Sunday, February 12, 2006

Gillette Fusion - first impressions

The Gillette Fusion razor was recently released (to great hype, of course), and early reviews are popping up in various places. I picked mine up a couple of days ago, and thought I'd share some quick initial impressions, based on 2 shaves.

As I tend to expect from Gillette products, I've gotten really good, close shaves. There's an area around my adam's apple which is very difficult to get smooth, but the Fusion has managed to get it smooth without too much hassle, and that impresses me. It's an area that other razors haven't been able to do much with, so I'm very happy with that result.

Irritation is similar to the Mach 3, with no noticeable improvements. That's very good, but I was hoping for some improvement. The commercials talk about the Fusion applying less pressure (since it's spreading out the pressure over more blades) and that this would result in less irritation, but I'm not feeling it so far.

The handle feels heavier than the Mach 3, and I like it. The pivot point of the blade head seems better positioned, moving closer to center than the Mach 3.

Overall, excellent initial results. I'll keep using it for a while and see if I continue to like it.

Is it worth the price, though? Replacement blade cartridges are very expensive. As I write, has a pack of 8 going for $22, and that's with $5 off. That'll get you 12 Mach 3 cartridges and some change. I don't think the Fusion is 50% better than the Mach 3, not from what I've seen so far.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Mailbag: Double-Edge headshaving

I received the following email from Herbert recently:

Hello, I am thinking of shaving my head, mainly because of a very dry scalp which no shampoo seems to be able to fix. I currently use a straight razor and Double Edge razor for my face shave (Straight with the grain and the double edge against). The after shave balms and moiterizers I use really give my skin a softness and sheen I never had using the usual shaving products.

I never liked ever using a multi-blade system and shaving my head with a straight razor sounds a little dangerous. But I thought a Doubled Edge razor might work. I have two Murker razors, but niether have a pivoting head. I saw a beautiful DE at classic shaving called "Vision"
that looks like it may work very well for a head shave. What are your thoughts on head-shaving with a DE razor?
I have tried shaving with a DE razor (specifically, the Merkur "classic" Safety Razor), and didn't have great results with it. I posted a blog entry about it back in May, in case you want to read about my initial impressions.
I'm used to modern cartridge razor systems, like the Schick Extreme III or the Gillette Mach 3, but I used the Merkur Classic for several weeks last year. Results on my face were decent, but shaving my scalp proved less than satisfactory.

The biggest problem seems to be the lack of flexibility of the blade. Cartridge razors have a bit of flex to them and can adjust to the countours of the scalp to some degree. The Merkur Classic's blade is very rigid. A rigid blade works fine for the face, since that area is fairly malleable and will adjust to the blade, but the scalp doesn't have nearly so much give and it doesn't adjust to the blade at all.

As a result, shaving took much longer (approximately twice as long in most cases), and even then I couldn't achieve the same quality of shave as with a cartridge razor. I would frequently miss some small spots, and skin irritation levels were higher than I like.

I only shaved with the Merkur for a few weeks, so it is possible that I just don't have sufficient practice to get a good shave with a DE razor. As a long-time DE user, perhaps Herbert would have more success than I did.

In general, though, I don't recommend using a DE razor on the scalp. Based on my experience (and some comments I've read from other DE shavers), I think it's harder than it needs to be, and results with a cartridge razor are better and easier to achieve.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Gambling on baldness

Shaved men sign a complaint So what does it take to get your head shaved in Malaysia? Apparently, all you have to do is sit around and play Mahjong in a public place.
There has been widespread public indignation over the action by Kajang police to shave bald 10 senior citizens caught playing mahjong on the second day of the Chinese New Year.

The 10 men claimed trial in a Kajang magistrate’s court yesterday to a charge of illegal gambling at a public place.

A 31-year-old coffeeshop owner, who was also shaved bald, pleaded not guilty to allowing the 10 to gamble at his Hulu Langat shop.
The incident has sparked a probe to determine if police were abusing their power. It's not necessarily clear-cut, either, as it is apparently standard practice.
"I appeal to the Selangor chief police officer to see if the police officers had gone overboard and abused their power," he said at a press conference yesterday.

"It is true that shaving a detainee's head is part of the procedure. But with the majority of the men detained being senior citizens, was it necessary?" he said.
Involuntary headshaving has been used for thousands of years as a way of humiliating others, and the outrage expressed by many people in Malaysia certainly seems justified.