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And we’re away. First straight razor shave.

After six months with my DE razors I thought it was time to go all the way. This morning I did my first SR shave!

I watched the videos, read the forums and got the gear. I tried a few holds and did some air passes. With the advise and tips of the forum members ringing in my ears, I was ready

My plan was to do a simple two pass with the gain on both passes and see what happened. I lathered up with war paint and standing in front of the mirror face to face with the enemy I was fully prepared to give blood. To my surprise and amazement, it didn’t happen. I did two full passes with the grain, no blood.

Ok it wasn’t the smoothest shave ever. I normally do WTG followed by two opposite XTG passes with my DE and a CCS is the typical result. WTG didn’t get me nearly as close but there was plenty of stubble in the sink. The beard had clearly been reduced and the result was a SAS.

The blade certainly did not glide anywhere near as smoothly as my usual feather blades. The straight razor stopped, started and hung in places. I just backed off and tried to glide as best I could over the top a few times. I tested the blade before the shave and it was taking out hanging hairs and arm hairs at 1/4” pretty well so I took Ralf Aust’s word for it and deemed it as shave ready. I did nothing to the blade pre-shave. Not even a strop. This may have been a mistake but I didn’t want to ruin the edge in any way. I expect the glide to get better with maintenance. Lapping film, an acrylic block and Tony Miller horse hide strop are waiting in the wings.

I intentionally went easy on the first try. I’m happy with the result and my confidence has been bolstered to try again. I was very intimidated by this tool initially but it seems that it is possible to handle it safely. I will certainly not get complacent though.

I would like to thank the members for their advise that got me through. Light pressure. NEVER slide the blade slide to side on your skin. Use the shallowest angle that cuts. Don’t stress about 30 degrees, go with feel and do not exceed two spine thicknesses. Use the heel of the blade for leverage on tough spots. Realise that you will not be able to achieve the perfect stroke direction in all areas, get as close as you can and go with that. Try to keep the blade moving steadily with short strokes.

With practice I look forward to getting better and becoming a fully fledged member of this elite shaving club for real men.
 
Glad it went well. I would highly highly recommend you now strop that edge and give another try. You may just see why stopping is a must. There is no real fair testing of your edge if it didn’t get a good stropping. Give it a try and see. Also, not sure about your soap and lather but nice and wet but not dripping is something to try if you did t the first time. Be sure the entire edge is treetopping at ¼ (make sure sharp from heel to toe). I’m sure it will just
improve from here
 

Chan Eil Whiskers

Fumbling about.
With practice I look forward to getting better and becoming a fully fledged member of this elite shaving club for real men.

One shave makes you a fully fledged member. Practice, practice, practice. You'll get a lot better.

After about 400 (maybe 450) or so shaves I continue to notice improvement. It's a long learning curve.

The straight is a different tool. I wouldn't be concerned about the stopping, tugging, hanging, and lack of smoothness of the shave. You kept your blood within your skin which is pretty fantastic, and you found out the razor is useable.


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Really good straight razor shaves take some practice, but, from another perspective, all straight razor shaves are really good. The first one might be the best!

Happy shaves,

Jim
 
I think we all remember our first SR shave and what was going through our mind as that blade was first coming into contact with our face.
 
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