Tag Archive for beards

Dollar Shave Club update

Hey bearded, or not-so-bearded, friends!  Last summer I came across the Dollar Shave Club, loved it and started spreading the word to all my friends.  In some previous posts I talking about the razor service and my experience the first few weeks using the new razors.  It’s been about 7 months since then and I thought I should let you know how that’s been going.

  • Still loving new razors appearing in my mail box
  • I dropped back to the every 2 month delivery vs the monthly delivery
  • One tube of shave butter lasted me almost 6 months
  • Dollar Shave Club is currently partnering with the Colon Cancer Alliance to help bring awareness to colorectal cancer

I’m not sure why I love getting stuff in the mail and it probably explains why I love Amazon.com so much.  I often find myself awake and remembering the need to purchase things after 10pm which is also when most businesses are closed.  Being able to hop online, place an order and it appears in a few days is awesome.

While the Dollar Shave Club encourages you to grab a new blade each week for optimal use, I really don’t like shaving.  In fact, I recently had a 4″ beard due to not shaving which covered almost all the beard growing surface on my face.  I currently have two packs of razors waiting to be opened which is four months worth of razors, but I’m ok with stocking up.  I also shave my head and occasionally I’ll have a blade that’s just not working and I’ll need to immediately swap it for a new one.

The Shave Butter continues to be one of the best or the best shaving gel/cream I’ve ever used.  I’m not sure how I could go back to shaving cream and not be able to see exactly what I’m doing.  The translucent nature of the shave butter really helps shaping your beard into exactly what you want it to be.  I think at the moment you have to buy razors to be able to buy the Shave Butter.  If you could just buy it by itself, that could open up another whole market.  Similar to if HBO would just sell me their services instead of me having to buy cable TV service through Comcast in order to add on HBO.

Lastly, The Dollar Shave Club is trying to raise awareness about colorectal cancer.  If you didn’t know, it’s colorectal cancer awareness month.  This is one of the most preventable types of cancer people can get so awareness can literally mean the difference between life and death for folks.

Looking on the bright side

When suffering long-term from an illness, one can easily becomes discouraged and depressed.  There are activities you’re not able to do anymore, places you can’t visit, jobs you can’t perform and maybe even people you cannot see.  I don’t see myself as getting too down in the dumps, but there are certainly times when I’m in a bit of a funk.  I have a group of online friends who also suffer from severe asthma.  We often try to encourage each other whenever one of the group is down.

Today I went to the dentist.  I tend to see a dentist every five years or so and for some reason they always exclaim how awesome my teeth are.  They’re even surprised with the amount of prednisone I take and the insane amount of inhaler puffs/neb treatments I use as well.  I’m not sure what I do other than brush my teeth every day and drink a lot of water.  I also drink an ill-advised amount of Mountain Dew, rarely floss and am not consciously maintaining my chompers.  To date I’ve never had a cavity and have never had a bad dentist experience.  This is something I should really be celebrating.  A local friend of mine just recently had an infection in his jaw and had to get a bunch of teeth pulled combined with a hospital admission.

When I really stop to think, I have a lot of good things going for me.  I have a great family, amazing friends, I can cook, I have a sweet film collection, I’m employed, I have health insurance, the dentist says my teeth are awesome, I got free Taco Bell for lunch today with TWO MOUNTAIN DEWS and I can grow a pretty decent beard.  My respiratory system may not be the greatest, but I think all the good far outweighs the bad.

beard and movies

Dollar Shave Club Weeks 2 and 3

In my first week of trying out the Dollar Shave Club I shaved my head every 3rd day and around my full beard every day.  I shaved off most of my beard into just a goatee for Week 2 and in Week 3 I waited five days before shaving.  I’m still experiencing great shaves with The 4X and have yet to see the blade cartridge become clogged.  My replacement cartridges should be arriving soon and I’m still a satisfied customer.  The Shave Butter continues to be a major bonus when maintaining my beard.  There’s just something awesome about being able to see exactly what I’m trimming and shaping on my face.  The six ounce tube should last me at least a couple more months.

The only other thoughts I have on the razor system is the release lever/button to release the razor cartridge isn’t always easy to engage, especially if my thumb is wet.  I like the cartridge being firmly attached, but last time I swapped them out I had to try three times before I detached the old one.

Dollar Shave Club – Week 1

Last week I told you all about the Dollar Shave Club, and I must admit I was a little impressed.  I’m not entirely sure if that’s due to expectation levels vs experience or just because it’s a good product.  I wanted to come back after a week of shaving and let you all know how I’m feeling about it.

The 4X Razor

The Club’s four-blade razor has been working out well for me.  I’d say it works just as well as any other four-blade, with the exception that I’ve had zero problems with clogging.  I think this is probably the most common problem I’ve had in my years of shaving that can really lead to a bad shave experience.

