I shaved for the first time at 15 years old. The occasion was my grandfather’s funeral. My step-dad showed me how to do it, and my mom took the photo, (much to my disapproval). This is a bathroom of 1983:
Now, shaving didn’t become a regular process for another couple of years, (at least) — it’s not that I was showing anything that would pass as a beard at 15 years old, but a boy has to start at some time. I don’t remember exactly, but the second shave was probably months later. At one point in my early 20s, I experimented with a beard. It lasted a couple of months.
Actually not very impressive. Kind of scraggily. Now here’s my best beard:
Anyway, getting back to modern times. . .
Looking closely at that first-shave picture, specifically at the razor in my hand, I see that I’ve been using the same style/brand razor for 30 years: the simple Gillette Good News — a cheap, disposable plastic thing. (This is not a commercial post for Gillete.) Over the years, I’ve occasionally tried other razors. Just recently I bought a fancy-dancy pivoting thing with four or five blades, just to try it out.
Surely something that costs 12 bucks must be better than something that costs less than 60 cents. Surely? I gave it a few tries before passing judgement, but my final thought was that the fancier/expensive razor doesn’t shave any better than the cheapo thing. It was no closer, and no easier to use. In fact, I found the pivoting head rather annoying. I mean, having been shaving for 30 years, I know the shape of my face perfectly, and I can run a sharp steel blade over it quickly and closely without needing the tool to adjust. Heck, half the time I shave I don’t even use cream. I just wet my cheeks and neck with a splash of water, and run the razor over that. Quick, easy, and with sufficiently smooth results.
So I ended up tossing the “pro” razor in the trashcan. My little plastic toys have proven perfectly efficient for 30 years, and I figure they’ll continue to serve me well for another 30.