I've been a little remiss in the shaving department over the winter and as a spring gift to my long suffering wife, Mrs. Bugbear, I've decided to start shaving more regularly, once a day instead of once every week or so. As part of trying to shave more regularly I've decided to try some alternative products and methods because part of my reluctance to shave stems from not finding anything I like to use on my scalp.
To this end I picked up a very small bottle of Cromwell and Cruthers Shaving oil and a walnut shell based exfoliating head wash. Yeah, I know real men don't exfoliate, defoliate yes, exfoliate no. What can I say, I eat keish too.
Scraping your Scalp
I shave my scalp in the shower by the braille method so the one great downfall of shaving oil is avoided. Shaving oil does a great job in the shower, if your head isn't slippery enough then just duck under the stream from the shower head and voila your scalp is slicked up once more. The downside is clearing your razor. The shower oil and the removed hair and skin form a gummy waxy mix that clogs the razor and isn't removed quickly or easily. I used the Schick Quatro on my scalp and found that it was nigh on impossible to unclog the lower two blades. Now despite this complaint I still had an adequately close and even shave over my scalp.
Facial Follicle Flaying
After my shower I tried the shaving oil on my beard using a Gillette Sensor Excel. My hypothesis was that the oil would gum up the Sensor blade as well and I failed to disprove that hypothesis. The shave was adequately close but if you don't have a thick or dark beard there is very little visual clue as to what's been shaved and what hasn't thus is the great downfall of shaving oil revealed, unless you're blind in which it's no worse than shaving cream.
No Pleasing Scent
Cromwell and Struthers Shaving Oil seems to have very little scent which is a big positive factor in not causing headaches for Mrs. Bugbear. Nor does it have any of the mentholated tingle that some of the other shaving oils on the market have. My largest complaint with most personal grooming lotions, oils, gels, etc is the lack of fragrance free options. I mean, really, a relatively clean human being doesn't need to cover up his natural odor with a bunchaton of crap that gives a significant portion of the population headaches!
The Last Few Words
Overall I would rate the shaving oil as a fail. I liked using the oil on my head and disliked it for my face. The gumming up of my razors would nudge shaving oil into the fail category overall. If anyone has advice on how to clear the mess out of the razor it would be appreciated because for shaving your head in the shower shaving oil is superior to both soap and shaving cream. Shaving oil doesn't run into your eyes and as I mentioned previously, a quick douse under the water and your scalp is slippery enough for shaving again. Shaving oils are also fairly easy and quick to apply compared to shaving cream or soap.