it's fine to use those..."

Nevertheless, you may carry this myth with you as a barber or stylist. I think we create barriers like this because we are afraid of what the answer will be. The answer might restrict us further or reveal an answer for which we weren't prepared to digest. We are taught that striking out on our own is to pursue a freedom we couldn't find in a "regular" job, so we avoid rules and avoid authority so that we don't have to be on the hook for knowing the answer. I completely understand this and I could dedicate a full series of posts to the fear and doubt we are taught to expect in daring to be different. Maybe I will get around to that post at some point, but not today. In the meantime, call the board! They have the answers!

AND before we get too far off track, I want to show you the rules as they are written today in Oregon!

 Portland Razor Co.  “Barber Special” Straight Razor  in High-Level Barbicide.

Portland Razor Co. “Barber Special” Straight Razor in High-Level Barbicide.

Oregon's rules & Our Sanitization Process

The Oregon Health Licensing Office names razors specifically in its definition of sharp implements:

817-005-0005 Definitions. (30) ”Sharp edged or pointed, non-electrical tools and implements” means those items which may on occasion pierce or cut the skin and draw blood, including razors, cuticle nippers, cuticle pushers, nail clippers, tweezers, comedone extractors, shears, and metal nail files.

Oregon also makes an important distinction between grades of disinfectant:

(20) “High-level disinfectant” means a chemical agent, which has demonstrated tuberculocidal activity and is registered with the EPA.

Finally, they give instructions for proper sanitation:

817-010-0068 Disinfecting Non-Electrical Tools and Implements (3) For all tools and implements with sharp edges or points completely immerse in a high-level disinfectant used according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

In short, conventional straight razors are perfectly safe for you to use as long as they are properly sanitized between each client. We developed the following process to meet these requirements and guarantee that our razors are sharp and safe for each client. Every step should be performed before each use:

  1. Carefully rinse and dry the entire straight razor with a clean towel.
  2. Strop the razor.
  3. Immerse the razor and scales (closed) in an approved high-level disinfectant such as Barbicide Plus* for manufacturer’s recommended duration.
  4. Rinse and dry the razor with a clean towel, and place in a sealed, clean container for storage prior to use.
  5. Upon completion of the shave, repeat steps 1-4 to prepare for the next client.
  6. Because a strop is porous and cannot be sanitized, NEVER strop the razor without then completing the entire sanitation process. The same is true if the razor comes in contact with any other unsanitary surface.
  7. NEVER use the razor on multiple clients. For the safety of your clients, sanitize the razor before using it on your next client.

where did this myth come from?

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This brings us to an important point which may explain why conventional straight razors fell out of fashion in the first place. As our understanding of blood-born disease and sanitary practices expanded, health authorities updated code to keep clients and pracitioners safe in the 1980s and 1990s. Unfortunately, straight razor manufacturers had been on the decline since the early 1900s with the introduction of disposable razors to the market and never updated the straight razor's materials to withstand the disinfectants required by the new rules:

  1. Vintage Blades made of high carbon steel do not hold an edge in high-level disinfectant.
  2. Vintage Scales made of organic materials such as bone or horn or low-quality plastics also do not fare well in the high-level.

In this way, conventional razors were made impractical through legislation while still leaving the door open if improvements were made to the materials. When developing our Professional Line, we approached these rules and regulations to guide our material choices and were able to hatch a straight razor that was classic, non-disposable, and fully sanitizable!

If you have any doubts of the legality of using a conventional straight razor in your shop, we urge you to take a quick look through your local health authority's documentation. It is all available online and should clear things up!

 

P.S. If you feel your barber would benefit by implementing conventional straight razors in their practice, we hope you will share this article with them!

*All Portland Razor Co Professional Razors are made with non-reactive scales and are stable in Barbicide Plus.

What is Post-Shave Powder?

We seek to provide our customers with the highest-quality products and the knowledge and skills to use them. To that end, we are proud to introduce our new Executive Post-Shave Powder as part of our new Executive Shave Essentials line.

What is Post-Shave Powder?

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Shaving can be a pretty brutal process for your skin. Even a comfortable shave removes some dermis, exposing it to the elements and leaving it vulnerable to minor skin infections that cause razor burn and razor bumps. A quality aftershave goes a long way to soothe and protect the skin, but we can expect more from our shave. For those looking to make the most of their post-shave skincare routine, post-shave powder relieves irritation from shaving and leaves your skin feeling silky smooth.

