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Thread: Looking to get started

  1. #21
    Senior Member RADisorder's Avatar
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    Apr 2013
    Houston, TX
    Thanked: 28


    You're getting lots of good advice in this thread. One thing I'll put in my 2 cents about - I'd go with a synthetic brush. If I were to own only one brush, it's be a synthetic. You can pick one up shipped to Canada from Connaught for 25 bucks (an hjm made by Mühle - their new version fibres). It will feel super soft off the bat, have plenty of backbone and will dry very quick. If you get a boar, it may still be wet the next day. Can also order a Mühle r89 from them cheaper than anywhere and get your blade sampler pack, soap or cream and alum block.

    If you want to go the cheap route, it's hard to beat Maggard's 30 dollar kit. Throw in a blade sampler pack and it's everything you need.

    For straight razors, it's hard to beat SRD if they have what you are looking for in stock.

    Whatever you decide, be patient and have fun.

  2. #22
    Junior Member
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    Nov 2013
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    Well I fortunately for me my birthday comes before Christmas so I got my gear already.

    Merkur 34
    Sample back of blades including Astra platinum, Derby extra, Dorco st301
    Badger Brush
    Fendrihan mug
    Edwin Jagger Shaving Soap
    Palmolive shaving cream (Classic with palm extract)

    Just finished my first shave. Used the Palmolive shaving cream and an Astra blade. Definately have a learning curve.

    Preshave: Nice hot shower and washed face with shitty Old spice body wash/conditioner.
    - Kept face wet and filled sink with hot water and got brush soaked. Put almond size dab of palmolive in the mug and stirred it up.
    - Nicely applied cream to face.

    Shave: Took me a while (and still don't quite have it) to find angles for cutting. Got a couple small nicks and 2 slight slices where I have the smallest line on my face. Had trouble making nice smooth stokes and kinda went all over the place more like I would with my cartridge razor. Next time I want to really focus on going smoothly WTG and probably leave it at that.

    Post Shave: Wash face off with warm water then splash some cold water on. Need to pick up some aftershave.

    Post Equipment: Rinsed brush nicely and shook access water out then hung it up to dry. Rinsed razor with hot water as best as could and hung to dry.

    Results: While I'm left feeling very smooth, got a couple nicks as I said and a bit of razor burn. I noticed on my chin I have shaved a layer of skin off in some spots.

    Next Time: As mentioned next time I am going to try with only WTG until I feel comfortable then start adding in XTG and ATG.

    Question: My only real question is what to do with the razor to clean it up. Do you take the blade out or leave it in for next shave? It says just rinse the handle but should I wipe it down. I can already see a bit of soap scum on it.

    Thanks for all your help so far!!!!

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  3. #23
    Junior Member BJWill's Avatar
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    Dec 2013
    McLoud, Oklahoma
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    Here's a technique I used when I started shaving with a DE:

    1. "Choke-up" on the handle. I pinched the handle right under the head of the razor with my thumb and middle finger. My index finger rested just under the razor's head on the "back" of the handle. This let me feel when the blade made contact at an angle that shaved, rather than scraped, my face. I held the razor like this for a couple of weeks until I instinctively hit the correct angle every time. Now I hold the handle near the base.

    2. LIGHT pressure. Let the weight of the razor do most of the work.

    3. Pull with your shoulder, not your wrist, when you make your shaving strokes.

    4. Don't shave over unlathered skin.

    My shaves used to take about 15 minutes when I started out. Now I can get a smooth two-pass shave in 5. Follow-up with a nice splash of witch hazel, or the soothing balm of your choice, and you should be good-to-go.

  4. #24
    Member jlbooth's Avatar
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    Nov 2013
    Columbia, SC
    Thanked: 16


    Check out geofatboy on youtube. He has some good videos that might help with some tips and tricks. Also, if you want a different shampoo/body wash check out Crown Shaving Co. They are Canadian and their stuff is really nice...

    Have fun!!!

  5. #25
    Senior Member Wayne1963's Avatar
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    Feb 2013
    South Carolina, USA
    Thanked: 158


    Once you decide what blades you like, check out They have some pretty good prices on bulk purchases. Of course there is also the old standby, Ebay.

  6. #26
    Well Shaved Gentleman... jhenry's Avatar
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    Dec 2009
    Indianapolis, IN
    Thanked: 3760


    Great advice so far.

    Consider stretching your face's skin when you shave as well.

