Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Archive for August 2nd, 2011

Great shave and Slant-Bar note

with 8 comments

You will note better focus in this photo, thanks to advice from Steve of Kafeneio and Dirty Texan. I used the Macro setting (increased depth of field) and Manual Focus. This level of effort was not needed on the Canon S2 IS, FWIW.

A terrific shave, first of all. I am really liking horsehair shaving brushes. I get a terrific lather with little effort, and the brushes are attractive to boot. Plus the horses go unharmed—and trimming hair from a horse to make brushes is undoubtedly much less stressful for the horse than shearing is for a sheep. So I feel good all round.

The lather this morning was again the close-grained Creamy Lather that I seem to get easily with horsehair brushes, this time from the La Toja soap in its cool container. The razor is the “TV Super Speed”, which was heavily advertised on TV at the time. Its distinctive mark is the flared tip plus vertical grooves down the handle with no horizontal grooves in sight.

This one, with its previously used Swedish Gillette blade, provided a close, comfortable shave, and the splash of Pinaud Clubman provided an old-timey fragrance.

The Slant Bar hypothesis: A guy on the Reddit Wicked_Edge site was complaining about how certain spots on his face felt rough as he went about his day, even though he had carefully felt for any roughness and found none, and had also been careful to shave that area carefully. As I wrote:

Stretching the skin as riddet describes will help. I’ve read (but not tried) using an alum bar as part of the polishing routine: the idea is that it tightens the skin and thus erects the stubble for a closer cut. You could try that: alum on the spot, smear a little lather there for lubrication, and shave against the grain. Don’t do it repeatedly, of course.

I am curious about whether a Slant Bar would help: it does shave closely and the different cutting action (slicing across the stubble rather than pushing its way bluntly through) might (speculation here) avoid pushing the stubble over: that is, pushing directly against very short stubble might simply push it down, but the slicing action cuts through it before it can be pushed alway. Just a thought.

UPDATE: The more I think about it, the more I think that the Slant Bar might provide the answer. At the end of the shave (by the third pass), the stubble is well-soaked and soft. If it is also relatively thin, the “being pushed over by the blade’s edge” scenario might be accurate (for a standard straight bar, in which the blade lunges directly at the stubble, trying to chop directly through), in which case the slicing action of the Slant probably would solve the problem. And the stubble’s being throughly soaked and soft, as well as (possibly) thin, would explain why you don’t feel the rough patch at the end of the shave: the stubble’s just too soft. But when it dries, it regains its copper-wire toughness, so it feels rough.

I have my own little chronically rough spot at the right corner of my jaw. I’m going to try the Slant Bar and see whether that takes care of the problem.

In other summer shaving news: I got a suggestion via email from Chris R. that putting the alum bar in the fridge or freezer and retrieving it for the aftershave routine was quite pleasing in cold hot weather, and it occurred to me that an alcohol-based menthol splash kept in the fridge would be quite bracing for a hot-weather aftershave. Does anyone do this?

Written by LeisureGuy

2 August 2011 at 8:41 am

Posted in Shaving

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