Here's the Scoop: July 3, 2013

Too many choices
Ordinarily, I don’t write about personal grooming in this space, but I can’t resist this week. You see, I finally broke down and bought a “real” razor and can’t wait to tell the world. Or you.

Probably, I’m not the only person who gets slightly confused by the overwhelming amount of choices at the shaving section in the supermarket or pharmacy. I still recall being thrilled with the innovation of a “double-bladed” razor. Back then, I only shaved about once a week. My shaving frequency has been bumped up a bit since then, but not much. Important meetings drive my shaving schedule more than a desire to appear neat. It’s just not a chore that I enjoy.

So, for years I utilized a razor with two blades — thinking I’d only have to shave half as often. I can’t recall if it happened at the same time, but the “pivoting head” razor was another introduction that made for a smoother shave — with less blood loss, usually. The razor researchers were sharp, coming up with some nice innovations.

Scruffy picture
Then, however, things began to get a bit fuzzy in the shaving aisle. Three-bladed razors and then four. All sorts of innovative handles and lubricating strips were also introduced. I shave infrequently enough that I have trouble remembering which brand of razor I use, so I forget the number of blades and the whirling motion of my razor. More often than not, I’d buy “replacement” blades, get them home and discover that didn’t fit the razor that I “thought” I used.

Finally, frustrated by this process, I grabbed some disposable razors. There was no guesswork (but still quite a few choices in the number of blades), but I didn’t need to worry about matching the handle at home. From an environmental standpoint, the use of these products was troubling. But I got in the habit of using these and it was kind of hard to break. Like watching the “Real Housewives” shows.

Damaging the plant — and my face
Anyhow, I have sort of toiled along for a number of years, using disposables, feeling guilty, getting lousy shaves. It’s a vicious (and sometimes painful) cycle. But a few weeks back I decided to stop bristling at the amount of options in the store shaving aisle and purchase a “real” razor. I couldn’t tell you what brand it is or even begin to list the 35 options it provides, but the shaving is outrageous. Almost fun.

So far, I’m still on the first blade and I have yet to experience the agony of trying to remember which model I need to refill. I could take a photo of the razor or tuck a note in my wallet, but I plan a long-term commitment to this new shaving tool as I make a smooth transition away from disposables in the nick of time.
— Brian Sweeney