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  1. #1
    Senior Member flyman's Avatar
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    Jul 2010
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    Default Please tell me I'll get better at this!

    I started str8 shaving about 3 weeks ago. At first, I decided to try because I thought it was badass. I still think it's badass, but there is a real sense of satisfaction shaving with a piece of steel that came from the earth and honed by hand against a rock that came from the earth. It's similar to when i first tied my own fly and caught a trout. Trouble is, I'm getting cut and rashed like the dickens. Is the learning curve going to flatten out soon?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Virginia Beach, VA
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    Default Hang in there!

    Hi, I'm a newbie with about just the same amount of time in as you do.

    They say in real estate the three most important things are 1) location, 2) location, 3) location.

    You need to believe the oldtimers when they say the three most important thing about a straight razor are 1) sharpness, 2) sharpness, 3) sharpness.

    In my very limited time so far (less than a month), I've learned quickly the difference between using a sharp razor and a not-sharp-enough one. The latter drags, catches, snags and cuts. The former glides.

    It sounds to me as if your razor is not sharp enough. I found the hanging hair test ("HHT") a good piece of triage. If the edge won't easily cut a hair dragged across it, the razor is not sharp enough. If the hairs pop no matter where along the edge you drag them, the razor is sharp enough to shave with. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to sharpen a razor to this stage yet myself. I use my wife's hairs, as hers are longer and darker and easier for old eyes to see.

    Are you sure your razor is sharp? If it started sharp, are you sure you didn't dull it by too much pressure during stropping? Try the HHT.

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    flyman (08-18-2010)

  4. #3
    The Assyrian Obie's Avatar
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    Mar 2009
    Milwaukee, WI
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    Default Getting Better . . .

    Hello, Flyman:

    Yes, it does take time to hone your skill with the straight razor, but you will get there. Have patience and be methodical in the learning process. Here are some thoughts that might help you:

    1. Apply no pressure; let the pressure from the razor's weight be enough.

    2. Hold the razor as if it were a bird: if you squeeze hard, you squeeze life out of it, and if light, it will fly out of your hand.

    3. The razor's angle during the shave should be approximately 30 degrees. The degree is approximate, measured from how far you lift the razor's spine (back) from your face. That is a general number and it will change in some parts of your face, such as chin and neck.

    4. Don't shave over the same spot excessively, because this will irritate your skin.

    5. Pay special attention to preparation: shave after a shower; use quality soaps or creams; learn how to make luxurious lather. There are numberous You Tube videos on this.

    6. Make sure your razor is shave ready.

    7. Learn to strop properly. Stropping is important. Strop before each shave, and after. I usually do 25 strokes on linen or fabric and 75 on leather. Sometimes, especially with the razors that have harder steel, I do a 50/100 ratio. Well, I enjoy stropping, too.

    8. Take your time shaving and don't worry about getting a baby-bottom smooth shave right now. That will come later.

    9. You might want to use a light application of pre-shave before you begin lathering.

    10. There are other tips, but that should be enough for now. Make sure you learn all you can in the Wiki, where you will find a wealth of information on all aspect of wet shaving with the straight razor.



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    flyman (08-18-2010)

  6. #4
    zib is offline
    Hell Razor zib's Avatar
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    Nov 2008
    Jacksonville, Fl.
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    A lot of good information was already put out, but just too re assure further,
    Yes, It will get better. It takes time...A couple of things, as previoulsy mentioned are:
    Angle of the blade, Skin preperation and the condition of your razor, (shave readiness)
    Obie mentioned youtube. Checkout "Mantic59" he has excellent video on there on shaving, building lather, etc...Hang in there....

    We have assumed control !

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    flyman (08-18-2010), Obie (08-18-2010)

  8. #5
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    I am relatively new as well and cannot add anything that the others have not said other than to encourage you to keep at it. Like most things - with practice you will improve.

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    flyman (08-18-2010)

  10. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by flyman View Post
    Please tell me I'll get better at this!
    Okay.... you'll get better at this!

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    flyman (08-18-2010)

  12. #7
    Senior Member hendersr's Avatar
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    Oct 2009
    Melbourne, Australia
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    It takes time when you are going from a disposable razor. You have to unlearn and relearn the whole shaving process. One thing i found is don't rush into it. Start by doing your cheeks when you learn that move onto your chin. Shave the rest with your old razor. Also don't expect a BBS shave on every part of your face. There are some parts that i just cant get to, especially on my neck, because i am right handed and just cant get the razor into a position where I can go ATG. In these cases I am satisfied with beard reduction. When the shave has finished and the pores start to recede you will find it mostly gone any way.

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    flyman (08-18-2010)

  14. #8
    Senior Member blabbermouth nessmuck's Avatar
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    Aug 2009
    New Hampshire
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    If it was easy everybody would be doing it!!! You just entering the learning curve. There is alot to learn, but it is worth it!!!! Just watch alot of you tube shave vids and read everything on the SRP. It will get GREAT.

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    flyman (08-18-2010)

  16. #9
    The Electrochemist PhatMan's Avatar
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    Apr 2009
    Hastings, UK
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    Like a lot of things in life, there is a time when you can't do something, and then there is a time when you can. The learning bit in between always seems a bit fuzzy.

    There will be a time, very soon, when all comes together for you; learning to use a straight is not necessarly a linear process !

    Please keep at it

    Good luck !

    Have fun !

    Best regards


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    flyman (08-18-2010)

  18. #10
    Senior Member jeffegg2's Avatar
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    Jul 2010
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    This knowlege used to be passed on from father to son.

    Now we have to re-build the skills by reading on the internet and watching videos. Difficult because you don't have someone right there saying "hey don't do that! Do it like this.".

    But I am learning, bit by bit... and it IS getting better!

    Hang in there!

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    flyman (08-18-2010)

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