Shaving, Barbasol, and the Art of Living Well

I look different in the morning.

I look different in the morning.

Shaving gets disproportionate space in this blog because a warm, wet shave in the quiet predawn hours is conducive to contemplation, plus it is often what I am doing just before writing a new post. (I use the same illustration for all shaving posts.)

Here is the latest: I have switched from a brush to an aerosol can of shaving cream, mainly because in our warped economy, a can is cheaper than a simple bar of soap. (Cheap trumps the environment in my house.) I use a 6 oz. can of Barbasol from a local dollar store that has lasted for so many months that I forgot when I got it. It also brings back fond memories of the old sequential Barbasol signs along the highways. However, you have to shake it before each use or you will end up with half the can left as an unusable soap diarrhea. I also store the can upside-down to help keep the gas and liquid mixed, but this may be over-kill.

The propellant gas is a mix of propane and isobutane, so I ignite any remaining in a spectacular ball of fire that lights up the night sky in my back yard. (It’s over before the police arrive.)

Pat the foam as you smooth it over your wet face. This brings up more foam, like the shaving gel sold by Gillette (that I do not use because it is too much work).  Do this and you probably won’t need as much as you think.

The original Barbasol company is long gone, bought out by Pfizer, of all people, in 1962.  They found that shaving cream and their main products like Viagra don’t mix well (or maybe they do too well) and after 39 years sold Barbasol to the Perio Company in Dublin, Ohio (not Ireland) who are expanding the brand to other shaving products.  I wish them well.  Life would seem strange without Barbasol.

The lubricating strip on the razor  dissolves away long before the blades lose their sharpness. (The double blades are stainless steel, far harder than the toughest beard.  If they made single blades, I would use them, but two blades seems to be the commercial minimum.) When the strip is gone, I drip a little candle wax where it was and smooth it out with my thumb while it is still soft. This keeps the razor working for perhaps another six months. Exactly how long is hard to determine because the day-to-day change is so small. Why discard it today when I cannot notice any difference from yesterday? I think when I discard it depends on my attitude that morning. Note 3/3/2019: Barbasol contains lubricants, so the lubricating strip is unnecessary. When it’s gone, it’s gone. I just keep right on shaving with the same razor and notice no difference.

I have tried many different brands of expensive multi-bladed razors that were left in my fitness center locker room and have found none worked any better than the simplest and cheapest.  I know using a found razor disgusts some of you, but the history of an object has never bothered me.  A thorough rinse, and I don’t care what the previous owner shaved.

“Barbasol, Barbasol . . . No brush, no lather, no rub-in . . . Wet your razor then begin.” —Singin’ Sam, The Barbasol Man.

About Roger Walck

My reasons for writing this blog are spelled out in the posting of 10/1/2012, Montaigne's Essays. They are probably not what you think.
This entry was posted in Commercials, Popular culture and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.