the c & b diaspora

The Sovereign of Facial Hair Grooming.

Posted on: October 3, 2008

So a little while ago a friend of mine who shall remain anonymous came to me with a problem. After reading my unadulterated praise for the King of Shaves Azor and their other products, he took the plunge and bought himself some shaving oil. The problem he was having, I shall quote him on this, (or try):

It fucks the blades.

That’s basically it. I attempted to coax a little more out of him; how often he was rinsing out his razor, how much hair he was cutting off, what sort of razor, et cetera. We reached a bit of a stalemate, as I, in all my shaving experience could not offer him a solution to the problem. I asked, did he notice a difference in the actual shave itself, and he said it was better. This was good. Progress. We didn’t talk about it much for a while, until the other day when he said that his shave was fucking awesome.

Conversion successful. I guess it just took a while for him to get used to shaving with something other than a foam or a gel, and perhaps whatever products he was using had left some kind of microbial residue on the blades that was causing a reaction with the shaving oil. Being an engineer, I am certain he would have thoroughly checked these things before asking me anyway.

I have a confession to make. Up until about a week ago, I hadn’t even been using a KoS shaving lubricant at all. Only because I happened to have items that still had some use in them, eg. my Somerset Shaving Oil. So whilst at the supermarket last week I (Briony let me) got some KoS Alpha shave oil, and some Alpha shave gel. Both were on sale, so it was beneficial for me to purchase at this time.

I’ve used the shaving oil before, and I only tried the Somerset’s on a recommendation. Overall, I would have to say that the KoS product is superior. Even though it has a slightly scary blue colour, it is for good reason. You can put a few drops in your hand, and it looks like there is something there, instead of just water. This also helps when you apply it to your face, so you can see any spots you might have missed. The thing I didn’t like about the Somerset oil was trying to get it out of the bottle. Sure, the dropper type system is understandable so you don’t end up wasting all your oil, and that you don’t need all that much. But just getting those few drops out of the bottle is an epic journey, much like Lord of the Rings. It’s just a little inconvenient. One does not simply walk into Mordor and all that.

Being a rather hairy fellow who does not really like to shave every day, I often go for the combination shave oil and gel at the same time. As much as I like having a beard, and constantly receiving compliments about how manly and awesome it is, I find that it is a bitch to take care of. I imagine that if I didn’t shave at all for a long period of time I would have a marvelous neckbeard, one that joined with my chest hair even. I think this could be a future project of mine, perhaps when I am working in a job that doesn’t involve being seen by people, or does involve a very cold environment; providing the hair is thick enough to provide warmth.

So the KoS Alpha gel is fantastic. It comes in a tube, rather than an aerosol can. Obviously this means there is less of it, but in terms of the difference between product quality, price, and quality of the shave you get, there is just no comparison. Coming out of the tube I would say it resembles hair gel more than anything else, despite having the completely opposite effect. Even better, it stays clear after you apply it, giving you the ability to actually see what you are shaving, rather than blindly hacking at the foam coloured bits on your face. I suppose this isn’t as important to those people who are entirely clean shaven all the time, but for the men who embrace their natural hair growth and like to see it looking good, this is wonderful and brilliant and super.

Immediately after shaving I noticed the benefits of the KoS combination versus the Somerset/Nivea shave gel combination. I was actually getting a little bit of razor burn on my neck, just below my jaw line. It didn’t happen this time. Another trouble spot, the area between my mouth and my chin was alright, but trying to have the shape of the hair in that area align with the upper cheek facial hair is a bit of a challenge anyway, and I am often left with a couple of sore spots because I am forced to create skin tension using my tongue on the inside of my mouth. I can deal with this. I’m still digging my Azor, minimalism is the future.

Once again I challenge you, the reader, to abandon your Gillette products and try something that may be a little more expensive than you are used to, but it is worth the extra. King of Shaves actually do know what they are doing, despite not having ridiculous advertisements where attractive men can shave from earlobe to chin in one stroke, and shaving against the grain does not cause bleeding or razor burn. It’s a quality product, and if you are going to be shaving for the rest of your life (or not, Coromandel residents) you may as well enjoy it, and so should your skin.

Oh, and I apologise for the non-cohesiveness of the images today, I don’t have the appropriate media credentials to access the high quality images on the KoS website.


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