The Fuzzy Experiment

by Joey deVilla on April 26, 2006

Although I am Asian, a phenotype that often means less facial hair growth than caucasians, like my Dad, I’ve got the same beard power as “The Man”. Maybe it’s a fluke, or perhaps the goatee and splendiferous sideburns are my Irish-American great-grandfather’s gift to me. Either way, shaving is a daily ritual if I don’t want to look like a random thug from a Tony Jaa movie.

I’m going to see if we’re all being lied to by Big Foam. For the next month, I’m going to try shaving without shaving cream. I usually shave after coming out of the shower, and both McSweeney’s and an article on Lew Rockwell.com titled The Shaving Cream Racket suggest that in such situations, shaving cream is completely unnecessary. My skin’s pretty smooth, so the idea of shaving without a lubricating layer of cream doesn’t put icy daggers of fear into my heart.

Today is Day 2, and strangely enough, shaving sans foam seems to make no difference at all. Better still, it’s easier to navigate around the beard and ‘burns. I’ll keep you apprised of my progress.

{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

Anonymous April 26, 2006 at 10:52 am

It’s bad for the environment, bad for your utility bills and makes cohabitants stamp their feet but I’ve found it the best way to avoid recreating Scorsese’s The Big Shave. I still need some kind of facial lubricant (no innuendo intended) so I use bar soap. I used to use the same old Coast I used everywhere else but for the past few years I switched to my spouse’s fancy bar soap for sensitive skin. Actually the razor, the Mach 3 Turbo, has a little lubricant strip which helps but isn’t sufficient.

Anonymous April 26, 2006 at 11:23 am

Yep ,its definitely from your Irish ancestor. I know this cuz I have Irish ancestors. A red beard ,perchance? Use a portable electric shaver myself tho its not a good idea to use it in the shower …lol

Anonymous April 26, 2006 at 11:29 am

Try a shaving oil, like Ultimate Shave. It’s a dumb name, but it works really well, plus it’s cheap and small: $12 for a little bottle that lasts a year.

Anonymous April 26, 2006 at 12:23 pm

I am big fan of the shave brush. Just the shave soap is not too easy to get so everytime I got back to the Netherlands I buy my old brand. One soap lasts half a year and only cost a few dollars.

But I have shaved without soap. It works well when the skin is wet (eg under a shower or just right out of the shower) but in general I just prefer the brush.

Anonymous April 26, 2006 at 3:08 pm

I recently started shaving again after 18 years with a full beard and mustache. I had used an electric razor as a youngster, but found that didn’t work well in my advancing years, so I switched to a Mach 3 Turbo. I started with shaving cream, but found some of the same material you mention and started shaving right out of the shower without cream. Works well for me. Don’t think I’ll be going back.

Anonymous April 26, 2006 at 5:56 pm

For the last few years, I’ve used classic style shaving soap. I get a better shave than with gels/creams. And a cake costs just over $1, and my last one lasted *8 months*. (I shave 3 times a week, YMMV) Worth a look in general, and especially if you’re looking to ditch the expensive gels/creams. (Travels well too!)

Anonymous April 26, 2006 at 6:49 pm

I shave while showering. No need to look in the mirror, I know where I want hair or not. No extra lubrication required (maybe slather a bit of shampoo from my head on my face). Double-edged safety razor, no double blades. Only problem, a package of 10 blades is costing upwards of $10 nowadays.

Anonymous April 26, 2006 at 7:05 pm

About a month ago I started “wetshaving”, using a shaving brush and old-fashioned shaving soap or cream (in a tub!). I also started using a double-edged safety razor (this is what most of our parents and grandparents used before cartridge razors came around). It takes a tad bit longer, but it’s much easier on my face than the ol’ Mach 3. Also, it’s much easier on my wallet. A 10 pack of blades costs about $1.50 USD.

Good article to check out if you’re interested:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/6886845/

Anonymous April 26, 2006 at 10:18 pm

Irregular Web Comic is particularly relevant today.

Anonymous April 27, 2006 at 6:46 pm

from http://www.nap.edu/openbook/0309084075/html/167.html:

Einstein was a simple man. He dressed simply, spoke simply, lived simply. There’s a great story about Einstein using the same soap for shaving as for bathing. Discovering this, a visitor asked why he didn’t use shaving soap. “Two soaps?” Einstein replied. “That is too complicated!”

Anonymous April 28, 2006 at 6:00 pm

My wife and I unsucessfully tried for six months for me to have a beard. Never worked though. We gave up. I haven’t needed a barber too since I was seventeen. They’re alien to me; very sinister people, barbers. I couldn’t help noticing that a lot of them are bald, even the males.

Anonymous April 30, 2006 at 3:52 pm

i have used meghans shaving foam once or twice when the neck hair is long…

but otherwise, haven’t used the stuff since i hit puberty.

the trick is to get razors ith lubricating strips, wait until youve been in the shower for at least 3 minutes already.

Good luck,

Dorian

Anonymous May 8, 2006 at 12:25 pm

Any updates on this project? I’m quite interested, but I’d like to hear your results before I try it myself.

Renee May 24, 2010 at 3:19 pm

I was pissed off at the high cost of razor blades, and while leaving the market I figured out what makes razor blades dull and how to cheaply prevent it! It is amazing! It tripled, almost quadrupled the life of my blades. It was so significant I made http://www.shaveforless.com to sell my secret on the internet for $3. (No the secret is not drying your blade) It is so simple and costs pennies to employ. A disposable that lasts 2-3 days lasts 10-12 days. A replacement cartridge that usually lasts a week now lasts over a month!

Renee July 21, 2010 at 11:23 am

I told my girlfriend about the secret and she said the Schick Quattro that used to last her 4 weeks now lasts her 10 weeks see the http://blog.shaveforless.com
I told a guy at my duaghter’s gymnastics and he said he got 6 weeks out of the blade that used to last him a week!

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