Gillette Adjustable: The Honey Badger of Shaving

Using the final shave on this Astra SS to reinforce what I've learned about BBS recently, I loaded it into my Slim, and rubbed in the most aggressive lather I can tolerate, the Italian Barber Sandalwood. That soap is the last hope for the No. 6 brush, as well. Rotten rubber has fouled my fougeres for the last time! It comes across as more auto-mechanic, with the simple sandalwood, and I still love the feel.

The Slim was set at "5" to start, and that was plenty smooth for WTG, albeit exfoliating. I rubbed in some more lather, and went up to "7" ATG, following skewed strokes with direct, on what I believed to be ample slickness. I could already tell the blade just wasn't hitting it anymore, though, looking at the shadows remaining. The Slim could keep the blade from flopping over, and push the skin out of harm's way, but it was still a trade in skin to try to apply leverage. Did I really want to go a third pass?

I don't think I changed anything on the razor, but rubbing in the lather again made a huge difference. The Slim was able to find the root and drive the edge home without scraping or stabbing. Oh, it was a pretty forceful, two-handed operation, holding the skin back, but the cutting was surgical -- in the good way -- and every stroke smooth as butter. Neck no different.

Gillette Slim don't give a shit -- it just takes what it wants.

I'm going to stop double stroking ATG now, because I think I know what's happening, in my mental microscopic cross section. There's an even smaller dimension to "cushioning" than the bubbles that help the razor glide over your face. When shaving out a follicle, the hair and the follicle wall tend to stick together; but when you rub in a lather or oil, the tiniest angle opens between them, and this can be exploited, just like the wider angle between the skin surface and the emergent hair. It's like adding ball bearings to the mechanism of follicle retraction, which also pry the follicle open around the hair.

When I mixed just-like Brut with 3-in-1 lubricating lotion and smeared it over my face, it burned alot, but in a "healthy" feeling way, a sensation which has come up another time recently. I think there's a new dimension and scale to my skin damage as well, with the follicle wall alone involved, being merely abraded, rather than nicked. As opposed to larger splits of the skin surface in a rookie burn, opening in the direction of the nerve endings. (And, in the case of a thin-skinned individual like myself, actually reaching them.)

Since I have identified a technical improvement, but not fully applied it, I guess I can't toss this blade, after all.

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