We have a simple mission at Leaf Shave: to make the best razor for every body. We’re all different, you and I, and we all have different relationships with our hair and the things we choose to do with it. Stories come from those differences. And I love meeting folks who’ve found a better way to shave with Leaf. In this inaugural post for our new Interview in The Greenhouse series, we’re going to hear one of those stories.
Hi Josh, could you introduce yourself?
My name is Josh Perkins.
I live in Connecticut, having just moved from the West Coast to the East Coast, and I’m a very, very happy Leaf user. I’m passionate about the Company, and I love the product.
The razors not only make my skin feel phenomenal, but my wallet is a little fuller and we’re keeping plastic out of the environment.
So just like me, you’re a head shaver. Can you tell me a little about when you first started?
I started shaving my head about 10 years ago, but I’ve been bald for about 12 years. You know, I didn’t want to admit it to myself for a couple of years. It took a little bit to be honest with myself.
When I first started shaving, it was with a cartridge. I think we all do this, we start out by imitating what our parents are doing. I used electrics and I used cartridge razors because that’s what I saw my dad use growing up. That’s what we were surrounded with at home.
Tell me a little bit about your relationship with your hair, or how grooming it is important to you.
You know, I always viewed a well-groomed person, someone who was well kempt, as someone maintaining their image. That was important to me. My dad was a bald-guy, and he maintained himself as a well-groomed person, and I felt when I started shaving my head that I needed to maintain a clean shave to maintain a clean appearance too.
When did you start thinking about safety razors?
After my move to the East Coast, I started learning more about safety razors. I had horrific experiences with cartridges for a long while. Really uncomfortable shaves, very irritated skin. I started looking for alternatives to using a cartridge or an electric razor. And that’s how I found safety razors and the world of wet-shaving, or traditional shaving.
My first experience with traditional wet-shaving was daunting. So tedious. It was me trying to figure out the right angle, on the back of my head, and trying to understand that “oh, if I pull up this way, I might cut myself…” and then yeah, I cut myself.
And then I had to wait for that to heal to try again.
I went between two extremes. From irritated skin, to straight up cut skin. I learned really quickly that there is a skill to traditional shaving which I didn’t have. And it was going to be a learning experience that takes time. And honestly, time is something I just didn’t have in the morning.
Oh yeah, I know exactly what it’s like to struggle with irritation and problems using modern razors, as well as the challenging learning curve of old school safety razors. I’m curious, given all of that, what do you think continues to drive people to safety razors as alternatives to the modern shaving options out there today?
I think there are a lot of reasons people seek out other options. The drive could be financially motivated - because it is cheaper! Or it could be problem / solution oriented where they identify that they’re struggling with using regular razors and start looking for alternative options.
They might start looking at different shave creams, or be drawn to trying brushes, and then find themselves opening up to all of these different types of razors out there.
I had never even seen a safety razor, other than what my grandpa used when I was a little kid. I didn’t have any conception that these were still being made until I stumbled on one in a local grocery store.
Okay, so you stumbled upon a traditional safety razor. How did that lead you to Leaf?
It started with about 3 months of trial and error with traditional safety razors. I just couldn’t get over the pain and discomfort of having a cut scalp all of the time.
It was my wife, actually, who said “Hey Josh, you’ve been using cartridges your whole life, why don’t you stop buying double-edge razors and find something that will be more comfortable, more approachable for you. Something that is more like those cartridges.”
And that thing she was describing was The Leaf.
I was 100% skeptical. I didn’t believe the product was going to be as good as everyone claimed it was, I thought it was gimmicky. I didn’t think that it was going to work.
Tell me how you really feel why don’t you! Ahh, so you clearly got over that skepticism. What was that first experience like after all those months of trying traditional safety razors?
So, I got The Leaf razor. I was surprised by how pretty it was, I’m not going to lie. I was shocked at how well built it was, and the engineering behind it. But I didn’t buy it to look at. I didn’t buy it to just sit on a shelf, I bought it to use it. So right away I loaded blades into it, and ran upstairs - I took my wife with me too.
I set up for my first shave, you know, really kind of mocking it like this isn't going to work, look at this weird thing.
And ten minutes later, I didn’t have any cuts. I didn’t have any issues.
And it was the closest shave I had ever experienced.
Not to mention, I could actually touch my scalp afterward. I had my wife run her hand on my head after the shave. To date no one had been able to touch my head after a shave because it had always been so uncomfortable. And I didn’t know there was another way to live!
I was shocked.
Wow, okay so your first experience with The Leaf obviously went well. What happened after that?
I had to give it another couple of days. I thought, this could easily be a fluke maybe tomorrow is going to be rougher. So I got up the next morning, still amazing that I had a really close shave from the day before and I did it all a second time.
Again, flawless. It was consistent! Every day for the next three days I shaved and it was consistently the same. It was close, comfortable, and I didn’t have problems.
I called my dad. I said, “You’ve been doing it wrong.”
He showed me how to shave, but now it was my turn to help him. He was having all these same problems. Irritated skin, ingrown hairs, blotches. It was all coming from his cartridge that he showed *me* to use.
And then, something happened. The next day I went to shave and my Leaf razor was gone. It had disappeared and I didn’t know what had happened.
My wife had commandeered the Leaf. She reached around the shower curtain and said, simply, “This is awesome. This is the way everybody should be shaving.”
Follow along for Parts 2 and 3 with Josh. we’re going to do a live shave in-studio with him and get his take on what sets The Leaf apart from other razors. Josh was an early-tester of The Twig and we’re going to hear his thoughts on that little powerhouse as well