Sunday, January 11, 2009

Sunday Morning Shaving

For the most part I'm a shaving noobie. When I was a kid, my father didn't teach me how to shave (that's another blog :-) ). When I was about 15-ish I saw that I had a few hairs on my chin, and pretty much picked up a can of shaving cream, grabbed a razor and swiped the cream off of my face. Seemed easy enough, I don't even remember what kind of razor or cream it was. Probably a Bic, and probably some sort of Gillette shaving cream. I just shaved like I saw on TV and the movies. I did think it was pretty cool to shave, but just as a sort of "I'm a man now, I shave" kind of thing. I didn't get much into the act of shaving.

That's pretty much the way it went most of my life. Buy disposable razors, buy whatever shave cream or gel looked the best, and just shave. My beard doesn't grow very fast, and my skin for the most part has never really been sensitive, so I never had a need to be very careful. There have been many times in my life where I've shaved with the same disposable razor for months, and used plain ol' hand soap as shaving cream. It didn't bother me at all, although it did hurt more when I was shaving with hand soap, but it only lasted a few minutes, then I was done and on my way.
Throughout most of my life, I've always found I like the way I look with some stubble as well, so that's another reason I never really took to shaving in a big way. Also the fact that when I was young I didn't have a ton of money since I was just starting out, so spending money on shaving wasn't really a priority.

The one thing about shaving I knew I didn't like was using an electric razor. I've tried different electrics over my life, and have never gotten a decent shave with them. I know a lot of guys do use them, and the commercials all say you get as good a shave as a razor, but I've never found that to be the case. I've always found that shaving with an electric takes more time than shaving with a razor too, so that pretty much clinched it for me that razor shaving was the way to go.

Now that I'm older and have more disposable income, I've gotten more interested in taking care of myself, and spending time on my appearance and health in general. I suppose that's a function of age. I don't particularly look back and think I should have done this years ago. When you're young there are more pressing issues at hand than shaving.

So what's this Sunday Morning Shaving all about? Well, I tend to have a particular routine that I do on Sundays. I work hard Monday through Saturday, so I take my Sundays very seriously. I try very hard to put away all work (Most times I'm successful), and just relax on Sundays. Part of that relaxing on Sundays is the morning shave, which is part of a general routine I go through:

First, I wake up Sunday morning as late as possible. Like everyone else in the world I usually have to wake up early to go to work, and I hate waking up early. I'm not a morning person, so at least one day a week I sleep in.

I then make myself a really nice breakfast. Usually this consists of eggs, bacon, toast and orange juice, but it can be whatever I feel like. For most of the week I try to eat a healthy breakfast, usually by going with a bland no-sugar cereal with soy milk, so my Sunday breakfast is reserved for the artery-clogging, good tasting food.

After sitting around for a little while watching TV or something just digesting my breakfast, I then head to the bathroom, for my big grooming session, which consists of trimming my hair (I use clippers for my hair both to save money, and because I don't have a great mop on my head that I could actually do anything with at a salon), brushing my teeth, trimming any stray hairs on my body (Nose, ears, and any other gross places hair starts growing when you get older), and finally culminating with the shave.
Pretty much for the rest of the week, I don't shave. I work at a place that mostly doesn't care what you look like, and doesn't require shaving. As I said before I also like the way I look with the stubble, and my beard doesn't grow that fast anyway, so I just let it grow until Sunday. I'll shave if I have to, like if I'm meeting with someone important, but for the most part, I'm too in a rush in the mornings to get to work on time to worry about shaving. So shaving on Sunday is like hitting the reset button for my beard.

And now we come to what this blog is all about. I've done this routine for a few years now, and up until recently the shave was nice, but I didn't do it particularly well enough to write about it, or get into it enough to actually look forward to it other than part of the routine on Sunday Mornings, until this past Christmas.
I recently discovered the wide world of "wet shaving" and all the tools that come with that. The whole process got me interested in find out more, but what I really discovered was the use of shaving brushes in the shaving process. So for Christmas my girlfriend bought me a shaving brush, some shave soap, a bowl and a stand.
Well, using the shaving brush was pretty darn cool. More fun than I thought it would be actually. Something about having a nice shaving brush and using hot water and lathering up the brush and using it to apply a nice lather to my face just really contributed to getting a really good, relaxing shave. It's better than squirting shaving cream on to your hands and wiping it on your face. Once I did that for the first time, I thought, man this will be a really nice part of my Sunday routine.
So this blog is about my Sunday morning shaves, and also about what I learn about wet shaving, shave brushes, razors, soaps and creams, all of that stuff. Most of the time I'll be talking about shaving brushes. I've been having a great time learning about what makes a good shave brush, who the good manufacturers are, what they are made out of and all sorts of things. I love that there is a history of shave brushes, and that people are out there making hand made brushes, and just the atmosphere around men's shaving and shave brushes.
It contributes not only to a great shave, but also such a great Sunday morning routine that helps me de-stress and re-energize my batteries so that I'm better able to handle the stresses and rush of the upcoming week.

So if you're reading this, I hope you enjoy my posts, and get excited about this stuff as much as I am getting excited.
As I learn more about all of this stuff, I will post to my blog and hopefully as I learn maybe someone else like me looking for information will also learn and come to enjoy a great part of something that has a rich history.

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