A study On The Art Of Shaving


Just a few words concerning shaving. This is just for the men.

I wouldn’t touch on that subject with women if my life depended on it. I also disregarded the electric razor in this article since this is about real men. My Dad used a straight razor when I was very young.

The straight razor was a single blade about six inches long and folded into a handle. I’m glad that was later replaced with a safety razor or I would have bled to death as a teenager.

In order to learn how to use the straight razor one would lather up a balloon and if you could shave it off without bursting it then you might try it on yourself. Dad used a shaving mug which had a round bar of shaving soap in the bottom and a soft brush. He would dip the brush in hot water and swirl it around until he got a mug full of lather.

Next one had to soften up the beard. He would dip a towel in boiling water and wring it out and cover his face. Barbers had steam cabinets to do this. Either way it was similar to what they used in torture chambers. Yes, you could get a shave at the barber shop but who would waste a nickel on such a luxury? Dad got a safety razor when they came out.

The blade had a honed edge on each side that fit into a curved slotted head. You would use one edge until it got dull and then use the other edge.

Of course, Dad had a way of sharpening the blades. He had a certain cup he rubbed the blade around in and apparently sharpened it. Gillette Blue Blades was the main brand. They advertised on the sports TV programs. (Those being boxing and wrestling since they only knew how to use one camera back in those days.)

Anyway, this brings up the reason I started this article in the first place. Gillette Blue Blades always advertised, “Hot lather, cold blade.” This is what I have done all of my shaving lifetime.

So one day when my wife was admiring me while I shaved, she noticed I rinsed my blade in cold water. She of course; corrected me and said I should use hot water.

Since I won the argument, she said she must have been doing it wrong all this time. This got me to thinking that maybe there were men out there who were doing it wrong. Now since my wife says I’m always right (with that rolling her eyes thing) I wanted to pass this on just in case you men wanted to be on my side.

Don Hill, Seymour

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