Pity The Noob

The weeks of tolerating beard growth had absolutely no pay-off. Immediately I struck a follicle in a scarcely-hairy corner of my neck, and have had to look at that ingrown ever since. My favorite blade, the Ming Shi MP-036 ("diamond") is rather too sharp for my nubuck face, apparently only excelling on full grain. And every offended follicle still shows a poor texture, like I'm learning to shave all over again. Because a steeper angle is required to shave at the surface, the damage is all right at the surface; when I was shaving close, at a lower angle, the blade didn't oppose skin much, except inside the follicle.

So today I got my Merkur OC out of the storage box, and swapped it for the Travel Tech on the end of the plastic Sterling handle, and began the process of re-toughening myself with the sharp blade, just as I toughened my scalp. Experiment, failed. Best teacher: failure.

My sympathy to the new shavers out there. It surely is frustrating, to miss the little stubs, here and there, with a blade that isn't quite sharp enough to catch them easily, or safely reach the base of the hair, where the skin holds it up against the blade better. You just have to take a close-enough shave, and walk away. Sometimes even when you're a master, like me. The art aspires only to evenness, then, and lack of injury, not completion. I did a rare one-pass shave this week with the Tech and a Dorco blade, not pushing the Williams lather too hard.

There is nothing at all wrong with that.

But I really want to get into my new Fine soap, with a 24-mm Plissoft that holds twice what is necessary, and just start nailing it to the root with three passes again.