September 9, 2009
I stumbled onto Shaveblog and I am completely sucked in. I love doing things the right way, even if it means going back to the “old-fashioned” way of doing things. My husband loved the injector razors he had in the past, and after reading your recommendations, I’m sure he’ll love getting a better quality razor than even the one he was happy with. He’s also excited to start using a brush and cream like he always saw his dad use.
My question for you is regarding women’s shaving. Reading your blog, I started to get jealous that you guys have access to such quality shaving products. Is there anything out there for women? I saw in one of your blogs that your wife uses Cremo Cream and a Lady Sensor, but I couldn’t find the Lady Sensor anywhere online. Also, does your wife have any tips for getting a good shave? For example, I’m having a hard time picturing a woman using a brush to apply shaving cream to her legs, but has she found another option for “prepping” her legs and exfoliating? Any tips you can offer would be much appreciated. Thanks!
I have to say I’ve never shaved my legs but I did shave my armpits once in high school while talking on the phone with a girl who was shaving her pits and dared me to do it. It was actually kind of thrilling and to this day it’s the only time in my life I’ve engaged in something that could be considered phone sex aside from calling Barney Greengrass for an order to go.
So my resident gam shaving expert is Beloved Wife, whose legs are as easily nicked as my neck has always been. When I started getting better shaves with brushes and good creams, she ported them over to her gams and did her own research.
What she found: a shaving brush isn’t really needed for a woman’s legs, and a single-blade DE or Injector razor takes ages to shave a pair of legs with and doesn’t really give better gamshave than a good twin-blade. But she did find that the better creams (her favorite is Cremo Cream) really did protect her skin better and let her shave more closely and comfortably without nicks. Fortunately for Cremo, she’s not as bothered by the Pina Colada scent as I am (memo to Cremo: how about a shaving cream that smells like bacon, or Dogfish Head 120 Minute, or both of them in the same overstuffed mouthful? Hook a brother up).
More gamshave wisdom via the better half: Exfoliating is bullshit. Makes your skin feel softer for a little while but does nothing for shaving, no matter what the spa sites selling “shaving loofas” say. What really matters, as always, is softening the whiskers with water and using a good blade. Water is absorbed into the hair and changes its character from copper wire to wet noodle, and wet noodle is most certainly what you want when it comes to good shaving. It takes two minutes for human hair to absorb water and become soft enough to slice through cleanly and easily, so showering before you shave, not after, will do wonders for your legs.
According to Beloved Wife and every female I know, the twin-blade Sensor For Women is the best lady razor in current production. The 3 and 5-blade razors sold to Women under such names as Venus couldn’t possibly be less good for your legs if they had SARS virus built into the lubricating strips. I know men are stupid, buying this crap up by the hectare, but you women are too smart to fall for this nonsense. Avoid any razor with more than 2 blades. Loathe as I am to recommend anything Proctor and Gamble sells, Beloved Wife swears to me that the Sensor For Women is a good gam shaver, which doesn’t surprise me seeing as how the Sensor Excel for men, which uses the same blade cartridge, is the only thing Gillette still makes these days that doesn’t completely suck.
That said, here’s a dirty little secret: the men’s Sensor cartridges are better than what Gillette sells to women. A lot better. The white plastic Sensor For Women cartridges are markedly inferior to the grey plastic Sensor cartridges sold to men, even though they both fit all Sensor razors. Don’t believe me? Neither did Beloved Wife, until she tried a men’s Sensor blade in her razor and was shocked by how much better it shaved. Those white Sensor cartridges are nasty business — wouldn’t surprise me a bit if they were seconds off the production line, marketed as gam shavers instead of the off-spec rejects they are. Fit your Lady Sensor with man blades and you’ll be much happier with the cut.
As Beloved Wife discovered, the really good creams like Cremo make all the difference, but maybe you don’t want to spend $20 a tube when you use so much more of this stuff per shave than us men do. So here’s another trick: an economical alternative to high-end shaving cream is plain old hair conditioner, which actually works crazily well as a shaving cream for women’s legs as long as you don’t expect thick, rich, foamy lather. It softens the whiskers and gives great lubrication. Doesn’t need to be the fancy stuff, either — Suave conditioner works just as well as anything else I’ve tried. After showering, apply a liberal amount of hair conditioner to your legs and leave it on for at least a minute before you start shaving. Works a treat as my British editor used to say, and even I hit the conditioner for a shower shave every once in awhile when I’m running late and don’t have time for my usual Little Lord Fountleroy joie de beauty routine that wows them at school dropoff/pickup.