Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Limited Time and a Return to the Slant

I'm going through another transition, tomorrow returning to a nine-to-five work schedule. In preparing for this change, this morning I was experimenting with hardware for an efficient shave in what might be limited morning time before leaving for work.

So I chose to pull the Merkur Slant razor out of the bedroom closet, and try a limited-pass shave to see if I could get an acceptable shave. I shaved with grain (WG) and cross grain (XG).

The WG pass opened a wound from yesterday on my cheek, when I had carelessly shaved off the top of an unnoticed skin bump. The rest of the WG pass was uneventful.

The XG pass was more interesting because, of course, the design of the slant razor suggests one should make only direct strokes (that is, strokes in which the direction is perpendicular to the blade edge). [CORRECTION UPDATE: What I should have said in the preceding parentheses is that direct strokes are those in which the direction of the stroke is parallel to the razor handle.] This requires that the contours of the skin surface dictate the stroke direction whenever skin topography isn't compatible with precisely-XG strokes. This means that on my neck in particular, some of my strokes were almost against grain, which is risky in a second pass.

Things worked out okay, with no major disasters, but not a great shave either. The slant still irritates my skin more than necessary -- even in two passes. It is more aggressive than my other razors, but that still doesn't allow it to provide a close shave in less that three passes.

What today's experiment reminded me was that the slant isn't right for my beard, and I can probably get a better two-pass shave with my Lord L.6 or Rimei RM2003 razor heads, likely being lower irritation, fewer wounds, and as close a shave -- or better.

So tomorrow, when I'm really on the clock, it looks to be the L.6 is at the plate (even though there's no clock in baseball ;-). Then maybe Thursday I'll give the RM2003 a crack.

A bit more detail will be in my weekly shave summary on Saturday.

Happy shaving!

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