TL;DR version: I’m back, baby, and I’m so sorry; I don’t know why I ever quit you. I must been crazy when we broke up.
As of today– as of five minutes ago, in fact– I give up. I am going back to the Gillette Fusion, because goddammit it’s the best razor in the universe and I don’t care what anyone else anywhere has to say about it any more.
Let’s talk shaving. Despite the author picture floating around that has me with a smarmy-ass half-grin on my face and a full beard, I have sported a vandyke for probably 97% of my life since first deciding it was okay to see what facial hair looked like early in college. I’ve shaved my beard completely off twice; both were terrible mistakes and I will never do it again. I’ve grown a full beard twice and that I probably will do again at some point, but I will never again be without hair on my chin barring some sort of chemotherapy. And for the last… oh, thirteen years? I have at least irregularly shaved my head as well. I’ve been trying to be consistent about it for the last two or three years and do it every couple of days.
Here is the problem, and the only problem, with the Gillette Fusion: the blades are expensive as hell. A four-pack can run $12 to $16 depending on where you get them. Now, a blade lasts three or four weeks if you take care of it, so that’ll last you a bit, but that’s still a good hit for shaving. A few months ago I got tricked into trying the Dorco Pace six-blade razor, lured mostly by astonishingly low prices for the cartridges on Amazon.
You see that picture up there? It’s a terrible lie, and the person who put it together should feel bad about themselves, especially since they angled their picture perfectly to prove their own point wrong. See how you can see through the spaces between the blades? And see how there’s only the one little strip in the middle where there’s plastic behind the blades and not open air? That makes the razor exceptionally easy to clean, because the little hair bits have somewhere to go. It is that, in fact, and not the sharpness or quantity of blades, that makes the Gillette Fusion such a good razor. I can go days without shaving my head and be done quickly with the Fusion precisely because it’s so easy to clean. This isn’t my opinion; that picture is objectively wrong and the person who made it has never used a Fusion.
The Dorco Pace razors? I wasn’t able to find as immediately useful a picture, but take a look at this one, which shows you the back of the razor. Look at all the plastic. That huge white chunk in the middle– and the fact that the cartridge attaches to the handle in the middle and not on the sides like the Fusion does– means that the Pace is ridiculously hard to keep clean. Those little gaps on the side aren’t enough to get the hair out, and the middle of the razor becomes, yes, clogged and useless incredibly quickly, meaning that you a) get a shitty shave and b) go through cartridges really, really fast. I went through ten Pace cartridges in less time than a four-pack for the Fusion; so much for saving money.
I recently took the plunge and ordered a safety razor; you may recall a few posts about it. Short version; this post is already 600 words long: I can’t make it work, and as of today I give up. Using a safety razor just has too damn many steps for me, a fact that I was aware of when I ordered it and decided to ignore in favor of a new experience. It is also flatly impossible for me to shave my head with one of those things; it may be that additional experience would make that process easier but as of right now I’m unwilling to invest the effort.
Then I tried the new Fusion Proglide, with the little ball on it? That was interesting. The Proglide appears to be a better handle but I’m having trouble getting the shaving results I want with it– I think because the cartridges they sell with it are shorter (i.e., the blades are packed closer together) and therefore get clogged quicker (there’s that cleaning thing again) and don’t work as well, at least for me, on shaving my head. The awesome thing about Gillette razors is that all of their blades work with all of their handles. I like the ball aspect; I’m going to buy some Fusion cartridges today and see how they work out with the Proglide handle. Hopefully that will provide better functionality than the straight Fusion solution I had several months ago before I decided to be an idiot and start experimenting with shit that already worked.