April 24, 2006

Shaving

This is the tale of a beard. It is not a long tale. For that matter it is a whisker or two short of being too long. Cue polite laughter at tired joke. It is one of the privileges of being a father. Bad puns told repeatedly at family events. If you read the manual you’ll see that it is next to the line that says you don’t have to take out the trash until you have been asked more than two times in an hour.

I am currently cleanshaven. It is a state that I enjoy but not one that lasts as I have a beard that is quite active. It is one of the perks of having darke features. My shadow shows early and often. I can grow a full beard in around three weeks or so. It is not really of much value to me.

I suppose that if I really wanted to adjust my look it is something that I could do with a certain degree of ease, but it still isn't all that valauble. One of these days I may discover a way to make money from it, but for now I am still looking.

In the interim I'll continue to grow a beard around twice a year or so and then shave it when I get bored with it.

Those of you who haven't grown bored with this and are still reading along are probably wondering when this might get interesting. More importantly you are probably wondering if I am going to share any insight about shaving. Well, be glad that you hung out because I am and I will.

Most of the time I use an electric razor. I have tried Remingtons, Brauns and a host of other brands, but in general I prefer a Norelco.


I like it because it fits comfortably in my hand, gives a closer shave and frankly I tend to be be brand loyal in my purchases. On average my electric razors seem to last about four years or so, which is why I recently found myself laying down some cold hard cash for this bad boy.

Thus far it has done a solid job of keeping my face boyishly fresh in appearance. But as good as it is, it still doesn't match the ability of a standard razor. In that particular category I generally lean towards the Mach 3. I use the plain old Mach 3, but I understand that the turbo is not all that bad.

However, the best shave I have ever received by far is with a straight razor.

I am guessing that most of the readers have seen pictures of a straight razor. If you watch older movies it is a common sight to see a man getting a shave in a barbershop. However, if for some reason you are not familiar with it here is a little info you can use.



Method of Use

"Straight razors usually consist of a hollow-ground knife blade sharpened on one edge. The blade rotates on its tang between two protective pieces called scales; when folded into the scales, the blade is protected from accidental damage. Scales are made of various materials including plastic and wood; they were once made of ivory, but this has been discontinued.

To be effective, a straight razor must be extremely sharp. Before every use, one must strop the blade on linen and then on leather to align and prepare it. The blade must also be sharpened regularly by honing with a special stone. Strops prepared with pastes containing fine grit are also used for honing. A face's worth of thick hair may require multiple stroppings for one shave, but a blade is usually sharpened only two or three times a year.

In the heyday of straight razor shaving, wealthy users maintained a weekly "rotation" of seven razors to reduce wear on any one piece. Straight razors were often sold in special boxes of seven. However, many users owned only one razor.

Modern Use

Straight razors are still manufactured. Dovo, of Solingen, Germany, and Thiers-Issard of France are two of the most well-known European manufacturers. Feather Safety Razor Co. Ltd. of Osaka, Japan makes a razor with the same form as a traditional straight, but featuring a disposable blade."

I have had the pleasure of going to the barber for this type of shave on a number of occasions. I loved it. There is something quite nice and invigorating about this. For that matter I enjoyed this so much that I am playing around with the idea of purchasing my own straight razor.

There are a couple of things holding me up. One, is that due to the time factor I am not sure that I want to spend the money. One doesn't rush while shaving like this, at least not unless you want to bleed like a stuck pig.

2 comments:

Val said...

sigh... the least you could have done after all that bragging about this 'active' beard of yours, woulda been to post a picture. but NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOo... no pictures. ::: shrugging ::: be that way! :)

Jack's Shack said...

Actually Val there is a pic floating around this blog, but I don't remember where.