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My Latest Obsession ... Nerga! Nerga! Nerga!
December 30, 2013
5:26 pm
Halifax, UK
Gnoll
Forum Posts: 365
Member Since:
June 5, 2011
Offline

I lead a simple life, I really do …

I have a small house, we fit into it, it does our lifestyle well. We live in a lovely place, which will be quite magical for our impending first grandchild ... and more to come, hopefully.

But, try as I might …

I'm a magpie!

I love shiny things … and I love a den full of them.

Be it fencing swords, jars of car wax, vintage glasswear, nice steak knives, kitchen knives, more kitchen knives, yet more kitchen knives … or my most recent obsession, vintage razors.

I love 'em, I love 'em, I love 'em!

Yes, I could walk away from it all any time carrying none of them; get up and go. But, really, isn't it nice to have a bunch of nice things?

I have discovered the sheer joy of shaving with something 30, 50, 70, 100, 100+ years old. Am I daft? Well, yes, I guess I am, but smart, too. Give me a vintage Gillette or GEM or Ever Ready or Valet and I'll spend a half hour shaving and really enjoying my time. Isn't that the thing? Savour your time?

J – You have an interesting style. What do you shave with? Spotlight on you, pal :D Early '90s, I was much the same, perhaps more dreads.

While we're on turning the clock back, I am now in shaving heaven having undergone a several week, month, course of olive oil pre-shave, olive oil based goat milk enhanced soap shave with vintage single or double edged razors (none of that foam/gel in cans or three, four or five blades pain and misery givers) … post-shave with witch hazel.

Firm, toned skin, great shaves every day and very very happy.

Men and women here. We shave. I'd encourage you to turn the clock back, but also be very interested to hear your routines and if/how they work …

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Living in the Ice Age http://livingintheiceage.pjgh.co.uk
January 2, 2014
12:22 am
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Forum Posts: 2105
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February 22, 2010
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Paul:

Having tried many options, and having more real estate to shave than most, I shave with a Panasonic electric razor -- which gives me the best shave of anything I've tried, short of crusty old-school barbers with a straight razor and plenty of time.

Yes, electrics have a crummy reputation, and indeed, most of them don't shave very well.  There is one exception: the Panasonic models with the "Linear" motor.  This is the cheapest current model (the cheaper ones don't have the Linear motor.)  You shave dry.  First pass with the grain, second pass against the grain.  Result: an excellent shave with very little irritation.

I've had mine for over ten years now, which is probably a record.

Electric razors, like electric toothbrushes, are purposely built not to last.  Usually the batteries aren't replaceable, so they die after about four years.  I figured out how to open mine up without destroying it, solder together some non-standard connections to a couple replacement NiMH cells, and replace them anyway.  Now I'm on my third set.

A couple tiny plastic bits have broken off: I've mostly repaired them with Superglue.

I take pleasure in keeping an appliance going that was supposed to have succumbed to planned obsolescence during the Bush administration.  So as long as I can still get replacement blades and foils (I need to replace them about every six months...most people can go longer because they're not shaving as much as I am), I'll keep this thing running.

Similarly, someday I'll figure out how to replace the "non-replaceable" battery in my electric toothbrush.  It's already lasted over five years, which is longer than they usually go -- but when it dies, it'll be because of the purposely non-replaceable battery.  The motor and everything else will be fine.

=====

Yes, I like having things that work well and I use.  However, I'm still on the other side of the divide: trying to get rid of a house full of nerga built up over many years.

JS

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January 6, 2014
7:50 pm
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Forum Posts: 2105
Member Since:
February 22, 2010
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Paul:

None of this is to say that this makes me "better" than anyone else: it's that, some time ago, I realized I was some distance down the path to becoming a hoarder, and that the logistics of dealing with my nerga were starting to control my life.  

One technique I found valuable was to take pictures of old stuff before getting rid of it.  I realized it wasn't having the object that I cared about: it was the memories associated with it.  I can look at (for instance) a photograph of an old hockey trophy, and remember the good times without actually having to cart it around or think of where to store it.