  7. #27
    Junior Member
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    Nov 2013
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    Shave #2 Report:

    Made my lather a bit thicker. Last time I think i swirled it up a bit to much. Also really focused on holding the razor better (lightly with 2 fingeres and a thumb at the end) to help control the pressure (or lack there of). Also held much better angles with the blade on my face. Lastly I kept with just WTG passes (probably 2 of them).

    Overall results, MUCH BETTER!!!!!! I'm surprised with how close of a shave I still got. Neck isn't the best but it never is. Always have a tough time getting in on either side of my wind pipe even with a cartridge. I have a bit of razor burn but no where near what I had last time. And no nicks.

    I'm think I'm gonna try the Derby blades next. Reading up it says they should be not so aggressive and hopefully that will also help with the razor burn.

  8. #28
    Junior Member
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    Dec 2013
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    Ended up getting a Merkur 38C for Christmas along with a sample pack of different blades, a brush, mug and soap. So far things have gone pretty good, the first blade I am trying is the Gillette Wilkinson Sword. I haven't cleaned off the winter beard yet so it has just been the next and keeping the lines clean so far. Thanks again to all for the input

  9. #29
    Senior Member Raol's Avatar
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    May 2013
    Calgary Alberta 'eh
    Thanked: 147


    You got excellent advise and you've progressed well over the short period of time.
    Only one suggestion if I may suggest and that's to stay with one blade until you get your first 30 or 40 shaves in.
    There are too many variables in the early stages of shaving to be able to properly recognize the fine differences in blades.
    Continued successes.
    S.L.A.M.,.......SHAVE LIKE A MAN!!!
    Not like a G.I.R.L. (Gentleman In Razor Limbo)

  10. #30
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    bako, CA
    Thanked: 2


    After reading all the posts on this thread let me tell you from some experience of my own and thousands of dollars later. I shave with straight razors, Shavette, safety razors, injector razors, and everything in between. I have 2 scuttles bowls mugs all that.
    1- you don't need all the crazy stuff your going to want to buy for a good shave. Trust me you will get RAD and want everything.
    2- you have a good set up now but maybe not the technique yet, but you'll get there.
    3- in the future remember buying cheap brushes or soaps isn't worth it.
    4- razors are the best with an adjustable dial. Schick injector adjustable and Gillette adjustable, merkur progress is a good one.
    5- Slant bar razors are good but wait till you get better with a regular DE.
    6- open comb razors are a bit more aggressive but not necessarily a better shave.
    7- injector razors a good and kinda cool but most of them are mild. The adjustable is good and i like the personna floating head.
    8- brushes are a hard one but after using synthetic and good boar brushes and pure badger and super badger or whatever ill never go back since i got a good silver tip with a custom handle.
    9- scuttle bowls and mugs are a preference but a good one will make better lather faster. I had a custom one made with raised ridges in a spider design with a bottle neck top to keep the lather in the bowl and a good handle for easy holding. A scuttle is nice for when you have time and want warm lather but not necessary.
    10- blades are a tough one sampler is good but my personal favorite is perma-sharp, feather, voshod, astra.
    11- there are a million sites to buy from but Italian barber is good i have ordered from there and i live in the USA. Also Straight razor design, royal shave, amazon, ebay.
    12- straight razors this gets expensive and takes time to get good at for a good shave most people get discouraged and give.
    13- if you get into straights get a shave ready from SRD and a strop from there and dont worry about honing that is a long way away trust me i have a whole kit i made just for honing razors and it just collects dust due to lack of time and such a large variety of razors i have.
    14- soaps are preference of smell but cheap soaps are not wroth it. Trufitt and hill 1805, sandalwood are good. same with after shaves.
    15- pre shave oil is a must for a good shave and post treatment like alum block and a solid after shave splash or lotion is a must.
    16- good prep makes for a fantastic shave so take your time.
    17- technique, technique, technique all i can say is muscle memory will come into play after 3 months or so.
    18- try different passes, angle, strops, whatever feels better to you but keep it consistent the same blade (a new one every time) the same razor, pre shave, after shave, soap, everything the same till you get good at it. then keep everything the same and just try a different blade for a couple of shaves till you find the right one. Trust me this will take some time. After you have it down you can invest in new razors.

    I cant really think of anything else right now but if you have question let me know i can make a video or picture and show different types of razors i use and what are my favorite combinations to use for a BBS shave.

    Best of luck to you on this journey of of the perfect shave.
    jmac123 likes this.

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