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Thread: Barbershop comparison

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    Junior Member BurninBlades821's Avatar
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    Default Barbershop comparison

    Hey guys



    Ive been straight shaving daily for about two weeks now. Although I am new to the world of straight shaving, I have been getting a straight shave from my barber for years. I have very sensitive skin on my neck and I noticed when I had my neck shaved by my barber, I had very little irritation. This realization is what initially led me to purchasing my own razor.



    Now I know this guy's skills and mine are miles apart... but I can't help but notice pretty substantial differences between when I do my own shave and when I have it done by the pros. For one... I noticed today that my barber is making fewer passes and my skin feels much less irritated then when I do it myself. It was tough to see everything he was doing because they wrap a towel over your eyes, but I'm pretty sure they use shavettes there, not that I would think it would make a big difference.



    I also noticed he did some ATG passes with much less pull then when I do them myself. Once the shave was over, My skin felt significantly less irritated and "burned" as it does when Im shaving myself.



    This makes me wonder about my razor... I have a Dovo 5/8 Buffalo horn I got from SRD honed in house. I notice when I shave I am leaving hairs on my face after each pass. Even sometimes when I go XTG or ATG. I also get a lot of jumping and resistance when I am going XTG.



    I've got my razor pretty vertical, about a blade's with away from my face as is recommended. I use Truefitt&Hill cream and always wash and prep my face in a hot shower before shaving. I, like most of the newbies here, struggle around my chin, but i figure that will get better with practice.



    So why is there such a different experience between my self-shaves and getting them done at the barber. Could it be that my razor is already dull?



    I am also looking for a second razor to add incase one needs to be shipped out or I am traveling for a long period of time. I was thinking about a TI eagle 5/8 or 6/8. Any pros/cons would be welcome.



    Thanks in advance!



    Brad

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    Senior Member blabbermouth Geezer's Avatar
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    Just a comment, How well do you stretch your skin? The barber does it easily and you may not notice it.
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    barba crescit caput nescit Phrank's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BurninBlades821 View Post
    Hey guys



    Ive been straight shaving daily for about two weeks now. Although I am new to the world of straight shaving, I have been getting a straight shave from my barber for years. I have very sensitive skin on my neck and I noticed when I had my neck shaved by my barber, I had very little irritation. This realization is what initially led me to purchasing my own razor.



    Now I know this guy's skills and mine are miles apart... but I can't help but notice pretty substantial differences between when I do my own shave and when I have it done by the pros. For one... I noticed today that my barber is making fewer passes and my skin feels much less irritated then when I do it myself. It was tough to see everything he was doing because they wrap a towel over your eyes, but I'm pretty sure they use shavettes there, not that I would think it would make a big difference.



    I also noticed he did some ATG passes with much less pull then when I do them myself. Once the shave was over, My skin felt significantly less irritated and "burned" as it does when Im shaving myself.



    This makes me wonder about my razor... I have a Dovo 5/8 Buffalo horn I got from SRD honed in house. I notice when I shave I am leaving hairs on my face after each pass. Even sometimes when I go XTG or ATG. I also get a lot of jumping and resistance when I am going XTG.



    I've got my razor pretty vertical, about a blade's with away from my face as is recommended. I use Truefitt&Hill cream and always wash and prep my face in a hot shower before shaving. I, like most of the newbies here, struggle around my chin, but i figure that will get better with practice.



    So why is there such a different experience between my self-shaves and getting them done at the barber. Could it be that my razor is already dull?



    I am also looking for a second razor to add incase one needs to be shipped out or I am traveling for a long period of time. I was thinking about a TI eagle 5/8 or 6/8. Any pros/cons would be welcome.



    Thanks in advance!



    Brad
    One time I mentioned to my barber that I was into straight shaving and asked him if I could bring one of my straight razors for him to use on me, also to show me the ropes a bit. He said sure, brought in a couple, including my strop, and as you mentioned, what a difference! He illustrated to me that while I knew I was a beginner, although I thought of myself as maybe a bit farther down the beginner road, I was really, truly, a beginner!!

    Learned about stropping from him, and the way he wielded that blade really showed me a thing or fifty...ask him, he can only say no, and you'd learn a lot...just make sure your razor is shave ready and bring the strop for him. He may want to touch it up his way, and also, you can get him to show you, "slowly", how to properly strop a blade.

    And +1 to what Geezer said, if you don't stretch your skin properly, you'll never get a real good, close shave!

    Good luck and let us know!!

    Cheers!

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    Junior Member BurninBlades821's Avatar
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    I think I do a good job of stretching. I feel like the tension he had on my face today was about the same. I'll try to pay more attention to it tomorrow. Thanks!
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    Alan LaVine
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    Hi Brad,
    Local health dept code dictates, in almost all cities in the US, that disposable razor blades be used for shaves. So I'm guessing he's using a shavette with one of commonly available blades...Dorco, Astra, Williamson, etc...all available in bulk for cheap.

    That said, my own personal experience is that these blades are sharper than a straight even when well honed (although I know many on this forum will disagree) and your barbers experience adds alot. So a sharper blade plus less passes equals less irritation.

    I also wonder if, given the same level of experience, if its easier to shave someone else as opposed to shaving your own face. That is, positioning, angles, stretching the skin, etc. I've never shaved anyone else, so I really don't know. Probably the barber's experience is the biggest factor.

