Thinking Aloud On a Sunday

Shaving.

Not long from now, I will be having my daily bath, and then shaving afterwards. That got me thinking about shaving. As I have never had a beard or moustache, and never been one to go out unshaven, I have spent a lot of time at this daily ritual.

I began shaving regularly around the age of seventeen, when I first started work. I am now sixty-six, so that’s forty-nine years of shaving every day, seven days a week. Allowing for leap years, that means I have shaved 17,885 times. I should deduct some days for when I felt too ill to shave, or couldn’t shave for some logistical reason. I will be generous, and allow 100 days for that. So 17,775 times, at the very least.

When I started out, I used simple soap as lather, and a Gillette Safety Razor, with a real razor blade. Small cuts were commonplace, and I quickly learned that the newer the blade, the better the shave. I later graduated to shaving foam in a can, then called ‘Foamy’. This was much better than ordinary soap, and worked really well. (I still use something similar today.)

I then went through my ‘electric period’. I was bought an electric shaver as a gift, and used it for some years. It worked well-enough, but never quite felt as effective, and didn’t leave my face feeling as ‘fresh’ as a real shave. So once the cartridge style razors became popular, I tried one, and have stuck with those ever since. I now use one that has five small blades in each cartridge, and gives a lovely close shave. But they are notoriously expensive, making shaving something of a luxury.

Over the years, I occasionally treated myself to a real barber shave, when getting a haircut. Nothing compares to the smoothness of a cut-throat razor, in the hands of an expert. With hot towels to follow, and a splash of the barber’s own cologne making my cheeks pucker, it felt as if my entire face had been replenished with brand new skin.

But for many years, I have cut my own hair, (what’s left of it) so wouldn’t consider making a trip into town just for a shave.

In an age where designer stubble is sported by many, and beards are the new fashion accessory, I remain committed to shaving. But of course I have no idea why it should have occupied my thoughts today.

56 thoughts on “Thinking Aloud On a Sunday

  1. I don’t have a specific preference for shaven or unshaven on men. I think different men suit different things. Mr O shaves every 2 or 3 days. His beard is like an iron brush so I prefer him clean shaven as it is painful to kiss him when he has stubble. Also his beard is many different colours and would look rather odd grown out.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. There are so many things that become automatic that we don’t pay enough attention to them. You are right about the trends towards vintage. I had to do some work translating for a website and some Facebook posts for Philips a couple of years back (through an agency) and they had plenty of posts on trimming for men, and there were quite a few posts on types of beards, different tools you could use, styles, and also, you are write, on body shavers. The things I learned! (Yes, there were posts on hairdryers and the new depilation tools as well, as those were far more bizarre…) Have a great Tuesday and keep up with the shaving (I do prefer a clean-shaven face, given a choice). All the best, Pete.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You would certainly expect that to be the case, Gilly. However, I have never seen so many new shaving products around, and even ‘retro-shaving’ with brushes and 1950s style razors is trendy.
      Maybe the beardy hipsters are shaving their chests? ๐Ÿ™‚
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I missed the opportunity to get my advert in for Gosias shaving soap bars, then I noticed Theos plug ๐Ÿ™‚
    I’m an in the shower, cheap disposable camp, with a standby decent razor if we are going out….like once a year ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Great post ๐Ÿ™‚ Do you have to shave every day or is it every two days? Right now for me, it is every two days, but that may be because I am either in my early-to-mid thirties or I just skip a day for no reason whatsoever. Anyway, keep up the great work as always ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I shave every day just because, and out of habit. I don’t have a dark beard, so could probably get away with not shaving. However, I consider it part of being ‘clean’ by now, so never miss a day unless I am ill.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I admire your consistency. Like you I’ve never seen my Dad with more than a couple of day’s growth but I’ve been known to let it go for a couple of weeks. I’ve also grown a beard, a goatee and various moustaches for a couple of months but never got into the beard grooming thing so can’t say I really cultivated facial here either. Mostly I try to shave every second day and enjoying being clean skinned. For many years I’ve just used water and saved foam for special occasions to save money. After decluttering earlier this year I realised I had all these cologne and shaving gel I never use so I’ve started using the gel regularly and cologne on nights out and I quite enjoy it. I wonder what will happen when I run out?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I used to always say I would stop shaving once I retired from work. But I realised that any beard would be snow white, so that didn’t happen. You will have to put ‘shaving items’ and after-shave on your Christmas list, Lloyd. ๐Ÿ™‚
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. My husband now swears by those same expensive blades. He does use each one for quite a while, so they don’t seem as luxurious a purchase. He swears by the badger brush and Williams mug shaving soap. It is so inexpensive it kind of balances out the blade expense. I prefer clean shaven men!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I sometimes think that everyone under 50 has stopped shaving, Mary. I am amazed at the resurgence of ‘retro razors’, shaving blade clubs, and soap brushes. Perhaps they just use them as conversation pieces! ๐Ÿ™‚
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Pete, here in the states, there is such a boom of unshaven, bearded hipsters that the shaving industry has been suffering – there is also a dollar shave club, promising cheap razors sent to your house monthly…the art of shaving has now become another casualty of the “disruptive economy”….

