The Schick Hydro 5 is out now and we got a test drive at the Harrington Street branch of the Barnet Fair Barber Shop in Cape Town. Owner Farren Greening was handling the blades and answered a few questions about grooming.
Best time for a shave: After a shower. Facial hair absorb moisture up to 30 percent of its volume, making them softer and easier to cut. If you’re not showering, put a moist, warm towel over your face for a few minutes.
Best way to lather: The old shaving brush is still the ultimate tool. It raises the hair and creates an even lather close to the skin. If you use your hands, rub it in a bit. Any foam that doesn’t make contact with the skin is just wasted.
Best blade moves: Be a rebel the rest of the day, but this isn’t the time to go against the grain. Skip shaving for a day or two and look at the direction the hair lie on different parts of your face. Follow that direction. You can go across, but don’t go against. That could cause razor bumps and ingrown hair.
Best aftercare: Rinse with warm water, then with cold to close the pores and pat dry. Don’t rub. Soothe the skin with something like another of grandpa’s favourites, bay rum. It’s an infusion of West Indian bay leaves (not the same as the one used for cooking) in rum and you’ll find it in most pharmacies. Afterwards, keep your hands off your face for at least 20 minutes, Farren says, so you don’t spread germs or dirt when your skin is most vulnerable.
Best features of the Schick Hydro 5: The goal was to improve comfort and reduce irritation. Instead of the usual lubricating strip, this model has a hydrating gel reservoir that keeps lubricating while you shave. It was designed to distribute the gel more evenly. The razor also has a Flip Trimmer. Flick back the gel reservoir and the blades line up to do the trimming.
The Schick Hydro 5 Kit (R109,95); Schick Hydro 5 Blade Refills (R129,95) and the Schick Hydro 240ml Shave Gel (R62,95) are available from leading retailers nationwide.