(originally appeared in slightly different form: http://peoplevoice.ning.com/profiles/blogs/razors-amp-shaving-products)
Â One of the recurring questions in monthly surveys that I participate in deals with personal maintenance items such as shaving tools and products. Yes, look at my photo, then look closely at my face. Yep, there it is, in whatever glory -- I maintain a beard. (Given my face / appearance, said beard DOES become longer and fuller in the November / December timeframe -- what, you'd expect me to dissappoint family, friends, and many randomly-encountered small children? )
Please understand: I did not keep a beard on my face until advised to do so by my dermatologist. I happen to have multiple factors that make it advisable for me to do so (delicate/thin skin, rosacea, history of ingrown whiskers, tendency toward sunburn, etc.) I really didn't grow my beard out and keep it there on a regular basis until I was already showing a significant amount of gray. Plus, my major hobby (Society for Creative Anachronism - we re-create the skills, clothing, arts of pre-1600ce) happens to be very compatible. Happy circumstance: if a jobsite normally requires clean-shaven employees, I point to my dermatologist's recommendation and say "want to fight the 'reasonable accomodation' clauses in employment law?"Â (Still an activist at heart, I am!)
SO -- when it comes to personal care shaving products, YES, I still use razors and occassionally shaving gel. A "good" beard still has to have some trimming done around the edges or it gets scruffy-looking. However, I use a pair of scissors at least as often if not moreso. (I don't know many men with beards who actually enjoy a mouthful of mustache along with their meal. Ya know?)
Next time you are waltzing through the aisles of your store and spot the razors and shave creams, think about it a little. Or a lot.
And smile at the little children and eyes open wide as saucers with me at Yuletide.
ttfn - Mike / Pax ... Kihe / Adieu, Amra