Tried Method Shaving and didn't stick with it?

Discussion in 'General Shaving Discussion' started by mars, Aug 10, 2008.

  1. I'm curious in hearing from people who tried Method Shaving and then didn't keep with it. If you tried and gave up on Method Shaving, was it because it didn't work? It didn't work any better than your current method? It was too costly? There wasn't enough variety in the routine? I guess I could do a poll, but I'd like to hear people's thoughts.
  2. It depends waht you mean by stick with it. If you mean stick with it as an exclusive shaving style, then I fit your question. I still method shave once a week or every other week, but have too many other soaps and creams that I like to do this exclusively. Same holds true for the skin conditioner. I love how it all works, but just cannot give up some of the other scents and products that make this hobby so enjoyable. I still enjoy the entire Hydrolast line (even using the cube instead of rounds sometimes), but love the variety available from the three T's and Mama Bear.

  3. Several years ago, when Charles Roberts started the ancestor to the two most popular shaving forums now running, I got interested in the "method" he was expounding upon. I found the patterns for shaving the face were pretty much those found in old barber shaving manuals; nothing new there. The lather building techniques were effective, but clouded with his requirements to use certain brushes and creams; later to be expanded to his name brand products. The special razors were nothing special, except for the price if bought from his website. The instructions provided for the "method" were long, convoluted and unnecessarily complex, and in some cases simply unintelligible. No question there is a method to wetshaving, and CAR has a ton of knowledge, and some of his products are top flight. I got away from it because of the continuing pretentiousness and hype, and because it got to be more of a sales pitch and self-promotion instead of providing user-friendly information on how to shave.
  4. I'm a big time FNG to all of this. What exactly is method shaving?
  6. +1. Very well said. Pretty much my experience, as well. CAR's Method Shaving has never given me better results than I have achieved with my own personal method, developed from extensive experimentation, trial and error, patience, and commitment.
  7. While I don't disagree with your points regarding what can be done with your own experience, my experience was just the opposite.

    I was not doing well learning with conventional products. Being in Austin, I went down to his old store on Brodie Lane for a clinic. He tried to talk me out of anything other than the cube and paste for about $25-30. I also bought a S200 brush and conditioner. was now apprehensive having spent about $200 when Charles told me I could get by with what we had just used in the clinc for way less. This totally solved my problems and frustration getting a good shave.

    Since then, I still use the Hydrolast products on occasion, but varied my product choices and technique using the basics taught by Charles. Not all of us have access to barbers' texts and I found Charles very helpful getting me started and still frequent his new store to discuss products and techniques.

    Even though now I mostly shave with a straight razor and a large variety of products, Charles spends whatever time I want with me to discuss his latest products and frequently give me samples to try and give him input, whether I buy anything or not. Regardless of marketing or hype, Charles beliieves in what he does and has done a lot to advance the products. I still think Hydrolast is some of the best quality and value on the market, but just want more variety, and that is why I no longer ONLY method sahve. I still enjoy it on occasion and have to admit, I get better shaves longer than most any other product.

    To each their own, but I would again recomment that newbies (or experienced shaves) give method shaving a shot. Leisureguy wrote very complimentary of method shaving and Hydrolast in his blog and he is anything but a newbie.

    Check it out at


  8. Unfortunately I can't watch any videos from my current location. Uncle Sugar blocks all streaming media.
  9. is this:
    I have an S100 in mesquite, some eucalyptus paste, some #2 paste and some of da cube; I use them at least once a week.
    I have never spoken with Mr. Roberts or had any lessons on Method Shaving and have only recently been able to produce acceptable results with these products.
    Results that have been achieved through trial and error, just like results with other aspects of our hobby.
    That said......
    Hydrolast products are quality and I believe that Mr. Roberts is truly passionate about wet shaving and about providing help and assistance to all levels of shavers.
    Are his products superior to EVERY other? That is up to you to decide.
    The only negative comments about CAR and Hydrolast seem to come from those who dont like his particular style of commentary and / or who have never even spoken to, let alone, ever met the man. All those who have met him have nice comments to say.
    The fact that he continues to tweak the Hydrolast line is proof to me of his desire to provide the best possible shaves for the most possible people.
  10. GG1


    Hey Brad, do you method shave with your straight? I've been curious if anyone does. I'd think it wouldn't matter but i've not yet tried method or straight razor yet but want to try both.
  11. Chalk me up as another one who didn't stick with it.

    I loved the shaves I was getting from it, but for me it was the expense of it all.
    Why spend $12 for the cube, $20 for the paste, and $11 for activator when I can just spend $11 on a tube of Proraso and get a great shave?

    I still plan on using Method shaving in my rotation (at least until I run out), I simply just don't do it exclusively any more.
  12. I use Hydrolast products with a straight sometimes, but I do not use the shaving forms. I do three pass. One WTG, one ear to chin and ear to throat, and one XTG with a slight diagonal toward the center. Sometimes if I want max BBS, I do a WTG pass with my DE to get a few hard to reach areas. The number one paste works best for me with a straight, but I know Mike and a few others use the number two as well, or a mix of several.

