Friday, December 16, 2016

The Guy Who Came In from the Cold

Though I've known for a while now that cool water shaves can be comfortable and adequate, I'm also now convinced that warm-water prep and warm lather can take the shave comfort and quality and kick it up a notch.

But if one showers at a different time of day from the appointed shaving time (or skips showering altogether on a given day), getting a warm shave can have its challenges. For example, my home is a ranch style, with the water supply entering the house at one end, where the hot-water heater is located. My shaving area is at the other end of the house, and even in summer it can take a while for my shaving faucet to run with warm water. In the winter, even longer. It keeps going and going like the Energizer bunny -- only in a bad way.

I've found an easy, responsible way to solve this problem, to come in from the cold like a suspect British spy in the 1960s, while still being ecologically astute. I adapted the idea from the 19th-century, pre-indoor-plumbing practice of having a pitcher and bowl on hand, and not relying on the bathroom faucet (much).

My gear to get an ecologically-responsible warm-water shave:
insulated carafe for the warm water, the re-purposed Greek
yogurt container for wetting the brush while face lathering and for
dipping fingers as necessary to moisten the face while shaving,
and the wash cloth to apply warm water as part of the shave prep.
My warm shave begins when I make my morning coffee. At that time, I take an insulated coffee carafe and fill it about half full with warm/hot water from the spigot closest to the hot water heater. This wastes almost no water at all. The insulated carafe keeps the water warm until I'm ready to shave. Then I take it with me into the lavatory for my shave.

I prep for my shave with (as usual) two or three splash-and-rubs on my beard using cool tap water drizzling out of the faucet. Then I shut that off and pour warm water from the carafe about a half-inch deep into a re-purposed Greek-yogurt container. Then I saturate a wash cloth with more water from the carafe. I then apply the warm, wet wash cloth to my beard. I end the pre-lathering process with pouring from the carafe a small amount of warm water into my palm, with which I dampen the clean, whispy dried lather on my shave brush from previous shaves.

I apply dry shave soap to my wet beard, dip the brush into the yogurt bowl containing warm water, and face lather -- re-dipping my brush into the warm water as needed.

I take my usual patch-and-anti-raking shave, without rinsing used lather from my razor until the shave is completed. After shaving, I pour the warm water remaining in the carafe into my hand and rinse remaining soap residue from my face and neck. Voila!


Do be a do-bee and don't be a don't-bee: consider being more ecologically responsible in all actions (and stop denying the problem, like some dumb-ass politician-elects, who assert that global warming and related climate changes are a hoax perpetrated by the Chinese -- idiotic, uninformed!). Recycle; drive smaller vehicles and drive as little as you can; use everything up and don't discard when things are still usable. Don't waste, period. Eat less animal protein (watch the movie, Cowspiracy, on Netflix if you don't understand the less-animal-protein thing).

Happy ecologically-aware shaving!

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