When I was 18, I spent a summer working for my Uncle Jim. He was building a hangar apartment for his Cessna single engine on an airstrip about 20 miles east of Downtown Dallas and I needed cash for college. I was no stranger to physical labor but the bulk of my experience was limited to cosmetic work; wallpaper, paint, drywall, etc. This job was something entirely different.
I spent my summer anchoring iron studs into concrete, running plumbing pipe and putting up corrugated steel siding. Jim was the kind of man who knew his stuff. He was a self-made man who had gone from working on a construction crew to being CEO of his own, very lucrative, contracting company. He had money but wasn’t in any way extravagant; except when it came to giving to others. His Christmas list was always just part numbers from the Grainger catalog for a bunch of tools that none of us had any idea what to do with, but were reasonably priced enough to not be a hardship on anyone.
Eventually, the day came to put up the rod-iron fence he’d been building. He asked me if I wanted to man the Mig welder and, seeing my immediate apprehension, delivered the single most valuable piece of advice that I’ve ever gotten. He said to me,
“Ben, every job is easy if you’ve got the right tools.”
I’ve found this simple principle to have application in nearly every part of my life. So what does this have to do with shaving, you ask?
It’s no small thing, putting blade to scalp the first time. For starters, it’s not typically a skill that you’ve cultivated during the normal formative years so at some point, you’ve got to make the decision to just dive in. Additionally, this is a highly risky prospect when you consider that approximately 60% of the work you have to do is outside your direct field of vision. So the tools you select when taking this plunge are a matter of the utmost importance.
*If you’re looking to shave your head for the first time, you need to first read my post, 18 tips for shaving your head (and living to tell about it).*
For the purpose of this post though, we’re going to drill down a bit on the tools of the trade with a product review from Harry’s razors.
I’ve been a big proponent of Harry’s since they launched in 2013. There are a lot of acceptable options for accommodating your shaving needs, so to me the things that separates good from great is more than just performance. I’m a man who cares about presentation, and that extends inward, past the bounds of where the public may see. What I mean is, aesthetic matters to me: regardless of if that is displayed publicly, or simply experienced privately, the manner in which a process occurs is as important to me as the quality of the effective end result.
So there has always been for me, a significant aesthetic disconnect when it came time to shave. Any razor that looks like it could double as a prop in a 70’s sci-fi flick just doesn’t jive with the experience that I wanted. At the same time, the vintage approach, safety razors, straight razors and the like, didn’t offer me the security and convenience of a multi-blade, disposable razor. Discovering Harry’s was the perfect median of my needs and wants and it has served me well for the last 3 years.
So when Harry’s offered to send me one of their Truman sets for this review, it was a no-brainer; of course I would review it. What I didn’t expect though, was to be surprised at the experience. Here are a few things that I noticed when I put my Truman kit to work.
- Up to this point, I’ve always used their Winston razor, largely because the sleek, stainless steel is just so dang attractive. But it’s also just the slightest bit slick when I shave my head in the shower and so there’s always just the tiniest bit of apprehension in my stroke. The Truman handle is shaped slightly different with a clear front, back and sides, which makes gripping it under running water a cinch.
- I’m pretty die-hard about my skin-care products so I don’t venture out much unless I’m given a reason to. For that reason, I’ve never actually tried Harry’s shave cream. I was pleasantly surprised by it though, when I began shaving. There’s a very fine line between lubricating your scalp so that the blade can slide over smoothly and many products are either too dry, making for a rough and inconsistent shave, or so slick that your blades go right by the hair and leave you with rough, sand-paper like patches of scalp. I am pleased to say that Harry’s shave cream did a better job of finding that line than my previous favorite shave cream and I am now a convert.
- I’m just gonna say it: their new cube razor stand is just a sexy piece of mechanical engineering. I’m a huge fan of things that are simultaneously utilitarian and aesthetically pleasing and, like the toggle bolt on the side of a shoe polish can, you just can’t get more simple, functional, and visually pleasing as Harry’s new razor stand. It securely holds the razor upright, allowing it to air out while standing tall on your bathroom countertop. Simple, attractive, functional. At $15 it should be an automatic addition to your first Harry’s purchase.
There’s a lot more I could say about Harry’s: quality blades, excellent customer service, classy folks all around….but I think we’ve covered enough for this post. I suggest you head over to Harry’s and order yourself a Truman set today. I promise you won’t regret it.