My biggest concern with the razor is how it would perform shaving my head.  It’s done wonderfully well.  I decided to go for haircuts every three days.  So that equated to three shaves: last Saturday, Tuesday and Friday.  Essentially one swipe of the razor was all I needed to clear a swath of stubble.  My common mistake, because I’m cheap, is to continue using a razor well past its prime.  So while I didn’t think I needed to swap out the razor cartridge today, I did it anyway.

The Shave Butter

I’m so glad I decided to give the Club’s shaving cream solution.  At first using the translucent product was a little weird, but I quickly figured it out.  I’m used to using large amount of shaving cream that never quite does the job.  I’ve thought about trying out The 4X without the Shave Butter, but that just sounds silly.  If for some reason I quit using their razors, I think I’d still want to use the Shave Butter.

Other Thoughts

  • With all the razor cartridges I’m going to be going through, I wish there was a way to easily recycle them.
  • I miss having a holder thing to snap the razor into like what I have had with every other commercial razor I’ve bought.  If I happen to leave the razor lying blades-down on the counter after a shave, the lubricating strips will get stuck to the counter.

Since I discovered The Dollar Shave Club, I’ve found similar services on the web, although most of them exist not in the US.  I did come across a pseudo-subscription service that’s more high end called Harry’s.  They’re more about a brand/product than just providing a cheap shaving solution.  They offer high-end razor handles named after Winston Churchill and Harry Truman paired with German engineered razors.

If you’re interested in trying out the Dollar Shave Club, please consider using this link.  I’ll get a few bucks towards my next razor purchase.

Dollar Shave Club

A while back I came across a video about some guy selling razor blades.  I got a good laugh and forgot about it until last Monday when I saw an ad on Facebook.

Pretty awesome, right?  I’m almost as good at tennis as he is.  Of course I had to check things out.  I started clicking through everything on their site to see exactly what their deal is.  Afterward I checked Google to see what everyone else was saying about it.  Here’s the short and skinny.

Razorblades come in three varieties:

  • Humble twin – this 2 blade razor is your most basic option for $1/month + shipping and handling.  Some people just like to torture themselves and I haven’t even used a 2 blade razor since last century.  You receive 5 of these blade cartridges per order with a basic handle on first shipment.
  • The 4x – I decided to try out this option at $6/month (shipping and handling included).  I’ve been using the Schick Quattro with titanium blades for years now.  It’s not bad, but there’s always room for improvement.  You receive four of these blade cartridges per order with an upgraded metal handle.
  • The Executive – here’s the cream of the crop with six blades for $9/month (shipping and handling included).  There are extra bells and whistles on this such as a trimmer and slightly nicer handle.  You receive four of these blade cartridges per order with a premium handle.

Shipping:

You will receive one shipment per month unless you opt to receive shipments every other month.  There is also no lock-in or contract so you can cancel at any time.  After receiving your first shipment, your next shipment will go out one, or two, months later.

My first shipment

My first shipment

Other products:

Shave Butter is their premium shaving cream that’s not a cream.  I added one to my first order and am so far pleased with it.  The shave butter comes out looking sort of like vaseline meaning it’s translucent and you can actually see what you’re shaving.  I can’t count how many times I’ve been trying to shape my current beard configuration and have messed up because I can’t see what I’m doing.  Shave Butter can be added to your order for $8, but will not automatically ship every month.

One Wipe Charlies.  Yes, they have fancy, flushable butt wipes for men.  I don’t see myself trying this one anytime soon, but I’m sure one of you reading this can’t wait to get your package of 40 durable 5″ x 7″ sheets.  One Wipe Charlies can be added to your order for $4, but will not automatically ship every month.

Extra Razor Handles – You receive your first handle free and can order a second handle but will have to pay for it.  If you upgrade or downgrade, a new handle will be sent to you.

Reviews:

While googling and googling this service I came across many reviews and recommendations lauding the awesomeness of the Dollar Shave Club with negative reviews sprinkled here and there.  It was nice to see the diversification because any product worth considering should have a good population of people willing to share their thoughts/experiences as well as people who love it and hate it.  We all know everyone will never be happy so if you have an entire population loving or hating something, you better check into it more.

  • Some reviewers just hated the $1 razor and handle, and I’m not surprised.  I can’t shave my head with a disposable razor so why would I purchase a $1 safety razor to do the same job?
  • Some reviewers have pointed out you can buy these razors directly from the manufacturer for less money, however, the manufacturer charges you shipping and handling which pretty much negates the savings.  You would also miss out on the awesome advertising, packaging and not having to remember to re-order on a regular basis.
  • Some reviewers say the razors clog too easily, don’t offer a “good shave” or irritate their skin.  These are all great observations, but there’s very also subjective and hard to measure.  I have no idea how they’re shaving, what their skin type is, how much stubble they’re attempting to remove, how old the razor is, etc, etc, etc.  You basically have to try this stuff for yourself and see what happens.

