Gut Rumbles

February 04, 2005

on beards

I grow thick and heavy black whiskers around my mouth and chin. I can grow a full moustache and goatee in two weeks from a baby's ass beginning. I've worn a moustache for years and I sometimes add a beard to go with it. But the beard never looks right.

I don't have enough sideburn whiskers to grow a full beard. If I stop shaving altogether, I start to look skanky really fast. I get chin whiskers out the wazoo, but just scraggy hairs on the rest of my face. I look like Fido's Ass.

So, I shave. I use a Gillette razor with those expensive-assed blades in it. If I wait three days to shave, I can clog one of those fuckers like a plugged roof drain when oak leaves are falling. I spend more time cleaning my razor than I do shaving my face.

My grandfather always shaved with a straight razor, a true work of art that he sharpened on a leather strop (which he also used to sharpen my ASS on more than one occasion). He had one of those old shaving bowls where you mixed your soap lather with a big whisk-brush and then applied it to your face. I watched him do it 100 times or more. It was the manliest thing I ever saw in my life at the time.

After Papaw got older, he switched to a safety razor, but he still had that old straight-blade in its case with the strop. I HAD to try it. So, I did one fine day. I mixed up the soap in the lathering dish, I used the whisk to apply it to my face, I stropped that razor to an edge of death and I commenced to shave.

I almost cut my own fucking throat.

GOT DAM!!! A straight-razor don't PLAY, boys and girls. You can peel half your fucking face off with one swipe and not even KNOW it until you see all the blood. Then try to get that shit to stop bleeding. I wouldn't recommend straight razors for hemophiliacs.

I don't care what safety razor blades cost. They are worth every penny.

Try a straight-razor and tell me I'm wrong.



Posted by: Bob in the hills on February 4, 2005 09:01 PM

I shaved with a straight razor since I was a teen. Never did cut myself with it. When I went into the Navy and bootcamp, they almost shit their pants when they saw that razor. "What the fuck is this boy"????????? Ah, that's what I shave with sir. " Not in this man's Navy, now you send that weapon home" I've had a beard since I got out of the service (35 years now) but if I was going to shave again, it would be with a straight razor

Posted by: AndyJ on February 4, 2005 09:26 PM

Shaving with a straight razor. THERE'S a novel concept.

Posted by: Velociman on February 4, 2005 09:38 PM

Shaving with a straight razor takes a bit of getting used to, but I prefer it. I think it does a better job and it's a hell of a lot cheaper.

Posted by: Alden on February 4, 2005 09:41 PM

Been shaving with a straight razor since I was a kid. Lately I use a barber's replaceable blade straight, for when I can't carry a strop. When i travel by air, I use Bic Metal disposables, about the closest thing to a straight razor shave.

Posted by: og on February 4, 2005 09:45 PM

I always admire the skill of the barbers who trim the whiskery parts with a straight razor after they cut my hair. And I hold really still!

I recently shave-blogged about my switch to the Mach 3, and it was one of my more popular posts. Go figure. Got some attention with the followup on my experiences with and refusal to use electrics.

I generally go every other day if I can get away with it, but I know what you mean about going longer than that, and it seems worse with the new one.

I've had the moustache since I was 15, but the beard thing doesn't really work. I always had so much trouble shaving the moustachal region compared to the rest, it was better not to. Until perhaps 10 years ago I would once in a while shave it off and let it start over, but now I don't bother. It hides a big scar from a shaving cut.

Posted by: Jay on February 4, 2005 11:00 PM

A friend tried to teach me to shave with a straight razor. His method was as he learned in barber school .. use a china marker to make a line on a balloon, lather over it, and shave. You pass the test when you can shave off the lather and the china mark without popping the balloon. I will leave you to imagine the mess left by multiple failures.

Posted by: DJSloan/Houston on February 4, 2005 11:23 PM

I have a straight razor, and typically use it when I need a REALLY close shave, like when using latex makeup and the like in theatrical applications. Stubble does not get along well with that shit.

The closest shave always has been and always will be via straight razor, and anyone who says otherwise has never used one. I use a Gillette Mach 3 gamma x-ray tango bravo or whatever the hell they're called this week for day to day shaving, as picking up a straight razor at seven in the morning when you're running on four hours sleep and can't see straight isn't the smartest thing in the world to be doing.

Posted by: Mr. Lion on February 5, 2005 02:00 PM

Had one straight razor shave in my life. In Vietnam in '71. I think the barber was a VC. I became convinced that he was trying to cut my throat. Must have stropped that razor on a fence post.

I use some Schick multi-bladed contraption now. Umpteen blades lined up like waves approaching Malibu. Is there a theoretical limit to how many blades can be lined up in a safety razor?

Posted by: Hap Arnold on February 5, 2005 02:56 PM

Where does it end? Here. SCHICK QUATTRO. 3 blades? What are you, living in the stone ages? Spend another 10 bucks and get this, damn it.

-Paraphrased commercial

Yeah, I bought one. It sucked. I've got wire brush facial hair, and that would ALWAYS get clogged and is impossible to clean out without sticking your eye gouger in the razor mechanism and carefully pulling the hair out.

Mach III I like better, but still, I dislike replacing the blades all the time.

I got a Remington Titanium 9550 or whatever, self cleaning 3-head ottermatic.

It's not as close as a real shave, but it's a helluva lot cheaper, faster, and cleaner.

I need to go to a real barbers and get a straight-edge one of these days. I hear tell it's a religious experience if you don't know the barber!

Posted by: Rob on February 5, 2005 06:34 PM

I just stopped shaving, period, and I've been happy ever since.

I do have to use a full size electric hair trimmer to crop the beard though, my face whiskers are so thick I kill those wimpy trimmers that are meant to cut beards/mustaches in about two months.

Posted by: Graumagus on February 5, 2005 10:51 PM

I want to start using a stright razor. I use a brush and soap dish to lather up -- and it seems like such a waste to use a double-blade on it.

BIG SECRET about the multi-blades: it's just a marketing gimmick to charge (much) more money for essentially the same product as a good single blade safety razor.

Now you know.

Posted by: Kim du Toit on February 6, 2005 12:50 PM
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