Sunday 19 May 2013

Today's Review: Shaving

As a man, I find there is a constant struggle between the hair that keeps growing out of my face, and my desire not to have hair growing out of my face. Sure, it can be left unchecked for a day or so, but after that the stubble starts to resemble fluff, and my face starts to resemble that of a dirty hobo. So obviously something must be done, and that something is shaving. Unfortunately, I'm terrible at it.

I started shaving at some point in my early teens. I was bought an electric razor, and although I used it for a while, it just didn't give me the results I desired. The stubble still remained, and it was too much of an effort to run the tiny buzzing machine over my chin again and again. One day I stumbled upon a proper razor in the bathroom that my brother must have been using, and decided to give it a go. So improvising with shaving foam, I managed to pull off a basic shave, and it felt good. Razor blades are definitely the way to go. But my own experiences with them are completely inconsistent.

I have used disposable razors for most of my shaving life, and while they do a decent job of getting rid of facial hair, they also do a good job of slicing up and irritating my neck. I even went for a professional shave once, and was told that they way my hairs lie was all weird and made for difficult shaving. Great, even the experts can't shave me properly, what chance do I have? So I recently invested in a relatively expensive razor, setting me back £10, plus whatever inflated costs the replacement blades cost. I also sprung for the matching brand name foam, the variety that soothed irritated skin, and I must say the results have improved. My neck is less red, and though I have had a few nicks, it's nothing I can't handle.

But it's not just the cuts and marks that make shaving annoying for me. The aforementioned odd directions my hair goes in means I always seem to miss patches of hair. I may shave off ones growing in one direction, and be left with some that go in another. Shaving the same area over and over will definitely lead to irritation, so often I find myself staring in the mirror at work wondering if anyone has noticed my red splotches and/or errant hair patches. Strangely enough, I've found my most consistently good shaves happen when I'm in the bath, with no mirror and a disposable razor. Simply rubbing my hands around my face to find the location and direction of hair is enough for me to get rid of it, and the warm, soapy water allows the razor to cut through quite nicely. So with all the expensive instruments and ointments, the perfect shave still baffles and eludes me. I often have good shaves, and they're satisfying, but there's always something that's a bit off. Shaving is necessary, but it sucks when it doesn't go right, and it rarely does for me.

My rating: 2/5

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