My experience with shaving
by, Nov 10, 2009 at 08:54 PM (5996 Views)
When I was younger in secondary school, it was a big thing to be able to announce to your peers that you too had joined the elite group of 'bia-bia' sporters. You could pluck the few isolated hairs on your chin with smugness, while your friends whose chins were still as smooth as a baby's bottom would look on enviously. There were all kinds of crazy things that people did to hasten the appearance of that first hair; I recall that one suggestion was to regularly use methylated spirit, as this would somehow clear away the debris that was stopping the hair from emerging.
Had I known of the (quite literal) pain that would follow as the concomitant of having a beard, I would gladly have stuck to having my chin as smooth as it was when I was born. For I was introduced into the crazy world of shaving, where you have to deal with cuts, bumps and itching.
Of course, I didn't immediately jump into shaving - why would I want to shave something that I had waited all my life to grow? But I soon realised that having a beard was a hassle - either I had to keep on combing it to keep it looking good, or I ended up looking like a wild-eyed madman with the beard all tangled. It didn't help that I couldn't resist stroking, pulling or scratching the beard. So - away it had to go.
My first encounter was using depilatory powder, where I had to mix the cream with water, apply the mixture to my face, and scrape it off. One of the more popular powders was called 'Magic', which magically seemed to be able to remove hair without any sharp edges involved. Unfortunately, there were two problems which ended my use of the powder. One was that it had an terrible smell when mixed with water; the other was that on more than one occasion, it led to my face swelling up.
Then I tried using razor blades. But my lack of experience, and the unavailability of good razors meant that my face ended up looking like a battlefield of cuts, tissue and scars. I wasn't really keen on the whole messy wetness. So that didn't last long.
Then I tried electric shavers, which were great - they were fast, dry, and relatively pain free. The problem is that they never really gave me a really smooth shave. But that was OK, until I realised that an OK shave for me meant a really itchy and scratchy experience for someone else.
So I'm back to razor blades again, and I've grown to love the smooth shave so much that I've become quite uncomfortable with even a day-old growth. However, from time to time, I still long for a beard... it would be great to have one which was as soft as silk but which also sprang back into shape after had been stroked, pulled and scratched...