Rubbing One Off With Williams

Circle round, boys. This one's almost too much to handle. I don't want to just spill it, but I can't hold back...

The rubbing is everything, in shaving to completion. The difference between yesterday's burn and today's relaxed comfort is total, with respect to the skin. No, the blade didn't magically recover any effectiveness in removing hair: that still took forever, I still had dry pickups, and I still tossed the blade. I didn't use anything special, just Williams lathered in a cold bowl -- today I was experimenting with non-aerosol body spray, one squirt on a smear of mineral oil.

But I got my BBS, and my skin feels like I just took a lazy WTG pass and quit -- even though yesterday's burn was pretty significant. I had serious doubts about shaving again with that blade. The Excalibur learning method proves its worth, yet again.

In practice, despite my plans, it was unavoidable to repeat strokes ATG, but I was able to isolate a fairly clean second pass composed of skewed strokes. Then, with crema squeezed from the brush, I went at the direct ATG with strokes as needed. But in the past, I might have gently spread the lather back over just-shaved areas with the razor itself; or, stroked the skin directly ATG with my fingertips, followed closely by the razor. Today, I did not reshave any area without a little, circular rub-in of wet lather. Or even, indeed, just the "slickness" of the water pass.

While re-lathering is wisely advocated before reshaving, rubbing it in is widely considered a pre-shave preparation. But in fact, rubbing it in has a huge technical impact during the shave; more than lathering itself, when working within the follicle. There's probably going to be a Turkish barber reading this, eventually, and laughing his ass off, because I'm pretty sure I've seen this move many times before on video. I thought they were just inspecting the grain, as I might do with my fingertips.

Thanks, I needed that!

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