We made our post-shave powder with high-quality, natural ingredients to provide a few key benefits for sensitive skin.

  • Kaolin clay creates that silky-smooth feeling by absorbing excess oils, mattifying the appearance of the skin, and drawing dirt out of the pores.
  • Allantoin powder is a natural anti-irritant and helps bolster your skin’s innate healing processes.
  • Aloe extract has natural anti-inflammatory properties to reduce irritation and redness from shaving.

The Problem with Talc

Talc or talcum powder is found in a multitude of products that control excess moisture or reduce friction, such as foot powder, barber powder, baby powder, and dry lubricants. In its natural form, talc is a mix of magnesium, silicon, and oxygen and sometimes asbestos due to frequent co-location in natural deposits of talc with asbestos ore, a known carcinogen and respiratory irritant. According to the American Cancer Society, all household products in the U.S. containing talc have been asbestos-free since the 1970s, and studies since then simply don’t have enough information to show a clear increase in the risk of cancer with the use of asbestos-free talc. The International Agency for Research on Cancer states that talc not containing asbestos is either “not classifiable as to carcinogenicity in humans,” or “possibly carcinogenic to humans.” In summary, there is insufficient data to say whether asbestos-free talc is cancer-causing, and anyone with concerns should simply avoid it… so, we did. The frustrating truth is that complete avoidance of toxins in our environment is just not possible. BUT we do believe in minimizing harm around here, so with this concept as a guide, we decided to avoid this potentially harmful mineral and used plant-derived, gentle ingredients instead.

How to Use the Executive Post-Shave Powder

  1. Shake a small amount of powder onto a clean towel.
  2. Pat or massage gently onto the shaved area.
  3. Let it rest for several minutes.
  4. Pat off excess with a soft, clean towel.
  5. Enjoy how crazy-smooth and cool your skin feels!

POST-SHAVE-POWDER SPECS:

Citrus Scent, Handmade in Portland, OR, 5.5 fl oz., Shatter-proof bottle, Crafted from high quality, natural ingredients, Formulated for smooth and comfortable shaves. Ingredients: Tapioca Starch, Kaolin Clay, Allantoin Powder, Essential Oil Blend, Aloe Extract

The executive post-shave powder relieves irritation and smooths skin without the use of talc, giving you worry-free relief from post shave irritation. 

SEPTEMBER IMPACT | MAKE A WISH OREGON

In lieu of offering our "Cancer Free" sale this year, we have opted to donate 15% of sales from the first week of September to The Make-A-Wish Foundation® of Oregon. The Make-A-Wish Foundation® of Oregon is an organization of thousands of volunteers, donors and supporters who work to grant life-changing wishes of children with critical illnesses living in Oregon and Clark County, Washington. Please read on below for Scott's personal reflections on this decision and what it means to have positive impact for a child battling a critical illness.

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Dear Reader,

This week, Portland Razor Company will be partnering with The Make-A-Wish Foundation® of Oregon, and donating 15% of all website sales to this great foundation, whose cause is near and dear to my heart. As some of you know, in 2015/2016 I battled cancer and survived with the help of my friends and family. I feel very fortunate to have had this experience but it was certainly the toughest thing I have ever endured. I know that surviving cancer is one of the greatest gifts I could and will ever receive, and it has become a goal in my life to give back.

Every year, thousands of children and their families deal with the same hardships that me and my family did in 2015. Between the physical, mental and emotional stress of battling a critical illness, it can be very difficult for these children to live as positively and as happily as they deserve. The Make-A-Wish Foundation® of Oregon plays a very important role in helping lift the spirits of these brave Wish Kids and their families. The simple act of granting a wish to a child can have an incredibly positive impact on their mental and physical well being. The Make-A-Wish Foundation® of Oregon is here to make sure that every Wish Kid is given the chance of happiness. Make-A-Wish has granted thousands of wishes and by donating to this cause, we hope to help grant the wishes of as many children as is possible.

I know first hand that having something to look forward to is important during the treatment of a critical illness. Minutes, hours, days, and months really start to add up when they are spent in a hospital bed. During my treatment, I dreamed of the day that I could once again ride my mountain bike and told myself that every minute of treatment was bringing me ever closer to this dream. One friend brought me some new parts to go on my mountain bike when I could ride it again, and a nurse found an old stationary pedaling machine in the hospital and brought it to my room. These little acts of kindness functioned as reminders that I had a life to look forward to after cancer and helped keep me going. Make A Wish helps give Wish Kids something to look forward to, and I believe that donating to this cause is one of the most effective ways we can help these children and their families.

