New guy w/questions . . .

Discussion in 'Shave Clinic & Newbie Check-In' started by MrMoJoe, Jan 21, 2009.

  1. First, let me say that this looks like a great place, and even though this is my first post, I already feel welcome. Hopefully some day I can contribute.

    I've read all the advice for newbs, and I'm ready to take the plunge. Based on what appears to be a general consnesus (sort of), I'm thinking about a Merkur HD, either Proraso or TOBS Avacado cream (or both), and a pack of Derby blades.

    I have a pretty heavy beard that results in a 5 o'clock shadow by noon, worn collars on shirts, and lots of razor burn/"road rash" on the neck and throat. That being the case, does the above set-up seem appropriate to start with, or would you suggest another razor or blades?

    Also, what about pre-shave oils and creams? Should I go ahead and try those and if so which ones do you recommend?

    Aside from a good badger brush and cup, does a beginner need anything else?

    Any and all thoughts and suggestions appreciated. Thanks in advance!
  2. jkh


    First off, welcome.

    Merkur HD - an excellent razor for a beginner or vetran :thumbup1:
    Proraso or TOBS avocado - again, excellent choices. Note: the TOBS smells nothing like avocado, more like sunscreen, but it does have avocado oil. If you live near a Bath and Body Works you can pick up the CO Bigelow green shaving cream in a tube, which is just rebranded Proraso.
    Derby's - I would advice getting a razor blade sampler pack from West Coast Shaving, then you can try a bunch out.

    Pre-shave oil, nah, keep it simple. Razor, blade, cream (or soap), brush, mug (if you like), aftershave (which I assume you already have).

    Good luck!
  3. Welcome to the Club!

    I started wet shaving less than a year ago, and like you used to get 5 O'Clock Shadow early in the day, usually well before noon. I would buy shirts a half size too big to prevent the chafing at the collar from the stubble and irritation from razor burn.

    I'm going to go against the grain and suggest the razor everyone seems to fear most. The razor that gives you the closest shave next to a straight edge. The razor that will have you enjoying shaving.

    Yes, I'm suggesting you start out with the Merkur Slant Bar razor. Use absolutely no pressure, treat the instrument with respect, and don't us against the grain or across the grain strokes until after you've mastered with the grain.

    The only question is whether to get the HD Chrome, HD Gold, or Barber Pole Chrome. I have both the HD and Barber Pole versions and prefer the Barber Pole. The whiskers seem to jump off in dread of the razor. I shaved over twelve hours ago and can still pass for clean shaven.

    So my suggestion and food for thought is this -

    - Merkur Barber Pole Slant
    - Derby Blades/Crystal/Red Pack Personna
    - TABAC Soap AND/OR
    - WARS Shave Cream AND/OR
    - Mama Bear's Soap(s) AND/OR
    - Fraser's Shave Cream

    As for After Shaves, it pretty much depends on what scents you like...
  4. I've shaving with a DE for exactly 1 year this week. The things I learned on the journey are:

    1. Its about beard reduction. Don't push the razor into your face, set the angle and let the blade do its work. It takes multiple passes to get a good shave.
    2. Sampler pack of blades is the only way to tell what combo works for you. I settled on a Merkur Futur with Derby blades. I crank it up to the max and don't get any razor burn or nicks. This combo might not work for you though. For instance I can't use Feathers because even on a low setting they cut my face up.
    3. Creams, soaps, etc. I've tried a bunch and again YMMV, but TABAC soap and TOBS Almond just can't be beat. I don't know why I even have anything else, but I do.
    4. Preparation. Get comfortable with a method that is proven to work. Soak brush, shower, build lather, shave shave shave. Just remember its about beard reduction not removal. The multiple passes will do that.
    5. Very few people will understand your penchant for wetshaving.

    Good Luck
  5. Derbys can either work wonders for you, or hurt you more than not. I am one of those guys where Derbys are just too dull for my facial hair and cause a lot of burn as a result.
  6. Welcome to B&B, I see the fellows have gotten you all straightend out just fine...Enjoy!!!
  7. Welcome to B&B

    I say go with either the HD or a vintage gillette and a sampler pack of blades to start, in my experience the HD is a mild razor and a good starting point eventually a more aggresive razor may be for you but starting new it is better to err on a milder razor then one too aggressive and with bad technique get razor burn and possibly quit before you get started, I think a great many think they have a tough beard until they use a real razor:biggrin:

    that said the 39c slant sledgehammer is my favorite DE :wink:

    pre-shave oil is generally a waste for the majority here, other then that have fun, and if you haven't already check out Mantics you tube videos and read this
  8. welcome to the house
    i'd opt for a 38c barber pole a great all rounder
    creams or soap are down to personal preference trial & error
    happy hunting
  9. As some people have recommended, head over to a Bath and Body Works and pick of the Bigelow shaving cream but my recommendation is to try TOBS Almond. Just an amazing cream that is easy to build a lather with and smells awesome. Either way let us know what you choose and how things go after your first few shaves.

    Welcome to B&B!
  10. Welcome to B&B! I was going to add my 2 cents but it looks like everyone else has pretty much nailed it down.
  11. DunEdinRanger,
    Well I would still suggest he starts out with a Gillette Super Speed or Regular Merkur HD.. As much as I love the slant *37C* and I am going to pick up a 39C soon as well because that will be the end of my RAD! I think the slant will be a little too aggressive for a newbiew *My 37C is about as aggressive as my Slim Adjustable set too 9, maybe a little more*, but since a newbie needs to get their technique, recommending a slant is like telling a new driver a 505 HP Z06 Corvette is perfect to learn to drive on! This is just my opinion. And I know if I would have started out with the slant as my first de, I definitely would be calling it 'Satan's Razor', I think a little too much blade exposure, will end up hurting someone starting out!

    Welcome to the forums and enjoy your new method of shaving! :biggrin:
  12. Charlie,

    I understand what you're saying. The key thing for me was how early he gets 5 O'Clock Shadow. I'm afraid another razor will not give as good results as he should get with the Slant.

    When people start shaving with a straight there are no training wheels on those razors. :biggrin:

  13. Alacrity59

    Alacrity59 Moderator Emeritus Contributor

    the only thing I'd add that everybody here always says but I did not see it this time is . . . you need to prep your face . . . as in let the shower hit your beard. . . lather up and then put a hot water dipped wash cloth on your face for a bit and lather up a bit more.
  14. Lou,
    That is true the Slant will give better results but if he is getting the 5 oclock shadow though and I forgot as well as everyone else did was to ask what is he currently shaving with. Also I know what he is going through because when I shaved with a cartidge razor *Sensor, Mach 3 and Fusion*, especially right after 2 years when I had to shave because my facial hair was growing *I started shaving in 93*! I would have a 5 oclock shadow around 12:00 - 1:00 pm after shaving early in the morning. That is why I would recommend against a slant, considering he has not even tried DE shaving yet. The HD or SS, to get his technique down before even tackling a slant.. Now if he was getting the 5 oclock shadow even after using a good cream like Proraso, badger brush and an Merkur HD, then I would suggest going after a slant! I would also recommend him to get Feather blades for the slant as well! Feather + Slant = best razor/blade combo!

    What are you currently shaving with? I forgot to ask this earlier... I would also recommend getting a blade sampler. I also recommend going to Bath and Bodyworks to get C.O.Bigelow Premium Shave Cream by Proraso, if you have a crabtree and evelyn close by, call them and see if they have the Cream Best Badger Brush *awesome beginner brush as well as for anyone wanting a good secondary brush*, and any ASB that you like!


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