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September 2, 2006

Notes on using the new Gillette LAZR™ in the year 2050


This morning, while I was smoothing (they stopped calling it shaving when blades went the way of the self-driven car), I got to thinking about what it must have been like back in the year 2006 for most men.

You had two choices, broadly speaking:

1) Hack away as your face with a lethally sharp set of minimally-separated cutting edges, whose raw metal actually cut into the hair shafts and underlying skin, often resulting in actual bleeding, or

2) Use an electric device whose blades — rapidly rotating or moving back-and-forth — within a metal cage transected the hairs that presented themselves through tiny holes in the cage wall.

Both methods were fraught with problems.

The manual method, even when supplemented with early 21st-century vibration technology, required time-consuming, painstaking preparation of the face: washing with soap, rinsing, application of a sort of aerosol foam or semi-solid gel, then the actual depilation.

And, as noted above, often resulted in lacerations requiring the use of a styptic pencil or, even more quaint, small pieces of "toilet paper" (the subject of a future post — leave the absurd-sounding phrase until then, OK?) to absorb the blood loss and stanch the flow.

The electric shaver dispensed with much of the fuss: the shaver was applied to the face and beard, moved across the surface and after a few moments yielded a satisfactory — though hardly optimal — presentation.

Attempts to achieve a closer shave were reciprocally related to an increase in what was termed "razor burn" — redness and tenderness resulting from many thousands of blade impacts against a given patch of skin.

We take too much for granted nowadays, with the nifty solar-powered LAZR™ instantly and painlessly removing hair right down to the skin surface in seconds with a few strokes of the finger-mounted device.

Wonder what they'll be using a thousand years hence.

No telling, really.

September 2, 2006 at 12:01 PM | Permalink


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I reckon in time it'll be a hormone-laced "aftershave" which stops the follicles dead in their tracks.

Posted by: Skipweasel | Sep 3, 2006 2:12:50 PM

Why shave at all? Who wants to scrape their face/legs/underarms? Beuller?

I do conform to societal norms by using a trimmer once a week to keep my facial hair to a minimum - My wife reports it's mostly soft: best 1 day or more after a trim.

Oh Well.

Posted by: mattp9 | Sep 2, 2006 1:51:26 PM

Well, all I can say is, razor burn may be distressing from the guy's point of view, but a thorough sandpapering from a bristly face during a serious makeout session can wreak some serious havoc on a girl's visage, too.

(Strictly old school, I know. Plus, I'm going on dim memory.)

Posted by: Flautist | Sep 2, 2006 1:31:41 PM

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