Shaving. It’s something almost all of us do and many do it on a daily basis. We do it for work, we do it to look a certain way or just for hygiene. One thing I have found that is almost a consensus is that it’s not a welcomed chore. We don’t enjoy it, yet we will spend thousands of hours of our lives doing it. For some, this is fine and dandy.
I am one of those people who have lots of hobbies. When I get into something, I spend countless hours learning about all the aspects. Also, being a bit of a gear head, I will spend money on my new-found hobby. Some of these hobbies come to a standstill after a while. I end up with hundreds of dollars worth of gear I may never use again.
One day, I said to myself, “What is something I do everyday, that I can turn into a hobby?”. I picked shaving. I have always suffered from a certain amount of razor burn on my neck and maybe I could remedy it. It’s also manly and has a vast history world-wide. There are all kinds of items to upgrade and learn about.
I googled “shaving forum”, signed up to the first place I found (Badger and Blade) and started reading everything I could. I learned about all the new “Acquisition Disorders (AD)” I could acquire. RAD: Razor Acquisition Disorder, SBAD: Shaving Brush Acquisition Disorder and on and on for creams, soaps etc. Not to mention the learning curve for each new tool.
Well I decided to pick up my first set of tools. I ordered a Vulfix #2233 Super Badger from England and found a nice Gillette double edge razor from the 40s. I picked up a sampler pack of razor blades so I could try several and find out what works best for me. I also ordered some Almond shave cream from the British company GEO F Trumper.
When I finally got it all together, I started shaving. It took awhile to figure out how to make a usable lather in a bowl with the brush and cream. Also, learning at what angle to hold the razor and how gently to press when shaving. I tried this for 6 month and was still getting razor burn.
I kept reading that straight razor was the way to go. So I joined another forum (Straight Razor Place) and did some more reading. I finally pulled the trigger on a vintage razor that has been honed by one of the forums honemeister (RupRazor). I ordered a strop from the local strop smith (Tony Miller). When I tried, I will say, I was nervous and didn’t get a great shave. Over the course of a few months, my skill increased and I started to get better shaves. I was finally getting some relief from the razor burn. Purchased some homes and started on a bad binge of SRAD (Straight Razor Acquisitive Disorder). I even got into restoring and making handles for straights.
Well it’s about 4 years later and I can say I have not had razor burn in years. I have actually been shaving with a double edge again frequently and have mastered that as well. Every day I get to experience what our grandfathers and heroes of past have known for centuries.
Shaving is something that should be enjoyed. A relaxing time for reflection that has been lost since Gillette pulled an advertising stunt and added two blades instead of one. We are up to 6 plus and we all buy into it thinking it is better. I am here to tell you that it is not. Aside from the experience, you can actually save money. A 10 pack of blades for a double edge is under 2 bucks. Your face will thank you and as long as you don’t get inflicted with one of the Acquisition Disorders, your wallet will too.