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Adjusting and the Learning Curve

Apologize if this has been discussed before:

I've heard it said that your face will take time to adjust to new shaving techniques and that there is a learning curve. What can a newbie expect during this adjustment and learning curve period? Perhaps if we knew what to expect we could be a bit more patient with ourselves and our faces and not push the envelope too soon.

Thanks.
 
Well from a DE shavers point of view that has been at it for no longer than a month, I find every shave is different. There is so much to learn so many blades to try and razors.

My advice is start simple and work your way up, you will find things that work for you, you will forget these and then you will find them again.

I used a blade the other day that really damaged my face. I will try that blade again in a couple of months again when i am sure my pre-shave technique will have changed. Tonight i used a isralie personna for the first time and it made up for the bad shave i had the other day.

I think during the learning curve we will have great shaves, bad shaves and passable shaves. but in the end we will know how to treat our faces better than ever before.

In conclusion: Its a learning curve you will have bad times, you will have good times but at the end you will have mainly good times and always something to learn!
 
Speaking solely from personal experience, after a year or so of wet shaving:

• It took a couple weeks before collared shirts didn't chafe the shaved areas of my neck a bit.

• It took at least a month to figure out whisker grain direction on my neck, and for it to stop changing on me.

• It took a couple months of shopping and experimentation to settle into a razor, blades, and shave products I liked and which gave me good results. Not that I've stopped trying new stuff or anything! :w00t:

• It was probably about six months before I felt comfortable going ATG on my face and neck. Especially my face; holding the razor upside down just felt awkward until my technique improved.

• Refinement is continuous. After a full year of wetshaving, I still find little improvements in technique that make big differences in my shave.

Oh, and your face'll let you know if you push the envelope too hard or too fast.

You'll bleed. :lol:

NANP™
 
One thing I'm finding is that if I didn't shave recent enough, the growing hair on my neck will get rubbing irritated from when I sit up in bed to watch TV...weird huh?
 
One thing I'm finding is that if I didn't shave recent enough, the growing hair on my neck will get rubbing irritated from when I sit up in bed to watch TV...weird huh?

I hear yah brother, I used to have to tuck the blanket between my chin and neck to not be in pain. DE shaving and the knowledgable members on here have been a great help. My extra helpers are a smooth technique, proraso cream and AOS pre shave oil and after shave balm. Haven't had a problem since. Everyone is different but it worked for me.
 
YMMV -

My first few shaves went well enough. A couple were rough, but after a week, I was getting good results. I have been at it for a little over 6 mos. now, and my results are very consistent. As long as I take my time, I get a good to great shave every day.

I always shaved with a twin blade razor, so I don't know how much adjusting my skin/hair had to do when making the switch. Everyone is a bit different, and their results will exemplify this. It's a journey of learning new techniques and products, discovering which of each work or don't for you. I think I had it fairly easy, as I was able to find an ideal set up early on, and didn't vary the products much for the first month or so. Once you find the set up that works for you, stick with it for a while, until you are comfortable with your technique and get consistent shaves. Trying new products, especially when starting out, is extremely tempting, but sticking with a tried and true set up will get you to the point where you feel very comfortable with your shaves.

Good luck, and happy shaving!
 
Expect cuts, weepers, irritation, razor burn, bumps, ingrown hairs, bloodied towels, mosquito infestation from the water you didn't notice dripping behind the sink, maybe an allergic reaction to a fragrant product, bad shaves, terrible shaves, half shaves where you've compeltely given up trying for the day and have to go out in the middle of a shave, and a lot of questioning about the quality and suitability of the products you've chosen.

You should also expect things to slowly start falling into place. Your shaves should slowly, maybe imperceptibly get better. Irritation should become less severe and less frequent. Your prep and lather will become more consistent. And you'll slowly switch from asking what you should expect to answering the question for others.

Of course, YMMV.
 
What everyone else said--YMMV.

