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3 Shaves Down - Advice Needed

Firstly I would like to thank Elosamurai for his fantastic generosity. For those of you who don't know he put together an awesome straight shave starter kit PIF on the BST which I was the extremely lucky winner of.

I have frequented this board for a little while now and have been DE shaving for just over a year and had a routine down that gave me a fantastic reliable shave. That's not to say that there was not a learning curve at the beginning and I do remember giving myself some fierce razor burn and weepers when I was first starting out.

So on to my straight shaving journey. I work on a cruise ship, and so impatient was I start with the straight that my first shave was undertaken whilst at sea with a reasonable swell. Everything was going smoothly until I cut my upper lip and I decided to abandon the whole affair for a port day. What I had shaved however had no irritation and was reasonably close after just one WTG pass.

The following day I managed shave number two. One small nick on my chin and a couple of weepers (I was expecting this as this had been my problem area with the DE) after one WTG and one XTG pass. The shave was ok, not as good as DE but then I rinsed and realised I had caused severe razor burn. Funny thing I didn't really notice it during the shave. Decided I'd give myself a days break and try again today.

Third shave - tried to be shallower with my blade angle but once again have caused a lot of irritation. Shave is again passable but not as good as DE and there is no way I'm going to be able to shave tomorrow.

So what am I doing wrong? I'm not expecting to be an expert by shave number 3 but at the minute I just have no idea what to do next and I don't want to get discouraged as I love the actual process I'm just not enjoying the outcome. I am stropping on the leather practice strop that Elosamurai provided, no pressure as advised, doing 50-60 laps before each shave. My prep is good. I think my blade angle is too steep but I really am trying to keep it as flat as possible. There blade does seem to tug compared to a DE but I was expecting this from what others have said regarding feedback. I wondered whether I have somehow managed to blunt the blade but it still passes the HHT ok - I know I shouldn't read too much into this but with my shaving skill being so low its hard to know what the actual problem is. Bottom line is I suspect its my technique but wondered whether anyone could make some specific pointers for me to try.

Thanks in advance.
While your technique is definitely the problem, you need a confident stroke, it also sounds like the razor isn't as sharp as it could be. But thats just what it sounds like. Your probably just so scared of the blade, your not applying enough pressure or using a confident enough stroke. Think about slicing through a cucumber. If you do it quickly and efficiently, its a clean, nice cut. But if you hesitate and take your time, its a hell of a lot harder than it needs to be.


Moderator Emeritus
Think about slicing through a cucumber. If you do it quickly and efficiently, its a clean, nice cut.

Only time I get weepers is when I was going light when I first started. I like using pressure that is similar to a DE. As long as you don't move the blade in a horizontal direction you're fine.
Leighton is so right. The straight demands a confident hand. This will come with time. I also agree that it doesn't sound sharp enough. Its quite easy to dull an edge while learning. Also always take a look at your prep and lather.
I agree with Leighton, here. What's new? :laugh:

Like Leche mentioned, this will come with time. I really began getting good shaves when I was confident but still cautious with the blade. You'll eventually also learn to use the amount of pressure that's necessary to both reduce the hair at the right level without giving you any razor burn.

Hang in there...
Hey hey, another new guy over here....

How does the blade feel on your skin? If it feels significantly more rough than a DE blade at the right angle, I would say it's not 100% sharp.
I rolled three shaves with a rolled edge, and my middle name was burney.

I agree a confident hand is very important, and confident strokes will help you.

The razor I have is so sharp that if I make a hesitation mark, e.g. touch the razor to my skin but don't move it to shave, it'll bleed a few minutes later. It also does not bog down on any shave direction as much as my DE did. I only have about 30-40 DE shaves under my belt though.

Good luck and see if you know anyone near you (maybe some old crew member?) who can tell you if it's dull or sharp. The HHT isn't supposed to be a greatly indicative test. My newly sharpened razor won't pass it with my fine hair.

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