Sunday, September 10, 2017

Zen and the Lord (brand) L.6 Razor Head

A Zen Saying

There exists a Zen truism: "Who knows what is good or bad?"

What this means is that we judge things, but often lack the perspective to understand the full implications. For example, there is the story of a farmer in an ancient culture is talking to his neighbor, relating recent events:

Farmer: "My son saved a calf from falling into a river and being swept away."

Neighbor: "That is good."

Farmer: "But in doing so, the calf fell on my son and broke his leg."

Neighbor: "That is bad."

Farmer: "But the army came by shortly after that seeking to conscript young men into service, and because of his leg, the army did not take him."

Neighbor: "That is good."

And so on....

An Unsold Garage-Sale Razor

So consistent with the Zen truism, after the dust settled from my on-line garage sale, I was left with a couple of unsold razors including my Lord (brand) LP1822L, with its L.6 razor head. (That is bad?) I thought of this instrument after reading a post or comment somewhere online about how someone's favorite razor is this L.6 razor head in combination with some other heavier handle.

So just for grins I fished out the LP1822L from my garage-sale shoe box and gave it a spin this morning. With it I used a 6th-use Ming Shi blade and the handle from my Phoenix Artisan Accoutrements' (PAA) double-open-comb razor.

A Surprisingly Good Razor Head

I got a very good shave this morning using that L.6-based combination of hardware. So good, in fact, that this razor head has won a place back in my bathroom shaving drawer. (That is good. ;-)

This Lord LP1822L razor is certainly unpretentious. It's a basic three-piece design. It's inexpensive. It comes with a long, light aluminum handle. Its chrome finish is hardly the highest quality. Its blade exposure (the degree to which the blade edge lies above or below the shave plane, which is formed by the top cap and safety bar) is a bit negative -- meaning that its shave character would seem to be a bit mild, perhaps too mild for many experienced DE (that is, double-edge) users.

However, the negative blade exposure is counterbalanced to some degree by the unique cross-section contours of its safety bar. At first glance, the blade-bar gap and span seem small, which would also suggest a mild shaving character. Upon closer inspection, the safety bar has a contour that actually provides a rather broad blade-bar span. 

Now, if one is a beginning DE shaver and, as is typical, tends to press razor too firmly against face, then the generous blade-bar span will tend to promote wounds. However, with the correct amount of pressure, the negative blade exposure combined with the generous blade-bar span offers a shave that is safe and close. I'm embarrassed to say that, once again, I've had a razor in my possession that is worthy of appreciation and regular use, but I've overlooked it for too long, and made many unnecessary razor purchases.

This is not a razor that will make shaving-product promoters or sellers rich, but it is an excellent instrument for getting an easy, no-fuss, reliably-good shave.

Good for DE Beginners

I heartily recommend this razor for those new to DE shaving. The only warning to new DE shavers is that you must learn an appropriately-light pressure right away to use this otherwise safe and effective razor head. You can also use the L.6 head with its long aluminum handle because it's not necessary to use a heavier one

Good for Experienced DE Shavers

I actually get a very good shave with this razor in two passes (both largely against grain). I'm a bit embarrassed to say that this razor is likely to become my no-fuss, every-day instrument replacing even my venerable (and more expensive) adjustables.

Today's No-Fuss Shave

I prepped my beard with a simple cool-water lathering using a sandalwood-scented soap from PAA. I let the moisture from that initial lathering "soak in" while I set out my other shaving gear. Then I re-wetted my brush and re-lathered.

Then I took my two-pass shave. Both passes were largely against the grain except on my lips and chin, where I wasn't as aggressive with my stroke direction. I rinsed with cool water between passes, and re-lathered prior to my second pass.

Despite the Ming Shi blade, which has, admittedly, seasoned nicely with several shaves and my usual post-shave palm stropping, I got a close, comfortable shave. I did not even use after-shave balm. I simply rinsed with cool water, applied a splash of unpretentious drug-store witch hazel (that I, myself had previously scented with menthol and peppermint), and then after that dried, applied a sandalwood-scented after-shave lotion from PAA.

My New Focus

As my concerns about shaving hardware have been largely addressed, my new focus is on soaps, lotions, balms, and fragrances. I dislike flowery scents, so most of these types of products on the market don't appeal much to me. But that's just me.

I tend to like more musky or barber-shoppy scents -- though, frankly, I'm so poorly educated on the subject that I find it difficult to even discuss it.

Currently some of the scents that I have found preferable include those of the following products/companies/categories:
  • PAA's Black Bot scent 
  • Sandalwood (some are more spicy than I would prefer)
  • Palmolive (classic) shave soap
  • Arko (yep, though it's better when left out unwrapped  for a few weeks so that the fragrance attenuates; it's not my favorite fragrance, but neither are some others that I like and use regularly)
  • Pyrate Cove Soap Works Menthol shave soap (really like this one -- and inexpensive too!)
  • Aqua Velva blue aftershave (I hope to try the European version, imported and sold by PAA, which is reputed to be more like the old, classic version of the product sold years ago in its original glass, not plastic, bottles)


Anyway, that's it for now. Happy shaving!

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