JS

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January 7, 2014
2:31 am
Halifax, UK
Gnoll
Forum Posts: 365
Member Since:
June 5, 2011
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I like to cycle through things ...

Whatever I have is always going to be constrained by space. I like space and an uncluttered life, so bookcases are useful, display cabinets and the like. Once filled, cycling has to occur, be it books, DVDs, clothes, whatever; all of which is easy to walk away from.

This latest collection has been made possible by selling off a bunch of part-used boutique car waxes, which, you might be surprised to learn have increased in value since purchase! So, no new money spent and space made available.

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Living in the Ice Age http://livingintheiceage.pjgh.co.uk
January 15, 2014
1:46 pm
Houston, TX
Immigrant
Forum Posts: 8
Member Since:
December 6, 2013
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I do not shave often because it doesn't grow on me fast or much, but when I do I use a Merkur safety razor with Dr. Bronner's Magic Peppermint Soap. Been using Dreadnought post-shave balm but want to switch to witch hazel cuz it's more natural.

Olive Oil preshave - fascinating, especially since we have a lot of olive oil because that is what my wife uses as makeup remover. How do you use it as preshave? 

 

Paul Halliday said:

I have discovered the sheer joy of shaving with something 30, 50, 70, 100, 100+ years old. Am I daft? Well, yes, I guess I am, but smart, too. Give me a vintage Gillette or GEM or Ever Ready or Valet and I'll spend a half hour shaving and really enjoying my time. Isn't that the thing? Savour your time?

While we're on turning the clock back, I am now in shaving heaven having undergone a several week, month, course of olive oil pre-shave, olive oil based goat milk enhanced soap shave with vintage single or double edged razors (none of that foam/gel in cans or three, four or five blades pain and misery givers) … post-shave with witch hazel.

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January 15, 2014
2:11 pm
Halifax, UK
Gnoll
Forum Posts: 365
Member Since:
June 5, 2011
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Simply, wash your face well with warm water and spread a few drops of olive oil all over your face massaging in. Just a few drops. Apparently, it works well with your skin not clogging follicles but opening them up to release impurities and so on …

You can, of course, squeeze a little citrus juice into the mix as well. If you make up a blend, a teaspoon of citrus juice in 100ml of combined oils: 80% olive oil, 15% avocado oil and 5% coconut oil. That, or a couple drops on your hand with a little oil.

Whip up your lather and paste it directly on. I face lather, so guess it gets mixed in with my lather but my preferred soaps are olive oil based.

Proceed with your shave – two or three passes, re-lathering as you go.

I have a Merkur 23C in my collection, my first "proper" (non-cartridge) razor. I do like it, but I am spending much more time with vintage GEM and Ever Ready 1912s, 1914, 1928 and Micromatics.

They fit my face.

Okay, after shaving, I like a warm rinse to remove soap, cold rinse and pat to close up pores and relieve any sting. Alum wash to cleanse, which reveals areas that I might have shaved too close or vigorously and that serves as a warning for next time. Witch Hazel, and we're done. I do use an aftershave but I'm really favouring my own blend.

Dreadnought, I think is what I know as The Bluebeard's Revenge. Their balm contains "decelerene", or some other magic which reduces beard growth. That, to me, sounds like something I don't want to use.

So, here's a simple mix …

120ml Drinking Alcohol (Vodka, White Rum or Gin are good)

60ml Distilled Witch Hazel

5ml Glycerine

Drops of Essential Oil

… the alcohol and witch hazel mix is just right. You get a little burn, but the alcohol is 40% so not like splashing neat isopropyl on your face. It evaporates well, the witch hazel does its thing and the glycerine leaves a smooth and just moisturised feeling. Essential oils might do something, might not. They smell nice though. You need 10-20 drops of whatever blend you want.

Be more adventurous and try this out …

http://shaving.pjgh.co.uk/2014/01/shibden-bay-rum.html

Still feeling a little dry? Warm a drop of olive oil in your hands and massage your face.

