Possible conversion to DE: got him hooked, and I think he's landed
My best friend, who is also named Matt, came to visit this past weekend to see my new son. he brought his fiancee, Tracey, to meet my wife. I have already met Tracey, and we get along famously. They arrived late Friday night, we spent all day Saturday together, and they headed back to Ohio on Sunday.
I had made an appointment for Matt to get a royal shave at the AOS shop where I get my hair cut. I made the appointment for a royal shave because if he decided he wanted a regular shave, he could just cut it down. It was also the last one of the day, so my regular barber was able to split early if it was cut down. Since I have already become a regular I was able to get a spot that was a cancellation.
He had told me earlier that he wasn't happy with the quality of his shaves, that he gets itchy red bumps, angry red patches on his neck, and his shaves aren't smooth or satisfying. His face always feels tight after he shaves. Before I left for Poland in the summer of 2010 I had gotten him the Grooming Lounge Greatest Shave Ever kit and he loves it. The aftershave is top-notch, but it's the SHAVE that is burning him up. We spent a good part of the day talking about it, and I learned a lot. He was just shaving from top to bottom, I mean vertically, not going with the grain. I explained hair growth to him, and how he can map his out. He asked about the razors, and if they're scary. I was honest with him, telling him the first few shaves were quite bloody despite, or because of, my best efforts. He had been pressing the cartridge against his face to try to dig the whiskers out, a common-enough thing I am learning. I explained that the hardest thing about DE shaving, at least for me, was learning to not apply pressure at all, because that actually starts to dig into the skin and take off the layers.
We spent a lot of time going in-and-out giggity of the AOS shop, and I taught him to build lather off a puck of soap. I almost laughed when he asked, and this is verbatim, "So how do you get the lather out of the soap?" The woman who works there, a lovely woman named Klaudette, showed him how to build the lather from the shave cream, but I have a good feeling he'll prefer the soap. I know him very well. I took the time explaining glycerin versus tallow, the benefits of it, a cost-benefit analysis, and the function of the brush.
So it came time for his shavette shave. I hung around up front before going into the back. We all shot the breeze during the shave, just like in the old-school barber shops. My buddy was fine during the prep: the hot towels, the oil, the lather, massaging it into his beard, but his eyes bugged out while the barber was wielding the razor. I could tell that he was slightly scared during the whole thing, but absolutely loved the results. I think he also like the actual process of the shave. He got one tiny nick on his cheek, but it was stypticked (sp?) right up. The whole drive back he was rubbing his face, and when we got back his fiancee, Tracey, was touching and stroking his face. She absolutely loved it! He told me at some point during the day that Tracey wanted him to start using higher-quality shaving products, because she thinks that what he's using (Edge, Barbasol, Gillette Fusion, etc.) is crap, and I told him she was right.
When we got back to my hotel room I PIFed him my Merkur 38C and a pack each of Gillette 7 O'clock, Personna Reds, and Astras. I think I really got him in with a display of results.
~Matt "I'm writing a book about reverse psychology. Please, don't buy it."