A year at U of R

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Friday, July 28, 2006

Shaving a beard

Yesterday I shaved my first clients face. It's not quite the same as the female shaving experience, and it is very different than shaving your own legs or armpits. Basically, we completely botched the job.

I think we were both a little panicked at the idea that we were going to scrape a guys throat with a razor. It ought to be easy, but neither of us knew where to start. We forgot about applying a hot washcloth to the beard for 5 minutes to soften it. My partner started with the shaving cream, applying it like frosting on a cupcake. There was shaving cream everywhere ... in the nostrils, clothes, you name it. I think the finger-painting technique might have worked better than the frosting concept.

Next I took a razor and started out on one cheek, while my partner valiantly attacked the other. I quickly discovered that male beard hair isn't quite the soft stuff of women's legs. I had to make several passes with a razor to get any impact. But I was petrified I would scrape off skin if I made more than one pass. I was trying to figure out the grain of the hair to go with it, but it was impossible under all that shaving cream.

On the throat, I seemed to remember that the grain went from the chin to the neck. My partner whispered frantically, "NO! you're supposed to do it the other way!" So we each simulateously shaved in opposite directions on our respective sides.

Neither of us wanted to try the upper lip, but I did my best at it. Finally, I grabbed a washcloth to try to wipe away the remaining shaving cream. Patches of beard still stuck out here and there. At least there weren't any cuts. Neither of us even thought about aftershave.