  13. But how long do you have to try for befor giving up? I have a friend who gave DEs a go, didnt watch any of the videos i gave him, no reserch just had a crack. And it frustrated me after two goes he said 'i got irritaions' and gave up.

    O well

  14. I feel that in terms of shaving, you have to try a product/technique for a few weeks to really get a handle on whether or not it works for you.
  15. I started Method Shaving when I started wet shaving. First let it be said if you have a question Mr. Roberts will answer it. I called him and he not only spoke with me but insisted that I call back after a week to see if his suggestions worked for me. He is a true Gentleman.

    Method Shaving it's self? I love 'da cube' but never could figure out why I needed to also use the 'Cutting Balm'. The thecnique used with Method Shaving simply didn't work for my brush. A Vulfix #374. I believe it is to small to hold the quanity of soap needed. Also 'Method Shaving' requires you to be very agressive when lathering your brush. I simply wasn't sure that my Vulfix #374 would survie 'Method Shaving'. Plus you where to go from cube to face. MAYBE quick hand lather but no cups or lather bowls.

    Finally Baby Butt Smooth (BBS). Is it really necessary? A daily BBS is the goal of 'Method Shaving' and validates your technique.

    I pulled back from 'Method Shaving' and BBS and just focused on enjoying my daily shave. Scented soaps and a real lather bowl (Ayars lather bowl made in Nova Scotia). I do three passes a day with a Merkur HD using Feathers. As soon as the B&B 2008 Brush shows up I will be using it. Till then I'm still using my Vulfix #374. Shaving is now a pleasant morning routine.
  16. To me, not only the results of Method Shaving are what keep me hooked on Hydrolast, it's the way you can use Hydrolast products. I wager: there is NO other shaving system on the market that allows you to cut whiskers, using fresh Feather blades, at the speeds used in method shaving. Once you get really good with Method Shaving, it's truly incredible how fast you can slice whiskers, and how slick and easy the mix can make getting a light bulb smooth face.
  18. I looked into method shaving, read reams of CAR's writing on the topic, and came to the conclusion that it's pure, unadulterated hokum, and the only reason it works is that it's hokum built around a working system: wetshaving.

    The two major claims behind Method Shaving are unscientific at best, and completely inane at worst.

    1. The best shaving lubricant for your skin is pure water.

    All the evidence would point to many things being better, more lubricating, protecting, and cushioning to the skin than pure water.

    2. Pure water is too volatile to shave with, so it must be made to "last" (i.e. "Hydrolast") with a minimum number of natural* additives.

    Perform an experiment right now. Using your standard technique and two identical bowls, whip up a bowl of lather, and in the other bowl simply squeeze the water from the brush, along with any amount of water you normally add to your lather. Walk away for an hour. Come back. Which bowl is drier. Lather increases the surface area of the same volume of water by several orders of magnitude, dramatically increasing its rate of evaporation.

    So, while CAR may know how to whip up a lather, and may even know quite a bit about shaving per se, he doesn't know what in the blue blazes he's talking about when it comes to the whys and wherefores of shaving media.

    * Determination of whether or not there is a qualitative distinction to be made between a "natural" and an "artificial" ingredient by that criterion alone, given that strychnine is natural, is left as an exercise for the reader.
  20. I have never tried Hydrolast products so I cant say I have done the Method Shaving system. However I watched Mantics video on it yesterday and decided to give the lather building techniques a try with my usual standards.

    - Taylors Lemon and Lime Cream
    - L'Occitane Shave Soap
    - Few drops of Glycerine

    The result of putting the cream and Glycerine into the breech directly along with agressively loading the brush with soap I believe made a significant improvement on my lather I felt.

    For me I have no interest in going down the "Method Shaving" road. For several reasons.

    1) I do not believe I need to have a special brush to make special lather anymore than I think a special wooden spoon will make my soup a special magical potion.

    2) The lather I got "looked" to be as good as the lather on the video. Was it in performance? Well I dont know but it worked well and if Hydrolast products were the holy grail I would think that everyone would be singing their praises above and beyond all others including the 3 T's.

    3) As for shaving technique well from what I see the Method system is nothing new. As someone mentioned its not much different than what you find in barbering texts. As each persons hair grows different I should think each person needs to adapt there style. Usually I do a 3 pass system. With, across and against. I dont see how I could need much more.

    Basically and with all due respect to Mr. Robertson I dont see the benefits of paying money for a single system that I cannot see giving me significant benefits over what I do. The only benefits would be an easier shave and saving time. However the main aspect of the system seems to be the products, other wise any soap etc would do. If the products were that good I think I would see alot more people singing the praises.

    As for this system making Feather Blades faster. I dont see that. I have been using some Feather blades I bought a few weeks back and I love them. Super sharp. To me the performance is largely in the blades.

    After watching the video and doing my experiment I certainly wouldnt want to limit myself to one system or one product line, as many people on here I am sure agree. For me to follow the system takes the fun out of shaving which is experimentation and developing my own methods.

    Shaving is after all my own time. Otherwise I would buy a Mach 3 and Gillete foam in a can.

Share This Page