A while back, a reader asked about performing every day tasks in our semi-remote, off the grid home (see Routine Tasks on the “Homestead”). Shaving is one common task that I perform a bit differently than many contemporaries.
As ever on this blog, I offer the following not to recommend that one do as I do, but simply to describe how I do it.
Many friends express surprise that I try to stay clean shaven even though I live in solitude. They expect me to wear a big, bushy beard, which they seem to think appropriate to our lifestyle.
I’m one of those men with very sensitive skin, but very tough, fast growing whiskers. My life would certainly be easier if I grew a beard. Michelle prefers me to wear a beard. I don’t find it comfortable, so I shave as often as practical, which around here usually means every other day. On the off days, if I go to town or otherwise expect to see other people, I shave with an electric razor.
Living in a temperate rainforest, I have the luxury to shave in a way that I cannot recommend to anyone who pays for their own water, or lives in an area that benefits from water conservation. I shave in the shower.
I learned of this when I was still a teenager. The director of one of the Lethal Weapon movies asked his stars to shave in the shower. He argued that shaving in the shower stall softens the beard better, and shaving while one’s skin is superhydrated offers a far closer shave. I read about this, got a hold of a fog free shower mirror, and gave it a try. I’ve never gone back to shaving at the sink.
On the “homestead,” because we do conserve water, and because we heat our shower water with wood, I don’t let the shower run while I shave. We installed a stopcock in the shower line, and can turn the flow off and on as needed (see Work Around for a Failed Water Shut-Off). Nevertheless, I get the shave I want.
In an upcoming post, I’ll talk more about shaving tools and process.