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  1. #1
    Junior Member Curly's Avatar
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    Default Hey newbie here just a little lost

    I am looking to start shaving with a straight razor and I have spent the better part of two weeks looking on the internet at every possible source of information I could find on the purchase and use of a straight razor.

    I think I know enough about what razor to buy, what strop and what hone to get myself going but I have a few questions about razor quality and a ton of questions about soaps.

    To explain myself I am 26 and have been shaving since I was very young and if I need to be clean shaved all day I have to shave twice a day. For as long as I can remember it has hurt to shave I have tried many different razors and specialty shave foams and nothing has worked. My face is always bright red and burning after a shave generally many small dots of blood which usually results in acne and shaving bumps. So that is why I decided to try a straight razor everyone says it is the only way to shave and should eliminate my problems.

    My first question is, is there a razor I should use that best fits my stupid skin. From my research it doesn’t seem to matter as long as it is a good quality blade well honed and stropped. But I am open to any suggestions please.

    My second question is, I know pre oils, shaving soaps, and after shaves are all mostly personal preference but I was wondering if anyone had some experience and could give my a push in the right direction and the best stuff for my skin type.

    I really appreciate any help that you all can give me and thanks for your time.

  2. #2
    The original Skolor and Gentileman. gugi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Curly View Post
    [COLOR=black][FONT=Tahoma]My first question is, is there a razor I should use that best fits my stupid skin. From my research it doesn’t seem to matter as long as it is a good quality blade well honed and stropped. But I am open to any suggestions please.
    When you start your limiting factor for a while will be your technique and not the razor. As far as what would be best for your skin/beard/etc. there is really only one way to find out - try out. Of course you can get dozens of recommendations, but I think most people with some experience will agree with me.

    Quote Originally Posted by Curly View Post
    My second question is, I know pre oils, shaving soaps, and after shaves are all mostly personal preference but I was wondering if anyone had some experience and could give my a push in the right direction and the best stuff for my skin type.
    i don't have sensitive skin and the only thing that I use is soap (mostly tgq, t&h, c&e, mwf - you'll find out what these things mean) and after shave (mostly trumper's skin food, alt innsbruck, institute karite, penhaligon's).

  3. #3
    The Hurdy Gurdy Man thebigspendur's Avatar
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    Its hard to give specific advice because you first have to learn to use the razor and depending on your facility with the instrument that can take up to many months or you might be one of those guys who pick it up and are shaving like a pro in a few days. To start just buy a middle of the road razor. Hollow grind either 5/8s or 6/8s round point end. from there you can go either way as you gain skill. If you buy new its either Dovo or TI but personally I would buy a vintage razor from one of the guys here. Just make sure it is truly shave ready before you begin. As far as soaps go there are so many and each has their favorites. There are Glycerin based, Milled soaps, creams and herbal based soaps. You just have to experiment there. Just stay away from the drug store specials. many like them but they tend to give minimal protection. I'm sure others will be along with other advice. Good luck.
    No matter how many men you kill you can't kill your successor-Emperor Nero

  4. #4
    Steel crazy after all these years RayG's Avatar
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    In addition to what has been said:

    - if you are shaving twice a day with a DE or mach 3 or (worse) a disposable, that may be one reason your skin is getting irritated. Even with a straight, that may be the case if you do it twice a day. The straight, however, is capable of giving a much closer shave, and you should not need to shave that often. However, that will not happen for weeks to months, since the learning curve is quite steep. As long as you realize this, and adjust your expectations accordingly, you should be fine.

    - Lynn's DVD is a good, reliable source of info on matters related to straight shaving. I think you can get them on the classifieds here, or on SRD.

    - As you said, it is a case of YMMV with shaving products. You may want to start with creams, over soaps, as it is usually easier to get the product/water ratio and make good lather with creams when you are starting out, as compared to soaps. You may also want to avoid FO's or creams/soaps that are heavily scented if you have sensitive skin. You may want to try unscented ones first.

  5. #5
    Senior Member dward's Avatar
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    Curly, Ray had an excellent suggestion about purchasing Lynn's CD. It is over 3 hours long and covers most all topics related to straight razors, including a shaving demo. Another suggestion is to go through the classifieds. There are some great razor selections selctions to choose from. Don't look for the flashiest, sexiest one there. Go for one that will be the easiest to learn on. As already stated in an earlier response, a 5/8-6/8 round point is a nice way to start. Most all in the classifieds are truly shave ready (the individual ads will tell you if is shave ready). You will be getting a quality razor that is ready attack your whiskers. Once you have mastered the fine art of manuevering that blade around your face without requiring stitches or a blood transfusion then you can begin to figure out what really satisfies your needs and wants. Be preapred to be patient. it takes a little time to adjust to this type of shaving. But the first tmie you make it through without a nick you will be overjoyed!!

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