In the course of wet shaving mania, we have many points when we’re engaged in the wild accumulation of gear. We can’t do anything but comb through our favorite places to buy equipment and software. We aren’t happy unless we’re testing a new razor or lathering up a new soap. We are in the grips of Gear Acquisition Disorder. Money takes wing and flies out of our wallets like each bill was a migratory bird. Wet shaving isn’t alone in this phase. It could be said that, in comparison to some of the other hobbies you could get into, this malady isn’t that costly. Good luck if you start collecting speed boats or vintage guitars.
Regardless of the severity and type of your purchasing psychosis, it will typically hit a particular point when you’ve purchased so much stuff that it takes a while for you to even try all your new gear. You simply have to stop, because you have such a large backlog of things to take out for a spin that you can’t even deal with it. You’re broken. You’re the kid who’s crying at Christmas, because it’s all a bit too much, and you just want to play with your one action figure for a while before looking at anything else.
Sometimes, in that refractory phase when you’re slowly trundling through your messy wonderland of stuff, you’ll find that you have no real impetus to frantically jump around anymore. You kind of want to run with a few things you like. You need to. You’ve overdone it. You need to return to base and relax.
I find myself in that phase now. I’ve run through and tested so many things that I will have enough reviews to last me months, even if I bug you guys all the time. I’ve had great shaves aplenty. I’ve cycled through the vast majority of my razor collection. I’ve used a great litany of blades. Soaps and aftershaves have propagated through my shave den like an endless tide of suds and good smell. It’s been a good time. It’s been a little crazy.
I’m tired now. I have been for weeks. I’m just loading blades into the Merkur Futur as needed. I’m going through and using my old soaps that I had before acquisition madness hit me.
Here’s what I found.
1) I hate how much I love the Futur. I don’t want to admit how good it is. It doesn’t conform to all the things I think I believe about how razors are designed. It works when my logic says that it shouldn’t. I get such good, easy shaves from the damn thing. It can be turned down to be safe enough, but it has more “headroom” for aggression than I’ve ever needed. It’s a beast. The Futur doesn’t care that much about what blade it has. I have a hard time finding fault with it.
2) For me, Razorock soaps are the answer. I always get a great lather, and I always get a great result. I know that many people differ on this. All the way from the Amici soap, that goes for three bucks, to The Dead Sea, they kick ass. At the low middle part of their range, their vegan formula with argan oil might be the sleeper of all of them. This soap, featured in the soaps such as the Essential Oil of Lime and Lavender, is really great stuff. It could not be any easier to work with. The scents in the soaps are very much to my liking. The types of scents that I could use every day. I have A/B tested this soap against stuff many times the price, and I had a hard time coming up with anything that the RR soaps weren’t doing that the more expensive soaps were. Allowing for “status” shaves, I suppose.
3) It’s good to have your remembrance of your favorite products confirmed after an absence. I’d been using various and sundry razor blades. Many of them good. One or two of them sucky. I finally went back to my beloved Astra SP the other night. Ahhhhh. So smooth. The Futur isn’t the most discerning razor, but there was that beautiful glide on the face that some other blades can’t seem to do. I keep testing them, and I keep saying something along the lines of, “Yeah, but it’s not quite the Astra.” I almost get tired of saying it. I’m glad that at least it’s true. There is no better razor blade at the price point. There are only a few that perform better, regardless of the price. Bold statement. I believe it to be true. Even price-no-object, my second favorite blade, only losing out to the Polsilver Super Iridium. With cost inclusive, easily my favorite. The Astra works in every razor I own. I will stop rhapsodizing at this point. I trust you get the message.
4) Media overload. Yeah. Such big thanks to all the guys who create the Youtube videos. I have devoured an absurd amount of hours worth of the content out there. You’re all great. I’ve picked up such deep and varied knowledge about the hobby, and I’ve grown to feel like many of the presenters are like old friends by now. Still and all, I have to take a rest. I have gone through times when I watched hours and hours of shave videos a week, and loved every minute of it. At this point, though, I am standing back from that, and only watching videos if there’s a particularly interesting product involved. And, because I’m not in an acquisitive mood, not that many new products are catching my eye. I’m sure I’ll come back, but for now, the shaving hobby has taken me down a different road.
5) There is no one perfect tactic. I’ve tried so many different “schemes” for shaving. From the orthodox three pass method, to a variety of other approaches. There’s no one perfect answer. Not even for a single person. It depends on the day, the week, the season of the year. Right now, I’m primarily doing two-pass shaves, with a three-pass thrown in there once or twice a week. It’s enough. With an efficient razor like the Futur, I’m always neat and tidy as I go off to work. Mostly, no one cares as anyway, but it helps me feel like I’m pseudo professional. The main thrust of this little segment is to say that I’ve relaxed a bit. I’m not chasing the perfect shave quite as hard as I was. That’s good, because I’ve had a lot of stress in my life this year, and sometimes, my system isn’t ready for anything challenging right at that point. Sometimes, taking it easy and just shooting for “good enough” is the best policy.
Well, that’s about it for my thoughts. I don’t know if any of the topics I talked about today resonate with you out in Internet-land, but I thought I’d share them in any case.
Cheers, and happy shaving!