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Thread: Hello

  1. #1
    Junior Member canus's Avatar
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    Default Hello

    Hello I am a newbie to wet shaving with a straight and proper shaving hygiene in general.

    I started a week ago with a second hand knife given to me, a Dovo 41 Inox 5/8 (I think) with black wooden handle.

    I bought a book about shaving in Dutch and shaving creme from Taylor, an Omega badger Havana brush and a block of Alum (as of now still unused). I shaved 3 times with this setup after I took a shower.

    The first two times my cheeks, the third time under my nose and lip. The last time I got a little razor burn, so I decided to postpone shaving my neck etc. until I get better aquatinted with my razor. The third time I could lend an after-shave balm from my friend and roommate (I am a student and the only one using a straight razor).

    Today I am going to buy a strop (Dovo with linen on the back) and an after-shave (after the third time it seems like a good investment). I am going to strop for the first time tonight and I just hope I won't nick the stop :-)

    Thank you for reading,
    Terence

  2. #2
    The Assyrian Obie's Avatar
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    Default Hello

    Hello, Terrance:

    Welcome to Straight Razor Place.

    I assume you have done ample research outside the SRP sources. Please peruse the Wiki here for mounds of additional information.

    A strop is essential to the straight razor shaver. As a general rule, strop before each shave. I use 25-50 strokes on the linen or fabric side and 75 to 100 times on leather. Sometimes it's just a 25/50 ratio, and sometimes a 25/75 ratio. Each gentleman straight razor shaver has his own methods and standard for stropping. But stropping is important.

    I imagine one of the reasons for your razor burn was to shave for the third time without a strop. I suggest waiting until you receive your strop before you start shaving again. Other means of stropping the razor are optional, such as stropping on your jeans or on newspaper, but for a newbie, I suggest sticking to the actual strop.

    We all have nicked that first strop. That's how it is, because good stropping also requires skill. If you nick your strop, well, that's part of learning to shave with the straight razor and stropping. You will find excellent stropping videos in the SRP Wiki. Study them.

    Other reasons for your razor burn, aside from not having a strop, are excessive razor pressure, wrong razor angle and excessive number of strokes over the same spot. Apply no pressure whatsoever; let the weight of the razor be enough pressure.

    As a general rule, the razor angle is about 30 degrees, say, in the cheek area. That is a general number. The angle changes on different parts of your face. Here you need to experiment to see what works best, always keeping in mind that light razor pressure.

    Shave in passes: each pass is meant to reduce stubble a little more. Start by shaving with the grain. Eventually add a pass across the grain. For now, avoid shaving against the grain, or even in the future. Some gentlemen like against the the grain and some don't. Some skins just can't take against the grain and become irritated.

    Don't expect a great shave for a while. Straight razor shaving requires skill, and it takes time to master it. You will have many frustrating days, but persist and have patience. You will get there.

    Preparation is also extremely important with good soap and brush. The soap and brush you have are fine. You will find lather-making videos in the Wiki as well. Study them. Mantics59 has excellent lather-making videos on You Tube. Watch them.

    Beyond that, if you have questions, please post the.

    Regards,
    Obie
    Last edited by Obie; 08-05-2010 at 06:53 PM.

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  4. #3
    Junior Member canus's Avatar
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    Default

    Thanks for the welcome and the input.
    That is a lot of stroping (is that a word). I will try the 25/50 for tonight.

  5. #4
    The Assyrian Obie's Avatar
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    Default Hello

    Quote Originally Posted by canus View Post
    Thanks for the welcome and the input.
    That is a lot of stroping (is that a word). I will try the 25/50 for tonight.
    Hello, Terence.

    Yes, stropping the razor is part of the pleasure of shaving with the straight razor. Yes, stropping (two p's) is a word: it is the process. To strop is the verb.

    Regards,
    Obie

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  7. #5
    Large Member ben.mid's Avatar
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    Default

    Hello Terence,

    Welcome along! That's a nice razor to start out with. The Dovo 41's are great, & they're inox too. Some prefer carbon, but I like stainless.

    Use the Alum. Just wipe it over a damp face after the shave. Clean your kit up, then wash it off with cold water. It's part of my routine. It'll sting like the blazes if you've had a rough shave, but that's great encouragement to be more careful next time!

    You're taking it steady, which is good, so follow this principle when stropping. Keep it at a pace where you always have control of the razor. The speed will come when you build muscle memory.

    Good luck!

  8. #6
    Junior Member canus's Avatar
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    Thanks for the encouragement.

    I am still in doubt about the razor. According to my book it is an unsuitable razor to start with because it is inox (because it is difficult to keep sharp). But it was a gift and I have to start somewhere.

    I will take your advice to heart about the stopping.

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