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Thread: Tale of a first shave...and a few lessons

  1. #1
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    Default Tale of a first shave...and a few lessons

    My new razor arrived today, complete with strop. Needless to say I was pretty keen to get started and had been cultivating stubble for a day or two in readiness...

    So, the razor is here, strop is here, razor is shave ready. First thing to do is the HHT. I've seen it in the movies, now to try it out. Wow, look at that, it really does work. I take a look at down the razor and see that edge tapering off to infinity and get a bit nervous. Still, let's go for it and see what happens. No soap. My wife wants to get me a brush and accessories for a present and I can't just go out and get the kit so I have to improvise. Soft paint brush and your everyday soap should do it I think and it lathers up pretty well in a bowl. I whip it around until there's a good pile and work it into my face. The brush seems to work and I'm all dressed up like Santa in no time. Time for lesson one. On closer inspection some of my bristles look a bit long and actually come from the brush. Right, make sure you have a decent brush. The real deal with have to wait, but a better paintbrush later and I'm in action again.

    I flip open the razor. Blimey, this is like an exam I haven't properly revised for. Yes, I've watched the demonstrations, yes, I've seen the angles, but now it's for real and backwards in that mirror I'm getting the fear.

    Main hand, cheek first, that's the ticket. I slide that bad boy down my face and it hisses off the first batch of stubble. This is great, I'm feeling badass and cool. Bit awkward with the specs on though. Take them off and damn you short sight I can see a backwards blur this time. Pop them back on in time for lesson two: get a decent mirror you can approach if you need to. So, I work my way down to the jaw line. Starting to look a bit complicated now, but the confidence is coming let's try a bit of neck. Tiny ouch, stings a bit, watch those angles, but this is going well and I'm about to learn my third lesson, the lesson of overconfidence.

    It looks easy in the videos because anything an expert does is made to look easy. Don't be fooled. Should have taken the try a cheek and take it slow approach, but no I'm caught up in some sort of razor fever and decide to go for a bit above the lip...all I'm thinking about is: get the angle right and watch out for your nose. What I'm not thinking about is the shower cabinet next to my right elbow which I hit thus slipping the razor into my skin just below the nasal septum. $% and %^$ and *(&& that stung and it's bleeding like the proverbial. Reach for the alum and $% now it really stings but at least the flow is slowing. Lesson four right there: have enough space around you and no distractions.

    Right, back to the other cheek. It's my off hand now I'm already showing minor symptoms of shock thanks to the septum cut, but I'm determined and I want to get that off hand used to this. Here we go. What's this, now it's snowing, what the heck is going on?? Foam's dried up that's what. I've spent so long stemming blood flow that my foam has dried up. Brilliant. It wasn't that good to start with and now it's spent. Lesson five, get some good soap and plenty of it.

    I haven't the capacity to lather up again and carry on; that is definitely enough for one day. Rub of the alum, splash of aftershave and I'm feeling well pleased. I'm allowing myself to chalk that up as shave number one. I just keep on stroking my cheek and calling myself a straight razor shaver. Mind you, I can't smile too much because the cut keeps opening up. Still, I've had a go and learned a few things and started the journey. Admittedly a slightly stuttering start, but you know what? Cuts heal, hairs grow and tomorrow is another shave.

    Great to be here, thanks for the advice I've read (and will take next time!); looking forward to getting more tips and graduating properly!

    Apis
    pfries and crouton976 like this.

  2. #2
    Junior Member MisterBoll's Avatar
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    As you proceed it will get easier and easier and much more enjoyable.

    Welcome.

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    Junior Member bealsibub's Avatar
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    We have all been there lol.
    Nik

  4. #4
    EdG
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    Sounds like you have well identified your problems! Sorry about the cut...hopefully the first of only a few!

    If you can't wait to try again (I totally understand The Fever!) you can run to Walmart or Target and grab a VDH set that will have soap, boar brush and bowl for around 20 bucks. Not the best, but will work better than what you have going now until you can grab some nicer stuff.

    Good luck and fast healing!

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    The off hand can be a bit scary. You think " I can't throw a ball right with this hand and you want me to shave with a 3" piece of very sharp steel." It will come. Take your time and enjoy the ride

  6. #6
    Huh... Oh here pfries's Avatar
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    Welcome to the forum

    Ironically I found I got a better shave from my off hand when I first started,

    although I am ambidextrous I am predominantly right handed.
    It is just Whisker Whacking
    Relax and Enjoy!
     



  7. #7
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    Probably no muscle memory from buttering bread in that off hand!
    pfries likes this.

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    Hey, does'nt sound too bad. I lately cut myself as I got very close to the mirror and the scales touched it. Can happen even after years. Having the attention somewhere else for just a moment, always opens the door for a cut. Somewhere else can even be another part of the blade. When I started in ancient times ( pre youtube ). I had not even the idea of using my off hand. All can be done with Your main hand. One day I was shaving the cheek on the other side and, while concentrating on the tip, cut my nose with the heel.
    started to also use the off hand and was surprized how well she does that.

    Be patient, always alert and never hurry, and You'll have agreat time

  9. #9
    Senior Member crouton976's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Apis View Post
    Still, I've had a go and learned a few things and started the journey. Admittedly a slightly stuttering start, but you know what? Cuts heal, hairs grow and tomorrow is another shave.
    This. Great attitude, sir!!
    "Willpower and Dedication are good words," Roland remarked, "There's a bad one, though, that means the same thing. That one is Obsession." -Roland Deschain of Gilead

  10. The Following User Says Thank You to crouton976 For This Useful Post:

    Apis (05-30-2013)

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