    Best, Alan
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    Senior Member UKRob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BurninBlades821 View Post
    Hey guys



    Ive been straight shaving daily for about two weeks now.



    Brad
    That's a big part of your answer as to why your barber shave is more comfortable. You can't expect to get proficient with a straight in that time and the reason you have sore patches is because you are still learning about pressure, angles, beard mapping and a whole load of other things that don't apply to the DE or whatever else you used before.

    You don't mention whether you are using the straight for more than one pass - the recommendation is that you introduce it gradually.

    One thing about stretching that someone pointed out recently but which your barber will do automatically - stretching from above the razor lifts the whiskers; stretching from below, flattens them. There is a natural tendency to stretch from the bottom of your neck when shaving your own neck area - I'd bet money that your barber keeps his thumb above the razor at all times.
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    Senior Member 1sgtscot's Avatar
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    Hey Brad, great to have you on board. Two weeks does not give you a lot of time to develop your skill. I remember my first year and how fast I assumed I would master this process. Been at it 3 years now and just starting to understand what I do not know. My first pass now is worlds different from back then. Everything from stropping to making lather has changed and improved. I can hear when my razor is not sharp enough now (stropping) and when I first started I thought that was crazy. Go slow and give it some time. Look at the hair on you face and see the different directions it grows, Learn to stretch your skin and see which way the hair turns when you stretch, make faces at your self in the mirror and notice how your muscles bunch up under the skin, notice the valleys and hills when this happens. The flatter the skin the better, but knowing your own face really helps as well.

    I also started being more aware of just exactly which direction I was pushing or pulling the razor. I had to have enough pressure to move the blade down my face but I also had to have enough pressure into my face to make contact with the skin. It was this second bit that I started pahing attention to and my shaves really started to work better. It also helped me discover how sharp was 'good enough'. I have about a dozen razors now all at varying levels of sharpness. Angle makes a difference with this as well. I found the lighter against my face I could get and stretch the skin a bit to make it flat and pay attention to which way the hair was laying then thing started to pay off. As I did this I also noticed the irritation (burn) was disappearing. One last thing you might try as well. When you finish reapply the lather to your face and then rinse. I have found that this removes some of the 'sting' when I do scrape to tightly. Just a thought...
    Happy shaves,
    Scott

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    barba crescit caput nescit Phrank's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cigar460 View Post
    Hi Brad,
    Local health dept code dictates, in almost all cities in the US, that disposable razor blades be used for shaves. So I'm guessing he's using a shavette with one of commonly available blades...Dorco, Astra, Williamson, etc...all available in bulk for cheap.

    That said, my own personal experience is that these blades are sharper than a straight even when well honed (although I know many on this forum will disagree) and your barbers experience adds alot. So a sharper blade plus less passes equals less irritation.

    I also wonder if, given the same level of experience, if its easier to shave someone else as opposed to shaving your own face. That is, positioning, angles, stretching the skin, etc. I've never shaved anyone else, so I really don't know. Probably the barber's experience is the biggest factor.

    Best, Alan
    True regarding health codes - same here in Ontario.

    Having said that, there's no rule against using one of your own blades, no potential transfer of contaminants. My barber said no problem, he was just going to use it on me, no one else.

    Was a lot of fun and learned quite a bit, second or third time I brought blade, a few of the other customers in the shop were fascinated by my very own straight razor (haha), it was a TI Spartacus I think, and wanted to have the barber shave them with it, he said no, against the rules...so that's how it worked for me.

  9. #9
    The Hurdy Gurdy Man thebigspendur's Avatar
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    First, congratulations you have a truly competent barber. You are so lucky you should go out and buy a lottery ticket. You will be guaranteed a winner.

    I don't know about your guy but old time barbers were specifically taught how to shave and they did it day in and day out so there is no mystery why it should be better than when you do it. One of the reasons folks went to a barber in the old days was to "chew the fat" in the shop and to get the best quality shave possible.

    A competent barber knows how to read and map out your beard so he knows what type of stroke to use and how many passes and what direction to use.
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    barba crescit caput nescit Phrank's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thebigspendur View Post
    First, congratulations you have a truly competent barber. You are so lucky you should go out and buy a lottery ticket. You will be guaranteed a winner.

    I don't know about your guy but old time barbers were specifically taught how to shave and they did it day in and day out so there is no mystery why it should be better than when you do it. One of the reasons folks went to a barber in the old days was to "chew the fat" in the shop and to get the best quality shave possible.

    A competent barber knows how to read and map out your beard so he knows what type of stroke to use and how many passes and what direction to use.
    Sam, my old Italian barber, told me his Dad taught him to straight shave someone at 11 years old. He says now, he could shave anyone, blindfolded or in the complete darkness.

    When I was so proud bringing in my 6/8 TI Sparatcus, with the faux MOP scales and goldwash, he looked at it and I could tell he was somewhat amused, I got the distinct impression that he felt it was a toy, he said it was, "very pretty", but wouldn't last in a real barbershop...he was very accommodating, however, and stripped the beard off my face before I could say, "Julius Ceasar!!"

    I brought razors in two more times, had a blast, haven't done it in awhile. I thought of bringing in one of my monster Wade and Butcher's, but then I thought what if he dropped it or damaged it, what could I say?

    But it never hurts to ask, give it a try, it's a blast!!!

    Cheers!


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