• Beginners' Tips: November 2015

    This issue of Tips is aimed at those of us with limited income sources and is intended to help develop a shaving "kit" that meets those intrinsic human needs of wanting the best available.

    This starts with establishing a strong, and I mean a very strong, mindset as to what can be spent on this endeavor. It is way too easy to go into debt to get what a person thinks he should have if compared to what they perceive as the "standard" for this area.

    What you are doing you are doing for yourself. No need to impress others with how many of whatever you have or how much it cost as a badge of membership. If financially all you can afford is a vintage razor (acquired from a source like SRP Classifieds) for no more than $100.00 rest assured that you have spent your money wisely. It will come to you guaranteed and shave ready. Starting with one razor and learning it and your beard pattern and best shaving methods to start is giving the road to success a solid footing.

    Add a reasonably priced strop. Watch the videos on stropping and contemplate what next strop you might want to try. Remember, often the first one is destroyed in the learning process.

    I have been dinged for suggesting a Van Der Hagen startup kit of a brush, bowl and shaving soap in the past. It is basic, of reasonable quality, and in terms of the thousands of soaps and creams out there, not of the perceived quality people seem to want in their bathrooms. Soaps and creams are a bottomless pit with many makers vying for your dollar with the "latest" scent and concoction. There are many shavers still devoted to the so-called cheap or lower products such as William's and Van Der Hagen. Don't get me wrong, if you have the funds to invest in myriad variations out there and you have a damn good sense of smell, go for it and enjoy the ride. All I ask is if that is the case, make sure to PIF (pay it forward) on those you don't like or use to another person to try.

    Brushes are another area of mad acquiring. There are just so many types of knots and hair types. It's the handles that become the area of interest and some collect brushes based on the shape and material of the handle. And it is endless.

    And I won't go into the aftershave balm and lotion as this is a real bottomless pit.

    Lastly, the area of keeping your razor shave ready. Bluntly, too many jump right in, acquiring every known stone and proclaim they are now experts. Wrong, wrong and wrong again. It isn't rocket science and it doesn't come naturally to 99% of people honing. It is an area that should only be thought of in the dim recesses of your mind and coming after knowing your face, your lather, your razor and your strop. At that point read everything in SRP's Library, watch the videos. Do ask questions in the Honing section of the forum.

    And above all, right from the beginning of your adventure find other SRP members, Mentors and Moderators within driving distance of you. Consult the Local Help list to see who is close. Keep an eye out for regional and local meets of SRP members. This is a big brotherhood. Each and every one of us is always ready to meet and help on a one-on-one basis.
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Beginner's Tips for November started by Razorfeld View original post