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Thread: After a Year with a Straight

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    Senior Member yondermountain91's Avatar
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    Default After a Year with a Straight

    Happy holidays everybody!!!

    Well figured I would do a little write up about my first year shaving. The ups, the downs, and everything in between. Looking back at it all, I am so happy that I stuck with it and worked through the troubles to get to were I am today.

    As most of you know, shaving with a straight can be an uphill battle in the beginning. Trying to get everything just right and minimize the variables is a challenging endeavor. My shaving technique has had a huge impact on my results, watching my angle, and pressure mainly. However if you are thin like me, the contours around the jawline and chin are challenging, and has taken me months and months to get to a point I'm happy with. Even though I now have hundreds of shaves under my belt, it would be arrogant of me to say that I was done learning. The process and ritual of shaving with a straight is a constantly evolving beast. Over time you figure out what works for your face and what doesn't.

    I would say stropping was one of the most challenging parts for me to learn. In the first few months or so, my edges would barely make it passed 10 shaves before I was sending them out to be re-honed by Lynn. After reading a lot on the forums and other internet resources I came to the conclusion that it was my coarse, thick stubble that was trashing my edges. Well after a lot, and I mean a lot of trial and error, I finally figured out that it wasn't my beard that was the culprit, it was my stropping. It only takes one or two careless stokes to ruin all the work you just did. Pressure was another thing that I noticed was important. Now when people hear the word pressure and stropping together they usually cringe. However I'm not talking about bearing down on the blade and forcing the strop to turn into a U. I'm talking enough pressure to keep good consistent contact along the edge. My advice would be to experiment, however always test shave after you change something so you can get an idea of what is happening to the edge.

    Consistency was another area I struggled with in the beginning. I would have a great shave one day then the next with the same products have a bad shave. Ironing out all the variables can take some time. In the beginning its important to only change one thing at a time, that way if it works you can pin point what it was that actually helped and vice versa.

    Honing a straight, then shaving with that straight has become one of my most treasured hobbies. It takes a lot of work, and a lot of nicks to be able to get a great shave every single time. I'm sure most have already heard this but TAKE YOUR TIME WITH THIS HOBBY. If you are new and are using a shave ready razor from a reputable vendor, a soap that is well know as a good performer, and a reputable brush and are still struggling to get good results. Buying an expensive soap or $300 razor most likely isn't going to change anything. In the beginning this is hard because, when you get a bad shave your more likely to blame the hardware than yourself and this is natural. Now I am not saying expensive soaps and razors aren't nice, but I am saying that I can get an amazing shave using Palmolive(shave stick), and a $40 ebay special.
    "If the brakes don't stop it, something will"

  2. The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to yondermountain91 For This Useful Post:

    Butzy (12-23-2017), MichaelPz (12-23-2017), RezDog (12-24-2017)

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    Senior Member blabbermouth
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    Quote Originally Posted by yondermountain91 View Post
    Happy holidays everybody!!!
    If you are new and are using a shave ready razor from a reputable vendor, a soap that is well know as a good performer, and a reputable brush and are still struggling to get good results. Buying an expensive soap or $300 razor most likely isn't going to change anything. In the beginning this is hard because, when you get a bad shave your more likely to blame the hardware than yourself and this is natural. Now I am not saying expensive soaps and razors aren't nice, but I am saying that I can get an amazing shave using Palmolive(shave stick), and a $40 ebay special.
    Now where have I heard that before. Yes, it is a hard concept for most beginners to accept and that is the problem is looking at you from the mirror.

    Bob
    Last edited by BobH; 12-23-2017 at 09:57 PM.
    Life is a terminal illness in the end

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    Gatling-Gun Jerry Gasman's Avatar
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    Fine report! I agree with all of it. I too am just over a year now with a straight. Ups and downs so often at one time i thought about giving up but i just kept going. When i found i had a bad shave, it came to be preasure to be the cause. I still get carried away some days but i know its the fact of being short on time that is causing the first issue and then the preasure encreases and it goes down hill from there.

    Thanks for sharing your experiances and what you have learned. And i agree that expensive equipment is not the answer. One of my best shavers is a 4/8 very light pitted razor. Just slices thru the whiskers so easy it blows me away every time i use it.

    One other thing come to mind for newbies to know... stick with the same stuff for days at a time. Trying to use a different razor and soap daily can only cause issues and you wont know if its the blade or soap or brush or YOU that caused the problems. Learn a razor by using it daily for some time.
    It's just Sharpening, right?
    Jerry...

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    Senior Member yondermountain91's Avatar
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    I agree with Jerry sticking with the same stuff is a great idea. I literally used an Omega boar brush, D.R. Harris soap, and a Dovo Best 5/8 for the first like 4 months lol. And I still love this combo!!
    BobH likes this.
    "If the brakes don't stop it, something will"

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    Senior Member k5MOW's Avatar
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    Some really great info here. Thanks for sharing.

    Roger
    ejmolitor37 likes this.
    Have a great shave.

    Roger

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    Yondermountain91-Wonderful report and good for you for sticking with it. I'm only about two and a half months in, but already have experienced what you emphasized about angle and pressure. And the need for patience and taking your time! Thanks!
    Michael P

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    Senior Member blabbermouth nessmuck's Avatar
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    Nice ,,you made it though rookie camp....the journey Nevah ends....But ,just when you think ,you have mastered the blade wielding...a cut will appear on your face,letting you know ,who's in charge. Respect the Blade !
    MichaelPz likes this.

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    LIGHTS ~ CAMERA ~ SOTD petercp4e's Avatar
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    Congratulations on your first year.
    Now it's all about the finesse and the details.
    Shaving is like wine...just gets better with time.

    Pete <:-}
    "Life is short, Break the Rules. Forgive quickly, Kiss Slowly,
    Love truly, Laugh uncontrollably, And never regret ANYTHING
    That makes you smile." - Mark Twain

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    Quote Originally Posted by yondermountain91 View Post
    Even though I now have hundreds of shaves under my belt, it would be arrogant of me to say that I was done learning.
    In my shaving career I figure a straight razor danced across my face between 4 and 5 thousand times. That's 47 years x 52 weeks a year x an average of 2 shaves a week. Let me say this-----> I still nick myself once in a blue moon and I still learn things from this site. Enjoy yourself and go for the gusto.

  11. #10
    Senior Member blabbermouth
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    Yes, you never stop learning in this sport. If you do get over confident you'll find out who is boss, the razor, real quick. Always take your time and enjoy the shave.

    Bob
    Life is a terminal illness in the end

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