With the products I'm using, I have a wonderful connection to the past – unhurried, simple, free of modern chemical laced products and another opportunity to chill out for half an hour a day, concentration, honing skill and just enjoying myself.

I am certain that my skin condition has been dramatically improved in a short space of time by olive oil. It feels firmer, less mushy, shaves better, has more tautness, yet still supple. Witch Hazel, likewise, I am sure has a wonderful calming effect and tones up after my shaves. For an unnatural activity, this is about as natural as you can get … with a little fun thrown in.

Enjoy!

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Living in the Ice Age http://livingintheiceage.pjgh.co.uk
February 1, 2014
7:33 pm
Houston, TX
Immigrant
Forum Posts: 8
Member Since:
December 6, 2013
Offline

gee thanks, Paul.

in the meantime i started using the same facial cleanse as my wife. it is a 50/50 mixture of ev olive oil and castor oil. i squirt a dime-sized dollop of it into one palm and then rub both palms together for a minute or two to warm it up. then i rub it all over my face in small circular motions with my hands. i let it sit for ten minutes or so and then do one of two things...

  1. if i do this right before a shower (while the water is heating), i will rinse my face off at the shower's end.
  2. otherwise, i will wrap my face up in a hot towel and remove it when the towel gets cold.
i used this procedure as my most recent pre-shave and it seemed to work well.
i am eager to gather the ingredients for your recipe and give that a try. it will satisfy the same part of me that has recently been fixated on other homemade household cleaning substances. WellnessMama.com has become a current favorite resource.
thanks for sharing, Paul.

 

Paul Halliday said:

Simply, wash your face well with warm water and spread a few drops of olive oil all over your face massaging in. Just a few drops. Apparently, it works well with your skin not clogging follicles but opening them up to release impurities and so on …

You can, of course, squeeze a little citrus juice into the mix as well. If you make up a blend, a teaspoon of citrus juice in 100ml of combined oils: 80% olive oil, 15% avocado oil and 5% coconut oil. That, or a couple drops on your hand with a little oil.

Whip up your lather and paste it directly on. I face lather, so guess it gets mixed in with my lather but my preferred soaps are olive oil based.

Proceed with your shave – two or three passes, re-lathering as you go.

I have a Merkur 23C in my collection, my first "proper" (non-cartridge) razor. I do like it, but I am spending much more time with vintage GEM and Ever Ready 1912s, 1914, 1928 and Micromatics.

They fit my face.

Okay, after shaving, I like a warm rinse to remove soap, cold rinse and pat to close up pores and relieve any sting. Alum wash to cleanse, which reveals areas that I might have shaved too close or vigorously and that serves as a warning for next time. Witch Hazel, and we're done. I do use an aftershave but I'm really favouring my own blend.

Dreadnought, I think is what I know as The Bluebeard's Revenge. Their balm contains "decelerene", or some other magic which reduces beard growth. That, to me, sounds like something I don't want to use.

So, here's a simple mix …

120ml Drinking Alcohol (Vodka, White Rum or Gin are good)

60ml Distilled Witch Hazel

5ml Glycerine

Drops of Essential Oil

… the alcohol and witch hazel mix is just right. You get a little burn, but the alcohol is 40% so not like splashing neat isopropyl on your face. It evaporates well, the witch hazel does its thing and the glycerine leaves a smooth and just moisturised feeling. Essential oils might do something, might not. They smell nice though. You need 10-20 drops of whatever blend you want.

Be more adventurous and try this out …

http://shaving.pjgh.co.uk/2014/01/shibden-bay-rum.html

Still feeling a little dry? Warm a drop of olive oil in your hands and massage your face.

With the products I'm using, I have a wonderful connection to the past – unhurried, simple, free of modern chemical laced products and another opportunity to chill out for half an hour a day, concentration, honing skill and just enjoying myself.

I am certain that my skin condition has been dramatically improved in a short space of time by olive oil. It feels firmer, less mushy, shaves better, has more tautness, yet still supple. Witch Hazel, likewise, I am sure has a wonderful calming effect and tones up after my shaves. For an unnatural activity, this is about as natural as you can get … with a little fun thrown in.

