Shaving. It’s (mainly) a man thing. I’ve got a love hate relationship with it. Mainly hate, but I do love a good barber shave when I get the opportunity and it’s something I always look out for when I’m in a different country. I’ve had a barber shave in Porto, Portugal, several in Turkey and one a piece in India and Ireland. For a few rupees I got not only a shave but a mind-blowing Indian head massage to boot. For a few million Turkish Lira I got a shave and an unexpected upper body Chiropractic treatment and fire flicked in my ears (in a good way). The worst of the bunch was Ireland (unfortunately). I put this down to the barbers non stop talking. I much prefer my barber to concentrate, whilst wielding a razor blade near my jugular.
The hate part comes from having to shave. Having to get yourself looking presentable when it’s a cold and dark winters morning.
I’m not an ‘every day man’ when it comes to shaving if I can help it and generally, I wet shave. It has the advantage of leaving you feeling clean and fresh. I’ve tried so many combinations over the years, generally favouring brush and dish over squirty can. The marketing phenomenon of Gillette Mach III didn’t pass me by (although Mach II and indeed Mach I (If they ever existed) did). Quite revolutionary. I remember the hype at the time and the “why didn’t they think of putting three blades on them sooner” factor. I also remember thinking – it won’t be long before there’s a 4 blade (and it wasn’t – the quatro was born. I tried and didn’t like). I believe there’s a five blade out there now – I’ve yet to try. Surely, they have reached the zenith of blade numbers by now. Mind you, 6 blades is almost conceivable, 7 – not likely.
3 blades though. It has massive advantage – A razor that meant you could get the job done quicker. In a single pass, as it were. Hefty price tag and cheese factor 10 advertising started to put me off the mach III though so I looked around again. I spotted an offer on Wilkinson Sword, extreme III, which I tried and instantly was more impressed with the results. The blade felt of a superior quality and the ‘it’s good to buy British’ factor won through. The three blades do have their disadvantage through – the clogging up factor due to the tight configuration of blades.
I’ve found the answer though. Not from the American big guns, or the British sabre but from a French pen maker.
For someone, like me who doesn’t always shave every day and who can go a week or so and get a bit of a scratch on before hacking back the unruly mess, one needs a clog proof system that doesn’t tug, that does the job quickly. Gentlemen, I present to you, the Bic Metal. A budget disposable with a high quality single blade. The clever bit, and I genuinely believe it works (unlike the bendy bar, vertival gards, aloe rumble striped gimmicks of it’s class counterparts) is the metal bar. It’s posotioned exactly far enough away from the blade to lift the hair off the face whilst allowing for a free flow of thick grizzle and soap to pass through unclogging. A single blade. who’d have though it.
Next time you’re getting bored of shaving, consider it Facial Horticulture. You’re not having a shave, you are designing, fashioning and cultivating a micro garden. Trimming the follicle borders. Try out some new gear, try a barber or next time you’ve got a big holiday growth on your chops – try a Bic Metal.
What’s the best shave YOU have ever had?