Myself, my family, and Portland Razor Company all thank you for your continued support, and we wish good health for all of you and your loved ones!

Best,

Scott Miyako


How It Works

Portland Razor Co. will donate 15%  of all online sales during the first week of September 2018 in support of The Make-A-Wish Foundation® of Oregon. These donations will continue through the end of January. We hope to aid those in need as much as we can and thank you for your support.

If you would like to make a donation on your own accord, you can donate directly to Make-A-Wish Foundation® of Oregon here.

What is Aftershave?

We seek to provide our customers with the highest-quality products and the knowledge and skills to use them. To that end, we are proud to introduce our new Executive Aftershave Tonic & Aftershave Balm as part of our new Executive Shave Essentials line.

What is Aftershave?

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Shaving can be a pretty brutal process for your skin. Even a comfortable shave removes some dermis, exposing it to the elements and leaving it vulnerable to minor skin infections that cause razor burn and razor bumps. A quality aftershave soothes the skin post-shave and protects against infection, resulting in a more comfortable shave.

AFTERSHAVE TONIC VS. AFTERSHAVE BALM

Aftershave tonics come in liquid form and are sprayed or splashed onto the skin. These can go by many names "aftershave tonic", "aftershave splash" or just "aftershave". They are typically made with a high concentration of alcohol to disinfect and create a cooling sensation as they evaporate. However, too much alcohol can be irritating and dry out your skin. For this reason, we recommend choosing an aftershave tonic with a lower concentration of alcohol and following up with an aftershave balm to moisturize.

Now let's examine how an aftershave balm differs from an aftershave tonic. Aftershave balms look and feel more like lotion. They containt ingredients to protect and moisturize the skin post-shave. A balm will have less alcohol content and therefore be gentler and less drying on the skin. Some aftershave balms can be used alone, though we recommend using them in conjunction with a traditional aftershave tonic for best results.

THE EXECUTIVE AFTERSHAVE TONIC

Our warm & invigorating Executive Aftershave Tonic tones and protects skin from razor burn and irritation. Formulated using witch hazel, natural essential oils, a minimum amount of alcohol (as an emulsifier), and aloe extract, this aftershave tonic cleanses without the burn of traditional, alcohol-based aftershaves and is gentler for sensitive skin.

To use, shake well and dispense 3-4 sprays of the tonic onto palm. Rub hands together and apply to shaved area. Allow to evaporate.

THE EXECUTIVE AFTERSHAVE BALM

Our Executive Aftershave Balm tones and protects skin from razor burn and irritation. Formulated with witch hazel, aloe vera, essential oils, and vitamin E, this post-shave balm cleanses and protects without the burn of traditional, alcohol-based aftershaves and is better for sensitive skin.

To use, dispense dime-sized amount of product onto palm. Rub hands together and apply to shaved area. Remove any excess with a moist towel. For best results, we recommend applying the Executive Aftershave Balm after using the Tonic.

EXECUTIVE AFTERSHAVE TONIC SPECS:

Citrus Bay Scent Handmade in Portland, OR 3.3 oz. Crafted from high quality, natural ingredients Formulated to warm & invigorate while soothing and protecting the skin Spray pump nozzle for easy dispensing Shatter-proof bottle Ingredients: Water, Witch Hazel, SD Alcohol, Glycerin, Essential Oil Blend, Aloe Extract

EXECUTIVE AFTERSHAVE BALM SPECS:

Citrus Bay Scent Handmade in Porltand, OR 3.3 oz. Crafted from high quality, natural ingredients Formulated to warm & invigorate while soothing and protecting the skin Easy-pour, shatter-proof bottle Ingredients: Water, Witch Hazel, Aloe Vera Liquid, Citric Acid, Sodium Benzoate, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Sulfite, Avocado Oil, Rice Bran Oil, BTMS-50, Glycerin, Stearyl Alcohol, Oat Extract, DL Penthenol, Essential Oil Blend, Optiphen, Buckthorn Extract, Vitamin E

The Executive Aftershave Tonic & Aftershave Balm work together to soothe, tone, and protect skin post-shave, no matter what blade you’re using!