What I have found from reading others' accounts is that it truly is a personal journey. It could take you two weeks or six months to start getting consistently satisfying shaves. You might go through 20 blades or only 4 before you find what works. You will switch between morning and evening shaves and between soap and cream. You will be afflicted with various ADs to some degree and have a grand time buying and trying whatever you fancy. You will try different preps and at some point have to explain this whole thing to your significant other. You will have terrible shaves and great shaves, sometimes back to back. You will find yourself idly thinking about shaving during the day and planning your shaves days ahead of time. And you will also throw that plan out the window because you are short on time or just want the comfort of a favorite set-up. You may examine your face daily under a magnifying glass searching for BBS, or you may stumble on it some day long after you've given up on it.

In conclusion, you will enjoy it much more if you focus completely on each shave as it happens, and not worry about when you will "arrive". You will get there eventually. Don't be afraid to try new things for fear of messing up your shave. There is always tomorrow.
 
Well from a DE shavers point of view that has been at it for no longer than a month, I find every shave is different. There is so much to learn so many blades to try and razors.

My advice is start simple and work your way up, you will find things that work for you, you will forget these and then you will find them again.

I used a blade the other day that really damaged my face. I will try that blade again in a couple of months again when i am sure my pre-shave technique will have changed. Tonight i used a isralie personna for the first time and it made up for the bad shave i had the other day.

I think during the learning curve we will have great shaves, bad shaves and passable shaves. but in the end we will know how to treat our faces better than ever before.

In conclusion: Its a learning curve you will have bad times, you will have good times but at the end you will have mainly good times and always something to learn!

Bravo!! I couldn't have said it any better myself.
 

Luc

"To Wiki or Not To Wiki, That's The Question".
It depends what you consider as a learning curve. Myself, I think a BBS shave most days, irritation free, razor bump free, is what I was looking for. I think it was a good 2 1/2 months to accomplish it. However, I learn and work my technique everyday. Sometimes it's better, sometimes it's not. And, YMMV.
 
I started shaving with my dad's adjustable in my late teens. I didn't trust myself enough with a blade to hide my face under shaving cream, so I went without. I then figured out that I could use about anything, like the hand soap in the bathroom, in place of that obscuring cream. I've found that after dry-shaving, your face can adjust to just about anything. :wink:
 
I didn't trust myself enough with a blade to hide my face under shaving cream, so I went without. :wink:

It was just the opposite for me - I used to think it was necessary to have a two inch pile of cream on my face to get a good shave.


The journey to a good DE shave is different for all of us. Learning your beard growth pattern is important. The sooner you settle on a workable razor/blade combo, the sooner you can start working on technique.
 
I had a great one the other day (Saturday). I think I spend maybe 2hrs in the bathroom. Too bad she was gone that day and didn't get to touch it until that night when the stubble started growing.

It's now Monday and I've let the stubble grow, cause I'm still revelling in the results....NO RAZOR BUMPS...at least no new ones (LOL).

I did 3.5 passes. The third was ATG.

The cream (mixture of 2 things on my shelf) was so thick and slick I could barely feel the blade sometimes.

I even outlined my goatee. Thanks to the clear stuff I had that I barely use anymore, I was able to get the lines decently symmetrical and clean.

So all in all...it's starting to come together. Maybe tonight, I'll see if I can duplicate the results.
 
I grew interested in straight razor shaving and quickly discovered just how much more complex the whole wet shaving experience can become. As an outgrowth of finding I needed to make a number of adjustments in technique and prep to deal with the straights, I took a step back and re-examined my pre-shave preparation, and that has resulted in better shaves.

However, I think the biggest change I have made, much for the better, is that I actually took the time to draw a round face with a nose on it, and then made one of those drawings with little arrows showing the grain of my beard. I used to think that was kind of dorky, but it's really not.

Now whether I'm shaving with a DE or a straight I have a better plan for which parts of my face to shave in sequence, and the directions I need to go in order to be WTG, XTG, or in some areas, ATG. (I don't do ATG on my upper lip with a DE razor because it just rips them out by the roots and that is not something I'll be wanting to try a second time!)

My results are continuing to improve weekly, even if only by microscopic degrees. Another big improvement I made was the recent purchase of a Merkur Futur. I also use a DR Harris branded Chatsworth with the EJ/Muehle head, a 1946 Gillette Aristocrat, a Schick Krona, a Slim, and a NEW, and keep trying every day to get an even smoother shave than the day before. The learning curve never ends, and that is a very pleasant thing, because I am loving it.
 
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