How much technology do I need on my face?

pic courtesy merkur
Not that much.

I also don’t need to spend nearly as much money or create as much environmental waste. On the down side I do need to take a little longer, know my face a bit better and hunt a bit harder to get the best that I can get [sic]…

Classic razor.jpg
This is now my razor – four blades less than the Gillette Fusion, three blades less than the Schick Quattro and two less than the Gillette Mach 3 Power.
The razor blades cost me 10% of the price of their ‘cartridge’ predecessors and although I cant find any hard data I am fairly certain that they are substantially more environmentally friendly. There’s no plastic in them or the packaging and a whole year’s worth of blades will take up about half a cigarette packet in volume and be recylable (apparently you can break them into two and put them inside drink cans etc. before putting that in the metal bin) .
I’m reasonably sure that my grandfather used a safety razor, I know my father did. Perhaps my great grandfather used a cut-throat or straight razor – the same basic type of which would have scraped the faces of previous countless male generations. I’m not against technology or progress – the Gillette Mach 3 was a hugely successful product and marketing exercise. I suppose I am questioning how in 20 years or less things have moved so fast with so many developments and iterations that I am sure my son (currently 9) would never believe in there being a time when there was any choice but multiple blades, swivelling heads, Aloe Vera strips, Skin stretching strips, battery driven vibrating handles and whatever else is to come. I suppose I am also disquieted by the fact that you have to hunt very hard to find any choice in a shop.

Taking a little longer to shave in the morning is not a bad thing – its a good time to think and whilst being reflected, reflect. Is anyone’s life so hectic and their time so valuable that saving 5 minutes in the bathroom in the morning is material? The reason that you need the extra time is that you must shave with shorter strokes and resist the wristy flourishes that the moveable head allows (think shaving with a cut-throat razor vs cleaning a window with a squeegee) unless you want either shaving rash or a peppering of comedy toilet-paper dressings.
You also have to be more aware of the contours of your face and the direction in which the hair grows, which to be fair would increase the efficacy and comfort of any shave. For the full effect you can, as I do, use a brush and shaving cream which I’m sure helps although I draw the line at the sorts of shaving mug we used to buy my father. Regardless I find it more ritualistic than shaking and using a can which dispenses gel or foam but might as easily help you cover your face in whipped cream, furniture polish, hair mousse or cheese. A shaving brush is just a shaving brush and I guess a razor can and maybe should be just that.


One Comment on “How much technology do I need on my face?”

  1. Rustum says:

    Hah hah. I’m with you. I sometimes use my father’s old safety razor and my brush of badger hair.

    With my normal razor, I have been forced finally to switch to one of those three blade cartridges because I can’t find twin blades anymore. The new three bladers seem to blunt much faster… crap. But I’ll stay away from the cut-throat.

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