I feel very strange about this because I feel like I should be ashamed but I don't feel ashamed so I feel ashamed for NOT feeling ashamed...
I am a shavegeek. I'm not an UBER shavegeek, but still. I don't remember how but I started reading this blog
. It led me to a bunch of wetshave forums like this
I didn't want to go too far so I didn't buy a $500.00 silver tip badger's hair shave brush or a bunch of English shave creams and etc... I just went to Walmart and bought a Fusion Power (which they say is the suck but it is a step-up from the Mach3 Power I used before) and some William's Mug Shave Soap (they say it's just okay but WAY better than any "goo from a can) and a $5.00 boar's hair brush and some King of Shaves Pre-Shave Oil. I didn't wrap my face in hot towels like they say but I did start shaving in the shower after my face had wet for a few minutes. I followed the basic wet shave ritual.
Cripes what a difference.
With Barbasol from a can and a Mach3, shaving after I splashed some water on my face, well, I used to put half a cup of heavy moisturizer on my face so that it wouldn't start peeling an hour later... I mean it looked like I painted my face with clown makeup. And I didn't just rub it in, I rubbed it in and put more on to let it sit there until it my face absorbed it itself. That may sound crazy, but if I didn't do all that it looked like my face had dandruff. No, it looked like my face was Mars (red) with dandruff. And it wasn't even a CLOSE shave!
With the new method a dab of moisturizer was enough, and I got a much better shave.
But I couldn't leave it alone. I ordered the Merkur Heavy Classic. This is a fine piece of stainless steel manufactured in Germany which accepts those double edged razor blades popular back when we feared the Soviets. This is shavegeek level 1.
Then I devised my system.
Run tap water until it is hot as possible. (Morning piss as it warms.) Fill mug, with shaving soap at bottom, with hot water. Put tiny shaving oil bottle in. It floats... Force it down by putting brush atop it, which also soaks brush. Lower water temp until it is bearable on face. Change shower head setting so it is a pulse and use pulsing water as a floss. Change shower head setting so that it is less cutting, and brush teeth, making sure water is hitting face entire time. (Look away only for occasional breaths.)
Total Shower Time, 3 minutes. Total Time In Shower, 2 minutes.
TURN SHOWER OFF.
Massage hot oil, just 8 or 10 drops in all, all over whiskers. Dump water out of mug, shake out brush, (not TOO much, you need enough water) and create perfect lather (stands on it's own but it very wet) by whisking, pumping, and painting soap with brush. Apply lather generously and roughly, using the brush to lift whiskers and exfoliate face. TST 4 minutes, TTIS 3minutes.
Vigorously soap up entire body so you look as covered in lather as that guy in Blazing Saddles when the horse pulls the public shower away from him. I mean go to town... Suds UP!!! TST 6 minutes, TTIS 5 minutes. (It is surprising how quick this process is if you really go for it.)
Now, if you'll notice, my whiskers have been saturated one way or another by hot water and/or oil (the lather is just a way to keep hot water on your whiskers) for at least 4 and up to 5 minutes. This hot water saturation is THE key to a good shave.
Shave. Shave upper area of face with grain down to jawline. This is a north to south pass. Relather uper area. Shave lower area of face with grain up to jawline. This is a south to north pass, mostly. Relather lower area. Shave upper area AGAINST the grain, south to norht, pulling skin taught, and being careful. Shave lower area against grain, north to south, pulling skin taught etc.
Relather spots where these two passes don't work. Everybody has such spots, where the hair grows in weird directions. You hit them in different directions. You can't really SEE them as much as feel them. Shave them at various angles, against grain.
TST 14 minutes TTIS 13 minutes. So it takes me 8 minutes to actually shave. I haven't rinsed yet, so the suds have been cleaning/moisturizing this whole time.
Rinse thouroughly with cold as I can stand water.
TST 16 TTIS 15-
Dry off, clean up shower area, and apply about a teaspoon's worth of moisturizer and deodorant. TST18, TTIS 17 (I dry off in the shower).
Okay, that's it. The minutes are estimates and can go about 2 minutes either way. So total time in the shower is 16 to 20 minutes, and I come out cleaner and better shaved than I ever have. And my face looks better, and it doesn't hurt as much. Also, I don't waste a lot of water = good for the environment. Also, I'm using $0.25 razor blades that last about a week each instead of $4.50 cartridges that last about a week. Total saving over the course of a year = $221.00. Oh, and those little blades take up a lot less space in a landfill, too. Oh, and that cake of William's soap will probably last 6 months.
Now, ALL THE ABOVE only makes me a shavegeek level 2!!!
Yeah, no kidding.
And there are like 9 levels... No kidding. But hey, in the last ten days my face has lost years of wear and tear... It is really almost unbelievable. There are worse obsessions.