Monday, December 14, 2015

The Old-School, No-Fuss Shave

I had a great shave yesterday, but it wasn't long or a lot of trouble.

I began the shave by rubbing cool tap water on my beard several times. Then I rubbed my shaving-soap stick/lump directly onto my wet beard and lathered it using my hands, not a brush. This hand lathering creates a flat soapy layer that is not fluffy like when a brush is used to whip lather from shaving soap. However, this flat layer is slick and protecting as long as there is sufficient water present.

I then took my Rimei RM2003 imitation Tech razor with an Astra Superior Platinum blade and made a first pass with all-buffing, all-oblique, all-anti-raking strokes. I did NOT rinse the soap from the razor during this pass. I did not rinse my face after the pass either. I simply judiciously rubbed on more water, scooped the used soap from the underside of the razor, and, using my hands, re-applied lather to my face.

I then re-shaved from whatever direction necessary to enhance the closeness of the shave while avoiding skin damage. During this second phase, I did not use buffing strokes, but they were largely oblique. I also didn't consistently use an anti-raking pattern either, since this was an entire pass of pragmatic touch-up strokes. I also re-applied water from the tap and lather from the underside of the razor as necessary to ensure adequate skin protection.

The result was a very high-quality three-C shave: close, comfortable, and quick.

I attribute the three-C shave to the following factors:
  • The RM2003, though not terribly aggressive or threatening, is nonetheless the most aggressive razor that I keep with my in-bathroom shaving gear. This razor, compared to my other regulars, has a rather large blade reveal and shaves best with a relatively low blade angle -- that is, with the handle relatively highly angled from the skin surface.
  • The Astra SP blade is fairly compatible with my skin and beard, and was pretty new, having only two previous shaves on it.
  • I used a light touch for all my shaving strokes.
  • I was very pragmatic in the direction of my strokes, making the initial "pass" with grain, and subsequent clean-up strokes both across and against grain.
Happy shaving!

1 comment:

  1. Very interesting, that lather WITH HAIR IN IT can be reapplied usefully. I don't think I would have come up with that, and I consider myself to be both cheap and creative. :)