Thursday, April 11, 2013


When it comes to consumer products, men have generally limited choices.  There are more choices when it comes to personal grooming, but they follow a narrow path of small choices differentiated by brands.

Hair removal, for most civilian males, involves a simple choice: electric shaver or hand razor.  Electric shaver devolves into brand choices; there are differences that googling "best" will resolve.

Manual shavers offer small choices ~ number of blades, mostly.  Shaving cream is more preference than choice: do you prefer a cream or gel (that becomes a cream) or just soap.   From there, you've reached the brand level.

You see where this is going.

Women's choices are on a longer decision tree.

Start with "what hair are you looking to remove?"  Facial, underarm, leg, bikini area, brows, areas where There Should Be No Hair?

(I include brows because I recently uncovered the existence tiny razors for brow grooming).

Men's choice: shave.

Women's choice: shave, pluck, epilate, depilitate, wax.  I'm assuming the choice has already been made to skip laser or electrolysis (which always reminds me of middle school science where you separate water and watch the oxygen flare and the hydrogen pop).

Most of us are not women.  For some that's a "not yet" condition.  But we're now confronted with the women's choices, simply because hair removal is essential.  A woman from, say, the middle east might have visible dark hair on her arms and she might choose to leave it there.  We blend better if we're more in the mainstream which means more femme, less gorilla.

I would like to find a permanent solution to facial hair that won't break the bank.  In the meantime, it's a daily (or at least weekly) battle.

Mostly, I shave.  I use a combination of hand and electric razor.  I've tried "specialty" groomers but not found them satisfactory.  I've discovered areas where electric should be avoided at all costs: underarms, chest near underarms, inside elbows, behind knees... the skin in these areas will cut and bleed, get abrased, or otherwise look horrible and cause pain, neither of which are my goals.

Before I go out, I shave my face and neck with an electric.  Then I shower and feel for any facial roughness and go over those areas with a hand razor.  For me, I cannot get as close in some areas (above lip) with a hand razor as with an electric, and I can't get as close in other areas (below ear) with an electric as a hand razor.

Legs and arms, I can go either way, avoiding the sensitive areas with the electric.

Underarms are difficult for me.  Unless I'm diligent, the hair grows too long for a hand razor and the skin won't ever tolerate my electric (even just trimming).

Feet and hands are mostly electric territory.  My toes especially will get cut easily with a hand razor.

I do pluck sometimes.  Stray hairs, brows, fingers sometimes.  I don't pluck much.  I have learned that a good tweezer does make a difference.  Someday, I'll buy one instead of the crappy one I have now.

I've tried epilating.  I've written about my experiences before.  Here's my bottom line: I'm done with epilating.  It hurts (not for long, but it hurts).  It doesn't do as thorough a job as I'd like.  And, for some reason, the epilated parts itch like mad.  I mean insane itching to the point where my scratching will leave cuts in my skin.  If I was a dog, I'd be wearing one of those collars after epilating.  For the record, growing hair after shaving or otherwise eliminating it does not itch.

I've been waxed.  I've had my arms, legs, back, brows, and neck waxed.  Although the harshest, fastest-growing hair is on my chest and stomach, I do not want to have my chest waxed.  I have heard it is just about the most painful there is.  I bought a home wax kit but I could never bring myself to cause that much pain to myself and never used it.

I've depilated on-and-off.  More on this tomorrow.  For now, I'm just wondering why I want to write "depilitated" instead of "depilated."

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