    Liked by 2 people

    1. The ‘unshaven look’ is also prominent here, John. But surprisingly, ‘retro shaving’, with old-style razors, brushes, and soap tubs, is on the increase. ๐Ÿ™‚
      As you might say over there, “Go figure”.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 2 people

  8. Hi Pete – I’m one of those lucky guys. I couldn’t grow a beard if I waited a decade! Tried a mustache once that look more like a smudge of my upper lip. My daughters just shook their heads. “No dad!”

    There are a few on-line companies here that still sell the old fashioned safety razor and blades. I shave in the shower with a cheap disposable – no mirror required. I can use those cheap disposables ’cause there is never much to shave! Besties from Florida.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We have had an online boom in ‘retro’ shaving too. I was confused, because so many men here sport beards or long stubble, I wondered who was buying the ‘fashion’ items. ๐Ÿ™‚
      If you can get away with disposables, you are lucky.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I switched back to mug soap once I found Eddy Winko’s wife’s shaving soap. (It lasts a very long time). I happen to have my fraternal grandfather’s last shaving brush to work up the lather, which should out last my grandchildren, if they end up with it. I am not at all sure you can get a ‘throat-cut razor shave any longer (since the advent of AIDS) but then haven’t asked nor seen one in eons.
    Warmest regards, Theo

    Liked by 2 people

    1. All the barber shops here still offer ‘proper’ shaves, Theo. Most are originally from Turkey or Cyprus, where it is still common to be shaved. I never considered AIDS, to be honest. But as I no longer have a need for a barber, it is off my radar.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I’ve had a moustache since I was in college (except for a three-month break due to employment, where a moustache was not permitted). I’ve twice grown a short beard (about an inch long), but decided I didn’t care for the look. I generally shave every two or three days (laziness) using a Gillette Fusion ProGlide. But I need to buy some new cartridges… I recently wrote the words to an 1930’s era song entitled “The Barber.” It was declared a few days ago, and should receive an ISWC number on Monday.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well done with the new song, David. I was aware of your impressive moustache of course, and that you would need to shave the rest. Those Fusion cartridges are getting so expensive, it is actually often cheaper here to buy a new razor with ‘complimentary’ blades. ๐Ÿ™‚
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Phil has had to shave everyday too, but has days off when on holiday. He did think of trying a beard but I put the kybosh on that! At least you don’t have to ‘put a face on’ everyday which I feel I must in case I come across any small children and scare them to death. Can’t even begin to count how many mascara tubes I’ve got through in the past 40 odd years!

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Some chores we couldn’t wait to start and then they became life-long and we are stuck with them. You could grow that beard though for the winter and see if it keeps you warm on walks with Ozzie.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Itโ€™s a chore, and an expensive one too, but Iโ€™m not keen on a beard, stubble is irritating and, besides, the missus wouldnโ€™t stand for it – sheโ€™s told me.

    I get a tub of soap from bodyshop. Itโ€™s not the cheapest but it lasts longer than the tinned foam. It doesnโ€™t take much of it to work up a lather with a brush. Disposable blades are getting so expensive, I have actually thought of buying a cut-throat and strop – dare I?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. A cut throat would be best, as long as you learn how to use it. My London barber told me that he had to shave a balloon without bursting it, to pass his qualification. ๐Ÿ™‚
      Thanks, BF.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Like

  14. I have used a double blade Gillette all my life….never had an electric and those many bladed expensive things do not match the shave I get with my old razor…..I also use a boar’s hair brush and a good quality shaving soap (this has gotten more expensive over the years)….I would not trade the shave I get every morning from my trusty razor……my razor has become “retro” a company now sells a razor along the original lines….cool topic for a Sunday….kudos….chuq

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Well, I think Iโ€™m going to be honest and just say that I am really lazy when it comes to shaving, which is why I have allowed my beard to grow, and have been sporting it for about 10-15 years now I think (give or take). Doesnโ€™t mean of course that I donโ€™t shave at all, since I also have to keep it from growing to long. But at least it saves me the trouble of having to shave every day. Yep…I know..Iโ€™m horrible lol.
    But of course doesnโ€™t mean that I donโ€™t think itโ€™s awesome that you are so diligent in keeping this up every day. Fun post Pete: hope you will have a great sunday! ๐Ÿ˜Š

    Liked by 1 person

  16. A very weird coincidence. I’ve just gone through my morning ritual of having a shave, having just moved to a foil shaver.

    All the shaving I do, like your good self, got me thinking too – mainly about something that I had read years earlier about the benefits of shaving – the main one being that it keeps men looking younger. Apparently, it’s a combination of the shave giving a massage, and also the removal of dead skin.

    Women are apparently getting in on the act now, in an attempt to reduce wrinkles. I just hope my wife steers clear of my new Remington – I love it ๐Ÿ˜Š

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I wish the ‘looking younger’ bit had worked with me! ๐Ÿ™‚ Sadly, all my years of shaving haven’t managed to bestow any youthful looks on my saggy face. Women might want to think twice about shaving their faces too. One you start, it is impossible to stop. (Unless you let the beard grow of course)
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

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