I should add as a preamble that I am, by most external appearances, a grown up. I have a wife and kids and a mortgage and 2 cars and a stable job and all the other trappings. Up until a few weeks ago, though, my shaving game had been dreadful.
While in the shower, I would take a disposable razor and hack 'n slash until I couldn’t feel any hairs on my face or neck any more. I’d shave against the grain (because you get a more satisfying crackle that way) with long, fast, pressurised strokes. Once out of the shower, I’d whack some potent alcoholic aftershave on my neck and call it a day. Suffice it to say, for years I have walked around a bright red - practically glowing - neck and mouth.
What on earth was I thinking? I suppose you get used to doing things in a certain way, and you get used to your appearance such that you become blind to how daft you’re being. A few weeks ago I looked at myself in the bathroom mirror and thought ‘Heyyy… necks aren’t supposed to look like that!’. A quick review of gentlemen’s necks and faces on TV shows confirmed that bright red is not de rigueur, and some rather shameful late-night googling on ‘how to shave’ revealed that I have been doing this very seriously wrong for a very long time.
(The thing is, when I was 13 my Dad did teach me how to shave properly. When you are first starting out as an early teen, though, all that rigmarole isn’t really necessary for a few tufts of fluff. I quickly figured out that a plastic razor and a splash of water would do, and promptly forgot everything he had taught me.)
Now, I shave after my shower. I use shaving foam (some gentlemen’s guides recommend creating your own lather and applying it with a brush - nah…) and a safety razor (which, I have learnt, is a fair bit more dangerous than a disposable in inexperienced hands). I shave with the grain in short, light strokes. I put on a balm lotion afterwards, and I put aftershave on my shirts under the collar instead of on me directly (“You use aftershave during a lockdown? Why!?” - long story).
What a revelation. My neck and face are no longer an angry red colour.
Happy days. Mundane and pointless, but I had to share