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This Is Not Your Father’s Shaving Advice (Part the Third)

13 Oct

Uncle Albert has come around again, offering some more advice. These are tips that your dad probably didn’t share, but that might make your entry to wetshaving a mite more tolerable. Remember, this is not your father’s advice (part the third).

1. On a scale of 1 to 10… Those little numbers on the neck of your razor represent how harsh the razor is. 1 is the least harsh, 9 is the most. The closer the blade is to the guard, the less hair the blade takes off in a single pass. There’s no shame in shaving on a “1”, especially if you’re a beginner. Some will say that you should “set it and forget it” and others will say that they adjust the razor to a different number for each pass. Both are right–do what works for you.

2. Your Barn Door is Open. When adjusting your razor, be sure and open the silo doors before you adjust your razor. Adjusting your razor without opening the doors first can damage it. Consider this a friendly warning.

3. How long have you had that rash? Sometimes, a single pass, with-the-grain shave is a good thing. If you find that that second pass is causing a lot of weepers then you might want to limit your neck shave to one pass. That light stubble on your neck isn’t nearly as noticeable as you think it is, but those little red bumps don’t make a good commercial for your new-found practices.

4. Mmmm, Old Man Scent! There’s nothing wrong with drugstore scents. Alot of guys love the “classic” scents like Old Spice, Aqua Velva, and Skin Bracer. With so many new and complex scents being over-marketed today, sometimes the old standbys are the freshest scent. Give them a whiff, they might surprise you.

5. Let me “Axe” you something, do you think that smells good? Axe stinks. Actually, it probably doesn’t smell that bad, but it’s overused. If Axe and its clones were music, they’d be that song that they play every five minutes on the radio–you know the one, it sticks in your head until you hate it. Teenagers love Axe, and they don’t realize the difference between cologne and deodorant, so they tend to overuse it. Maybe one day it’ll be the Old Spice of a generation. Let’s hope we don’t live to see that day.

6. You have two ears, use them. Audio feedback can go a long way to helping improve your shave. That “scritching” sound tells you that the blade is cutting hairs. Many will argue that audio feedback isn’t necessary, and some maintain that the noise is an indicator that you don’t have proper blade angle. Uncle Albert disagrees.

7. Sooth the shaving beast. Once you’ve gotten comfortable with your technique and learned to “hear” your shave by touch, try adding a little music to your routine. Uncle Albert likes to load up Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass’s “Whipped Cream and Other Delights” but The Girlwatchers’ “Music to Watch Girls By” is a good album too. A good turntable and some old LPs can really add to the experience.

8. Stop and smell the roses. Rose is a very popular scent with many men. There are various creams, soaps, and aftershaves that serve as a testament to this. If, like Uncle Albert, you find that rose is a little too “sour” smelling for your tastes, you might look to other floral scents. While floral bouquets may not sound masculine, they really can work well for some men. Lavender, Jasmine, and Lilac have been the favourites of men for ages. There is a reason for this.

9. You’ll never know until you try it. Lilac Vegetal is a special aftershave splash. Many don’t like it. Some love it. Few are indifferent. You really owe it to yourself to try Lilac Vegetal at least once. It looks like antifreeze and it smells like skunk in the bottle. Don’t go by what you smell fresh from the bottle, however, it changes on the skin. If you are one of the fortunate few whose body chemistry works well with the green nectar, you will likely love the stuff. If, however, it doesn’t work for you, then you will smell like some sort of heinous chemical cocktail for the rest of the day. If you don’t try it out for yourself, though, you’ll never know and you’ll always wonder.

10. Tiny Bubbles… For those of you who shave in the bath-tub, here’s a tip for rinsing the lather from your face. Get on your knees, and lean forward. Submerge your face (Uncle Albert has to hold his nose) and blow. The bubbles will spread out over your face and neck, gently rinsing the foam off. If you dip your face deep enough into the water, it will get that little bit of lather that always gets stuck behind the front flap of your ear, too. A nice bonus to this technique is that it makes you feel like you’re 10 years old again, albeit for a brief moment.

There it is. This advice is not meant to be a set of steadfast rules, but rather some gentle tips to help you get more out of your shave. I hope it helps you out on your quest to BBSdom, and if it makes you feel a little younger along the way, then so be it!

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