We asked shaving expert Mark Herro, aka @Mantic59 and the man behind Sharpologist, to weigh in on some of the ways to ensure a great shave, every time. This is the third in a series featuring his advice.
HOW TO MANAGE VARIABLES FOR A BETTER SHAVE
Annoyed because you are not getting a consistently good shave? Here is a way of determining where you may be going wrong, by documenting some shaving variables.
You can do this with a simple paper journal or maybe even a spreadsheet.
HERE ARE SOME COMMON VARIABLES IN A TYPICAL SHAVE
How did you prepare for your shave? Some examples:
- Did you shave after a shower?
- If you didn’t shave after a shower, did you use a good facial cleanser?
- Did you use a pre-shave oil?
Do you have "hard" or "soft" water for this shave? Hot or cold water?
You may not need this column if you consistently use a OneBlade razor and Feather blade, but if you occasionally use a different combo note it here.
The obvious entry here, make it something brief and easy like "OneBlade Black Tie Lavender."
A brief comment on your post-shave routine, e.g. "cool water rinse, Black Tie balm."
SOME NOT SO OBVIOUS VARIABLES
Along with the obvious variables above there may be some not-so-obvious variables you may not have thought of:
The characteristics of a shave sometimes change with a sudden change in the weather. You need to list a full weather report but it might be useful to list a brief comment like "cold,” “humid," or "raining."
TIME BETWEEN SHAVES
How long has it been since your last shave? The amount of time between shaves will certainly impact your shaving experience……
Dehydrated skin is often caused by weather, unhealthy diet, and consumption of alcohol or caffeine. These factors can reduce the skin’s water content.
Here is a way to check whether your body is dehydrated: use two fingers to pinch up some skin on the back of your hand, then let the skin go. The skin should spring back to its normal position in less than a couple of seconds. If the skin returns to normal more slowly, you may be dehydrated.
Do you shave at different times of day? You could enter the time you shaved, or at least the day-part ("morning").
Do you find yourself shaving in different places? This could be a city you have traveled to or even a different part of the same house ("master bathroom" vs. "guest bathroom").
Was your shave rushed for time? Have the flu? Hungover? Make a brief comment here.
PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER
How was your shave? That's for the "Result" column. A numeric scale with a higher number being better may be convenient. Something relatively simple like:
5 = "Baby's butt smooth" with no irritation
4 = Smooth but with irritation
3 = A “fine shave") with no irritation
4 = An acceptable shave but with irritation
1 = Unacceptable shave
A “Notes” column would list any additional comments you wanted to make about that specific shave.
You will probably want to have at least 10 shaves under your belt to get any kind of meaningful analysis, and probably more shaves to confirm preliminary theories.