Monday, June 06, 2011

Old School Shave

So anyone who has known me for a while knows I've got this nostalgia thing going. I love old movies, good or bad, I love old radio shows, I like to wear my vintage hat now and then. I took it to such an extreme degree while I was writing Death Wave (which takes place during the Great Depression) that I even switched from regular shaving cream in a can to old-style mug shaving soap with a brush (and never went back) with old-school Bay Rum for aftershave and old-style Brylcreem on my hair on those occasions when I would wear my vintage fedora.

The thing I didn't change was my razor. I've been using a Gilette Mach 3 since I was sent a free sample handle in the mail years ago and liked the shave I got with it. But when I had to cut back on my expenses, I could no longer afford the replacement blades, which are getting a lot more expensive. I tried switching to a cheaper generic drugstore alternative, but it just magnified the frustration I'd been feeling with the Mach 3.

What frustration? When I let my beard grow for a few days, I get a crap shave with it, because the whiskers clog up the spaces between the blades. And all too often, I miss spots that I don't notice until later in the day, and when I get in a hurry, I cut myself with it. I also tend to overuse the blades, stretching them out way past the time I should, because the replacements are so expensive, meaning worse shaves and more cuts.

So between the frustration and the expense, I've been mulling for a while switching to an old-school safety razor like my dad used when I was a kid. You sometimes see specialty boutiques carrying new ones, but they're always really expensive. But last week, I finally decided to look some up on eBay and see how much an old, used one would cost.

After doing some shopping around and losing my first bid, I won my second for amazingly little. Even with shipping, it was only around 5 dollars, and a pack of 5 blades at Med-X is $1.50. By comparison, a four pack of Mach 3 blades is somewhere in the neighborhood of eight bucks, so
I'm already saving money. (Are there any journalists cringing at the style inconsistencies in this paragraph?)

I got the razor in the mail today and just tried it out. Don't know how I'll feel in the long run, but after the first shave, I like it. I hadn't shaved in several days, but there was no problems with clogging; the entire shave went smoothly (so to speak). And it feels as if there's more feedback with the single blade. You can really feel the blade interacting with the whiskers, which I like. I understand that cuts are probably more likely with this razor, especially given my inexperience with it, but at the same time, I have to be more mindful of the way I'm shaving, take my time and be more deliberate, which should help me avoid cuts and missed spots. All in all, I like the result.

I've got a couple of big announcements to make, but I'll wait, since something is still cooking, so to speak. I'll space them out over the next couple of days.

1 comment:

Marc Carlson said...

If you ever get interested, the barber at Fontana does straight razor shaves by appointment. Very nice.