Tuesday, April 28, 2009

You'll never look back

This is the second of five consecutive daily blogflections by middle-age men guest bloggers. 

Today’s guest blogger is Charles Long, a middle age man fitness stud who does workouts that would put guys half his age to shame. He has his own wildly popular blog with 2 loyal readers and a few others who drop by on occasion. 

He's been married for 26 years years to his wonderful wife and has 7 children ranging in age from 23 years down to 3 years. What follows is Charles Long’s guest blogflection.

Chances are if you're a middle age man, you use to watch your father, grandfather, or some other older relative shave but not like most men do now. You probably saw them wet a brush, swish it around in a shaving mug until well lathered, apply it their respective faces, and then whack them whiskers off with a safety razor--the ones with the rounded top and replaceable double edged blades.

Now men mostly shave with an electric razor, or a cheap can of shaving cream and a disposable plastic razor. And they don't enjoy it.

You can buy a variety of different kinds of shaving cream, none of which work particularly well. For razors, you can get single blade, double blade, triple or quadruple blade, or the latest nuclear powered 12-blade model. And there are a lot of offerings of both creams and razors for sensitive skin. It seems more and more men have sensitive skin nowadays.

But chances are it's not that your skin is all that sensitive. It's just that your shaving tools are faulty. You need to go back to the way your dad or granddad did it.

First you need a good brush. You can get a cheap boar hairbrush at Wal-Mart for about 5 bucks. That's better than nothing but not ideal. What you want is a good quality badger hairbrush which will set you back anywhere from about 40 dollars to as much as you want to pay. You'll be able to pass it on to one of your grandkids.

Just teach them how to shave properly first or they will sell it on eBay to any number of anxious willing buyers. The one I use is one my dad had from before I was born. I have no idea how old it is. I bought him a new set as a gift back in the 70's when I was in high school. He gave me his old stuff that I shave with today.

For soap, you can buy a cheap puck (Yes, they are called pucks.) of soap at about any discount or drug store, any of which will work better for lubrication than the shaving creams you're used to. Or you can get online and find some premium quality soaps in about any scent imaginable.

You can buy a proper shaving mug or just put the soap in a coffee cup or some other dish of the right size. You can also buy soaps that come in there own plastic or ceramic container with a screw on lid, thus eliminating the need for a shaving mug.

My mug again came from my father. It's an Old Spice mug. They no longer make such things. I don't know how old it is but it's heavy ceramic and older than I am.

Last, you need a good safety razor and a supply of blades. A safety razor has a smooth rounded head that will just glide over your face like you wouldn't believe. If you're one of those with sensitive skin, quit messing around with that other stuff. Just get a safety razor and be done with it.

Again, it's something you can pass on to your grandkids. My dad used an injector razor. My safety razor is one I found. Back in the 4th and 5th grades, we lived on a 10-acre farmstead in Leach, Oklahoma. There was a gully that ran next to the house that had a section that had been used as a trash dump for years. My brother and I used to go treasure hunting in that trash dump.

One time I came across a little silver box. Inside was a Gillette Bostonian safety razor. I hauled it around with me ever since. It's one of the few things from my childhood that I still have. And I use it every time I shave. You can find them readily online. There are stores that specialize in such things or you can shop eBay.

You can buy blades almost anywhere that sells shaving stuff. I haven't found much difference in brands. Just buy what you can find and use one until you can feel it getting dull. A lot of blades now come in a plastic container with a hollow space in the back for safe disposal of the used blades.

If you live in an older house in which the bathrooms haven't been remodeled, chances are you have a medicine cabinet that has a little slot in the back of it. In case you're wondering what that slot is for, it's to dispose of used razor blades. So you can just put your old blades in there.

Shaving doesn't have to be a chore. Take your electric to the office so you can clean up for a late afternoon meeting as the need arises. Keep the disposables around for house guests who forgot a razor. And buy some good equipment so you can shave like a man and actually enjoy it.

And if this still bothers your "sensitive" skin, what can I say? You're a weenie but you still need to belly up to the bathroom sink and shave like the middle age man you are. Go for it. You'll never look back.


Brian said...

I've heard it said that folks with sensitive skin are better off with a single blade than those triple-plus blades. We probably have a "sensitive skin issue" these days because of these multi-blade razors. A

This was a fun read.

Anonymous said...

Nice article. I know a young man who went one further - straight-edge, stropping, etc., says there is nothing smoother. Tempting, but I'm busy enough.


Charles Long said...

Yes, Brian. Single blades, even the disposables, are much better for sensitive skin. Nothing beats a safety razor though. Like I said, try it and you won't go back.

Tom, I have a straight razor I got in box of junk I bought at an auction once. I'm not gonna go there though. I'll stick with the safety razor. It's quick, easy, and gives a great shave.

Thanks for stopping by.

Wally Long said...

I can't believe you still have that razor you found. I had completely forgotten about it. My clearest memory of that junk pile is getting burned with a flying piece of rubber when a can exploded near a burning tire.

I may have to look into the safety razor. Thanks.

Franklin said...

I had a slightly different experience when I got the best shave in a long time with a single edge disposable razor. I was surprised as it even worked with that Edge goo that is sold as substitute for real shaving cream.