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Simplicity for Shaving

Posted by Luke McMeeken-Ruscoe on

Sunday is my shaving day. I find it a good way to end one week and start a new one. It is one of the little rituals that I have. Also, as I have said before, I get really itchy. It is a sort of necessity for me to shave by Sunday or I become a big scratchy mess. 

SIMPLICITY IS THE ULTIMATE SOPHISTICATION

Da Vinci was a very smart man, but of all the things history has ascribed to him, I like this quote the most. We overcomplicate things in life to appear intelligent. We thinking complexity equates to intelligence. However, it is the opposite. Reducing all of the unwanted crap to the basics and doing that well is where sophistication comes from. 

The little black dress is a classic example. In cooking, the fewer ingredients the better. Let the flavours do their own talking. Shaving is the same. Here are my 5 tips for a great shave. 

SHOWER

This is a double whammy. Cleaning all the dirt, skin, and crap that gets on your face leaves a better surface for your razor to work on. It also leaves less gunk to get stuck in your blades while shaving. 

Showering also helps with getting hot water onto your hair, regardless of where it is on your body. The hot water helps soften the hairs so that it's easier for the razor to slice through them. 

SHARP BLADE

A sharp blade should glide across your face. There are again, two key elements here. Is the blade sharp and is the blade clean?

Your shower or face clean beforehand should help with this. Your blade might still be sharp but there is a build-up of dead skin, oil, dirt, you name it, in between and on the blades. Make sure you clean it out regularly. Fewer strokes are better than more strokes... in this situation😁.

Then there is the literal sharpness of the blade. Over time your hairs will beat that razor up and it will dull. At a certain point, it will wave the white flag and it's time to swap it out for another fresh clean razor. 

WITH

First, shave with your grain. Sometimes it's right to let the current take you where it wants to. No point fighting how your face is formed and how your hair grows. 

Take the path of least resistance and go with the flow. 

AGAINST

Now once you have gone with the flow it's time to be a rebel and go against the grain for that super close shave.

Use your fingers and pull the skin really taut, this way you can get all those pesky hairs and it will create the smoothest, softest shave you have ever had. 

It's why the old school barbers were always grabbing at your face. The tension creates a better result.

FINISH

You just spent 5 or so minutes running a razor blade all over that precious face of yours, it's now time to be gentle and tender.

Use some cold water to clean all the shaving gel/foam away and finish off with the lotion of your choice. 

I have been experimenting with a few things and I have been really enjoying argan oil. Mileage may vary so what works for you and your skin type.

MOMENT OF GRATITUDE

This one was a little more challenging this week. When I sat down to think of something I kept coming back to the bad things that happened and the challenges that I have had, both externally (things not working out as planned) and internally (how I responded to those situations).

But, we are trying to make a Youtube ad for Straightface and part of that process is finding props. I happened to find something perfect on the side of the road. One man's trash is another man's treasure. However, I couldn't fit it in my car. Even the years playing Tetris didn't help me overcome back physics. 

So I called around friends with bigger cars than me and one friend came through. It was a few days later so every day I would drive by to see if it was still there and it was, so one lunchtime my buddy ducked away from work and helped me get it back to my place so I could do some arts and crafts on it, ready for the video. Probably no one will notice it but that is sort of the point. 

So my moment of gratitude is having a friend come through for me when I needed a hand. 

Shave well, be awesome. Be that friend that comes through. 

Luke

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