As a simple caveman, I've been reluctant to embrace some of the changing times. From MP3 players to electric toothbrushes, I've preferred to do it the old fashioned way. So it should be no surprise that when it came to keeping my face baby smooth, I used a bladed razor rather than an electric one. But eventually time passes every man by and it's time for me to come into the electric age of facial hair management.
As a conservative groomer coming into this, I decided to take a chance and go for it. I mean, if you're going to go into the future, you might as well go the whole way. With that in mind, the electric razor I acquired is the Norelco 1090 arcitec. Norelco calls it their “most advanced razor” and it is a high tech little machine. It boasts a precision cutting system and a precision tube trimmer, which is nice for cleaning up lines near sideburns, or if you wanted to neaten up a goatee. Straight out of 2001: A Space Odyssey is the LED multi-purpose numeric display – it shows you how many minutes of shaving time you have left or it informs you of the battery level/charging indicator. I'm surprised it also isn't a BlueTooth capable device, considering it also tells you when it needs to be cleaned or when the shaving heads need to be replaced.
For you heavy shavers out there, it has a charging stand that charges it fully in 1 hour or you can have enough juice for a full shave after only 3 minutes. On the run? Pack it in the “power pod,” a futuristic escape pod looking thing that protects the razor while it's in your luggage, but also has a jack for charging. They've thought of everything.
Coming from a simple blade background, this machine looked intimidating, like some HR Geiger sculpture of hair removal. The key to the arcitec is the flex and pivot action of three independently flexing heads. Traditional electric razors are blocky and don't have a lot of flex to them – not so with this Norelco. This thing is a face hugger, adapting to the contours of any face, from soft baby faces to my own alarmingly rugged jaw line. The whole point of the flexing heads is to stay in contact with the skin while going around the jaw or under the neck. That area can be a bit tricky even with a simple razor, but the electric handles it with ease. When you're all done, you can pop the shaving heads open and rinse it with running water and the unit is clean after about 5 seconds. It doesn't get much simpler.
Using the razor is easy, as one would expect. It's a dry razor, which is new to me but cuts down considerably on mess and clean up. I was expecting it to pull a little bit or be rough, but the razor moves over skin and facial hair smoothly, lifting and cutting the hairs with ease. It took me a moment to figure out just how hard I should press, but once I locked in on it, the process was quick and easy and didn't irritate my skin. I'm pretty sure that the results weren't as smooth as taking a blade over the area, but they were more than adequate for an every day shave or heading out for the day. After a few minutes it was all done. Clean up was a breeze. I definitely have to award points to the electric razor for its easy maintenance. There were no globs of shaving cream laying around, no hair stuck to the edges of the sink, no clogged space between the razors. Just a simple tap and rinse and it was over. I like that.
So is an electric razor for everyone? Maybe not, but it could be. There's nothing wrong with them. I'm not entirely sure why I resisted for so long, I guess I was just comfortable doing it the same way I always had. Maybe a razor blade seemed more manly, but isn't being fresh faced and ready to face the day faster and earlier manly too? I'd say heck yeah. The more time you cut down on your morning ritual, the more time you have for conducting serious business. Or sleeping in. What it comes down to is this – is time an issue? Do you have to be clean shaven every day? If so, an electric razor is a wise investment. The clean-up is minimal, the shave is close, and the time commitment is virtually nothing. If, however, you're someone who likes a bit of scruff, this might not be for you. Electric razors are not trimmers, so there really isn't a way to trim down. Though if you have a goatee, an electric razor can be a quick and clean way of tidying up the area every morning to keep it looking neat.
Women like a well groomed man and business partners don't want to work with wookies. However you decide to display yourself or manage your facial hair, don't let some silly preconceived notion stop you from moving into the future. In the past, trendsetters and trailblazers have always been early adopters of technology. Famous lawmen and infamous outlaws didn't cling to six guns, they traded up for semi-automatics the minute they hit the market. Movie lovers didn't cling to the CRT, they ate up better display technology immediately. So be brave and step into the future, adapt new technology and adopt a new way of thinking. And if you're looking for a fast, comfortable shave from the future, the space-aged Norelco 1090 arcitec fits the bill to a well-groomed T.