Tuesday, April 12, 2016

More Travel Shaves

The Trip

On Friday I returned from a five-day whirl-wind tour of colleges on the northeast coast (of the United States) with and for the youngest child in our family. It was a rather last-minute trip, having only about a week of planning. Because last-minute air fares are rather expensive, we chose to one-way rent a car, drive from the metro-Detroit area to the various colleges, and then fly home from Boston.

Because I am a one-bag carry-on-luggage-only passenger, I had to pack not only light but also with air-travel regulations in mind -- meaning no double-edge razor blades. Also, light packing tends to encourage light-weight packing, meaning bringing a disposable plastic razor rather than anything made of metal.

My Travel Shaving Kit

So my shaving kit included only the following items:
  • One Gillette twin-bladed, pivoting-head disposable cartridge razor
  • A small stick of my home-made shave soap in a plastic pill bottle from the pharmacy
These are shown in the photo:

Things I Left Behind

What I DID NOT BRING were the following items:
  • Shaving brush
  • Other pre-shave products
  • After-shave balms or lotions
  • Styptic pencil
  • Alum block

My Travel Shaving Routine

My daily shaves all looked like this:
  1. Splash cool water onto beard and rub. Repeat two more times.
  2. Rub shave-soap stick on wet beard.
  3. With wet hands, rub beard to make a thin, creamy lather on beard.
  4. Use a regional and anti-raking shave pattern to shave close, adding water as necessary to the existing lather.
  5. Add more water as necessary and do final touch ups after my entire face was shaved.
  6. Rinse with cool water.
  7. Dry with towel.
  8. To freshly-shaved face, apply some hand lotion provided by the hotel.

Shave Outcomes

I have to admit that my travel shaves were uniformly top drawer. Absolute minimal insult to skin, yet very close. I had no regrets about the shaving accessories that I chose to bring, and I also had no regrets about the gear I left behind.

This minimalist gear of disposable razor and small shave-soap stick is going to remain my standard air-travel shaving kit for the foreseeable future.

Now does that mean that I'm going to abandon my double-edge shaving gear? Absolutely not. When I'm at home, I'm a committed DE shaver because it's the ecologically-responsible thing to do. It's also the cost-effective method to use. Over the long haul, shaving like Grandad is the right thing to do for my bank account and the world.

Happy shaving!


  1. EDITOR'S NOTE: Due to some technical difficulties, I had to delete the above article and repost it. As a result, a useful comment from TGatzaJr was lost. I have re-created it here:

    Concerning the razor, you might want to consider the Dorco Pace. A twin blade with a reusable handle. Could reduce the amount of disposable waste. Traveling without the styptic pencil is brave indeed! For me, that's the first thing that gets packed!

    1. Thanks for the razor suggestion. Although I probably have a sufficient inventory of disposables for the foreseeable future, if I need more, I'll very seriously consider your suggestion. I hope others do too! Regarding the styptic pencil, actually my own soap is sufficiently protecting that, when paired with a twin-bladed cartridge, I can get a very close shave with little risk of blood shed. On the other hand, if I were traveling with a DE, I would bring the styptic.