Shave Update, 10/25/15

Posted: October 25, 2015 in Shaving Articles
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I have been using the same equipment, soaps, and aftershaves that have already been
noted in prior updates. While I continue to test new blades, I have generally
become pleased with my stable of soaps. Here are some additional thoughts:

1) Arko grows more impressive to me with each shave. In terms of a highly
affordable soap, it provides excellent performance. It is easy to load, easy to
lather, and provides very nice protection. I have become more and more enamored of
its smell as the days wear on. It would absolutely be my recommendation as the best
budget minded soap I have yet used.

2) I have altogether converted to the Omega Synthetic brush. It is so easy-care,
and lathers so well (once the nature of the brush is understood) that I rarely use
the Escali brush anymore.

3) As my blade test continues on, I believe that I have burned through most of the
sharper blades in my collection, and found some really great performers. The ones
that have really impressed me include the Wilkinson Sword, Astra, Feather, and a
few of the Russian Gillettes. I still have a few more that I’d like to test with
the Feather All Stainless razor, and I am interested in getting the Rapira and
Voshkod blades, as I have heard good things. That said, they are a bit more
difficult to find, so we shall see.

4) I broke out my Parker 99R after concluding a blade test. A few thoughts: it is
far more challenging to use than the Feather. You have to shave much more
mindfully, and remember to be gentle. On the first pass, the blade has to be rinsed
much more frequently than with the Feather. It is more tactile and audible than the
Feather, as well. Remembering to tighten the Butterfly doors to keep the razor in
tune, while easy enough, strikes me as a bit of a design compromise compared to the
three piece design, which is tight and stable. Aside from the somewhat more
technique-critical shave, the Parker provides a wonderfully close shave. My
improvement in regards to understanding the grain of my beard now allows me to get
as close as can be achieved with three passes. If anything, that last scintilla of
closeness is easier to achieve with the Parker. You pay for it in taking a greater
risk of cuts or irritation. The phrase that occurred to me when I was shaving with
the Parker again was, “How are you going to keep them down on the farm after
they’ve seen the big city?”

That said, I think it’s good to change up often enough that you appreciate the
qualities of different razors. The Parker performs. It just isn’t nearly as
“autopilot” as the Feather.

5) I have tried the Alum as a deodorant (only on weekends when I can remediate it
if I begin to break through). It actually works fairly well. By the time 24 hours
have gone by, it is losing its potency, but it does serve to allow my underarms the
occasional respite. I also, of course, use the alum from time to time for its
intended astringent purpose. Generally, when I’m going to shower it off after a few
minutes.

I have a new razor coming in the mail, and will likely test it this coming week to
see how things go. This one’s a slant head razor. My primary aim with this one is
to allow for quick maintenance shaves from time to time, when I don’t want to make
a large production out of it. If the slant provides a reasonable shave with one or
two passes, and proves not to be too aggressive or to great a technical hurdle, It
might serve well as a mid-week razor. Time, and this blog I suppose, will tell.

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