So about a year ago or so, I was full swing into shaving with straight blades, and three part razors.
The straight razor, I’m sad to say – because I really enjoyed using it – was just a bit too much of a pain to maintain. After spending money on a straight razor, and a strop, and some “hones”, it sits on a shelf and is probably going rusty. But my three-piece Bull Mastif is really great and I use it every weekend, along with a good badger brush and some great tallow based soap.
However, those are good pieces of gear and I’d rather leave them at home. I also happened to have a “brand new old stock” can of shaving cream that was going on three years old sitting on the medicine cabinet when I started commuting from Sydney to Canberra.
So, four mornings a week, in a bit of an anathema, I shave with goop-in-a-can – and a three-piece Gillette double-edge razor, that is about as old as I am. With a double edge razor blade, that I bought about three hundred of for about $20.
Having shaved with tallow soap, and a badger hair brush, and a straight razor, I have now learned a lot about shaving that 20 years of shaving with a cartridge razor, or an electric razor, and even going to the Army and being told how to shave, never ever taught me. That my stubble is more easily shaved after a shower, not before. That I really need to rub the shaving cream into the whiskers, not onto the whiskers. That less, is more. That shaving cleanly in one pass, is pretty much not the best way to do the job.
It’s pretty incredible how we think we know how something works, because we have been doing it for such a long time. We know how things in our life works.
Except, sometimes, we’re wrong. We start doing things, without taking the time to think, study, learn. And we wonder why we aren’t happy with the result.