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Can I switch to DE after 25 years with an electric? One man's dilemma

I was reading some other threads and something occurred to me for the first time: how neat would it be if my 4.5-year-old son gets all "let me make the shaving cream, Daddy" on me? What a great memory maker that could be. As a parent, I often think back on random things that lodged in my mind from an early age, and I wonder how many experiences have permanently lodged in my kids' (7 & 4) minds to be remembered 40 years later.

What if he makes better lather than me? That would be embarrassing:blink:.
It would be cool if I could eventually get my wife on board with enjoying the scents and offering an opinion on them.
First of all, welcome to B&B and congratulations on your soon-to-be-decided change in your life! :)

The fine gentlemen above have given you sound feedback, so I will refrain from adding to it. Instead, I'll offer both a personal anecdote and a little tactical advice. First, the advice: If you want to get your wife involved, consider ordering a sampler pack of various scented creams after you've been at this for about a month. Then, you can both go through the samplers, open each one, test the scent, etc, and decide which ones you like and which you don't -- and this, even before you try them! If you get to the point of wanting samplers, solicit feedback on the forum and we can point you at reputable places to purchase them.

Now for the personal anecdote: I went from Mach 3's to DE shaving about six months ago. In order to be able to enjoy my routine, I only shave when I have free time. That is to say, either Saturday or Sunday morning as my social engagements dictate, then two days during the week in the evening. I want to enjoy this experience, so I only do it when there's time to do so. Sure, it requires juggling a little during the week, but I'm worth it!

What if he makes better lather than me? That would be embarrassing:blink:.
That would be wonderful. Imagine how excited he'd be to get into shaving when he already knows he's a rockstar lather-maker. And, if you got him a shave set of his own (without the blades of course!), you two could shave together -- you for real, him for fiction.
Welcome to the B&B. I am really enjoying this thread, because, like so many of the others, I have a similar story. I used an electric for 20+ years and then switched to wet shaving last year. I am not sure what caused this transition, but I am really glad I did. I would get up earlier in the morning just to make time for this ritual. It is very relaxing, and it combines my love for well-made tools with my need for some focus-time in the morning to get my mind off everything else that's going on for a few minutes while enjoying the scents and sensations of the soaps and aftershaves. Since August I have enjoyed a DE, but now I really enjoy the straight razor with disposable blades, as it gives me an even closer shave. Only took a week to get used to the straight, and now I am looking forward to maybe restoring a classic blade some day. Enjoy yourself!
Merkur 34C (big hands, though...maybe I need the longer version?)
one of the larger blade assortment packs...of course, I'll start with the Feathers (just kidding)
Simpson Colonel X2L Best Badger Shaving Brush (I'm probably pushing it buying one at this $64 price point, but I guess I want something better than the most basic while still sane enough to avoid a true premium one)
Proraso Pre & Post Cream, Menthol & Eucalyptus
Proraso Shaving Cream, Sandalwood
Thayer's Witch Hazel (one of the alcohol-free ones)
alum bar
Ogallala Bay Rum Shaving Soap
Col Conk Shaving Soap, Lime
an after shave that escapes me now
okay, I made those last two up

I figured I would try cream and soap for the sake of comparing them. I already bought a big espresso mug for lather use. Even picked up a Wiliams Mug Shaving Soap at the grocery because the scent was familiar to me and it was so cheap.
I started with a Merkur 34C and I like it a lot. It shaves great for me, though I'm still looking at other razor's due to the RAD factor!

I started with a $12 Escali brush and ended up buying the Colonel a month or so later. It probably has 3X the hair in it. The Colonel is a much better brush than the cheap one I bought originally, but those are the only two brushes I've used so I can't compare them for you.

I can say that setup works fine for a beginner... I use both an alum bar and Thayer's alcohol free witch hazel and I love how both of them make my face feel.
Hello, I am 42 years old, and reading your story gave me a good chuckle. I hope you enjoy wet shaving like I do and welcome aboard. I just started not that long ago, and I have purchased the merkur DE you mentioned. I am very happy with it. The head is heavy and even though it is short, I feel that it gives me a better view of the angle I am holding the razor at. Well anyway it is great to hear. I hear West Coast shaving offers free shipping to B&B members.
I handed my iPad to my wife earlier to read this entire thread, and by the time she handed it back to me, we were having what turned out to be a 30 minute Internet outage.

I will not be intimidated.:001_smile
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Welcome! I chucked my electric beard mower in the trash just last year. I regret not wet shaving for the past 20 years.
Hi Todd:

We have a lot in common, I currently have a Braun 7526 for sale on Craigslist - it is one of the models with the cleaning system you were considering :blink:. I am pretty new to DE wet shaving with only a few weeks under my belt. I am starting this about a decade later than you as I am in my 50s. I know about neck hairs and electrics, many is the time I thought I had a pretty good shave only to discover at work I had some long whiskers under my jawline near my ear - drove me crazy! So, I would touch up after my electric razor with a dull cartridge razor to get what the electric missed. I spent most of my life hating shaving and looking forward to retiring and growing a beard.

