And the timeline of Gillette shaving 'firsts' is in there, starting with King C. Gillette's invention of the safety razor with disposable blades in 1901, and then in 1904 Gillette receiving the first U.S. patent on the safety razor and selling 90,000 razors and 12 million blades that year.
"Known for their luxury personal grooming products, Parisian company Hommage certainly lives up to their reputation with the Damascene Razor. The name comes from the Damascus steel used to make the blade. While the technique for making the True Damascus encountered during the Crusades has been lost since the 1700s, modern pattern welding techniques have produced similar blades. The 128 layers of steel in the Damascene Razor produce a rose and torsion pattern much like those seen in True Damascus blades."
Before you make an appointment with the hair restoration doctor, consider this: the HairMax LaserComb.
According to the manufacturer, it's "the only medical device that has been clinically proven to promote hair growth" and was named Time Magazine's "Invention of the Year".
I don't have experience with this device, so I can't tell you if it works or not, but I just had to share it with you... (and I wonder if they'll come out with one for men with thin beards)
"The HairMax LaserComb delivers the energizing and nourishing effects of Laser PhotoTherapy to make hair look healthy and vibrant. Light is energy. Living cells thrive in light and your hair is no different. The end result is that the appearance of your hair will improve and you will feel good about your hair again. With two decades of clinical experience, the results seen with the laser used in the LaserComb are both encouraging and impressive. Direct experience shows that, unlike other treatments, men and women of all ages respond to the positive benefits of Laser PhotoTherapy. It is no surprise that satisfied users range in age from 18 to their late 80s."
Has anyone used the HairMax? What do you think, miracle or waste of money?
Over the last month or so, I've been trying out different brands of double edged razor blades for my Merkur safety razor, thanks to DeRazorblades, and I've come up with my top 3 picks. (Your mileage may vary...)
I tried the Wilkinson, Bic, 7 a.m., Dorco, Merkur, Personna, Astra, and Sharp so far, and with the first shave, I didn't find much difference in the quality of the shave. But with each subsequent shave, I began to notice a preference in myself for certain ones.
My top 3 picks for DE razor blades:
1. Merkur Super - This was my favorite, by far. The quality of the shave was consistent throughout the week, with only a hint of dullness by the fifth day. Even on the last day of the week, I got a great shave.
2. Wilkinson - I thought this was a quality blade which held up well during the week, but by the fourth day, there was a definite 'drag' while shaving. I still got a week's worth of shaves from it, but I was wishing for a new blade on the sixth day.
3. Astra - I had never heard of this brand, and I fully expected it to rank at the bottom for quality and longevity, but it was a contender. The shaves were good, though it also had a hard time making it through an entire week.
So my question to you is: What is your choice of razor blade for your safety razor, and why?
"Shaving doesn't just cause painful nicks on the neck or under the nose either -- it bleeds your pockets too. The price of razors and blades varies enormously, depending on the brand and store you buy them in."
Any readers swear by the Mach III? What do you like about it?
"Proper shaving has become a lost art. Shaving is one of those glorious male traditions that used to be passed down from father to son, but somewhere along the line, when shaving became more about cheap, disposable razors than a nice, precision-made metal tool in your hand, it became a brainless routine to rush through in the morning without even thinking about it."
"Some things boys can pick up from the world around them: how to tumble, how to eat an ice cream cone, how to climb a tree. Then there are things that sons just need to learn from their fathers. The father and son relationship is like an apprenticeship for manhood, on-the-job training for growing up. And the best place to learn how to be a man is sometimes at the other end of the kitchen table."
Curious about which double edged safety razor to get? Check out this chart from Badger and Blade:
"Aggressiveness of a safety razor can be thought of as the degree to which a blade is exposed to the face and beard, or conversely the degree to which the face and beard are not protected from the blade by the razor's safety features."
"My first technique improvement is a growing mastery of "negative pressure". With most of my blades, I found that the weight of the razor was just enough--no pressure was needed. But with this one, I think that's TOO MUCH pressure. Using the same technique as my smaller razors with a very big, very stiff, very sharp blade was leading to irritation and unpleasant shaves."
"Evidence from market research and academia indicates that more men are removing body hair. The phenomenon skews to mostly college-age guys or those in their 30s. Reasons run the gamut from Because My Girlfriend Likes It to a desire to flaunt a six-pack or be clean."
Writing for a shaving blog, I get to sample many kinds of shaving creams, some not so good (which I don't tend to give any reviews for) and some that are very good indeed. The hard thing about it is that I need to give them a fair chance, which means using them more than once, and when I do, I'm not using the brands that I really love (like Speick and Cremo and Jack Black).
But... Variety is good, right?
This week, I've been trying out Barc Shave Cream, which has an interesting name for something you don't want to think about when shaving: Cutting Up.
The cream is very thick (which I like), and has no scent whatsoever (which is great for men with sensitive skin). One of the ingredients is Boswellia serrata (Indian Frankincense), which has been used for healthy skin throughout history, as well as being used for arthritis treatment (not sure it will help you in a shaving cream, though).
I liked the quality of the shave I got with Barc, and my Merkur razor glided easily over my face, leaving a close, smooth shave.
"Bump Down is an alcohol-free razor bump repair treatment formulated with glycolic acid and triclosan to help reduce unsightly ingrown hairs and reduce irritation from shaving. Also enriched with chamomile extract and glycerin to calm the skin and leave you hydrated."
My skin was happy with the Barc products, and I believe I'll keep them in my cabinet to use again and again.
