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Busting myths and legends

My beard is petty much copper wire, especially around the goatee area. If I want a comfortable shave, I pretty much have to shave immediately after a hot shower. It's absolutely not a myth, even if some people with finer beards can get away with not having to invest so much time into prep.

Also, water touching your face should not be washing away the majority of any oil unless you're agitating with an anti-microbial, like soap. Whether I just Iet the water hit my face during the shower or I actually pre-clean it with soap or shampoo hasn't seemed to make any difference. I presume because your lather application for the shave itself does the same thing anyway.

Finally, alum's natural astringent properties have been well understand for hundreds of years and it will certainly work on your face, too, but some people, myself included, just don't like the way it makes their face feel. I never use it anymore because I don't like the way my have feels after, but it definitely works.
 
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Just checked and they are no longer German made but Czech made…like the Tigers an Tatras. So if they aren’t the same they must be kissing cousins. I’ll pass.
They are not the same, there is a significant difference. The Czech ones are of significantly worse quality.
German blades are nice, but not the best I've tried. Although I paid for them, the highest price I have ever paid for a unit.
 
I think that starting razor matters. I see lots of advice for "stay with what you already have"... Sometimes, that razor is known to be horrible for anyone, let alone a newbie. If they bought some cheap razor from Amazon and are expected to get good shaves with it as they develop their technique.... Well, it's more than likely they'll just give up.

That paragraph rang true for me!

I started off with an Amazon razor, a Vikings Blade Chieftan Odin. Vikings Blade is huge on Amazon. What a beauty, black and rose gold, a TTO, and I had to have it for 20 bucks. I knew nothing about DE razors, but she sure looked pretty (still does actually!)

Well, I loaded her up with a fresh Feather and away I went into Weeperville and Irritation Junction! Ouch. It was terrible. Tried again and again it was terrible. I was like, " wow, this is difficult". But I stuck with it and my next razor was an old Tech, and ahhhh, things began to get better as my technique improved. Soon it was Smoothville USA!

So as I learned I eventually went back to the VB Chieftan and loaded it with a Treet Platinum and it was good. This is a pretty aggressive razor and not suited for beginners or Feathers IMHO.

Lesson learned, the hard way. Do your homework before you buy that pretty little Amazon special. You may not get it 100% correct for your first razor, but having a little knowledge might save you from some weepers, cuts and irritation.

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Imagine for a moment I'm a new guy and I ask, "Hey, I'm new to straight razors. Can someone recommend a good daily driver, autopilot straight razor? Something mild?"
You might be surprised. We'd probably recommend something middle of the road sizewise, 5/8 or 6/8, round point or at least with a muted square point, and finished on a Belgian Coticule for the most skin friendly, less likely to cut you, kind of edge.
 
They are not the same, there is a significant difference. The Czech ones are of significantly worse quality.
German blades are nice, but not the best I've tried. Although I paid for them, the highest price I have ever paid for a unit.
No I meant that the Czech made Dovos are probably very similar to the Czech made Tigers. German made Dovos are supposed to no longer be made.
 
Over time, I realized that some of the most common statements in the field of wet shaving did not work well for me and I went to the other extreme, the opposite of the accepted norm.

1. Shaving with hot water brings me nothing but more irritation compared to cold.
For a while now, I've switched completely to cold water, except for the water I use to lather in a bowl, it's a little warmer, but not scalding hot.
Besides causing more irritation, hot water is bad for synthetic brushes. One of the most common causes of knot deformation and the formation of holes (doughnut effect) is precisely hot water.

2. I have found that shaving right after a shower results in excessive drying of the skin because many of the natural oils that are released are washed away.
Now I shave, at least a few hours after showering, as before, I wash my face with glycerin soap. Thus, the skin becomes very smooth, elastic and hydrated, just before shaving.

3. Using alum, after every shave, does nothing for me other than over-drying my skin, leading to potential irritation.
According to my dermatologist, any decent aftershave can do the same thing as alum, but without the side effect of drying out the skin, even more, the aftershave will nourish it.

These are my three refutations of commonly accepted norms persistently imposed over the years.

What do you think about this matter? Do you do something out of the ordinary that works for you and goes against mainstream standards?


”three refutations of commonly accepted norms persistently imposed”

Who says so?


1. Who says that you have to shave with hot 🔥 water?
If the water is hot enough to be “bad” for synthetic brushes, then the water is clearly too hot to shave with.

2. The purpose of a shower, or washing one’s face with (glycerine) soap, before a shave is to remove oils and allow the skin to soak up water, swell ever so lightly and to soften facial hair.
My shaving soaps and creams give me plenty of lubrication during the shave, and an after shave nicely conditions the skin afterwards.

3. A small minority may use alum and leave it on the skin (e.g. as deodorant) after a shave, but to me the purpose of alum is to close pores after a rough shave that produced a few weepers (i.e. rarely ever 😉). This practice may be the personal preference of a few, but it is far from universally accepted.


None of the above points are “common statements” that are “commonly accepted” or “persistently imposed”. 👎
Not sure where you got that from…


Thinking about what I read on the Internet, I tend to apply the Pareto principle (a.k.a. 80/20 rule) by ignoring the 20% outliers and rather concentrate on what 80% of members can agree on.
Overly hot showers, not shaving after a shower out of principle, and leaving alum on the skin after a shave do clearly not fall within these 80%.




B.
 
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I believe that is a myth right there - skin pores do not and cannot open or close, it is a biological impossibility. Pores can change over time due to aging but there is no product that can open or close skin pores 👍

You mean like when the Cleveland Clinic wrote “A dermatologist’s tips on how you can really shrink your pores…”?

As it ultimately has no bearing on the discussion, I am not going to split hairs; can we instead agree on “cause the skin to contract”?


B.
 
About the alum, I asked in another thread a few months ago, but didn't get an answer. Now I'll ask here, too: What does alum give you that a decent, modern aftershave can't?

A little digression, if you ever have to see a dermatologist (hopefully not) ask him what he thinks about alum aftershave. I did it. I went to two different ones (problem not related to the skin) and both were adamant that alum aftershave was a mockery of the skin. With an additional question from my side, even after cutting and crying, shouldn't it? The answer was if you cut yourself shaving, then you need to improve your technique, not salt in the wound, referring to the alum.
 

EclipseRedRing

I smell like a Christmas pudding
You mean like when the Cleveland Clinic wrote “A dermatologist’s tips on how you can really shrink your pores…”?

As it ultimately has no bearing on the discussion, I am not going to split hairs; can we instead agree on “cause the skin to contract”?


B.
I stand corrected 👍
 
About the alum, I asked in another thread a few months ago, but didn't get an answer. Now I'll ask here, too: What does alum give you that a decent, modern aftershave can't?

A little digression, if you ever have to see a dermatologist (hopefully not) ask him what he thinks about alum aftershave. I did it. I went to two different ones (problem not related to the skin) and both were adamant that alum aftershave was a mockery of the skin. With an additional question from my side, even after cutting and crying, shouldn't it? The answer was if you cut yourself shaving, then you need to improve your technique, not salt in the wound, referring to the alum.

I’m a firm believer in the KISS principle and alum is one of the few things discussed on this forum I was never tempted to try. A good splash of alcoholic aftershave always did the trick. I did try a few balms out of curiosity but prefer splashes.
 
I’m a firm believer in the KISS principle and alum is one of the few things discussed on this forum I was never tempted to try. A good splash of alcoholic aftershave always did the trick. I did try a few balms out of curiosity but prefer splashes.
In fact, I have several blocks of alum and of course I have tried, otherwise I would not dare to comment.
In practice, I do not find any difference in use after every shave and do not use except that it dries the skin. Nothing else changes.
Now I only use alum when I buy a new razor to show me how much irritation the new tool causes.
 
As with everything in life, YMMV, and do what works for you. For me I have tried Hot/Cold shaving and did not find any noticeable difference in the end result, but have to say I much prefer hot. Warm lather, rising the razor and having the residual warmth, etc. is so much more enjoyable for me.

