On Shaving


I woke up today, looked in the mirror and groaned, it was a shaving day. I don’t have fast growing facial hair so I can get away with shaving every second day unless I’m meeting with customers. So today my morning routine will be a little bit longer. Not big on shaving.

Here’s how I perform this disagreeable task; exit shower, apply gel, lather up, shave, rub face with remains of lather, splash with really cold water to cool the burn, check in mirror for any stragglers and start my day. There are several useful web pages and YouTube videos available… take your pick. This step-by-step guide on How to Shave is decent.

You can avoid some of this by going electric. I’ve tried both the triple rotary head model and the reciprocating models. Found both to leave my face feeling irritated and more often than not, a few missed hairs.

Here are some personal observations after 32 years of shaving…

Foam is OK, gel is far superior though. Not because it’s any better, there is just something magical when a gel turns into a rich creamy foam. Almost makes shaving fun… almost.

Shaving with the grain doesn’t always work and razor burn is a fact of life. Get used to it, learn to live with it. It goes away after a few minutes, usually long forgotten by the time you get dressed.

I use one of those vibrating razors with a five blade cartridge. Works OK. I remember the two bladed version and they worked OK too. There was a three and four bladed version too so who knows how far they’ll go. The latest craze is a razor with some kind of ball joint.

From of Iron & Oak site:

Today’s typical razor vibrates, has up to five blades, comes with an aloe vera strip and, what the hell, even a microcomb to “guide” your stubble to the blades. Because, you know, you need to guide your stubble when you shave.

of Iron & Oak is very cynical when it comes to today’s razor. I think the real reason for the lube strip is to guilt you into buying another cartridge when the strip turns white. That usually happens after half a dozen shaves. Guess I’m a bit cynical too.

And then there’s the one that got away…

Every now and then you miss a hair, usually one of the darker ones. My wife has one of those X15 mirrors that lets you look deep into each pore and I’ll use it to look for stragglers. Even that can fail though. You usually find this one solitary hair on your way to work or an important meeting. Your finger will involuntarily seek it out all day long. It sometimes seems that the person sitting across the meeting table is focusing on it, wondering what else you missed in your daily hygiene routine.

There’s always the beard option. A really good way to avoid shaving altogether but it’s not for everyone.


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