Monday, April 23, 2012

Razor Sharp

For a long time I've looked for a better way to shave. Like most guys I dreaded doing it, but I was never one of those lucky ones who could grow out a good looking beard, so it became a necessary evil. Its not like I really dreaded the act, its just that I could never get results that I was happy with. Then about 5 years ago I discovered traditional wet shaving. I bought a badger brush, a safety razor with double edge blades and some nice smelling soaps and creams. I began to really enjoy it and after a little learning curve I was getting better shaves than I'd ever had in my life. I joined a couple of shaving forums on the web (yes, there are communities of people who are really into shaving). I learned a lot, tried some different soaps, creams and aftershaves and started reading about guys who use a straight razor instead of a safety razor. These guys talked about the smoothest, closest shaves that anyone can imagine and though the idea of using a "cutthroat" scared me a bit, I was mighty curious.

About 2 years ago, I figured I'd learned enough about technique to buy one and give it a try. I ended up buying 2 different straight razors and a cheap leather strop. The learning curve for a straight razor is very steep, and as you can imagine the mistakes you make tend to hurt. Over the next couple of years I tried them on and off, maybe giving a shave or two at a time but never really committing to it, as I still wasn't good enough to get a good result. I'd put them down for a couple of months and then pick them up on an odd sunday night when I had some time to play. In the meantime, I'd gotten a little lazy with my safety razor and didn't want to put in the effort to do the 4 pass shave that was required to get the ideal shave that I was looking for.

Last month I picked up my straight razor again, sharpened it and this time I got a great shave. I did two passes with the straight razor and finished the tough parts (my chin and upper lip) with the safety razor. The results were fantastic. I decided that it was time to commit to the straight razor, and since then I haven't shaved with anything else. I bought a few new aftershaves and creams. I refined my routine and my technique and now I am getting great shaves almost every day. I still have some bad days where I get a few nicks, but I haven't cut myself really badly in a few weeks and there are no scars! And even though my wife likes to tease me about my "hobby" of shaving, I'm pretty sure she enjoys both the smooth face and the nice scents I've been wearing. 

Occasionally I'm going to post my reviews of some of the products I use in case any of my readers are interested. If anything, it'll break the monotony of my running and dieting posts.  

No comments:

Post a Comment