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The Art of Shaving

January 1, 2015

art of shaving chairMost men hate to shave.  It is boring, repetitious, and time consuming.  Evidently women hate shaving too.  Thirty five percent say they despise having to shave their legs.  Together we all spend billions of dollars each year on something we hate.  The amount spent on shaving has dropped due to the acceptance of facial hair on men but we still spend a lot.  A large amount is spent on disposable razors (an average of $111 per year per person) which actually are the most expensive tool for shaving.

I happen to be fortunate enough to only have to shave every other day and with a goatee and mustache do not need much time or effort to accomplish the task.  But now after years of hating to put a razor to my face, I actually look forward to it.

When I volunteered for the Army, to avoid the draft in 1966, they sent us to Ft. Polk Louisiana for basic training.   As we stepped off the bus that delivered us to the base, we were met by drill instructors in Smokey the Bear hats who lined us up and began looking us over.  The idea was to intimidate us and establish who was in charge.  As one of them stepped in front of me he looked me up and down hoping to find a reason to yell.  He looked at my face and said, “Soldier, what is that on your face?”  Being nineteen and naive I said, “Peach fuzz?”  He screamed back at me, “How often do you shave?” I replied, “Maybe once a week”.  His face was getting red and he yelled “And what do you shave with?”  I said, “An electric razor”.   I could see the veins popping in his neck, his face about two inches from mine as he said, “An electric razor, what are you going to do in the jungles of Nam when you can’t plug it in?”  I said, “It’s rechargeable”.   You could almost see the smoke coming out of his ears as he bellowed, “In this man’s army you shave everyday and you use a razor.   Get in those barracks and shave that stuff off your face, do you hear me?”  “Yes sir.”  So I started shaving every day from that point on.

Using mostly disposable razors,  Gillette shaving cream, and after shave lotion, the act of shaving became something I didn’t really think about.   This went on for thirty years, day in day out. Then I met a terrific woman who is now my wife who said I didn’t need the after shave.  One less expense to deal with.

About six years ago I decided to grow a goatee and mustache, and managed to cut down the time it took to shave and the amount of shaving cream necessary to get the job done.  Another decrease in expense.

Three years ago I wanted to change how I shaved, mostly out of boredom, so began looking at alternatives to the disposable razor.  One afternoon while browsing the mall I walked into a store called The Art of Shaving, that sold only shaving items .   My first thought was — ARE YOU KIDDING?, how can a store survive on just shaving paraphernalia?    I looked at electric razors thinking since that was how I started, maybe I could go back to one.  The salesman came over and started asking me about how and when I shaved and showed me what he said was a better way to shave.

Needless to say I walked out with a lighter wallet and a bag of shaving stuff under my arm.  Now that I have been using their process, I not only enjoy shaving but look forward to the days I do.  If you have never tried these, and still hate to shave, you might want to give them a shot.

The first step is a couple of small drops of pre-shave oil that helps to set up your whiskers.  Then with a shaving brush heated by warm water, you place a very tiny amount of their shaving cream on the brush and work it into your face.  I haven’t moved to a shaving cup, as of yet.  It is amazing how little it takes to lather up and cover all of what needs shaving.  Then I use a Gillette fusion razor that glides over my skin.  After rinsing my face I apply a couple of drops of the after shave balm which has no odor, which my wife likes, but leaves my face feeling smooth and fresh.

kitThe best part of all of this is once you have the products, they last a long time.  My jar of shaving cream will be good for about two years. So shaving is no longer as expensive as it used to be.

Do I wish that I never had to shave?  You bet.  But with the products from the Art of Shaving, my “chore” has become a pleasant, refreshing experience.

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