Sunday, January 22, 2017

Adjusting One's Thinking....

My first double-edge razor was my dad's 1963 Gillette Slim adjustable. It took me a long time to develop any affinity for this particular instrument. I always found that when I used it for a shave, any given setting was never quite right.

Yet I was reading a recent article in about the best mild razors, which both led me to a new approach to using an adjustable razor as well as awakening my dormant razor-acquisition disease. If Mantic59 is reading this, he's probably rolling on the floor laughing because I had written to him about the article and averred that I WILL NOT BE BUYING ANOTHER RAZOR. CASE CLOSED.
The 1963 Slim Adjustable by Gillette.

[Sheepishly:] Um, well, so much for will power and resolutions.

So, truth be told, I did order another razor, which will be arriving soon. I ordered the Parker Variant adjustable razor, which Mantic59 has called his new favorite, with which he will part only when you "pry it from [his] cold, dead fingers." (This is a link to the Sharpologist review of the Parker Variant -- published in late 2016.)

I ordered this as a second adjustable-razor option, and what I hope will be a more preferable option to my Gillette Slim. But the important thing is WHY I broke my vow to acquire no more razors.

Okay, it's first crucial to recall that I have some problem areas to shave. The worst is my lower neck. Then under my jawline. Also, like many, my upper lip is sensitive and doesn't like to be shaved against the grain. Remember, too, that my chin and lower lip are difficult to shave because of contours, the coarseness of the hair (on the sides of my chin) and the direction of the grain.

The Parker Variant adjustable razor:
my new, favorite razor, I hope.
No single razor seems to be ideal, and the previously-suggested-and-tried concept of using multiple razors doesn't work well for me for a couple of reasons. Firstly, it's awkward to use multiple blades and keep track of usage -- and it's also awkward to switch a blade from one razor to another during a shave. Secondly, the multiple-razor-for-a-shave idea is awkward when doing a single lathering for a shave as well -- as I do for my patch-shaving process.

Also, frankly, I'm tired of having so much unnecessary STUFF. For a couple of years now, I've been trying to simplify my life, not have so much extraneous gear that I don't really need. I find that the stuff I own, OWNS ME as well. Even all those razors are another small burden that I'd like to minimize. This is, of course, at odds with my ever-present razor-acquisition disease.

So I'm hoping that having two adjustable razors for shaving my beard, and a single, mild open-comb razor (the Merkur 15C) for trimming the hair on the back of my neck will be all the razors that I really need. They will provide some variety but also greater simplicity.

(By the way, if this simplified approach works for me, I'll have an on-line garage sale, where I'll offer my extra razors for acquisition by others.)

Here's how I plan to use the adjustables:

When shaving my most vulnerable areas such as my lower neck and sub jawline, I will use a very mild setting. When shaving lips and chin, I'll use a moderate setting. When going after the planes of my cheeks, which I really enjoy being shaved VERY closely, I can use a much more aggressive setting because those areas well tolerate more aggressive instruments. (I got a good shave this morning using this method, my Slim and a new Lord Platinum Class blade.)

The Parker Variant should arrive tomorrow. Really looking forward to that!

Happy shaving!

1 comment:

  1. ROFL but definitely anticipating your impressions of the Variant!