Enjoy!

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February 2, 2014
1:35 pm
Halifax, UK
Gnoll
Forum Posts: 365
Member Since:
June 5, 2011
Offline

Hahar! Beauty! Glad you're getting some joy out of my thoughts.

Basically, take a huge step backwards. Back away from the bottles, the tubes and the sachets; just as you've done with food. Granted, shaving is "unnatural" if we think we'll get away with that old hairy caveman thing, but here in the real world ... men shave, women shave, whatever degree we do it, we shave.

Let's get it back to basics ...

Meanwhile, another seriously good aftershave splash I've been playing with it 2/3 spirit alcohol, 1/3 witch hazel, splash of peppermint essence (in alcohol, from the baking section), splash of glycerine and a teaspoon of alum powder (in 200ml of total liquor).

Another use for that powdered alum is a teaspoon in fizzy water and a good mouth wash. Add that peppermint essence, if you like and some baking soda (soda bicarb for the Brits here) and you've got a great mouth wake up after your coconut oil, baking soda and xylitol toothpaste.

Stay basic, folks :D

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Living in the Ice Age http://livingintheiceage.pjgh.co.uk
February 3, 2014
8:59 pm
First-Eater
Forum Posts: 2105
Member Since:
February 22, 2010
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This is a fascinating discussion! 

My own regimen is limited to the following:

1. No soap on my face, it just dries the skin out. (Or most of my body: mostly soap just dries out your skin.  I do, however, continue to soap my feet, as I'm prone to athlete's foot, and my junk and buttcrack, as a courtesy to sex partners.)  This is honestly the best thing I've done for my skin health!

2. Coconut oil as a post-shower and/or post-shave balm: in addition to the moistening effects, coconut oil is an excellent sunscreen (SPF 8, broad-spectrum). 

 

pgraham:

You may want to evaluate your use of peppermint soap: peppermint reduces testosterone levels (Akdogan 2004), as do many popular herbal cosmetics. 

So does Triclosan (Zorrilla 2009, Kumar 2009), a popular antibacterial additive which can also reduce thyroid hormone levels (Rodriguez 2010).

 

Paul:

That's a man's aftershave, right there.  I may have to try that sometime!

 

When soap is necessary, I use Kirk's Original Coco Castile.  The regular stuff has a very faint scent and can be found in many supermarkets and big-box stores, but you can buy a completely unscented version (e.g. here).  As a bonus, it's far cheaper than Dr. Bronner's.

Has anyone else tried the no-soap or limited-soap plans?  Anyone else want to talk about soap as well as shaving gear?

JS

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February 12, 2014
5:09 am
Halifax, UK
Gnoll
Forum Posts: 365
Member Since:
June 5, 2011
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Let out your inner caveman!

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Living in the Ice Age http://livingintheiceage.pjgh.co.uk
February 18, 2014
1:58 am
First-Eater
Forum Posts: 2105
Member Since:
February 22, 2010
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Paul:

Color me impressed.

A question I've wondered about for a while: what is the earliest known evidence for men shaving their faces?

JS

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February 18, 2014
12:31 pm
Halifax, UK
Gnoll
Forum Posts: 365
Member Since:
June 5, 2011
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From a quick google, my instincts seem confirmed ...

Somewhere around 30,000 years ago using clams, obsidian and shark teeth - anything sharp.

http://talksaboutshaving.blogspot.co.uk/2007/04/shaving-history-begining-from.html

... as to why, well that would warrant more investigation.

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Living in the Ice Age http://livingintheiceage.pjgh.co.uk
February 21, 2014
1:39 pm
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Forum Posts: 2105
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February 22, 2010
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Paul:

It seems like evidence for plucking predates shaving (e.g. clamshells)...

...except that the sharpest of stone scrapers would shave pretty darn well, without being obviously different from tools used for anything else.  Anyone who had scraped hair off an animal hide could make the obvious connection.  Therefore, I'll guess that people first started trying to shave somewhere after the time of hide-based clothing.  But I'm not sure we'll ever know exactly.

JS

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