Hi and congratulations on such a superb site.
I registered last week after reading the forum with interest and feel the time is right to ‘nail my colours to the mast’ and ‘put my head above the parapet’ so to speak.
I’ve been using Mach 3 razors since they came out and before those, the Gillette Sensor. I tried an electric razor years ago but found the collection of stubble it keeps disgusting and having seen a close up of two hairs- one cut by an electric and one with a normal razor, I switched to wet shaving. That was about 15-20 years ago.
Recently I bought a Gillette Fusion (powered version) and was pretty impressed at the quality of shave I got… the first time. After that it has been a let down and outlined below why I think this is:
The little strip that lifts the hairs does this too well, it's wider than previous razors I have used and I feel this razor cuts the hairs not just below the skin but too far below the skin, leading to the obvious problem with ingrowing hairs, etc. Also small hairs get stuck in the grooves and won't wash out. This is not good.
The other strip that 'lubricates the skin' wears out very quickly and as this is supposed to tell you when to change the cartridge. I feel this is made deliberately weak to encourage faster purchase of new cartridges. Also, why doesn’t it last the life of the blade? I have found that with the blade still in good condition the lubricating strip is worn out.
The cost of replacement cartridges is too high.
I have used this for a week or so and am now changing to a slightly different method of shaving…
Gillette’s marketing has, so far, been good. In fact, excellent but I feel Gillette has over-cooked it and produced and marketed a razor that will have a lot of people thinking: ‘Hang on, the last one was the best, now with extra this and extra that, you're taking it too far. I’m re-assessing what I shave with’.
This has happened to me.
I’ve thought about Double-edged shaving, Cut-throat shaving and finally settled on something else…
Each has their advantages and disadvantages. I travel, so a Cut-throat just isn’t practical but I’m seriously considering a ‘Shavette’ that uses disposable DE blades.
I can see the attraction of using a DE razor for aficionados but just can’t see it being as practical as I want. Besides, It’s a ‘safety razor’, so strictly speaking, as it evolved from the Cut-throat, you must lose something in the transition: Safer, yes, better? No. Also the idea of replacing and disposing of blades does not appeal. So if you are a purist there is only one way to go: The Straight razor you buy, hone and sharpen yourself.
Anyway, back to my dilemma. I’m using a good quality shaving oil and a canned gel on top, lots of hot water before and a post shave gel afterwards. This works for me. I can see why Badger brushes and good soap or cream work and why folks like to use them as part of the whole experience. I also believe that quality counts here. I do doubt though, at times, just how much difference they could make, but that’s down to the individual I suppose and the ‘shaving experience’.
Today I’m going back to basics, when I next shave, I’ll be concentrating on the technique and method to get a really good shave. Modern razors like the Fusion do things too well, a bit like a PC and word processor take the skill out of writing compared to a pen and paper, where one really has to think before one touches the other. Writers from days gone by never wasted words as I probably have here.
Today, for the first time in at least a decade I’ll be thinking more than usual about the shave oil, the angle, the temperature and the post shave treatment, etc.
I'll have to...
The razor? A thirty pence / fifty cent disposable.
I’ll let you know how I get on…