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6 months into straight shaving

I love it! I can get a BBS shave that lasts for 8+ hours (even when rubbing ATG), and not even see stubble for about 36 hours.

I started with a standard set up of one of the more inexpensive dovos, strop, brush and soap. I read and read and read all the info I could find and finally put my blade to face. I've learned much since then, in the beginning things that helped me dramatically, later more subtle things that gave me a slightly better experience.

Here are the main points I've picked up.

Beard prep + sharp razor + good technique = best shave imaginable.

Take out any one of those and you are going to get a sub par shave. This means the beginner can have the sharpest blade and spend 20 minutes softening beard hairs, but will still get a sub par shave because they haven't developed good technique yet (no matter how much they read up on it).

I've had shaves with little beard prep, and with a sharp razor and good technique I can still get a passable shave. I don't like to shave without a solid beard prep, but every once and again I just have to shave when I didn't think I would have to and don't have much time.

Sharp razor is mandatory. I repeat, MANDATORY! With good beard prep and developed technique I've gotten ok shaves with a less than sharp razor, but it was uncomfortable. I'm just beginning to hone myself, and have 2 professionally honed razors to compare my own work to. My god the difference is incredible! I cannot imagine the pain and frustration a beginner who is trying to hone and develop their technique must go through. I don't doubt that many who try to learn both give up, as the face can only take so much punishment.

Technique technique technique. Last but most certainly not least. While straight shaving certainly isn't rocket science, there is an art to it which one slowly and consistently develops. I have always focused on technique. The first dozen shaves I was making developments by the leaps and bounds. After I got the basics down, soon the razor became an extension of my body and the real learning began, ie: the art of shaving.

This is why straight shaving is a pure joy to me. Shaving is no longer a mindless experience, but an absolutely engaging one. There is some primal pleasure about holding a piece of steel with one of the sharpest edges humanly possible to your face, and skillfully drawing it over my skin.

There is a great sense of accomplishment in running my hand over my face 8 hours after my shave and still being unable to feel any stubble what so ever and knowing that it was my skill that did that. I skillfully sharpened the blade I put to my face. I skillfully used the blade on my face. This wonderfully smooth face is the result of none other but me. So few things in my life give me that kind of satisfaction.
Possibly the best written couple of paragraphs I've read about straight shaving, and mirrors my experiences to a T.

Post of the day right there. :thumbup1:

When the planets align for you it can be great. It sounds like you have your technique worked out.

- Mike
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