"Norelco's New Speed-XL Jet Clean Shaving System combines a Cleaning and Charging System with the NEW Norelco Speed-XL Shaving Heads which have 3 rows of Blades and Slots and Holes, and covers 50% more shaving surface for a faster, smoother and closer shave! The Speed-XL Power System is Rechargeable Cord / Cordless. It can be used anywhere! This model has a 7 LED Display which displays battery level, battery low warning, cleaning indicator, shaving head replacement indicator. One hour full charge for up to 55 minutes of shave time -- over two weeks!"
"Gillette Fusion features a breakthrough 5 blade Shaving Surface technology on the front of the shaving cartridge. The blades are spaced 30 percent closer together than MACH3 blades. This creates a Shaving Surface that distributes the shaving force across the blades for significantly less irritation and more comfort. Includes an enhanced Indicator Lubrastrip infused with Vitamin E, Aloe and natural oils fades from blue to white, signaling when optimal shave conditions have been reduced. The Precision Trimmer blade, a single blade built into the back of the cartridge, allows men to easily trim sideburns, shave under the nose and shape facial hair."
"Waterboarding, schmaterboarding. If the U.S. military wants a truly effective-and perfectly legal-"enhanced interrogation technique," it should consider body waxing sessions for its subjects.
I know this because I recently underwent one at Rizzieri Salon & Spa in Marlton. Suffice it to say the (occasional) pain was such that it was mere minutes before I was ready to reveal the location of every Nazi U-boat off the Jersey coast."
Most of us learned to shave either watching our dad or brother, or through trial and error, but what if we've picked up some not-so-helpful habits for shaving?
Well, you can always take a class...
London "Gentleman's Barber" Geo. F. Trumper is now offering shaving classes, one on one, with a skilled barber.
"Shaving knowledge and technique is not instinctive, all men need to learn the art and unfortunately many learn it badly. Common problems such as razor burn, bloodspots, ingrown hairs and redness are more often than not caused by bad shaving technique."
"Perhaps this business was inspired by a hate of facial hair, or perhaps it's about self-improvement, but in any case, this is one business that is clearly designed for stupid men. Not only does it teach them a fundamental skill they've probably been using during their entire adult life, it also charges them a ludicrous amount."
I'm not sure if it's crazy, stupid, or smart, but I'm sure there are men who will take the class and be a better shaver for it.
What do you think? Would you take a shaving class?
On a completely unrelated note, Amazon is offering the latest generation 6" Kindle Wireless Reading Device for just $299 right now. Download your books, your favorite blogs and newspapers, and take your reading with you, all on one device.
One persistent myth about shaving is the idea that your beard will grow thicker the more often you shave it. This myth has probably led to more money being plopped down by teenage boys for razors and shaving cream than any advertising campaign run by grooming products companies, but unfortunately for the boys, it's not true.
"It only appears that hair is thicker after cutting because the proximal shaft [the part of the hair closest to the skin] is thicker in diameter." - Robin Ashinoff, M.D., director of Dermatologic, Mohs and Laser Surgery at Hackensack University Medical Center
"Once it has been shaven, the hair will regrow with a blunt tip, which creates a more stubbly and rough feeling. Shaving changes the hair shaft, which grows outside the skin, but doesn't change the hair follicle, which determines the hair's length, girth and color" - Paradi Mirmirani, M.D., dermatologist at the Permanente Medical Group in Vallejo, CA
But will American teens believe it if it hasn't been tested by Myth Busters?
"Dude! You're clean shaven but are you green shaven?
Yes, the eco marketing of all consumer goods has reached the scratchy male whisker. Despite the notion that the greenest face is the hairiest one, not all men like sporting facial fur and not all females like going into-the-wild to make out.
What steps can you take before going under the knife? Don't roam far from the healthy foam; don't be a fool with the wrong disposable tool; never brace your face with a jug that's mean to your mug."
The recommendation for using the Preserve Razor is a good one if you're still using a plastic cartridge razor, and the article points out the fact that the Braun Pulsonic has an Energy Star charger, but the one piece missing was a mention of using a double edged safety razor, which is a lot less wasteful (and cheaper) to use.
"Sure you can mow down down the stubble with the latest, greatest fifteen blade-vibrating-digital-mp3-playing razor, but occasionally some things are better left to their analog counterpart. Specifically when it involves dragging a blade across your face. Granddad sure seemed to get by just all right without a battery-operated super razor, and with any luck, you can too."
J.M. Fraser's Polar Ice shaving cream is another example of why it's not good to judge a book by its cover. The packaging is a basic, plain jane white tub with minimal blue text - not a flashy, hyped up label to be seen. But that's ok, because it's what's inside that counts, right?
Polar Ice is very thick and creamy, building up a great lather in no time, and it's got a refreshing feel on the face. The cream can be re-lathered on your whiskers with a little water if it dries, making for an easy and quick shave. The scent is light and kind of minty, with a cool feeling to it, not an overpowering smell.
One big plus for this is the price and the size of the tub. For nine bucks, you get a half a pound of cream, which ought to last you quite some time. That's a steal. I also liked the fact that it came in a tub and not a tube, so you don't have to squeeze it out, possibly wasting the extra if you squeeze to hard.
J.M. Fraser's Polar Ice is a great deal for a super shave. Nothing fancy, nothing extra, and it works great. Check it out - I think you'll like it a lot.
Wow, June sure did fly by quickly. Summer's now here, the Fourth of July is fast approaching, and we want to make sure you didn't miss any of the posts from the last month as you head out for vacation.
Here's an overview of Shaving Stuff posts for June: