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Thread: DE Newbie here...

  1. #1
    The Knight who says NI! mcgyver74's Avatar
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    Default DE Newbie here...

    Hey everyone, newbie here Just wanted to introduce myself as a new DE user

    I had been shaving for years with a Mach 3 and then the Hydro 5 and always had razor burn and irritiation, just figured it was part of the game, till one day I was walking home and passed a "Art of the shave" store and stopped in, that opened my eyes quite a bit, I wasn't sure if I really wanted to risk using a straight razor or a safety razor as I've heard a lot of bad stories from people I know, so i bought one of their "starter kits" for the creams (Came with pre shave oil, the cream and aftershave lotion as well as a badger hair brush) and used it with my Hydro 5 for a while, it really made a difference but the shave still had some irritation.

    So the other day, I stopped back in and looked at razors, they showed me a few straight razors and told me if I bought the razor from them it included a free lesson from a barber they have an arrangement with, but I still was nervous about all that honing and stropping etc, so I decided to take baby steps and bought a DE Safety razor (Merkur Progress) and to be honest I was even apprehensive about THAT

    I know I could have gotten it for less online etc, but they really spent a lot of time with me explaining things every time I stopped in, and really seemed to care about what they do, and frankly I'm more then willing to support a store that has great customer service even if it costs me a few extra bucks, I paid about 15 more then I should have for the Merkur, but that was worth it to me

    I'm glad to report that my apprehension was unfounded, It's only been a few days with it, and I did nick myself once (I'm still learning..haven't gotten a really close shave yet,) but it is giving me a good shave and I am happy to say my skin feels MUCH better then it ever did.

    Looking forward to reading more and learning tips/tricks to make this all the more pleasurable (and maybe someday giving a straight a try)

    Marc
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    Member diamondtim's Avatar
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    mcgyver74 & kyphilip,

    Welcome to the forum! You should checkout mantic59's videos on You Tube and get a blade sampler to find the blade that works for you and your razor. Always enjoy the journey.

  3. The Following User Says Thank You to diamondtim For This Useful Post:

    KYPHILIP (10-27-2011)

  4. #3
    Nic by name not by nature Jeltz's Avatar
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    I agree with diamondtim that its a good idea to get a blade sample pack, the progress is as I understand it a great razor but I would be inclined to set it quite mild and leave it there while you get your technique sorted. The only problem with an adjustable is that it increases the variables and when trying to get a consistent shave you need to limit the variables.

    For me the improvement in comfort has come from a whole package; proper prep ideally a shower, use of a good brush and soap or cream, good post shave routine i.e. a rub with and alum block and a application of an alcohol based aftershave. Everyone is different and its finding the magic formula for you which matters but from what you say you are on the right road.

    BTW, good on you for paying the extra. Anyone who takes the time and trouble should be properly supported.
    Regards
    Nic

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    The Knight who says NI! mcgyver74's Avatar
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    Thanks everyone, I plan to get a sampler pack of blades as soon as I can, but in the meantime the Merkur blade pack they sold me will let me hone my technique with one blade while I get use to shaving with this system.

    I am hoping that eventually I can go to a straight razor, but in the meantime, the DE is a much better shave then I have ever gotten from a plastic mass produced blade

  6. #5
    Senior Member Johnus's Avatar
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    Keep it simple is a good way to start.The more you read, the more you'll feel that you need. Learn first.

  7. #6
    The Knight who says NI! mcgyver74's Avatar
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    Yeah, that's what I'm trying to do, not introduce too much into the mix.

    This morning I nicked myself a bit, but not too bad...overall very pleasant experience

    Still learning how to do this

  8. #7
    Junior Member tice75's Avatar
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    Default Blades have been a non-factor...

    I've read time and time again that blade sampler packs should be bought, and it does make sense. I will say that no matter what blade I've used, I typically get a BBS shave regardless of which one. Personally, I've found the biggest variable in my DE shaves to be the lather. For example, Taylor of Old Bond Street cream works like a charm, but if I use Dr. Bronner's, it's nick city...with the same blade! Of course that is only one example, but most shaving creams and soaps I've used work well, including Van der Hagen, Williams, Truefitt & Hill, etc. I've got some Razorock coming in next week, so I'm looking forward to adding that to the mix. Please let us know how things improve for you.

    -Steve

  9. #8
    It's All about the Groove... KeithS's Avatar
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    Welcome! You'll find a lot of helpful folks here who's main goal is having fun with all this.

    I, too, am only a month and a half into straight shaving. I started where you are now a few months ago--with a DE. I then progressed to a vintage single edge razor before moving on to the straight.

    If you look on ebay, you can find clean, good condition SE razors. My reccomendation would be to start with an Ever Ready, GEM, or STAR patent 1912 single edge (three different makers of the same design). The SE is smooth as silk, especially if you come from using a DE. You wouldn't necessarily believe it from a 100 year old razor until you try it. The SE will be closer to a straight razor shave and get you a little closer to deciding whether you want to try a straight. Eventually, you may start hearing the "Come Hither" of the straight calling as I did. The progression was easier and more natural this way for me. When you're ready, it could be a great next step. I still enjoy shaving with my SE's (even my DE once and a while as well). My SE's are my go-to travel razors right now.

    Take your time with it all if that's what's comfortable for you. For me, that's what has worked the best. You've got all the time in the world to get better and better at it as long as you are enjoying yourself along the way. It takes time to learn this anyway, you might just as well enjoy the ride. The second obvious payoff is getting incredibly close shaves and, in my case, seeing your facial skin get healthier, smoother, and clearer from all the products and care that's part of the process. I'm now hooked on getting the closest, smoothest possible shave because it just feels and looks so damn good.

    I agree with the others that as you do this more and more, you'll find that it is the combination of all the steps, prep, lather, blades and razors you use get the best results. You start seeing combo's that work better than others and start discovering new techniques that work best for you personally. But it all unfolds naturally in its own time.

    Enjoy!

  10. #9
    The Knight who says NI! mcgyver74's Avatar
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    Thanks everyone,

    So far I've been shaving with the DE every morning and I am noticing WAY less acne and ingrown hairs on my neck/chin area (My GF has even commented how much better my face is now that I'm doing it) to be honest I never thought that my shave could be contributing to acne and I tried everything to get rid of it (Clerasil, Proactiv etc) nothing worked until now.

    I am now getting almost consistent shaves from my Merkur and find myself dialing up the aggressiveness slightly, (Currently at a 3.5 and that seems to be comfortable for me) Still perfecting my technique but so far I find that 2 passes WTG and 1 ATG then some light touch up and I get a consistent BBS shave. I even find that I don't have as much stubble at 7pm as I used to...

    As for the routine, I always take a hot shower before I shave so my prep is as follows:

    1) Before the shower, I fill the sink with hot tap water (our tap water is pretty hot) and fill my latte mug that I use for lather with hot water and sit ti in the sink to warm
    2) In the shower, wash my face, then rinse and apply hair conditioner to my beard area (Even the moustache and goatee I keep, makes it silky ) and let the conditioner set while i wash everywhere else etc..
    3) After the shower I leave my face wet, apply the pre-shave oil and then build my lather in the cup (the Art of shaving stuff lathers like MAD)
    4) 2 passes WTG and 1 ATG re-applying lather inbetween passes
    5) Touch up areas that need it
    6) Witch hazel to my face to soothe
    7) Apply the Art of Shaving after shave balm and let air dry..

    Seems to work for me but I do want to start experimenting with other creams/soaps etc however I don't want to get too many variables into the mix as I am still learning, once I perfect my technique I will start to play

    SR's fascinate me and at the same time make me nervous, I wasn't willing to plunk down tons of cash for a SR as I was worried I'd ruin it etc. but after doing research I came across whipped dog's site and got a shave ready razor plus poor mans strop for under 50 bucks so I will be giving SR shaving a shot... I don't always have the time for it every day but I figure I can use the DE daily and have my sunday morning "Treat" with the SR if it goes well and I find that I like it....otherwise the DE works amazing for me and it will be my razor of choice for life!

    Thanks again everyone! Loving this art/hobby

  11. #10
    Norton convert Blix's Avatar
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    Awesome that it works out so well for you! And thumbs up for buying a straight, that's the spirit.

    You should use the straight often when you get it, once a week isn't enough when you are new to them. Try doing one wtg pass with it every day, and dedicate the Sundays to full straight shave day or something.
    Costabro likes this.

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