"I hate 'em when they ain't shaved."
-- Severen in Near Dark

Shaving is very important to the sophisticated vampire. Nothing destroys the mood of seductive blood-play like getting a mouthful of sandpapery bristles. Plus, it's very difficult to play the part of the cultured, Continental count or contessa when you've got a night's growth of scraggly beard or prickly legs.

Fortunately, the modern vampire need not shave blind. It used to be that the only mirrors available were backed in silver, that most holy of metals that will not reflect the face of the cursed undead. Modern mirrors are usually backed in cheaper metals like chrome, nickel or stainless steel, and even the most spiritually depraved vampires can see themselves just fine in such materials.

There have been cases of vampires who are psychologically unable to see their own reflections in any material. Such neurotic vampires generally also have a fear of getting cut and losing precious blood. Thus, we encourage them to invest in a cordless, waterproof electric razor and to practice shaving themselves by feel.

Although straight razors have a certain sexiness and class (and also double as a handy weapon), we discourage their use in favor of disposable safety razors or electric razors. It's all too easy for a vampire with a slight case of the hunger shakes to open up his own throat. Also, those who live in vampiric communes will do well to avoid implements that can cause deep shaving cuts, since any sudden spilling of blood may upset hungry housemates.

Silver-handled shaving implements should be avoided, as should those made of hawthorn, mountain ash, or pure iron. Steel is fine due to the impurities it contains.

Most young vampires do not realize that there is a secondary risk involved with traditional shaving methods: clean running water. Generally, vampires are only vulnerable to being drowned in large quantities of fresh running water such as a stream or river. However, those vampires who are are elderly and unusually evil may be burned by the flow from a faucet. Vampires in urban areas generally don't need to worry about this, since municipal water supplies in large cities are generally contaminated enough to prevent spiritual effects. Vampires who live near large-scale photo processing facilities may have to worry about silver-contaminated water, since silver trumps any number of other impurities and can continue to cause ill effects even in stagnant water. Invest in an ion exchange water filtration system if you have doubts. (Thanks to WolfKeeper for helpfully reminding me that many charcoal-based water filters introduce traces of silver into the water.)

If you are concerned about being burned by pure water from the tap, the best tactic is to first fill your sink, basin, or bathtub, then spit into the water. You can then shave fearlessly.

Vampires who find they must shave more than once a week must also be very careful to moisturize; vampires are extremely vulnerable to dry skin and razor burn. We especially recommend soaps and shaving gels from the Paper Street Soap Company; they are more expensive, but many vampires report amazing improvements in skin tone.

dem bones says I'm not certain, but I don't believe it's possible for a vampire to suck the blood of another vampire.

Lucy-S replies It depends on which mythology you subscribe to. In Near Dark, after Caleb is turned into a vampire he lives off blood from the veins of the vampire who turned him because he can't bear to kill anyone. Vampire-on-vampire blood drinking generally results in loss of power/life force for the vampire whose blood is being drunk, and thus is generally frowned upon.

Servo5678 says But if vampires are dead, do they still have hair that grows? I would think their hair, fingernails, etc. would be locked into place upon death.

Lucy-S replies Once again, it depends on the mythology you're dealing with. Really classic European vampire mythology makes some amount beard growth a guaranteed event, since the way suspected vampires were discovered in olden times was to dig a body up and look for evidence of fingernail and hair growth after death.

In the world of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel, vampires grow hair just fine. Bitca says "In flashbacks over the life of the series, we are shown the death of Angelus, in which he dies and is reborn cleanshaven. Later in the series, a flashback is shown of some later point in history, with him terrorizing a household, in which he is sporting a truly fugly moustache. And Spike, the bleach blonde punk rocker vampire, is shown with significant root growth after a summer spent being crazy in a basement."

In Anne Rice's world, however, vampires' hair and nails etc. are magically preserved at the moment of turning; not only do they not grow, if they are cut they are magically restored the next time the vampire awakens. But in Near Dark, there's some evidence to support slow beard growth, since Diamondback is showing roots from a recent bleaching. At any rate, given vampires' legendary healing abilities, it's not much of a stretch to think that they can grow hair as well.

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