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Been on the DE Kick for a month.... (longish, with questions)

and have been enjoying my better shaves ! I picked up a Gillette "Fat Boy", several brands of blades (Merkur, Derby, Feather), a Vulvix 2235 and a few creams from the local stores (Proraso, Kiss My Face Lavender, Tom's of Maine Mint) and went to work.

Wet shaving isn't new to me, but the DE world is. I set the Gillette on 1 for the first shave or two and quickly went to a 3 or 4. I have a tough time around my neck and the jaw line, but have quickly adapted to the changes in direction and am doing pretty darned well, if I do say so myself. Irritation is way down, no real nicks or cuts, and the beard is growing much straighter from day to day, leading to........better shaves the next day !

Not all bad.

OK, so I have to say that Proraso is some great stuff. I had a Tuscan barber shave me with it several years ago, I had no idea what it was at the time, and it was the greatest shave ever. Needless to say, I was very excited to find it and use it myself, along with the pre-shave cream. The other creams are nice, but don't seem to provide as close a shave, as best I can tell.

So, now we are hooked.

What now? I ordered some Nancy Boy cream, because I have heard rave reviews. I also have some Mr. Taylor's cream on the way, just to try something a little more traditional.

(1) Wondering if we try another razor too? My beard is really thick, and it grows in a million different directions in one section of my neck, requiring several passes to knock it down. Should I try opening up the Gillette to a 5 or so ? I am really wanting an excuse to buy a Merkur Vision, as it looks to be a great tool and has a nice big handle, which would help since I have big hands and the little handle on the Gillette is a bit short. Might it also help with this type of beard? I hear folks going on and on about the earlier Super Speeds and would be willing to try that too. Just wondering if there really is more advantage to the adjustable? I am sure I'll own all of them within six months though !

(2) When using the Proraso preshave cream, are you supposed to wet your face, or not ? I have been as I figured that was better, but the instructions are really vague.

(3) I don't really understand how folks can get HOT lather going and make it last. I am using a porcelain bowl that I sink in hot water to get it warmed up, then I build the lather there and let it float in hot water between uses to keep heat on it. The lather is warm, but far from hot. Thoughts ?


Welcome to B&B!

Sounds like you are off to a great start. You should be able to get a great shave from that razor. Try opening it up a bit and go from there. On all my adjustables I keep them wide open for the first few passes, and then dial them down for the against the grain pass. Of course, you should work your way up to that slowly. For me personally, I don't like the Vision, but I think the Futur is the best razor out there, shave-wise, despite a couple of design annoyances. Of course, YMMV.

I don't use the pre-shave cream as a pre-shave, but it is so thick, I think you should wet your face first.

As for hot lather, you are correct that without any outside help, you will get lukewarm lather after the first pass. You can live with this, or go with various other options, such as hot pots, the so-called Moss-scuttle, or my approach - the mug warmer.

Good luck, and ask questions!
......while the checks and chin are smoooooooooooooth, the neck is a bit irritated.

So, as you were trying to indicate, if I open it up for the first pass, and then dial it down to what? a 2 or so for the successive passes, we might have better luck?

Really appreciate the insight!

The quest continues !



Stjynnkii membörd dummpsjterd
I dunno. My fat boy rips me up pretty good set at 5. I wouldn't think of using that setting after the first pass.

With DE's, the magic occurs through succesive passes. A few gentle passes gives much better results than one lawn mowing. Also, until you acclimate to the DE, I wouldn't suggest going for the BBS standard every time. You'll quickly figure out what your face requires, including the proper amount of rest.

Don't let less than stellar results get you down. There's a giant in the world of wine reviewing named Broadbent. When once asked when the last time he failed to distinguish between a Burgundy and a Bordeaux was (a relatively simple task), he replied "today". Here, we all suffer the same bugaboos of this hobby- nicks, bumps, red marks, irritation, hallucinations (you'll find out who), and all manner of aquisition disorders, and there's at least one moderator walking around with a big scab today. Keeping it simple and straightforward will go a long way. Learn to get a good lather from one soap or cream, then transfer that newfound skill to the dozens of others you will inevitably acquire. Become comfortable with one razor before you go on a buying spree. Before you know it, you'll wonder why you didn't buy a house with a bathroom with three sinks. Just have fun every step of the way.
Well R! Welcome and prepare for the great roller coaster ride; it is very exciting and rewarding too. FIrst of all, do not feel too badly about having some issues with your neck. The neck is probably the biggest gotcha' for most new wetshavers. There is all sorts of good advice laying about the forum and the two chaps posting before me put out sound if not at least dull advice. :001_rolle
We all want to achieve the BBS (baby butt smooth) standard and we want to do it yesterday! So fear not, you are in the top center of the bell curve, i.e. absolutely normal. It would be real easy to say go out and buy this and that and try this and that and and... Well really it is fun, but usually leads to excessive frustration and expense.
There are some fundamentals that you should have rock solid before casting about for new razor goodies. These deal with proper prep, proper lathering, and proper razor handling. Here is a somewhat longish read on the way to a BBS shave from the standpoint of whisker and razor management. I am not suggesting it for that as much as learning some of the techniques that you may wish to use on getting a clean, smooth neck without irritation.
By the way, some fellow has a gently used Vision for sale for what seems to be a very good price in the Sale or Trade Forum..:ihih:
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