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  1. #1
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    Default First couple shaves...this sucks

    So I did shave 2 tonight. First one was with a BEngal I bought and I found it to feel a little big and heavy for some reason. I could not do my chin or cheekbones or above the lip with it and I finished with my sensor.
    Second shave was with a Dovo I also bought off this forum (thanks guys) and it felt nicer in the hand to me. I did manage to shave my whole face to a fairly smooth finish but it took me a very long time to get there. About half hour
    At the end of that half hour I was beet red and it felt like somebody shaved me with 100 grit sandpaper. I had no technique, didn't know how to hold the thing to get a good angle anywhere. I was all over my face trying different holds on the straight and must have made a few dozen passes everywhere on my face. If I didn;t have my bodyshoppe razor relief I would be in a world of hurt right now.

    Anyhoo, that is my forst two experiences thus far. More to follow

  2. #2
    Senior Member foundlingofdollar's Avatar
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    Keep at it, it'll keep developing slowly. Suddenly the angle or grip or pressure on one part of your face will click and it'll be golden from then on, then another area, then another area, then you'll be shaving!

    Persistence pays off.

  3. #3
    Senior Member blabbermouth ChrisL's Avatar
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    Sorry to hear your first few have sucked. I would argue that most of us had similar experiences. There are a few that report having dreamy shaves the first time they pick up a straight, but IMO it's safe to say they're in the minority.

    You mentioned not feeling like you really knew how to hold the razor when shaving. It's easy for me to say that holding a straight razor in any position needed feels natural, but really, it should not feel completely awkward. If you haven't already, look for Dr. Chris Moss' PDF manual on shaving and of course find Lynn Abram's segments on Youtube. Practice holding the razor in each hand when you're not shaving to get more comfortable.

    If you feel irritation during the shave, stop shaving. Take a few steps backward; I mean start only shaving your cheeks (usually they're the areas that are least prone to irritation (chin, upper lip and neck are most prone to irritation) and stop after shaving your cheeks. That way you can practice the correct angles and practice your skin stretching (absolutely necessary).

    Keep in mind, shaving your chin area is a whole different ballgame than shaving your cheeks. It would be easy starting out to feel like shaving your cheeks is second nature after only a little practice. Then.....trying shaving your chin can shut you down. That's why goatees were so popular back in straight shaving times and still are among some straight shavers today I'm sure. Shaving your chin area takes much more practice.

    Finally, you think 30 min is way longer than this should be taking you? Think again. Many experienced straight razor shavers take that long to shave their entire faces. If I take my time and do a WTG and XTG and really get my chin and neck as smooth as my cheeks, I'm at 30min.

    I hope this helps.

    Chris L
    "Blues fallin' down like hail." Robert Johnson
    "Aw, Pretty Boy, can't you show me nuthin but surrender?" Patti Smith

  4. #4
    Senior Member blabbermouth JimmyHAD's Avatar
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    When I started out I couldn't finish before the lather dried up on half my face. I had a bit of experience 25 years ago but had forgotten most of what I knew. I also felt awkward holding the razor and maneuvering it. As Chris suggested I looked at Dr Moss's PDF and I bought Lynn's DVD. I kept my Merkur slant loaded and ready to finish when I couldn't do the chin and mustache areas. That lasted a few weeks and it was downhill from there. Now I do a two pass close and comfortable shave in 15 minutes. Don't forget to stretch the skin and plenty of lather. Hang in there, it gets way better.
    Be careful how you treat people on your way up, you may meet them again on your way back down.

  5. #5
    Hones & Honing randydance062449's Avatar
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    Yup..what they said!

    Cheeks first, lite pressure, think in terms of beard reduction, not total elimination with one stroke.

    Angle of the razor should be 30 degrees or about 2 spine widths away from the skin.

    It is normal for the skin to object for the first couple of weeks. Give it a rest of two days between shaves if necessary.
    Randolph Tuttle, a SRP Mentor for residents of Minnesota & western Wisconsin

  6. #6
    JAS eTea, LLC netsurfr's Avatar
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    First, thirty minutes is not a long time. I regularly take at least thirty minutes to accomplish my shave.

    Second, as others have said, take your time and get comfortable with selected parts of your face. Don't push. I regularly finished my chin and neck with a DE for months. I did not actually accomplish my first BBS shave until I had been working at it for over 5 months.

    So, while there are some shavers that will report great results on their second or third shave, they are the naturals. I would venture to say that most folks take a good bit longer... maybe not as long as me... but a good bit longer.

    Enjoy the journey and let us know how you are progressing!

  7. #7
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    Default wow thanks for all the advice folks

    I am certainly not going to give this up by any means. There was a time this was the only option

    My face feels better today but I will need to give it a good 3 days to heal up I think. Then I am going to try another razor. I feel better knowing that it takes time to do one shave and it takes time to learn. The bonus is that I haven't cut myself.
    And, although my first attemps were not overly successful, my wife and kid thought I was a superstar.

  8. #8
    Member Nicky B's Avatar
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    From one newbie to another (just did my third shave last night) I'll just say listen to the advice these guys give you... it's helped me a ton already. I was in a lot of pain after my first shave, the second was better, and the third was almost pain-free (thanks to anyone who gave me advice). One thing that hasn't been mentioned is skin-stretching... I've discovered this is another important factor. Tight skin makes for a much smoother shave and helps flatten out curved areas on my neck.

  9. #9
    Certifiable bbshriver's Avatar
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    I'm about 5 months in now.. I stopped cold turkey on "other" shaving, but have used a schick disposable about 3 times when I was in a hurry... and each time I did that I ended up with razor bumps out the wazoo that took 3+days to go away.. so I quit doing that.

    I typically take 45min to 1hr +, I shave at night so I can be sure to take my time and not have to rush anything, plus if I do cut myself (which I've done plenty of times) it can dry up and I don't go to work with blood oozing out of my face/neck. Mostly though, it's still the best shave experience I've ever had... I still end up with razor burn from time to time, but not terrible. It's a long slow process, just take your time and try to enjoy it. Listen to some relaxing music, etc.

  10. #10
    BHAD cured Sticky's Avatar
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    Congrats on the first 2 shaves.

    The more you do it, the better it'll get. Good luck.

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