Damn Comfortable Shave

Discussion in 'Shave Clinic & Newbie Check-In' started by Chan Eil Whiskers, Sep 2, 2017.

  1. Chan Eil Whiskers

    Chan Eil Whiskers Contributor

    I'm a wet shaver. In other words, I've been shaving with a Gillette Fusion, and real shaving creams, and sometimes brushes for many years (well, decades if I include other iterations of Gillette's "modern" razors with multiple blades).

    My shaving career began before these razors were invented, so I, like just about everyone back in 1960 began shaving with a Gillette twist to open double edge. I cut myself all the time, and was a lot better at shaving with razors like the Fusion.

    Like most people, I've tried everything, and like most people, most everything works okay or great on my face, and is lousy on my neck. The best of my neck shaves have been with the Gillette Fusion.

    Through reading this forum and lots of other online material I decided to give double edged razors another try. Why? Frankly I'm not sure. Certainly it is not about the expense of the Fusion blade systems because I can use one for weeks or even months. Yeah, it will tug a bit, but it still shaves well, and doesn't irritate my sensitive neck. Maybe the DE just seems cool, and traditional, and has the promise of delivering a shave which is both BBS and comfortable.

    Back in the day I used to occasionally get a real barber shop shave by a real, old time, experienced, skilled barber. Those were the shaves I dreamed of, and hoped to replicate at home with a double edged razor.

    BBS sounds great, and why shouldn't it, but a damn comfortable, and pretty good shave would have to come first, and be a development milestone, and be a higher priority item. After all, who cares how you look if you're hurting, and miserable?

    Old timers are going to kick me here because I don't follow every direction worth a hoot, and am prone to change variables. I don't do this professionally (being scientific in my approach), but this isn't rocket science, and I can do as I like (and suffer the consequences).

    Today I got what I would consider a still not perfect but close to it damn comfortable shave. I changed several variables. I took a shower first, but I still did a hot to warm towel over first lather pre-shave preparation. I used a new and different brush, a RazoRock Plissoft Monster Synthetic instead of my Semoque SOC boar. I didn't change soaps, but used, other than the towel soak, cold water, and cold lather.

    My razor is a Feather AS-D2. I changed today to a different blade. Instead of a Feather I used a Personna med blade (marked "for hospital use").

    Yeah, I know this is not the way anyone should do things especially not a newbie like me, but, shoot me, I'm just reporting.

    My goal this morning was not to get a good, close shave, but to get a comfortable shave. I can't say the shave is the most comfortable I've ever gotten. It certainly is not as comfortable as most shaves I got with the Fusion. However, it is the most comfortable shave I've gotten with a double edged razor.

    I did only only pass with a little touch up on my chin. Still, my shave is pretty good, certainly socially acceptable, and, frankly, closer than I would have expected with one pass.

    What was the difference? Was it the cold shave? Was it the blade? There's no way to be sure, but it still pleases me very much to know that a damn comfortable double edged shave is possible. I suspect it will get better as I become more experienced, and listen to my face, and learn to shave better.

    Oh, I bought some Dickinson's witch hazel yesterday.
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 2, 2018
  2. You can't use a DE the same way as a cart, especially on your neck. Multiple no-pressure passes is the key. