Shaving started off in my existence as a very annoying thing. Like most guys growing into adults I started shaving with your normal disposable razors. It was always just painful.

This stayed in stasis until college when I got a pack of cartridge razors in my welcome kit when I checked into the dorm. It was only a bit better. It was smoother but I got lots of ingrown hairs.

This continued until I met Ennie and she suggested that I try an electric shaver. This was a lot better in just about all ways… It was not painful, but it wasn’t super smooth either. It was close enough for me. I went through several iterations of the electric razors and it all just worked well enough.

For some reason I looked at safety razors. You know… the old fashioned ones that use the double-edged razor blades. (No, I’m not talking about the type that is just a blade that looks like you could simply slice your head off)

I got a nice razor, a Merkur Safety Razor, and the rest of the assorted accoutrements that go with it like a badger brush, shaving cream, and a shaving mug.

The first shave (admittedly without the new shaving cream, but with some other stuff that generally works) went kind of poorly with lots of nicks on my neck. The next one went a lot better. Over the course of the week I shaved every day and each day went better than the last. Five shaves in and I’m not a mess at the end of the shave.

The other cool thing is I’m not getting any ingrown hairs. The problem with the multi-blade razors is they don’t cut the hairs as much as progressively pull them out before getting to a blade sharp enough to cut it. When it does cut the hair the follicle pulls it back under the skin and then if it doesn’t poke out the right hole in your skin it becomes ingrown. With a double-edged razor the blade doesn’t tug at the hair it just cuts it. The blades are also cheap — figure around $0.20 a blade, not $4.00 — so when it’s dull you don’t feel bad popping in a new one.

The thing is I’m looking forward to my shave. It just feels like I’m pampering myself. I guess it’s along the same line that I wear. My mechanical watch and use a fountain pen. I like simple things. The irony, of course, is that I’m also enchanted with the most complex things around us.

Go figure. :-)