Morning Muse: Shaving

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As one who tries to keep up with consumer technology, I couldn’t wait to try the new Gillette Fusion ProGlide razor with FlexBall technology and five blades.

I began shaving with a classic double-edged safety razor, one not too different I imagine from the product invented in 1904 by King C. Gillette.  That was the norm.  Oh sure, razors, or something like them, existed for centuries before.  The Oxford English Dictionary notes the year 1290 for the first use of a word specifically identified as a razor.

Anyone remember when the disposable razor entered the market? The first one I bought in the mid-70s was made of orange and white plastic by the French Company Bic – the disposable pen people.  It was followed quickly by the blue colored Gillette disposable, which had two blades.  These disposables tore me up; I was always going around with little pieces of toilet paper stuck to the nicks and cuts on my neck.  Then sometime in the 80s the cartridge razor was invented and the floodgate opened for products featuring 3 blades, then 4 blades and marketing concepts like “Mach” and “Turbo.”  I’ve tried them all in my search for a better shave.

The new FlexBall ProGlide, I must say, is a beautiful product with a high tech silver and black look and some orange and blue highlights – a color combo I have a particular affinity for.  The tech breakthrough isn’t the blade, but the handle.  It swivels, supposedly mimicking how your wrist works and therefore make shaving more effective.  Some call the swivel a marketing gimmick.  Okay, but so is the “virtual assistant” on my iPhone.  And I’m certain I’ll be using the razor more than I do Miss Siri.  Oh yes: I had a damn good inaugural shave.

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