I hate shaving. I loathe shaving. I’d rather grow my hair out for an entire year than shave everyday for one week. Don’t believe me? The proof is in the pudding. I grew out my hair for all of 2012 on a $500 bet, so at least I’ve actually done that. A whole week of shaving had never crossed my mind, but I figured what the hell. A few months ago I decided I’d go one entire week of shaving with a razor, here’s what happened.
While this challenge might seem stupid, I actually learned a lot about myself. The first thing I learned is that I look much younger without a beard/long stubble. I say long stubble because I would only ever shave with an electric razor before, and it doesn’t come close to being clean shaven. I was permanently 5 o’clock shadow, worse than that actually. And for the majority of my adult life, I’ve walked around with what most people would call a beard. So although this may seem juvenile to some, it was a big change for me.
How do I know I looked younger? I was pretty much bombarded with comments. Co-workers, friends and family all chimed in on how young I looked. Personally I attribute this to hiding my face for the past 10 years, it has barely seen sunlight so I’m assuming my face actually is in pretty good condition wear-and-tear wise. I started to get ID’d a lot more which I’ll also use as solid empirical evidence. I happened to go get a new drivers license during my week of shaving, and even the sour old lady behind the counter at the DMV commented on how much younger I looked. This was a major bonus I didn’t see coming (looking younger, not getting compliments from old ladies).
What else did I learn? Well for starters, I learned how to shave properly. Part of the reason I never shaved when I was younger was that I would always get razor burn on my neck after shaving, which sucks. So heed my advice non shavers:
1. Shave with the grain.
This means you need to know which way the grain actually goes, FYI. I always assumed shaving in one direction (down) was the best strategy. This is not even kind of right, so whoever told me that – shame on you. My brother advised me that my neck hairs actually run outwards from my face, so shaving sideways on my neck solved the razor burn problem completely.
2. Apply your shaving cream just after you get out of the shower.
If you take warm showers, you’re good to go.
3. Buy one of those old school duster looking things to apply the shaving cream to your face (see picture below).
You’ll use a fraction of the shaving cream you normally use, and let’s face it: it’s cool as shit. You feel a Clint Eastwood kind of manliness.
4. After shaving, wash your face with cold water.
This closes all the pores on your face.
5. Test out a few aftershave lotions.
I found a great one from the guys at The Art of Shaving. Their stuff is expensive but it makes your face feel great.
The last thing I’ll mention is Dollar Shave Club. Their videos are awesome, and so is the product. I subscribed for the $9/month best razor, which is really great quality – just as good as the best razor from Gillette. You get 4 blades a month (which is way too many for me), so I’m basically just stockpiling for a few months before I cancel. You can save a ton of money, which is always recommended. If you shave everyday I can’t stress DSC enough.
Since starting this weekly challenge, I’ve completely converted. I’m officially a shaver, or whatever you want to call it. After 10 years of ridiculous looking beards, goatees, mustaches and sideburns, it’s probably time I started becoming a bit more professional anyways. So long, mountain-man.
By the way, if you haven’t seen the ads for Dollar Shave Club yet, they’re worth the watch: