Friday, March 30, 2007

My Clean Face

I honestly thought I knew how to shave my face. How so very wrong I was.

Let me explain.

In my youth, I was fortunate enough to require shaving at a somewhat later age. My first shave was around age 14. My father was a proponent of the Philishave 3-headed electric razor, and so I followed suit.

The massage that an electric razor yields is quite soothing, and is a little treat that one gives himself in the morning. Being youthfully impatient this did not bode well for my future as a shaver, obviously. Little did I know this issue would only get worse.

The electric razor concept is tidy, unmessy, easy, all good stuff. However, it quickly became apparent that the flex-shave with micro sluts, and what not, are in fact too micro and totally inadequate for me.

You see, by the time I got into university, my beard had turned from the soft duvet of recent-puberty sprouts to all out barbed wire. I don’t have a particularly strong or heavy beard. My five o’clock shadow shows up around, well, five. But my face hair is so tough, it is akin to the crunchy side of Velcro™.

Whenever going to the barbershop for a shave I tell the poor man to use a fresh blade and by the time he gets to the other side of my face, the blade is well and truly shot to hell. It should really be replaced, or sharpened as the case may be, even before he is done.

Such lays out the ground work for years of wearing a beard while I was in school.

Many thought it was some kind of bold socio-political statement, rebelling against the establishment, sticking it to the Man, a cool look for the refractory student, be different, and a host of other nonsense that I never bothered to dispel.

A select few in my entourage knew the truth; I had simply grown to hate shaving.

So I sported a full beard for decades, and in all honesty, I look really good with a neatly trimmed beard.

Grooming a beard with a quality electric trimmer and the right comb attachment is sheer joy. The same lovely massage as a regular buzz-razor can be had, but none of the yanking and having to go over the same area six or seven dozen times. It is wonderful.

The problem is that you need to vacuum the apartment when you are done. Especially with my barbed wire, it snaps off all over the place. Not good, too messy.

Few years ago, more on a lark than anything else, I started shaving again. At first I would just use the trimmer on it’s shortest setting. This was inadequate to look clean, but I got by for a while. I couldn’t remember where I put my old Philishave, nor did I really look for it. I decided to try a different brand, and since Victor seemed so convinced about buying the company, I thought I’d buy one of his products. Also, the name Remington has a special significance for me, albeit completely unrelated to shaving.

The new improved TCT Micro-Screen Remington shave is, well, great for Victor and his baby face.

Me? I would have sold the fucking company.

The Remington does fair a little better with my sandpaper face than did my old Philishave, but not by much. It is tolerable. The massage is still there, and no mess. Almost a winner, but not quite.

I turned to ghastly wet shaving. I broke down and bought me the fantabulous new Mach-3 from Gillette and a couple of cans of that gel goo that came in the introductory package.

As one can guess, I’m going through these high-tech blades at an astounding rate, my neck looks like a Canadian snowbird* in Mexico and the goo oozing from the can is all over the washroom. Hell, that canned shit keeps oozing in the cupboard under the sink well after I’m done. I even take to shaving in the shower.

This is not good.

I’m thinking to myself, there’s no way that men, and a few women, have been shaving their face this way for centuries. It just does not compute.

Enter the gift: a badger-hair brush, a razor handle that will fit a Mach-3 blade, and a round chunk of shaving soap in a little stainless steel bowl, all this for a modicum of double-zero dollars.

Had I known, I would have begged and borrowed shaving soap a long time ago. The blades now last for three or four shaves, but I still can’t shave every day, my neck is just too raw. The soapy mess is easy to clean up since it is, well, soap! And the sploshing of lather upon my face is a little soothing. A little.

I have not yet achieved shaving nirvana, but I’m getting there. At least it’s not a chore to clean up and, even with the production of a good lather, it’s still a lot faster than electric ever was for me. I can be shaved and showered in under 7 minutes. The electric razor would chew up my time, and my face, at twice that rate.

I splurged the 12 dollars and got the Mach-3 with the little vibrator too. What joy this brings to my face, for the first 2 or 3 seconds. A massage this ain’t, but it does seem somewhat more effective than the regular non-woohoo handle.

This morning, as I surfed the net, in one of those don’t-ask-me-I-don’t-have-a-fucking-clue-how-I-got-there scenarios, I happen upon youtube.com and proper shaving techniques. I know this seems altogether unlikely, but it is no joke.

There is this guy out there, goes by the moniker mantic59 who put together this amazing educational series of videos on shaving. What he’s got, as of this date, is 21 videos in his collection that I have been studying throughout the morning.

I can’t wait to go shave now: I have got to try out the J-hook.

I’m so excited. I may even buy a straight-razor soon.



*Snowbird: A breed of Canadians who flock to the south, and warmer climes, to escape the Canadian winter for a while. Typically retirees, but in this case, I am referring to hapless vacationers determined to acquire a full on tan from ghostly-white skin, in their two weeks off, with the obvious cooked-lobster results.

2 Comments:

Blogger DeathSweep said...

Man you're brave. I have been using a Norelco TripleHeader since, well ever since I started to shave. That too was my Dad's preference. I've tried on more than one occasion to use different electric razors but compared to the good ole' Norelco...they don't hold a candle. I've tried blades, shit, I was lucky I didn't bleed to death. I don't know how it is that I can shave someone else ( a client ) without as much as a nick but when it comes to myself I can only hack away. Kudos to you for continuing to find better ways to rip your face apart! Real nice blog by the way.

June 08, 2007 10:19 AM  
Blogger Steve said...

Thanks for the good words. And mantic's tricks are really paying off, I can hardly believe it myself!

June 08, 2007 10:22 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home