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Thread: Christmas gift and my first 5 shaves

  1. #1
    Junior Member
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    Jan 2013
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    Default Christmas gift and my first 5 shaves

    Hi gang! First, let me thank all of you who have posted. I really helped me get a sense of how to proceed and increased my success rate!

    For this reason, I'm sharing my own experience, in case it can help others.

    Received a Dovo SR for Xmas... I had mentioned to my wife I was curious to try a DE rasor actually, but she misunderstood and got me a Straight Razor instead. My win! I would not have tried it otherwise, but now, I just love the concept and experience.

    So, I received a nice basic Dovo, Badger brush and Kent soap. To get me started and she didnt want to go overboard until I decided if I liked this or not...

    I watched many videos, some sure did help to get an overall feeling of what had to be done, what things needed to look like (foam, prep, position of hands, etc). At this point, I had a good understanding of Prep, having done similar prep when I was shaving with a Mach 3 or Fusion. Lately, I'd been shaving electric and was getting fed up of the bad shave (even the best electrics are just not close enough). I'd shaved with nice creams in the past so I had a good idea of how the face could feel when properly lubricated and prepped with a hot facecloth.

    But... first shave was atrocious. I had not read the article here on trying out just one cheek and all. So I shaved the whole thing. Well, I tried to. It felt more like pulling hair and really hurt terribly, without shaving at all or almost at all. Still, after almost an hour, I managed to have one smooth cheek, but was never able to shave the moustache area of course, it felt like I was trying to pull all the whiskers at once.

    So I read some more, and watched some more. In the end, I thought my angle was way to open. So the next shave, I really layed the razor flat on my face. Well, it certainly didn't hurt as much, but it didn't shave a thing almost.

    At this point, I read that new razors aren't well honed most of the time, so we brought it to where she bought it (Centre du Rasoir in Brossard, south of Montreal). I called them first to check if they did proper honing and they convinced me they had a guy come in twice a week to do their knives and razors. I also found one pro in Montreal who hones razors (50$!). A bit steep. CDR does it for 30$.

    And it seems he really does a good job. At least from what I can tell.

    So I get the razor back and am looking forward to the next shave. At the same time, I ordered a Strope online (still waiting) since it seemed to indicate that stropping was also really really important, not just a nice to have... how little did I know!

    Instead of simply shaving with the better honed razor, I decide to use a very flat belt I have, made of a simple leather strap, one side being rougher like swede as most leather pieces are.


    That third shave was sooo different! Instead of pulling, I could feel the hair being sliced and it didn't hurt at all! I had done perhaps 20 strops on the swede side and 50 on the leather side, very slowly, not too hard.

    I also have to say that I read an article on how blades cut and the physics of cutting which got me thinking of the correct angle. In the end, I started out with a more open angle, where it hurt and pulled and brought it closer just to the point where the resistance of the hair allowed to cut it. Kind of the opposite from what I'd bee reading as a technique. But I found the feeling for the proper cutting angle and now, it seems very natural already.

    Shaved again today, and it was even closer! Didn't leave stray whiskers even if the shave is not yet perfectly smooth. The chin is certainly hard to do, but I'm getting the feel of it. It took me 30 minutes with prep and clean-up. More manageable!

    I was reading that it would take a month to start to get the feeling for this, but I now see that it can take a lot less to get a pretty close shave and it can only get better.

    I was scared after the second shave, which was terrible, but having the razor honed and especially the stropping seemed to make a huge difference. Finding the correct angle probably played a huge role too.

    I'd encourage other novices to explore that angle on the cheeks as recommended here, until you are convinced the razor can actually shave :-)

    Good luck to all other novice cut-throats out there!

    - Renaud
    Geezer likes this.

  2. #2
    Member Supernats's Avatar
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    Dec 2012
    Oakland, CA
    Thanked: 8


    The moment I learned you don't need hardly any pressure when stropping, the world opened up to me. It's a marvel what these edges are capable of when we give them just a little love.
    Last edited by Supernats; 01-01-2013 at 11:54 PM. Reason: Mis-key on mobile

  3. #3
    Senior Member Weaselsrippedmyflesh's Avatar
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    Dec 2012
    The frozen wastes of Wisco.
    Thanked: 13


    Congratulations! Sounds like you're off to a great start.

  4. #4
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Newfoundland, Canada
    Thanked: 2


    I agree with all of the above. In addition, I found experimenting with the best way to stretch my skin and mapped my beard before I began shaving. Best of luck and keep up the good work.

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