Like many Crossroads readers, I stopped using aerosol cans back in the ’70s, when the gas inside was proved to be destroying the ozone layer in Antarctica. I even had a personal connection — I had the honor of working for Dr. Sherry Rowland, (who made that discovery) doing scientific drawings that illustrated his research. He won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for that work. – and my drawings, of course.
After I switched to shaving soap and a brush, I started to feel bad every time I changed the blades on my razor. It’s only gotten worse as razor blades have gotten ever more elaborate, and ever more elaborately packaged.
Enter the safety razor. If you haven’t hefted one of these in the last decade, you’ve missed out. They’re quite beautiful, marvelously tactile, and they work. Much better than they did when the styptic pencil was a staple in every medicine cabinet, and my father went out the door some mornings with bits of kleenex stuck to his face.
Since we’re in the second decade of the 21st century, there are endless websites, YouTube videos and Facebook sites devoted to the safety razor (and straight razors, too, for the adventurous or murderous among you). I favor the Merkur 38C Heavy Duty Safety Razor with Barber Pole Handle, while my wife prefers the butterfly head model. There are many, many other brands to choose between.
Blades are about 10¢ apiece, and last me two weeks. As all the websites and Facebook postings point out, it’s important to buy quality blades, which you won’t find at the local five-and-dime — but you will find them online. You’ll also find some cultists who insist that you should store your razor immersed in mineral oil. A bit extreme for my taste, but hey!
One last high-tech shaving tip, for those who travel a lot. Last year I left home without packing my shaving soap and brush. I couldn’t bring myself to buy an aerosol can at the 7-11, and was resigned to being either bloody or fashionably stubbly. But my eye fell on the tiny bottle of creme rinse (or you can change it, sigh, to “conditioner”) in the shower.
I won’t be packing a brush and soap anymore.
(Next week — part 2 — why tenure matters. Stay tuned)
Scott Wyant is a 23 year Culver City resident and technology consultant to business and professional clients from the entertainment, design, engineering, architecture, manufacturing and hospitality industries. He’s fluent in Macintosh and PC, and welcomes your questions, comments, and suggestions. You can reach him at [email protected]