Thursday, August 7, 2014

Naked, Cold, and Efficient: A Minimalist Shave

Though I kept my pants on for today's shave, I didn't spend much time dressing my beard. Today's shave was done with ONLY the following gear and materials:

  • Cold-water rinses prior to shaving
  • Face lathering using my proprietary shave soap #10A, cold water, and an inexpensive badger brush
  • A Merkur 37C slant-bar razor and a used Astra SP blade
  • Cold-water rinses after shaving
The business end of the 37C slant-bar razor. Its efficiency allows me to get an extremely close shave with just two passes: with grain and a combination of cross and against grain. Scary razor, eh?

What I did NOT do:
  • Didn't shower or wash my face prior to the shave
  • Didn't use any pre-shave products such as shave oil
  • Didn't use warm or hot water before, during, or after the shave
  • Didn't use an alum-block rub after the shave
  • Didn't use a styptic pencil
  • Didn't use any after-shave lotions, balms, moisturizers

Along with the super-efficient Merkur slant razor, the only other products used in today's shave were an inexpensive badger-bristle brush and my own shave-soap-formulation #10A.
Previously, I have written about cold-water shaving. I am convinced that cold water doesn't adversely affect the shave, and does reduce the removal of natural face-protecting oils. Standing alone with only my skill and my latest shave-soap formulation to protect me, I used the formidable Merkur slant-bar razor, and performed a two-pass shave.

The combination of the cool water, my uber-efficient razor, my appropriate technique, and a good shave lather, I got a very close shave, literally baby-bottom smooth on my cheeks. I did get two of the smallest weepers on my left cheek, but they were so small that after a couple of cool-water rinses, they disappeared. 

Because the alum block is a dessicant, which will dry the skin, of course, I didn't use it today. The good news is that with the light touch of my shaving strokes paired with the mighty capability of the slant-bar razor, and only two passes, my face was both smooth and happy. So no soothing, calming, but drying alum was needed.

The result was face and neck skin that needed no further attention. Good to go for the rest of my day.

Happy shaving!

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