3.07.2011

Ian's morning shave goes green

Ian always has been intrigued by an old fashioned shave — like Sweeney Todd but less deadly. So when he found out our friend Micah had made the switch, he started his research. And on our Valentine's stay-cation, he took the plunge.

new shaving equipment

We hopped in to The Art of Shaving. Ian tested the safety razor handles, examined the different grades of badger hair brushes, sniffed the pre-shave oils and shaving soaps, and picked out a stand.

He checked out and I nearly passed out. We sat down on a nearby bench in the mall, and I made Ian go over the numbers with me again. In two years, we'll have saved enough in pricey razor cartridges and shaving cream to cover the cost of his purchases — and Ian will be shaving much longer than two years. Which means every two years after that, we'll be saving over $300. I started breathing again.

The environmental impacts are also minimized. Shaving soap, in a reusable sandalwood container, can last for several years and generates no empty aerosol cans. Dirt cheap razor blades are plastic free. The hardware will last a lifetime. Not a bad investment.

Reassured, we headed back to our hotel room and Ian unpacked his shopping bag. Not patient enough to take the recommended pre-shave, whisker-softening hot shower, he splashed his face and jumped right in. I was reading on the bed, but when he asked me to document in photos, I came in to investigate.

As I examined the razor, I noticed a drip of red on my finger. The blade — when had Ian assembled it? — is sharp. Very sharp. I had sliced a sizable gash in my left pointer fingerprint.

Ian grabbed the W-provided first aid kit (we're still waiting to see if we get charged for that) while I ran my finger under cold water. Then I applied pressure with a Kleenex and watched Ian attempt his first shave.

anna after shaving her finger

Because it's a fixed blade instead of a movable razor head, it does take more technique. Which takes practice. And fortitude.

ian's first "man-shave"

A couple weeks in, and his number of cuts has decreased tenfold. As he gets better, the pre-shave oil + shaving soap + badger hair brush will provide a super close shave with less irritation (as the salespeople inform you, instead of removing hair + layer of skin, you are removing hair + pre-shave oil). Plus he feels macho.

Micki is sending him his great grandfather's shaving kit she dug up. His dream is to someday use the straight razors. But if he starts singing "My Friends" and suggests we make meat pies, I'm calling the police and temporarily going vegetarian.
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