Monday was a banner day in my quest to relearn shaving: for the first time since I started doing home mixed, brush and lather shaving, I managed to make a foam that was pretty much perfect. Not too wet, not too dry, just rich, silky, and foamy.
FOAM (there was more, but I used it)!
I was so happy I ran into the other room to show Amanda. And by show, I mean smear some on her while she was doing her makeup (just on her hand though, I’m not a jerk).
Shaving cream and I don’t have a long history together. I figured out about ten years ago that I really didn’t need it. I didn’t feel a lot different, it’s about impossible to cut yourself whether you use it or not, and it costs money. I pretty much never got razor burn, so a splash of water on my face would be the most I used unless for some reason somebody gave me a can.
That changed with DE shaving. Technically, I don’t know how it would go if I tried doing it with just water, as I’ve not tried it. As I get more comfortable shaving this way I might give it a try just to see what happens, and if I cut my lips off or something I’ll be sure to post about it for the amusement of the internet.
In the meanwhile, I’m rediscovering shaving cream. Shortly after I got my razor I picked up a tiny travel can of Barbasol and that lasted me a few weeks. It wasn’t terrible by any means, and I didn’t feel a strong need to use anything else.
But with friends singing the praises of home lathering, and Amanda looking for a Christmas gift for me, it seemed like a good time to try it out. I got a badger hair brush and a bar of actual shaving soap, and for the last ten days I’ve been trying it out.
I don’t know if it actually makes for a better shave in the sense of better skin, or cleaner cuts. And I wouldn’t say that it is as big of an improvement as DE shaving was over cartridges. But, it absolutely makes for a better shave experience.
First, it just smells better. My current soap is Bayrum, and man does it smell nice. Just this morning my wife announced during breakfast “you smell manly.” Can’t go wrong with that, and since I’ve started the bathroom where I shave has developed a nice smell all day long. Second, there’s something to be said to building a new skill and seeing results. My first attempts were, to be mild, not great. Now, while I’m still building the skill, I’m starting to see some good results and that’s making me want to be better. And third, it does feel better. Cream from a can is fine, but home lather has a nice warmth to it, and seems to just sit a bit better on the face. Is it a huge difference? No, but it’s noticeable.
Parallel to my razor blade test, I’ll also be trying out different lathers. The CVS by my house sells a few simple shaving soaps and powders, which are dirt cheap compared to a lot of what’s out there. I expect that you get what you pay for, but I’ll give it a try and see how it works. Might as well, if it’s cheap and it works great then it’s attractive to me.