In this strange and confounding time we find ourselves in, shaving is not a necessity. It won't matter on that video call that you have a little stubble or your legs are a little hairy than usual.
Yet, shaving is less about the other people looking at you and more about how you feel about yourself. Or in my case, how god damn itchy my jaw gets if I haven't shaved for about a week. It's my breaking point, and so today I took off about 10 days of growth.
I don't grow a lot of hairy but what it lacks in quantity, it makes up for in thickness. It will fight a razor if it's not properly prepared. So I did everything I could to show that hair whos boss.
I start with a nice warm, not hot shower, I use a scrub to clean up any dead skin or pieces of food that my flatmate hasn't told me about. Then I apply an appropriate amount of shaving cream to my face. I say appropriate because sometimes people go overboard on how much they need and turn themselves into a cheap mall Santa understudy. You can always add more gel/cream/foam whatever your poison is, save your money.
To give myself the best chance of having a successful shave I threw on a new razor. A new razor at its maximum sharpness is a joy coming from a blade that I probably used for about 3 too many shaves.
With the thickness of my hair, no matter what I did clogs up the blades. So the plan of attack is many small strokes while rinsing out the blade with warm water. Once I had battled through the majority of the hairs it's not time to shave against the grain in all those weird and wonderful ways which result in you contorting your face in ever increasingly strange shapes.
The trouble is that it works, so looking ridiculous is the price we pay for beauty. So now that you are hairless you have to finish off the process. Cleaning off all of the leftover shaving cream with cool to cold water, the coldest you can handle.
Then make your skin feel the absolute best by throwing on some moisturiser. You have just removed hopefully, only a layer of skin. We want to be nice to our skin now and so gently rubbing in some lotion not only makes our skin feel so much better it also gives us a sense check on if we missed any spots. I always do.
In the big picture way of looking at the world, a shave is not essential. But in the specific, it feels damn good to be fresh and smooth again. So sometimes you just have to do things for yourself and as Keats said "a thing of beauty is a joy forever". So you can let the world know that's it's welcome.
Shave well, reach out if you need help, look after those around you.