You won't find anyone here to discourage you from wet shaving, and I will add my encouragement. Not much to add to all the great advice and perspective here, but as a former electric shaver myself (I still have 3 Norelcos and that Braun to sell), I find myself looking forward to my next shave, thinking about the next blade I am going to try, which soap and which brush I am going to use or purchase next. As others have mentioned, it has become a hobby. I love the way my face feels after a great shave and how I feel all day.

I am guessing you will enjoy the experience as much as I have, I envy you starting so young! :thumbup1: Keep us posted on your progress!
I'll add on too. 31 yrs with an electric for me and never used a cart either. I became interested through a wine forum I've frequented for many years. My first WCS cart looked very similar to yours. My only advice would be to really pay attention to the no pressure rule. When you get razor burn (and you will) as much fun as your having try and refrain from shaving for at least a day.One bad shave can ruin your whole week. Good luck!! It's not rocket science, just remember NO PRESSURE!!!!
I actually switched a few weeks back from wet electric shaving with a Braun, and before that with a Panasonic. Both gave me a very comfortable shave, but not very close (although closer than a dry shave). I once shaved waaay back (read - decades ago) with a SE, then a cartridge, but from then exclusively with an electric. The DE switch has been fairly smooth, minor irritation, few nicks. Practice has increased comfort, and somewhat, speed, although one minus is the time it takes for a good DE shave - about three times as long as an electric for me. The real advantage, for me, is the closeness of the shave and the length of time a shave lasts (all day plus). Plus all the neat toys (now 7 DE'S, including a vintage replated Slim)! Time spent shaving is now relax time instead of a chore, something to be finished. It requires concentration and skill, sort of a quest for perfection. Not to mention the wonderful scents, soaps and creams (although to be fair, they would work with a wet electric as well). So in short, I enjoy shaving now, and look forward to the next shave; you may too....
Welcome. I shaved with an electric and carts for the last 30 years, and started DE shaving a year ago.

Three suggestions:

1) When you are ready to buy your next razor, get a Merkur Progress adjustable.
2) Try these blades- Astra, Gillette Silver Blue, PolSilver Super Iridium, Feather. And the Feather isn't the beast some claim.
3) Try these artisan soaps- Barrister & Mann, Strop Shoppe, Mike's, Queen Charlotte, Stirling.

PM me and I'll send you some blades.
Wow! More evidence of YMMV. It's interesting to me that folks used electrics for so long. I bought one about 20 years ago, and I couldn't deal with it. I doubt I got a whole month before I was back on carts.

But all the advice is good. No pressure. Start slow. Enjoy the ride.

It's a learned skill. No one here was born knowing this stuff. And unfortunately there's no longer a "community body of knowledge" in most places in our lives, so this community is a lifeline. No question is too trivial to ask. And the guys who seem to know everything are the most helpful rather than elitist.
Just do it! Form your original post, you sound like all you need is a little encouragement and affirmation. Hope you found it here in spades. I switched from carts to DE in Fenruary and haven't looked back at all. Closer shaves and a connection with how I remember my dad doing it.
Welcome to B&B!!!

I think most of us liked the idea and coolness factor associated with this type of shaving, when we first decided to give it a try. Shaving turned from a chore to something much different. I encourage you to give it a try. Understand that there is a learning curve to this kind of shaving and you might get worse shaves in the beginning but once you get over the hump you might find the bliss most of us find with the hobby.

Ask any questions you have, we're here to help. Also if you get a chance, stop by the Hall of Fame and tell us a little bit about yourself. ( link is in my sig below )
I could have written this.

Welcome aboard, Todd! I switched from disposables to DE razors after... ehem... over 30 years... I wish I had done it earlier!

EDIT Not sure it's a good idea facilitating SWMBO full access to B&B....:scared::lol:
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Do it! Maggard razors has a starter kit with Proraso (well regarded cream and soap) for the low $30s, so the investment to try it isn't that high. Hopefully that means the "I told you so" wouldn't be excessive if it came to that.
Welcome Todd. I followed a similar path, but trended more towards cartridges than electrics but wore out several sets of cutters on Brauns, Norelcos and Remingtons over the years. I don't regret moving to DE at all and don't even miss the time anymore. On a side note, my wife said that my skin has never looked this good since before I started that "crazy shaving thing." That's a real bonus in my mind. She's the one I shave for. I'm getting ready to try and get her into it as well.
Congrats on making the jump. Your shopping cart looked awesome, but I'll advise that you don't expect too much from the Col. Conk Lime soap. It was also one of my firsts, and I had high hopes. It was OK, but not great. If you love lime, I'd suggest Razorock King of the Castle Lime...beautiful lather and scent and a great value. The biggest thing, though, is that you've joined the fold...enjoy yourself, take your time and in short order you'll wonder how you ever managed the old way.
Give it a shot. It's certainly affordable to try. Hopefully someone posted a link to Gary`s Sample Shop for a very inexpensive starter kit.
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