To My Son: Here’s What You Need To Know About Shaving

Dad Basti Lacson drops major knowledge bombs about shaving

Let’s face it, men will shave their face, every few days for the rest of our lives. It is inevitable for the non-cavemen, even in a pandemic. Much like transporting food from a plate into our mouths, shaving may be carried out roughing it up, or the proper way. This is all about the latter, and why its transmission should be from father to son. Naturally, father has to practice what he is to preach. This is shaving, from father to son, 101.

Basti and his son, Mateo

Should we leave shaving to the professionals?

Trimming of body parts that grow can be either basic, premium, or cost-effectively special. Basic is cutting one’s own hair, trimming one’s nails, and waxing one’s nether parts. Premium is paying someone for both the venue and labor to do the above. Cost-effectively special is to buy high-quality equipment in order to self-administer the above services.

Shaving is no exception. The intervals between sessions are too short to engage a third party. So the only sustainable choices are too go basic or cost-effectively special. With the former, the closeness of cut is never guaranteed, requiring one or two additional passes which then result in ugly nicks and cuts and a ravaged complexion. On the other hand, shaving in the time-honored traditional manner doesn’t necessarily take much longer and the initial capital outlay is not too prohibitive. The result, however, is a buttery, one-pass process that results in a supple, pristine, and aromatic face, totally ready for action. After all, it is the face that people we meet first judge us by.

The benefits of a single blade razor

What’s the capital expenditure of such an enterprise? Start with the razor. Single-blade. None of that cartridge with five blade stuff. Not only are well-made single-blades better for the environment with much less disposable plastic, they are also cheaper in the long run.

Don’t you notice how expensive five-blade cartridges are? They are almost always under lock and key at the stores, demonstrative of just how precious they are. Insofar as the actual shave is concerned, single-blades cut hair more closely with less surface friction (less cuts and burns). In much the same way that, in battle, a heavy sword will yield better results than a flimsy one, a razor with heavy construction will render better results. Time to ditch that plastic stuff in your bathroom.

Shaving soap or cream?

Next is the lubricant. Shaving soap or creams made of natural products that lather well are the way to go. Forget products in aerosol cans. Don’t scrimp on this—they last a long time. In order to apply the soap or cream with consistently outstanding results it is best to use a shaving brush made from badger hair. These keep water, lather luxuriantly, and bend ever so softly according to the undulations of the face, assuring consistent application and true foaming. They aren’t cheap, but boy are they so much lovelier to the touch than a synthetic version. Make sure to buy a stand with it. The brush needs to dry and rest in upside-down position.

Once the equipment is ready, any number of Youtube instructional videos can take you through the last leg of this journey to actually spoiling your face.

Upon gaining expertise, and realizing first-hand the merits of such a ritual, it is time to generationally transfer this preference for tradition and knowledge to you teenaged male offspring. They won’t know any better and are likely to be “shaving” with a multicolored but dull plastic clunker they found by your sink and purloined. They will be shaving with water, ruining their young skin this early.

The Lacson family (L to R): Mateo, Amaya, Aina and Basti

Just like the first bottle of wine together, where you would preferably be extolling the virtues of a good vintage and fine crystal, your son will forever remember the moment you sat him and took him through the step by step of a fine shave, and you handed him his starter kit, a small cedar box with a good razor, medium-quality soap, synthetic brush, stand, and small ceramic bowl. Why not give the best? Because this is the final flourish he will give himself, twenty years later, when he can afford and has the aptitude to invest in his own kit, this time with the very best. Then he will later teach his son, and the cycle goes on into perpetuity.

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