What the heck is BBS? …and other vexing issues.

Friday was probably the worst shave I’ve had since I started this whole escapade.  I don’t know what happened, but my face got tore up.   It was not good; I was about ready to get a camera so the legions of fans of this blog could see the spectacle of blood they’ve all been hoping for, but luckily for me all bleeding stopped with a cold water wash.

Really, shaving that whole week was pretty lousy.  I’m using a new brand of blade from the mix, Astra.  Was it that I was getting over confident?  Was the blade too sharp or too dull for how I’d been shaving? Was it just a bad blade in the batch?  I don’t know, but all day Friday my face was tender and there was some noticeable red spots on my neck.

It served as an important reminder to me of something I’ve said all along: I have no idea what I’m doing.  Right now I’m the guy who’s read about how to water-ski without ever getting on a boat, and now is trying to get up for the first time.

A reminder of this also came while I was perusing some other shave blogs, and I noticed everyone saying “BBS.”  I had no idea what that acronym meant, and while that’s a normal feeling in DC where everything is acronymed I thought in this case I ought to figure out what they were talking about.  Turns out BBS means “baby butt smooth,” the pinnacle of shaving smoothness that can be obtained.

While I haven’t ever gotten that all around, I’ve had it in a few spots and boy does it feel smooth.  I guess that’s a good goal to work towards.  Today’s shave, also using Astra blades, is excellent.  Smooth, no bleeding, close, and my face feels great.  Two passes, one with the grain, re-lather, then one against.  Took extra time and paid close attention to the blade angle, trying to get as little tug as possible.  At times it felt like the razor wasn’t even in contact but rather the safety bar was simply wiping away the hair and lather.

Excellent.  Most excellent.

I also decided to spend all of about 20 seconds making this nifty side-by-side comparisons:

Nifty side-by-side comparison.

Nifty side-by-side comparison.

Sharks are my favorite blade thus far, and MACH 3 is what I used to use, so this is a good comparison for me.  100 blades translates to roughly 100 weeks of shaving, a new blade each week for just shy of two years.  With 8 cartridges I could shave for a year or so without too much trouble, and might be able to stretch it longer if I really wanted too, but the blades would be pretty dull by the time I was done with them.

While I might end up spending more money as it becomes a hobby than I would when it was just a chore, it’s nice to remind myself that it’s a hobby grounded in a good financial basis.  While cheaper cartridges could be probably found, especially if I went with off brand or Dollar Shave Club, it’s nice to see that great shaves can be had for less than 10 cents a blade (9.9 cents actually, I ain’t taking statistics for nothing). 


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