Harry’s Shave Gel

6 Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ (6)
Harry's Shave Gel

Something a bit different, with some canned goo from a subscription service.

1st shave

I was a bit confused by the packaging, trying to twist the top off, when all I needed to do was pull. I then pressed the button heavily, thinking I was going to need to break some sort of seal. That meant the aerosol ejected more gel than I needed.

It immediately foamed up. As did the remains in the bottle, leaving an expanding trail of mess. The bottle could probably use a redesign to prevent that. I used to use gel, before I was enlightened, but I would have preferred cream now — something they do offer but not in the trial pack.

The quality of the foam was poor. It was airy and dry, but I smeared it over my chops and was pleased to find it provided plenty of slickness, especially when my skin was wet. I didn’t pick up any nicks.

I treated it as I do other brushless creams, keeping a quantity on one hand and re-applying for each pass. This worked well.

I did several passes, with and against the grain, plus touch-ups. I had to do a few more of the latter than I’d expected.

It has a strong, cologne-like scent. It’s aiming for ‘manly’ but strides the line between pleasant and repulsive. Not sure of the exact scent, but it’s not something I’d look for.

My neck was generally good, but I had a lot of roughness in my usual trouble-spots, especially along my jawline. WTG my face was nice and smooth. ATG there was some resistance, in places quite substantial, but generally minimal. Nowhere made it to BBS.

Post shave feel was pretty good. Reasonably soft but dry.

All-in-all a good, almost very good, shave.

2nd shave

I used a little less this time. I was concerned with the dryness when I initially applied it, and slickness didn’t seem too good, but subsequent passes with some water on my skin proved to be plenty slick. I did pick up a few nicks, but these were largely re-opening existing wounds. Both new and old were sealed by the time I applied cold water. I had some roughness on my neck, especially along my jawline. WTG my face was smooth. ATG there was a little resistance, and nowhere got close to BBS, but no full-on roughness. Post shave feel was soft but a bit dry. A pretty good shave.

3rd shave

I overdid it slightly on the amount, but better that way round. Although it foamed up, when I rubbed over my face I found the foam often disappeared, leaving me to guess where I had and had not shaved. Slickness was good once more and I didn’t pick up any nicks. I had a little roughness in my usual trouble-spots, but otherwise my neck was good. WTG my face was smooth. ATG there was a little resistance, and a patch that bordered on roughness. Nowhere made it to BBS though. I also found the nooks and crannies weren’t well finished. Post shave feel was good, perhaps a little dry. I don’t recall the fragrance during the shave, but it subtly hangs around long afterward. It’s got a generic ‘mens’ shaving foam scent. A good shave.

4th shave

Again, getting the right amount out of the can isn’t easy, so I ended up with more than I needed. The foam stayed around better this time, at least on the early passes. Slickness was good from the start and I didn’t pick up any nicks. My neck was okay, not particularly close and there was roughness in my usual trouble-spots. WTG my face felt pretty smooth. ATG there was a lot of resistance, despite going over some areas numerous times. Again, some issues in the harder-to-reach places. Post shave feel was average. The fragrance was subtle again, and vanished post shave. An average shave.

Used with: Gillette 7 O’Clock Super Platinum (3rd shave)

This time I used it with my DE razor. On the first pass the foam was a little dry and didn’t offer much slickness, but on subsequent passes it was very slick. I picked up a few tiny nicks during touch-ups, most of which were sealed by cold water. My neck was okay. It didn’t feel particularly close, but wasn’t bad either. It was a little hit-and-miss though. My face wasn’t bad WTG. There was plenty of resistance ATG, bordering on roughness in places. Post shave feel was very average. I got a brief whiff of the fragrance at the start but don’t recall it after that. Another average shave.

Verdict

Something a bit different this time. Previously, I used an electric shaver between wet shaves in the week; partly for time, partly to rest my skin. I was constantly disappointed by the finish though, so tried daily shaves when I had some time off work and found no issues. In an effort to strike a balance, I wanted to see if I could use a multi-blade cartridge razor for a quick brushless shave to offer an alternative to the electric. Hence I took up the offer from Harry’s for their cheap trial pack, which included this gel.

I tried to follow a similar cycle to my other software reviews, although primarily using the razor it was supplied with, except for the final shave.

I’d recommend starting with a wet face, as there’s very little moisture to provide a cushion for the razor to glide on until there’s a wet surface. With water, it provided plenty of slickness though. It compared well to the brushless creams I’ve used in this regard.

To be fair, it wasn’t as bad as I feared. It did the job. And, while it didn’t provide the same protection, at least on the first pass, as other brushless products do, adding water massively improved this.

Getting it out of the can and the mess it left behind was annoying. The fragrance didn’t do anything for me — maybe they should try offering a range of scents.

None of that really matters as, at the end of the day, it’s all about the shave. In this regard, it was very hit and miss. I got some good shaves, but they seemed to deteriorate over time.

My travel-size can normally goes for £2.50, but a full-size one (191ml) will cost you £5 — which makes even Gillette’s Fusion products look reasonable. It doesn’t appear to be part of the subscription cost, so at least you can skip it.

This isn’t something that would make it into my rotation and, if you’re using this, I’d recommend finding something else. Harry’s do offer a shave cream, but this does cost twice as much. There are plenty of other creams you can pick up for a lot less that I’d put ahead of it.

Filed under: Gel, Software

These reviews are updated based on ongoing experience, so ratings and opinions may change.

Last updated: September 4, 2018