Results 1 to 8 of 8
Like Tree2Likes
  • 2 Post By RATM

Thread: First shave + intro

  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    5
    Thanked: 0

    Default First shave + intro

    Hello everyone,

    I've been lurking on this forum for a few weeks and finally am posting for the first time. Firstly, let me thank you all for the generous amount of resources everyone has pooled in to help begginers. Without this, I'd still be burning my face with double bladed disposables.

    Straight shaving has been something I've been wanting to do for around five years, but never could I find razors here in Canada, and didn't have the courage to try and find one online. In fact, my girlfriend wanted to purchase one for me, but the 300 price in Cannes, France, was too steep. Alas, I've waited years, and hated every shave from then until this morning.

    I've finally decided that, with the new year, I wanted to learn new skills. One of these was the art of straight shaving, for various reasons. The first, the artisanal skill of shaving is unique. As someone who enjoys making my own bread from scratch, cooking from scratch and who steers clear of easy-to-make boxed foods, it seemed normal that I'd take a step away from easy-to-shave disposables. Secondly, as someone who tries his best to recycle and to compost, shaving with a straight blade seemed logical: no more disposable razors. Third, I can't, for the life of me, no matter how many blades there are in a disposable, shave properly with them. Skin rash, cuts, ingrown hairs and razor burns. Is that shaving? Pain? I wanted to try something out.

    Thankfully I found this website and forum as well as the classified section. I was able to find a distributor of shaving equipment near here as well, where I got my strop, my brush and a puck of soap (Col. Ichabod Conk Bay Rum, lathers much more than many pundits say, actually..!). The shaver, an CV Heljestrand n˚ 24 4/8 wedge which is not very heavy, is simple, but beautiful. I ran it over my thumbnail and felt how smooth it was and that it was sharp. I suddenly had to face a fear: that is one sharp knife you're putting to your face.

    I actually shaved at 1900 because I couldn't wait. I had a four day neck beard plus my beard that I trim. I decided that I need to shave the burns and cheek to try it out first, and chose to keep the mustache and the goatee. I stropped the blade on a 2" strop (I hoped I had bought a 3 inch, but oh well, X-strokes it was). I took a shower, cleaned my face properly and put some proraso pre-shave cream. Afterwards, I sprinkled a little bit of water on my soap puck with my brush and lathered up. I was surprised how easy it lathered up after reading some others having difficulty with it. I brushed it on, and what a feeling. It's a pure badger brush, so it's rather rough, but I liked the feeling. Felt like I was exfoliating my skin and that the whiskers were really standing at attention. Why didn't I get a brush BEFORE?! To heck with that canned shave gel!

    Alright, down to business. It's nice to prep, and it's important, but the shaving is where the real action is at. My goal was to never stop thinking about my angles and do my best to stretch the skin properly. Both need help. I am under the impression that I angle it too little, probably around the 10˚ instead of a 25-3o˚, for fear of the cut. I'll have to work on that.

    A big challenge is that I wear glasses and that my vision is very low. I will need a magnifying mirror, I do believe, as it was a challenge near the ear. I chose to stretch the skin while covering my ear lobe around that area, just in case.

    On to the shave.

    What a feeling. A small rush, fear, yet amazement. A hot knife through butter. Never have I shaved like this before, and never has it been so easy. I was surprised. I took my time, however, heading so much of everyone's advice. After the sideburn, I decided to do the jaw, and afterwards finally the neck. I skipped some steps, but I was feeling very confident. I was not afraid of the blade after the first stroke, and I seemed to understand more of how it worked. I did my best to do scything WTG motions which worked great. I used my other hand for my right side. It worked brilliantly. I have difficulty a bit with the jaw/parts of the neck because of vision and awkward technique. No worries. Very very slight nicks. The surprise: less nicks than with a disposable! I am done, at least 45 minutes later, my girlfriend in awe. What a great shave. I splash cold water, some moisturizing lotion and aftershave. I felt like a champ. We went on a date afterwards. A great night in front of a fireplace afterwards.

    This morning, I decided I wanted to do it again. So I did. It was even better this time, as I knew what to expect. I did not cheap out at all on technique and prep. I decided I was going to do this right. Same routine: strop, shower, preshave, lather, shave. I did a second ATG pass this time. It took a while to do my neck area, but it is ridiculous soft. My girlfriend said that she's never seen a softer face on my before. I have a few nicks, some ingrown hairs that are annoying me, but it was great. I am convinced, as the straight blade gives me the best shave ever. I can't wait to wake up tomorrow and do it again, as my schedule would require me to wake up at 5:30 in the morn to shave during most of the week, which I'd rather not... yet

    I also was lucky enough to find a bottle of 100% witch hazel at the market today for 10$. Can't wait to try it on tomorrow.

    Thank you, everyone, for all of the information. It is wonderful to shave like this. I believe the best advice from this beginner would be never to fear the blade, as it is your friend.

    Strop, lather and shave 'gents!
    Omega1975 and mcgyver74 like this.

  2. #2
    The Knight who says NI! mcgyver74's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Jersey City, NJ
    Posts
    512
    Thanked: 32

    Default

    Congrats and welcome to the addiction...

    What kind of witch hazel did you get? I myself am a fan of Thayers (Has a very nice smell )

  3. #3
    Senior Member Moosiker's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Atlanta, GA
    Posts
    236
    Thanked: 36

    Default

    Yep. You're hooked. Welcome aboard. This is a great place for information and support. Sounds like you have everything going the right direction!

  4. #4
    Junior Member ee82's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Posts
    12
    Thanked: 2

    Default

    Great story. There is no going back now!

  5. #5
    Senior Member jeffegg2's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    735
    Thanked: 104

    Default

    Yup, the way a straight slices through 4 or 5 days of growth still amazes me!!!

    Welcome!

  6. #6
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    5
    Thanked: 0

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by mcgyver74 View Post
    Congrats and welcome to the addiction...

    What kind of witch hazel did you get? I myself am a fan of Thayers (Has a very nice smell )
    It's (believe it or not) 100% witch hazel from an artisanal producer. It has a surprisingly great smell. I might go back next week for another bottle — they have some citrus aftershave with aloe and witch hazel in it. I might some time make my own aftershave, simply because there are so many good resources around here.

  7. #7
    The Knight who says NI! mcgyver74's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Jersey City, NJ
    Posts
    512
    Thanked: 32

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by RATM View Post
    It's (believe it or not) 100% witch hazel from an artisanal producer. It has a surprisingly great smell. I might go back next week for another bottle — they have some citrus aftershave with aloe and witch hazel in it. I might some time make my own aftershave, simply because there are so many good resources around here.

    LOL oh boy you are hooked now!!

  8. #8
    I've Got R.A.D. Bad! Omega1975's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Bellerose , New York
    Posts
    282
    Thanked: 25

    Default

    Congrats and welcome to the club. If you think you like it now wait till your at your 25th shave. It wont stop there either. Im probably close to my 50th shave and I generally like each one better than the last. Have fun with it!

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •