What Have I Done?

Yesterday morning, a stranger’s face peered out of the mirror at me. This was because, in an uncharacteristically-impulsive action the night before, I shaved off my beard and mustache; and now, for the first time since Army boot camp in 1977, my face is naked.

Actually, it wasn’t impulsive. My facial hair grows like wildfire, and I just got sick of having to trim it about every other day. So I’m going to try this new look / sensation for a while*.

I grew a beard right after graduating from high school back in 1971, and even then I tired of trimming the damn thing — no Muslim-type ragged growth for me, thank you — but I was fortunate that I was always able to find a willing face-gardener to do the tiresome chore for me.

And speaking of which: several women in my long and checkered love life adored my beard and muzzie — one said that after kissing me, all other men felt like she was kissing a woman — but as my chances of ever kissing a woman in that way again are depressingly slim, I don’t really care. (And I’m going over to Britishland again in a few weeks so the odds grow even slimmer.)

Not that I’m looking to kiss a woman again, mind you. For one thing, cooties; and more importantly, that would require some kind of affection on my part, so fuhgeddabaht it.

I also trimmed my luxuriant British-styled hair back to its usual 3/4″ all-over length (no kidding, I did have my hair styled Over There), but that’s not really a change.

I think I look like a mugshot of a man wanted in twenty states for serial murder, but Doc Russia (who has a full, luxuriant Orthodox priest-type beard) thinks the clean shave makes me look younger.

Not that I care about that, either.

Thank goodness I have a decent badger-hair shaving brush and a choice between a single-edge (if I’m in a hurry) and straight razor (if I’m not). I do need to look at aftershave lotions, though; the last time I bought any was about 1979. Does anyone know if Halston still makes 1-12, or am I dating myself terribly by even suggesting it?

*No pics; I don’t do selfies and I can’t imagine why anyone would be interested in this nonsense either.


  1. Get some Tabac aftershave and never look back.

    If you want something avail locally the Everyman Jack stuff sold by Target is LOADED with menthol and smells nicely minty.

      1. Hell Kim, I’m only 33! I’ve been wearing Tabac since I was 18, never had any complaints from the wimminfolk.

  2. Halston does still make the 1-12. They even produce it in a Shaving Foam for your new look. Amazon has it and Tabac as well.

  3. I can’t comment on you dating yourself, I use Old Spice cologne. No aftershave since my beard is still attached to my face, thankyouverymuch.

  4. If you do choose to illustrate with a “selfie”, would you at least do so in a credible format?

    I’m thinking of a photoshop in the FBI Ten Most Wanted style, actually. Which framing* I’m afraid, is what all the anti-gun lefties (redundancy alert!) do actually have in mind for us all.

    * literally and figuratively.

    Sunk New Dawn
    Galveston, TX

  5. When you get back Over There, stock up on Taylor’s of Old Bond Street Bay Rum.

    Very refreshing, manly and traditional, unlike much of the girlyman toilet water masquerading as “aftershave” on the market.

  6. Anticipate any problems with your naked face versus your passport photo on the next trip to Britishland?

  7. About 20 years ago I dug out the Wahl electric hair trimmer we used on our kids and started giving myself bi-weekly #1 comb buzzes. 10 years ago I started doing the same for my whiskers.

    So now hair, beard and bushy eyebrows are all the same length.

    Perfect comfort, convenience and cheapness achieved.

    1. Fred,
      Yeah, I have one of those and I did that too (3/4″ hair, 1/2″ beard, 1/8″ muzzie), but I just got sick of all the trimming w/scissors every other day. It’s just easier to do a full shave every day after my shower and be done with it. (Program liable to change, mind you, if I get sick of doing THAT.)

  8. I’ve never been the aftershave type, but I do enjoy going over my whole face with an alum bar. Google should help you out there.

    I’ve also had happy results switching from shaving soap to a proper English creme. I like Trueffit and Hill, in the little squeezy tube (easier for travel.)

    1. Phelps,
      I don’t use shaving foam, but a decent soap (in a shaving cup) because it not only helps me shave close, but also prevents razor burn. Offhand, I can’t remember the brand (I bought half a dozen originally, and I’m only on #2 now), but it’s exquisite.

  9. I have been looking for a good reason to buy a fine silverback badger shaving brush but I am no fan of shaving and the guy in my mirror scares me.

    A good Italian aftershave, really a salve, is Crema Liquida Dopobarba.

  10. For what it’s worth, I shave in the shower. Lathering up consists of lots of Irish Spring on hands and then face. I also use a generic version of one of those multi-blade razors. Works quite well I’ve found.

    No aftershave, no cologne.

    1. I just use whatever shampoo/conditioner on the face fuzz, and a multi-pac multi-blade razor.

  11. Kim:

    Re shaving. Suggest you look at the Schick Hydro-5 “Power” razor. These razors actually vibrate while shaving, and the result is astounding. The small side-to-side movement of the blade as it is being pulled across your beard multiplies the cutting efficiency and gives a much smoother “finish” than any other razor I have used. Gillette also has such a razor, and I had used one of those first (’til it wore out) and tried the Schick. The Gillette was very good (far better than a regular razor), but the Schick was at least as much better.

    Yeah, yeah, I know it looks like a gimmick, but it really does work.

    1. Wart,
      I refuse to use a blade that costs more than a box of 7.62x39mm ammo. Call me Mr. Cheapskate.

      1. I found a trick to making blades last a LOT longer…..keep the razor head and blade submerged in water when not being used. Apparently one of the things that causes “dulling” is for any residual surface film on the blade to dry and harden. I use about one blade a month.

  12. I am not a fan of shaving, nor hair, so I just buzz the whole skull to the shortest length I can get it. Takes about 3 minutes a week. Always looks like I have a shadow, but who cares?

    1. Art,
      That’s kinda what I used to do, but I think it’s time I got away from the “convict” (or “hitman”) look.

  13. Let it all hang out after I retired from the army, wound up with the nickname ‘unabomber’ whilst codge-stoont-ing. Had both hair and beard down to here*. Made me look mebbe 20 years older, not good when you’re pushing 50. Having said that, I’d like to try the handlebar thing, if I could find a wax that didn’t reek.

    *waving in vicinity of beltline

  14. If you already use shaving soap and a brush for shaving, might as well go whole hog and purchase a butterfly safety razor and double-edged blades. Yes, the razor is a bit pricey, but will see you out and the blades are far, far cheaper than any Gillette product are.

    Since you’re going back to UK, I’d recommend a visit to George F. Trumper in London for some high-quality aftershave: https://www.trumpers.com/index.cfm

    For a less expensive after-shave for regular use, I’d recommend Ogallala brand bay rums, which can be had either in a straight bay rum, or with various additional flavors such as Lime & Peppercorns (a personal favorite), Sandalwood, or Vanilla (another personal favorite).

  15. Old Spice and Tabac are available from Boots, when you get back over here Kim. That said – no face fuzz? What? What? That is just in American!

Comments are closed.