It feels weird to say I'm a newbie to shaving in my 50s, but for the last 30+ years, I've had a full beard. All this time I used an electric razor to shave my neck, upper cheeks and lower lip, and I was pretty lazy about shaving my neck a lot of the time. So the pandemic comes along, and I hated wearing a mask over the beard, so I thought maybe I'd try a circle beard... I was surprised to find I like it more than the full beard. But my face! It hadn't seen the light of day for most of my adult life and I found that shaving with an electric felt like I was scrubbing off stubble with a pumice stone. My cutters were old and I bought new, which brings weeks of it grabbing and pulling whiskers if I have more than a day's growth. (And I often did, since shaving was an uncomfortable chore.) On top of that, I'm half bald and have kept my hair at 1/8th of an inch when I get around to cutting it, and I decided the pandemic was a good time to try just shaving it. The electric works, but it feels like work, that pumice stone scrubbing.
So I looked into cartridge razors... OMG, I might as well stick a funnel in Gillette's bank account and pour my wallet in. I'm half Syrian and I have that middle-eastern thick black beard and curly hair. (Well, it used to be black... now my beard is mostly white, but it's still coarse.) One of those cheap disposable Bic razors lasts me a single, horrible, uncomfortable shave, so I know I'm cartridges aren't going to last me long.
Could I shave with a safety razor, like my dad used? Back when I was a kid, I touched the blade of his razor... I didn't feel a thing, but it drew blood. Old shows tell me safety razors are the road to nicks, cuts and bits of TP on my face. I don't remember my dad cutting himself (and he's not around to ask for advice anymore; cancer got him at 83 a couple years ago), but I was sure I'd be in for a long practice road. I literally have looked at doing this three separate times and backed off the first two.
But what the heck... those blades are practically free compared to cartridge razors. And everything I'm reading says "more comfortable, closer shave". Yeah, lotta hype, right? But what's there to lose... so I gave it a try. Two weeks in and I haven't cut myself yet. Still early in the technique learning curve... I thought I knew the grain on my head, but I had no idea parts of the back go nearly sideways. But my shaves are getting closer, and I'm getting faster at it.
A youtuber called this "a hobby" and I was like, "This isn't a hobb... never mind, it's a hobby." I find myself looking forward to tomorrow so I can shave again. I don't even know how long it takes me to shave... I just get lost in the process. I have a spreadsheet to track my blade reviews. I'm reading soap and after-shave reviews looking for what to try next. And the funny part is that they weren't lying... my shave is more comfortable, closer, and enjoyable than with an electric razor. And if it's a hobby, who cares if I spend a little on soaps or even a new razor now and then?
So I had to come here... my family is getting tired of listening to me talk about the wonders of DE shaving, and I need some like-minded folks to chat with.