Product Update | A Bittersweet Farewell to The Classic Line and The Artisan Line

TL;DR: We are saying goodbye to the Classic and Artisan razors - the Cascade Steel will take it from here so we may decrease lead times ASAP! We’ll release limited edition runs of the models we’re retiring. Sign-up for email updates to be the first to know when these limited edition razors are released!

In order to better serve you all, we must retire our Classic and Artisan line razors on a built-to-order basis. The Cascade Steels will take their place as our flagship razor line. We made this decision based on abundant positive customer feedback of the Cascade Steels and upon reevaluation of our own stated mission: to provide the tools and knowledge you need to get your best shave and to make the last razor you'll ever need.

We are simplifying our product offerings in an effort to increase efficiency and refocus attention toward making razors built to last. As many of you already know (and have probably experienced first-hand!), we’ve carried a backorder since starting Portland Razor Co. 5 years ago. This has always been a point of discomfort for us. We are not willing to compromise on quality but also need to focus on fulfilling orders in a timely manner. In fact, we believe heaps of gratitude are owed to those of you reading this who stuck out the lead time! The decision to simplify was a tough one, and the end of the Classic and Artisan lines is bitter-sweet, as all endings tend to be.

We’ve worked hard over the past 5 years to make straight razors that delight our customers and learned a ton along the way. Incremental improvements in our designs, materials, and processes have culminated in the Cascade Steel Line. The razors are sharper and are more durable and easier to maintain than anything else on the market. They are even easy to sanitize for use in barbershops and salons! For these reasons, we feel the Cascade Steel line straight razors are best suited to meet the needs of professionals and home shavers alike.

Now, we do still have materials on hand to produce a final run of our Classic and Artisan razors, of course. And you all know we would never let good material go to waste, so we will celebrate these departing models with a Farewell Tour! In the coming months, we will create limited edition in-stocks of all the models to be retired as a last hurrah! We will send out notifications to our email subscribers 24-48 hours before we announce these limited edition razors on our social media channels.

Of course there is one very important component to this that we would be remiss not to address here; if you already have a Classic or Artisan razor on order, do not fret! Your order will be fulfilled as planned!

If you have any questions or concerns regarding the changes, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us. As always, we’d love to hear from you.

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?

non talc post shave powder blog-8129.JPG

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. 

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?

aftershave blog-2.JPG

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! 

What is Pre-Shave Conditioner?

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 Pre-Shave Conditioner as part of our new Executive Shave Essentials line.

portland razor co pre shave conditioner

What is Pre-Shave Conditioner?

Pre-shave conditioners are chemically and functionally different from pre-shave oils. Pre-shave oils primarily add lubricity to your shave, and help to get more performance out of cheap shave creams and soaps. Since our Executive Shave Cream already contains high levels of quality, natural oils for lubrication, we decided to go a different route: use a pre-shave conditioner to soften the hair and extend the life of the razor's edge. Our Executive Pre-Shave Conditioner has a lower pH (higher acidity) than pre-shave oils. This quality of our Pre-Shave Conditioner softens hair and makes the hair easier to cut. Because hairs will be softer, less pressure may be used during shaving and the blade will experience less wear and tear. For our first pre-shave conditioner, we have added eucalyptus and mint essential oils to create a soothing, cooling sensation while you prep for your shave.

How to Use the Executive Pre-Shave Conditioner

The best time to shave is always after a shower, when the hair is hydrated and warm; a hot, moist towel is a great substitute if you don't want to shower. While your hair is hydrated and gently towel-dried:

  1. Dispense a dime-sized amount of conditioner onto your palm.
  2. Rub your hands together and massage into the hair.
  3. You can remove any excess with moist towel.
  4. Allow essential oil fragrance to bloom and cool the skin for a soothing, aromatic shaving experience.
  5. Lather shave soap/shave cream as usual.

