Ah to just be discovering DE shaving again
My best advice has already been mentioned, pick one combo and shave shave shave! My got to is Taylor of Bonds street on a restored brush with a Merkur 37C Slant bar. Be forewarned it is a slippery slope to straight razor shaving!
...glittering prizes and endless compromises shatter the illusion of integrity.
When I first got a tube of Bigelow, I couldn't get a decent lather out of it with my boar or badger brush. Then I stumbled across "Marco's Method" of lathering on Badger and Blade.
Turns out I wasn't using enough water in my brush. I tried that method and had lather exploding out of the bowl. It takes a bit of practice to figure out the right combination of water vs. product.
Bigelow is good shaving cream that is similar/identical/made my Proraso. Some say it is exact....others say no. All I know is it has that menthol eucalyptus kick that leaves the skin cool and has a clean smell to boot.
Never have nicked myself using it or VDH luxury. Can't say the same for Col. Conk. The slickness of the VDH luxury is off the charts slick and I love the scented version.
When should your razor hit your mailbox? The wait is the worst part.
And can you find Florida Water locally? How about Clubman bay rum? I use both of those as well as regular Clubman and Aqua Velva ice sport after the witch hazel. Currently, I have Thayers lemon and cucumber and Humphrey's citrus WH. Getting out and seeing what is available locally has turned up some wonderful products.
Last edited by lwt210; 05-30-2012 at 06:33 AM.
My razor should be here Saturday, maybe. I haven't gotten around to looking at any men's specialty stores or anything like that yet. I will probably hold off until I can use my RazoRock shave soap quite a few times. I plan on sticking with Mag's advice to an extent and using the exact same set up for at least 20 or more shaves or until I actually have to change it up. But, up until after I had ordered all my stuff, I have been looking at some Taylor of Old Bond St., and Proraso creams and whatnot. People seem to really enjoy those. But, I will shop around town and will probably be able to find some good stuff locally before I order anything online.
And, I actually just watched a video about Marco's Method of lathering last night and tried it with my current VDH Deluxe soap and it worked quite well. But, I think I still prefer to lather in a bowl as I get much more lather than face lathering. I also tried the method of lathering in one's hand as found in a youtube video that escapes me at the moment. I found the hand lathering to be pretty good also, but again I still prefer the bowl. But, those are results from one soap, and one cheap brush. I will repost when I get my new Omega brush and RazoRock soaps.
I will also be on the hunt for some Thayer's witch hazel since I have heard about this from a lot of people.
+1 on the Thayer's witch hazel. Most people get the alcohol-free version, but I use the original. It only contains a small amount of alcohol (10% natural grain alcohol, only as a preservative). After you finish shaving, follow this regimen, and you will always feel great:
1. rinse with hot water
2. rinse with cold water (the colder the better. ice cold is best)
3. splash liberally with witch hazel
4. let face air dry
5. as a final step, rub a small amount of Nivea post-shave balm
Unless it's disastrous, use one setup for at least 14 shaves. It takes that long to really get "dialed in" with that setup. And even more at first as you dial in your basic technique. Then, change only one thing at a time. This careful, methodical approach pays off over time.
Well, my package was delivered. It's sitting in my mailbox as I type this. Ordered on a Monday, shipped from Cali on Tuesday to Springfield, MO today, Thursday. That's pretty fast shipping guys. I guess West Coast Shaving has another customer for life.
I'll post tonight about the results of my first shave, and maybe some pictures of my new gear if I can find my camera. Just moved so it could be anywhere, grrr.
So, how did it all work out?
I am assuming you either can't find your camera or didn't survive the first shave. lol
I appreciate all the interest. No, I couldn't find my camera, but I will try with my cell phone, it takes decent pictures. And I have shaved twice so far. The first shave, uh, well I have so much razor burn I had to take the batteries out of my smoke detector. It was brutal, and I wen't extremely slowly and it still skinned me alive. My second shave was better, quite a bit in fact. But my neck still gets some pretty rough razor burn. That's the only spot I am having trouble with. My upper lip, chin line, everything is fine but my neck and adams apple (I have a very prominent adams apple).
The Razorock soap is fantastic. I have only used to Cocoa so far and it's just great. It lathers up very quickly with my new cheap Omega brush.
On another note I wen't to Bath and Body Works and picked up some of that C.O. Bigelow shave soap(by Proraso) in the tube like on poster had. Haven't tried it, but I also got 2 tubes of body wash. The C.O. Bigelow body wash is hands down the best body wash I have ever used. It's just amazing. In fact, it's the only body wash I have even noticed I really like. I got one green tube and one white tube and I would recommend this to everybody. It smells amazing, lathers insanely well with a tiny amount, and rinses completely clean. Love the stuff. I will only buy it from now on.
The fact that the second shave was better leads me to believe it was your technique more than anything as I assume you prepped the same way and used the same blade. Your problem spots will fade over time and if your beard is like mine and grows fast, each morning will offer a brand new opportunity to learn from yesterday's mistakes.
I got this in the mail today. Just had a shave with it. Very nice if you like sandalwood. Seemed to go well with Pinaud bay rum aftershave. Lathers up very fast, slick, and creamy.
Last edited by lwt210; 06-04-2012 at 05:49 PM.
Yeah, I am almost positive it was my technique. I will try again tonight. And yes, I am only making one with the grain pass as recommended by the forumites. I used a Derby blade for both shaves and will probably use the same one again tonight. I didn't realize how thin the blades were until I got them. Haha, I could even resharpen them on my edge pro. That's some Gollnick like savings right there. A nice Balsa strop with 0.5u Chromium Oxide paste. I think I could do it without taking hardly any steel off with my strop. I'm only half-kidding.
Thanks for the tips, keep 'em coming!
I got the same raw burning anytime I tried a Derby, I have given everyone I have gotten away. Astras are nice, but my favorite is the IP Red. It could be that you are in a similar situation that I am in, a fairly thick and course beard yet very sensitive skin. What works for me is lots of hot water on my face to soften up my beard and a reasonably sharp blade. I can use Feathers, but only in a very mild razor, think Feather AS-D1 or Gillette Super Speed mild.
I would say give the derby blade one more try, if you still are getting a lot of burn and irritation try the Astras. The trick is to find the sharpest blade your face can handle that doesn't cause irritation. Just my 2 cents
If you are playing life on easy, you are never going to win when it counts
Thanks Unky. I have been using a steaming hot washcloth, and holding it on my face for a minute or two before I apply my Shave Secret. And yes, I have a thick beard and sensitive skin also. Crummy position to be in, huh? The Israeli Reds are next on my list to try I think.
Its the thick beard that causes the problem I think a sharper blade will sail through it. Too sharp and I start having to deal with irritation from that unless I am using a very mild razor.
If you are playing life on easy, you are never going to win when it counts
To the OP: I know you've already chosen and ordered your DE razor (great choice BTW) but I thought I'd chime in here anyway in case there were others that were still pondering their own DE purchase.
You really can't go wrong with Edwin Jagger IMO. Their gear is top notch, they've got something in a price point for everyone, it comes from Sheffield (knife knuts know that generally means quality), and from my personal correspondence with the folks at EJ HQ I would feel comfortable saying that the customer service is also top notch. I have also heard good things about Merkurs but haven't used one myself. A year or two ago I bought an Edwin Jagger Chatsworth in Barely Chrome, with matching Silver Tip brush in Barley Chrome and a chrome EJ razor/brush stand. It came in a three piece set from the Edwin Jagger website (I did just check and it looks like they no longer offer this set, unfortunately) and was stupid expensive--over $400 CDN when everything was said and done. That being said I would not trade it for anything. Like a good custom knife it is a solidly made, elegantly presented tool that will last generations with the proper care and use. Not to mention that wet shaving pays for itself very quickly, due to the money you save not buying expensive disposable cartridges, as others have already stated.
Some general points about buying a DE razor that others have already touched on which I feel compelled to throw my two cents in on as well, for whatever reason:
- Weight and Length are key. Ideally it would be best to handle any razor before you buy it to make sure that it feels right in your hand. That is an idealized scenario however so in reality there need to be some guidelines. IME/IMO length is the more subjective option: some like their handle longer while others like it shorter. Personally I like something in the middle or a little on the long side but of course different things work for different folks. Weight is a totally different ball game however. IME/IMO the more weight that a DE has (within a reasonable limit) the better: I would personally stay away from anything that has a plastic or composite handle. A heavier DE just shaves better...and for that fact you can thank physics
- Blade selection is very important, and trying a variety of razor blades is a great idea to get a feel for what works for you...but as others have mentioned there definitely IS a technique so you don't want to try too many different types of blades or soaps too quickly. Try something basic like the Astra Platinums that have been recommended by many and shave with that until you've got the technique down and then you can experiment with blades. As others have hinted, I would recommend staying away from Derby blades: they had a great reputation many years ago but like too many things in this world it seems like their QC is gone down the crapper and now you'll get some excellent shavers and some duds in a pack. I personally love Feather Hi-Stainless Black blades (black refers to the packaging colour, not the blade colour) but also realize that they won't work for everyone and they are wicked sharp and unforgiving so probably not a great choice for beginners.
- Soap selection cannot be over emphasized: IME/IMO the soap you use is a just as important as the blade you choose, and both of those decisions trump the DE razor selection itself. Someone who knows how to use a DE razor can get a good shave with a crappy DE as long as it's fitted with a good sharp blade and they're using a quality, high glycerine soap. That is my opinion of course and I'm sure others will disagree. Personally I use Castle Forbes, and while it may be one of the priciest brands going the shave it enables is very, very smooth and it produces so much lather that I only use a TINY drop whenever I need to shave. Again, this stuff goes such a long way when used appropriately that you will definitely be saving money in comparison to cheaper soaps and creams.
- If you find you are really into wet shaving then at some point down the road I recommend buying a shaving scuttle. Certainly not a necessary addition but it takes the whole experience up a level and IMO once you've used one you won't want to shave without one. I strongly recommend Schwarzweisskeramik scuttles but there are certainly other worthy brands out there if you do some research.
A final word of warning: if you are a knife knut getting in to wet shaving...beware. It will not be long until you start coveting expensive straight razors like Thiers Issards and Dovos! Can't beat a straight razor, as long as you know how to use it
To the OP: I just read the last few messages (which I had missed previously). As others have mentioned it is more than likely your technique, but that Derby sure isn't helping. A dull blade can be seriously dangerous to shave with--IMO a dull razor is more dangerous than a sharp razor, if you are using them properly: dull razor blades have propensity to snag...not something you want to happen while you're shaving your neck or the like. It's far too easy to jerk your hand and make a sideways motion resulting in a niceee little (or not so little) gash on your face. I would change out the Derbys for the Astras (or the Personnas--never used these personally but they seem to be well liked so I'll have to try some!) and then keep doing what you're doing. The technique will work itself out with time and practice. A really good tip (best one I ever got when I was staring out) is to not use too much pressure: let the weight of the DE do the work--if you're shaving at the right angle slight pressure and steady motion is all it should take! Finally I see you're using a hot water wash for your face, and that's certainly great. While this may be obvious I think it also bears mentioning: even better than a hot washcloth is taking a hot shower before you shave. This really opens up your pores and helps the hairs just slide off your face. If you find you're still having trouble once you get your technique down then you should try a pre shave oil or a cream. I can personally recommend Musgo Real but I know there are many others people have success with as well.
Last edited by pveiled; 06-05-2012 at 10:11 AM.
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