My Experience:

I received my first shipment Friday and shaved my head Saturday, this morning.  I applied a thin layer of Shave Butter onto my scalp and gave it a whirl.  I was a little worried about a “dry-shave” feeling since my standard operating procedure is to apply a hefty amount of Gillette Sensitive Skin Shaving Cream.  It actually felt great and the razor didn’t clog at all.  My last head-shave had been three days prior which is about the perfect time for a touch-up.  A few days later and the hair is almost too long to easily shave.  I often use my Quattro razors much longer than I should because I can’t afford to buy them as often as I’d like which results in less than awesome shaves.  I’m hoping to shave my head every 2-3 days with The 4X.

Shave butter, The 4X razor handle and four cartridges

Shave butter, The 4X razor handle and four cartridges

The one thing that was awkward was getting used to the angle of the razor cartridge on the handle.  It’s more like a Gillette Mach 3 which is a different angle than the Schick Quattro.  That was easy enough to get over though.  I’m very interested to see how long the blades continue working for me.  I always have some sort of facial hair going on and am rocking a full beard at the moment.  My face is pretty hardy and isn’t really phased by a “bad shave.”  My scalp on the other hand is an entirely different matter.  I was able to shave my head in several minutes with no irritation and when getting directly into a hot shower, I had no “stinging patches” on my head which often happens with other razors.  I’m going to continue to see how DollarShaveClub works out and will update later on how things are going.

I placed my Schick Quattro next to The 4X

I placed my Schick Quattro next to The 4X

How do I order?

So this link here will take you straight to the DollarShaveClub’s site where you can check things out and think about giving it a try.  I’m going to just fess up and say it’s a referral link.  If you use my link and sign up, I’ll get a few bucks credit on the site and you’ll be empowering me to continue having an awesome shaved head.  If you’ve tried this service, are using it or think you’ll start – I’d love to hear your comments.

Beards are healthy

I’ve seen this message before, but came across an article today touting the health advantages of bearded men.  Some of the advantages can be up for debate, but it’s hard to argue with the homemade scarf protecting one’s face from weather and UV rays.

I’ve been personally growing facial hair since 1999.  I was blessed with productive hair follicles and rarely have to wait long to try something new.  In college I let my sideburns turn into their own zip codes and played around with braids here and there.  Obviously I can’t do that now as a working professional, but that’s what college is for, right?

If you’d like to start growing a beard and aren’t sure what to do, or have limited options – be sure to check out these charts…

http://zouchmagazine.com/the-hierarchy-of-beard-moustache-charts/

beard-mustache-facial-hair-types

 

hierarchy of beards

…and then there’s this one, the Trustworthiness of Beards in case you’re trying to give that unspoken message

trustworthiness_of_beards

Beards

I read an article on beards today titled What Your Beard Says About You.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/28/fashion/what-your-beard-says-about-you-the-mirror.html?_r=1

It’s an excellent topic of discussion when you really think about it.  Some people see facial hair as a sign of manliness.  You can always spot a young teen letting the peach fuzz grow out.  For me, I never attempted to grow anything until after I was out of high school.  I played football and our coaches had a policy of no facial hair.  I never really thought about the why, but they also made us wear dress shirts and ties for away games.  They were trying to instill a little respect and dignity in us.  I also know how to tie a tie very well.  There’s a life skill some people could use some help with.

So what does your beard say about you?  For me it definitely made me look more badass in my younger days.  I’m not very tall, but I have gigantic shoulders.  Combine that with a shaved head, awesome beardage, and a black duster (yes, I wore one of those for about 8 years) and people were afraid of me.  Most of the time I found it hilarious, but sometimes it was just a nuisance.   I would often find myself getting profiled late at night when stopping to fill up at gas stations.   A couple times clerks pulled out weapons and didn’t want me to get close to the counter.  It wasn’t until after I had gotten them to take my $20 bill and left that I realized why they had acted so weird.

Some of my friends try their very hardest to grow a goatee, sideburns, or what have you and it just looks pitiful.  I really do feel sorry for them.  For me, it’s just a hobby really.  I can have a perfectly respectable beard in a week so I often cut it off and start over when I feel like doing something different.  I wouldn’t say it was every about rebellion for me, more of a frugal/laziness thing.  You see, by the time I started high school I was already noticeably going bald (it runs in the family), and when I got to college I didn’t want to pay for hair cuts.  That’s when I started cutting my own hair, and what’s easier than cutting it all off?  I quickly switched up to a razor and have never gone back.  I also hate shaving my face so having a beard was just another path of least resistance for me.  At times I’d even let it get long enough to shove pencils into or even braid.  Ok, so the braiding thing only happened once, but I used to put my goatee in pig tails from time to time.

There are definitely a few iconic beards out there.  If you need some help deciding what to grow, here are two resources you might want to look up.

Ol General Burnsides is one iconic bearded dude along with ZZ Top, The Dude, Sam Elliott, Zach Galifianakis and Chuck Norris.  Some people prefer just the mustache, but I’m kind of afraid of it.  Still too many connotations with child molesters for me.

So what about you?  Can you grow a beard?  Any kind of beard?  Are you stuck with one style due to how it looks?  Do you think a beard really says something about you?