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Thread: Advice to newbies- listen to the advice!

  1. #1
    Senior Member Fort's Avatar
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    Default Advice to newbies- listen to the advice!

    I have been shaving with a straight for a little over a month. When I first started I was very confident in my ability and still am; however, much to most of all of the advice given by seasoned members here is very very good advice. I experienced many of the trials and tribulations foretold to me by senior members.

    But, for the last month I have only shaved with a straight razor and nothing else. I rushed going against the grain (ATG). I nicked my strop. I dropped my first razor. But the worst "best" of all is, I have become addicted to shaving with and obtaining straight razors.

    So I will share something I have learned and this technique will depend on your beard. Only shave with the grain (WTG) for a while. Doing so will not give a baby smooth shave (my opinion) but it will likely require shaving daily to maintain it. If you can live with the shave acquired from this, you will be forced to quickly develop your other skills such as: stropping, lather building, razor handling, ect. I experience zero irritation when only shaving WTG and I get to shave every day. I do get a great shave when shave ATG, but with it comes irritation. My beard isn't as thick as some and I can go every other day or more after an ATG shave.

    I think if you set this plane it will take out uncertainties and build confidence. Shaving WTG can produce a good shave (depending on your beard type though) that is acceptable for professional settings too.

    This forum is really a one-stop for anything related to straight razor shaving, and I have learned so much here in only a month. We are fortunate to have so many willing to share their knowledge.
    "The blade must always be respected"

  2. The Following User Says Thank You to Fort For This Useful Post:

    Geezer (10-18-2013)

  3. #2
    Senior Member blabbermouth
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    Default What HE said

    'Couldn't agree more, Fort.
    Almost all of my mistakes - especially the costly ones were from having my excitement impair my listening to the guys that have seen the show and know where the sinkholes are. The most enduring mistake was learning to hone before I'd experienced a really well done edge. I bled alot. It held back my shaving skills. A shave was a challenge to conquer - not enjoy. I destroyed 5 strops.

    Since then, have traded threads with and met newer members who are absolutely committed to repeating all the mistakes. Like those who tried to help me - I try to keep them from the sinkholes - usually in vain. The Croce tune 'Hard Way Every Time' comes to mind. 'Makes me humble about how frail our good sense becomes when we get excited. I obviously didn't do any better. Fortunately, most of us stagger through our learning and get to love our shaves. That's worth the heartburn of learning.
    Geezer likes this.

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    Senior Member Str8Shooter's Avatar
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    I have to second PL. Well said Fort
    "We sleep soundly in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm."

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    Right on! I am still pretty new myself and every time, every detail where I felt like I knew better, and didn't follow the conventional advice, I felt the pain LOL! Noobs, do it the right way and don't misinterpret stuff. Yeah, WTG, Baby! Two WTG passes, that's my daily shave. My mentor goes a single WTG pass but the dude is crazy into it like a freakin mad scientist of straight shaving haha! Of course he can get his bidness done in one pass. Sure I did try ATG but decided I really don't nead the drama. But yeah, all the common advice on this board is tried and true, and it is not just A good place to start, it is THE good place to start.
    Gehring9006 likes this.

  6. #5
    Senior Member blabbermouth eddy79's Avatar
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    Sr shaving is just one if those things in life where the easy route is just to follow the progression laid out for you. Unfortunately some of us are impatient and what to skip a few steps. This us usually where it all goes to heck. Rushing with a Sr will see you paid back with nick and razor burn with a side of taking even longer to get there.
    My wife calls me......... Can you just use Ed

  7. #6
    Member JaberCrow's Avatar
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    I think this great advice. I'm only on week 3 os shaving with a straight; The 4 times ( so far) I've cut my self was in week 2 trying to shave XTG. From now on (for a while anyway) I'm doing 2 WTG passes.
    Thanks

  8. #7
    Senior Member Fort's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JaberCrow View Post
    I think this great advice. I'm only on week 3 os shaving with a straight; The 4 times ( so far) I've cut my self was in week 2 trying to shave XTG. From now on (for a while anyway) I'm doing 2 WTG passes.
    Thanks
    Yeah WTG is GOOD I mean a good shave. I shaved on late Saturday night WTG 2 passes. On Sunday afternoon I had light growth So I decided to try out a new shave cream called Cremo, and I also switched to an old Gillette double edge (DE) razor with a Personna blade. My goal was to test my quick and cheep shave setup for those days that I don't have time.

    So I shaved WTG and ATG and got a baby smooth shave with no irritation. So my point is that I am capable of a good smooth ATG shave without irritation, But getting there with a straight razor takes practice, and I'm not there yet. I can get close but I usually push it and end up with nicks and irritation.

    I didn't use the Cremo shave cream with a straight razor yet but I will give it a try and see if that can help.

    Also as once was suggested to me here on this forum, I should use a DE razor to map out my beard ATG strokes. So I will be adding my DE into rotation and paying special attention each time I go ATG along my chin and neck. The side burns are simple as is the upper lip ATG. But I don't know if I'll ever like that "fools pass"!
    Last edited by Fort; 10-22-2013 at 05:19 AM.
    "The blade must always be respected"

  9. #8
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    Man Fort, couldn't agree more. The advice here is awsome. I do have to say I do things pretty unconvenctional so I know that I am not getting the best shave I can, but am trying to save money. I think I am getting the best save I can with a homemade strop and willams shaving soap lol. However I am building up a great knowlage base for when I can afford to do things the right way. I actyually do 3 passes; one WTG then XTG re lather and ATG. Works well for me. Got one of my razors off ebay and paid for a crappy honeing job, and got my second, a Kama 23 from a antique shop by my house. Surprise surprise the second razor I paid 45 bucks on beats the 20 ebay honed razor. As for my beard the square tip of the Kama works well for that as well.

  10. #9
    barba crescit caput nescit Phrank's Avatar
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    Yes! It's just over a year for me, still working on the stropping technique since I found out from my honemeister that I'd rolled a couple of edges on some of my first blades...now I've gone back, practicing the proper flipping of the blade on the spine, going real slow again. I was lifting the razor from the strop to change direction - BAD!

    Also, don't really try anymore for the BBS shave unless I feel like having a shave parade.

    For me, cold shave, once WTG all over face, re-lather, one XTG on the face, and one ATG on the neck, rinse and done....

    Most important thing to always keep in mind are the FUNDAMENTALS, the fancy stuff can come later...good stropping technique, good angles and grip on blade, proper preparation of the skin through thorough lathering, and you're off the best start.

    I just refreshed my first razor after waiting a year to learn properly. I used the coticule as I was shown, did several passes with it on water, took it to the CroX balsa board, then to the linen pasted with Dovo white / grey paste, then to the strop. Blade sang as it fell down my face!

    Stick with the basics, you can't build better skills from a flawed foundation....

    Last edited by Phrank; 10-23-2013 at 09:47 PM.

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