For the shower, I get your point but aren't you just washing away the natural oils anyways. I shave primarily after showering because I like the hydration, softening of the hair. I shave when needed with no prep (shower or hot cloth) and while I get a decent shave, the one after a shower is much more enjoyable.

My alum barely sees any use. Just don't see the need to use continually and it only gets spot use if needed. This is also why I don't bother with pre-shave products. I have tried pre-shave oils because it seemed like everyone was saying it's a must, but did not see any benefit. It actually seemed to take away from the soap being used, added more expense and felt like it wasted time.
 
...About the alum, I asked in another thread a few months ago, but didn't get an answer. Now I'll ask here, too: What does alum give you that a decent, modern aftershave can't?...

Astringency. Hemostatic properties, helps healing after shave.
Now you got an answer. Are you satisfied?

...A little digression, if you ever have to see a dermatologist (hopefully not) ask him what he thinks about alum aftershave. I did it. I went to two different ones (problem not related to the skin) and both were adamant that alum aftershave was a mockery of the skin. With an additional question from my side, even after cutting and crying, shouldn't it? The answer was if you cut yourself shaving, then you need to improve your technique, not salt in the wound, referring to the alum.
Not a digression, since you are still discussing the effect of the alum.
You should always ask doctors about anything in life, as they are smart and know best.:001_rolle Better yet, ask at least two doctors.:001_rolle
Myth busted, indeed. What else can I say?
 
Astringency. Hemostatic properties, helps healing after shave.
Now you got an answer. Are you satisfied?


Not a digression, since you are still discussing the effect of the alum.
You should always ask doctors about anything in life, as they are smart and know best.:001_rolle Better yet, ask at least two doctors.:001_rolle
Myth busted, indeed. What else can I say?
Irony is a good thing, but it would have been even better to give concrete facts after you were done with it.
The properties you assume alum has are inherent, not every decent aftershave without over-drying the skin like alum does.
 
The mildest blade I own is the Tiger platinum, which is supposed to be exactly the same as the Tatra platinum. I will be testing their stainless version as soon as my usual vendor receives them.

Derby Extra also has a reputation for being mild, will be trying those soon to.

It has been a while, but if I recall correctly the Israeli made Crystals were mild too, but it’s been years since they’ve been made.

I found the crystals smoothly sharp. Not as sharp as a feather, but smoother and less bight, and more longevity
 
When I 1st started shaving, I used a facial scrub while in the shower, and after my shave, I would use an alum block followed by witch hazel after the alum had dried. Then I would apply my A/S.

Now, however, I shave according to the circumstances- hot out??, I'm using 'cold water'; cold out??- hot water and a scuttle. I mostly use my alum block as deodorant, haven't touched my witch hazel ( 5 half full bottles of various Thayer's and 1 Dickinson's on the shelf) in years, facial scrub maybe once a month if I remember, and sometimes no shower before a shave.

Basically, whatever works for me in the moment- there are no rules.

marty
 
I can definitely tell a difference in comfort by shaving after I shower when I take some time to make sure my facial whiskers are hydrated. I've never quite been able to replicate that as well out of the shower.

My water temperature preferences are often associated with air temperature. I don't think I've ever correlated shaving water temperature to my shave efficiency or comfort.

I've never used alum so I can't speak to it. I like witch hazel followed by an aftershave, mostly for the scent. When my skin is dry or damaged I use Thayers Milky Toner on the problem areas.

I'm glad you've found routines that work for you!
 
I didn't even know there were commonly accepted rules, myths, or legends. After hanging around B&B for over five years and 'wet' shaving since I bought a Techmatic (yeah! I'm old), it seems the shavers who like to sit around the online cracker barrel are all over the map, as are the products they choose among.

There are some folks who are dogmatic about shaving (or honing, OMG!), but YMMV is not just an overly common initialism, it is the dogma of NO DOGMA. Which I endorse because I'm undogmatic. Or at least, confused.

I shave DE, SE, injector, SR, OC, SB, vintage, modern, hot, cold, artisan, mass production, cheap, moderate, and luxury. Not much luxury as I am a cheapskate.

Anyway, absolutely, positively, definitely do not stick with your first razor if it is a Gillette Techmatic. YMMV.
 
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