PRE-SHAVE CONDITIONER SPECS:

Eucalyptus Mint Scent, Handmade in Portland, OR, 3.3 oz., Crafted from high quality, natural ingredients, formulated for smooth and comfortable shaves, Easy-pour, shatter-proof bottle. Ingredients: Water, Cetearyl Alcohol, Betaine, Coco-Glucoside, Shea Butter, Olive Oil, Sunflower Oil, Coconut Oil, Phenoxyethanol, Jojoba Oil, Aloe Leave Juice Powder, Xanthan Gum, Essential Oil Blend, Citric Acid, Lactic Acid, Benzoic Acid, Dehydroacetic Acid, Vitamin E

The Executive Pre-Shave Conditioner softens hair, extending the life of the razor's edge and soothes and cools the skin for a more comfortable traditional wet shave, no matter what blade you’re using! 

Source: https://www.portlandrazorco.com/shave-esse...

Introducing the Professional Line

We are excited to introduce the Portland Razor Co. Professional Line Straight Razors! The Professional Line Straight Razors can be fully sanitized due to their unique blade and scales materials, improvements which make them the ultimate shaving tool for professional barbers and stylists. We believe that conventional straight razors not only out-perform disposable razors in many categories, they also offer a waste-free solution to practitioners in search of green alternatives.

The Problem

" --In reality, conventional straight razors can be used in most states with proper sanitary technique."

For decades, disposable razors have been commonplace in shops across the United States. Used properly, disposable blades are perfectly safe and sanitary. That said, blade changes take time, pose an added risk to the professional handling them, often barbers will have to throw out unused blades because they are simply not sharp, and they end up in our landfills as hazardous waste. Students are often told in barber school that there is no alternative, that conventional straight razor use is illegal or unsafe. In reality, conventional straight razors can be used in most states with proper sanitary technique. (We have checked rules & regs in many states including OR, CA, WA, PA, FL, TN, NY, NJ… In fact, the only state we have confirmed prohibits Conventional Straight Razor Use is Rhode Island!)

Even knowing the proper sanitary technique is not enough, unfortunately. Existing razor manufacturers never changed their design or materials to keep up with evolving requirements. For example, all sharp implements which may come in contact with the skin must be fully immersible in a high-level disinfectant. This means the whole razor, scales and all, must be fully immersed to be sanitized. Products like Barbicide do a very good job of destroying organic matter, which makes them great for killing contagions (yay!) and bad for plastics, wood, horn… everything traditionally used to make razor scales. It’s also brutal on most blade steels, causing rust or deformation of the edge.

With these problems in mind, we were ready to get into the shop and find the solution.

professional line straight razors-7411.JPG

Design Process

Our first and most obvious task was to find materials that are easily sanitized. Our Cascade Steel has the perfect chemistry and edge-retention characteristics to survive prolonged exposure to Barbicide with little to no change in sharpness or surface finish. It’s also easier to clean and maintain than carbon steel blades(such as our O1 razors from our Classic and Artisan lines) without sacrificing cutting performance.

With the blade accounted for, the scales posed our next challenge. We wanted something durable, non-reactive with Barbicide, and easy to work with. This meant metal was out of the question, being either too flimsy or too heavy for our purposes. We settled on resin-based materials, being widely available, lightweight, and easier to work with. After exhaustive testing, we went with a high-impact, chemical-resistant fiberglass and resin composite.

In thinking of how professionals tend to put more mileage on their tools than hobbyists, we decided to upgrade the rest of the hardware while we were at it. Stainless pins and washers replaced the usual brass, making the razor more durable overall.

Once we found all the appropriate materials, we began vigorously testing them in a real-world environment: Portland Shave Shop. Each of our barbers was equipped with a prototype razor, instructed on its care and use, and given license to test them however they saw fit.

