Wednesday, 6 July 2011

On Shaving...

Like most of us on this side of the gender divide, I shave daily (well, daily when it's a work-day, and most days in addition, unless I'm being really slothful!).

The first razor I ever owned was a Christmas present from my Grandmother when I was thirteen, if I recall correctly; seems on reflection that my old man copped out and ran for cover (I was apparently one of those 'difficult' brats to teach, lol), and Gran decided that it would be safer all round if I used a Philishave twin-head rechargable electric razor for a first razor. It came in a massive plastic presentation box, with a manual that wouldn't have looked out of place in the Apollo Moon Capsule, and the admonishment to "Actually start using it, young man!". It was a hulking great brute of a thing, compared to modern electric razor offerings.

Over time, I gradually weaned myself off the electric razors (although I still have a battery-operated one for those emergencies and hurried mornings!), and went wet-shave on cartridge razors (Gillette Mach 3 Turbo, being the last ones I standardised upon); then, I got into the re-enactment hobby, and wondered what all the hooplah was about regarding Double Edged Safety Razors, and recalled an old Staff Sergeant in my Company in the Territorial Army mentioning in passing that if the Russians had come over the IGB (Inner German Border) and kicked off Big Mess Three, then all the Army would have supplied were DE blades for shaving.

This got me wondering what the Army issued, what my old man used, and so on, and shortened story, here I am, using a Gillette Slim Safety Razor that was made before I was born, and trying blades from a sampler pack from Connaught Shaving. They're quite cheap compared to a pack of cartridge blades, and you might be pleasantly surprised. But do, please, either read up on, or get yourself taught, the proper way to use a Double-Edged Safety Razor before trying it on your own - you'll find it an all-together more pleasant affair if you do!

Anyhow, previously, I'd tried to use Wilkinson Sword DE blades, but despite massive amounts of care and caution, those ripped my face to bits darn near every time, so never again on those; I've also used Israeli Personna blades (found in a branch of Asda over here), which were far better than the Wilkinson face-rippers, but until I visited Badger and Brush, a portal, forum, and resource for Mens' Shaving, didn't know about the sampler packs that are availble from certain um... retail "Heshtablishments" was how I heard it pronounced once... a good source of these sampler packs is Connaught Shaving (link above), and what a useful place I've found it to be!

I decided upon their 'Popular' sampler pack, containing Astra Superior Platinum (5), Crystal Platinum (10), Feather New Hi-Stainless (10), Gillette 7 o’clock Sharp Edge (5), Personna Platinum Chrome (10), Shark Super Chrome, Wilkinson Double Edge (5), for a total of fifty blades; I won't be bothering with the Wilkinson Double Edge, obviously.

I've used a few of the Gillette 7 O'Clocks, and found them to be not at all bad, then tried my first Japanese 'Feather' blade this morning, and wow, what a difference! It was a joy to use, with only a couple of small nicks and seepages to worry about - I also bought an alum block, to use in place of the styptic pencil that I've hitherto been using, and that certainly was a boon: Closed up all those nicks practically instantly - the pencil wasn't aywhere near as good, let me assure you!

Anyway, we'll see what I think of the rest of the blades in the sampler, but that's a few weeks off, I think.

More when I've done the full sampler pack!

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