It makes sense that a razor designed for use on one’s own face might not be ideal for shaving others. The barbers would work with the razors for a few weeks and come back to us with their feedback, and we would take the razors into the shop for modifications. We started from scratch more than a few times, deciding that we needed two different razors to tackle most jobs in the barbershop. The resulting designs were worth the effort. They come with some obvious changes, a few less-so: we extended the jimps and made them barely deeper to improve grip, and the overall length of the razors was shortened so they would fit in sanitation jars from common manufacturers. The taper of the tang and balance point of the blade were altered to make the razor more comfortable in pinch grips and when held back-handed, grips more common in the barbershop than in the bathroom at home.

Performance

The barbers testing our razors had great feedback. The first thing usually had to do with tactile feedback, or how they could feel the hair and skin by holding the razor. Picture a disposable-blade razor for a moment; a thin piece of metal (the blade) is inserted into a metal or plastic housing with several moving parts, and is fastened together with pins, springs, or magnets. This creates several degrees of separation between the hair being cut and the hand of the barber. All that plastic and hardware absorbs the force of the hair against the blade and it never makes it to the barber’s hand! By contrast, conventional razors are a single piece of steel with only one degree of separation between the client's hair and the barber's hand. This results in an immediate difference in how much the barber can feel on the skin through the razor, allowing them to make adjustments on the fly more naturally than with a disposable blade. This has resulted in fewer nicks, closer shaves, and greater overall comfort for the client.

Second, conventional razors tend to be less aggressive. While some may see this as a drawback, most find that it allows them to give a closer shave that is less irritating to the client’s skin. Our theory is this: you want a razor that is sharp enough to cut the hair with no resistance, but not so sharp that it removes more than the topmost layer of dead skin. The blade should pass effortlessly through hair but glide over the surface of the skin without irritating it.

Third was ease of maintenance. Cleanup is a cinch thanks to the stainless blade, as the whole razor can be rinsed under running water without fear of rust. Sanitation is also simple as with any other sharp in a barber’s toolkit. Because the blade steel and scales materials are non-reactive, they can be fully immersed in Barbicide Plus--or other high-level disinfectants--without the material deteriorating or harming performance. One drawback of course is the need to strop, but this is far outweighed by the benefits of a non-disposable blade. Once the technique is mastered, stropping can be done at the chair while the client is enjoying a hot towel or while your next razor is resting in disinfectant, allowing you to multitask.

On the topic of stropping: we find the edge is durable enough to forego stropping between every client if the blade is only used for neck shaves. Basic lineups don’t seem to put as much wear on the blade, so barbers in busy shops need not take the few extra minutes between clients to strop; only sanitizing is necessary.

Finally, there’s nothing to throw away. We care about our planet and our impact on it, so finding ways to reduce waste is important to us. Switching to conventional straight razors at Portland Shave Shop has allowed us to do away with disposable razors entirely, meaning we both generate less waste and help our barbers save time and money.

1.75-inch Professional Straight Razor // "The Lineup"

With a shorter blade and a familiar profile, this razor is ideal for line ups and detailed razor work around the ear, or in creative cuts. The blade still has enough weight behind it for a full face shave, but if you are a specialist and are shaving faces every day, we recommend the 2-½” model.

2.5-inch Professional Straight Razor // Barber Special

This razor most strongly resembles the vintage blades used in barbershops for over 100 years, and brings traditional barbering hurdling into the 21st century. Longer than the Line Up razor, this blade is for barbers whose practice is built around the traditional straight shave. The added surface area allows you to make more strokes before wiping the blade, and the added weight carries the blade through whiskers with less effort.

specs

  • Handmade in Portland, OR
  • 5/8 Round Point Straight Razor
  • 2-1/2" cutting edge
  • Can be fully submerged in high-level disinfectant
  • Durable scales
  • Stainless pins and washers
  • Lower and Upper Jimps for Added Grip and Control
  • Quarter-Hollow Ground Stainless Cascade Steel
  • Hardened to 62 HRC
  • Shave-Ready: Hand-Honed to 12K grit and Stropped Before Shipping
  • Pinned by Hand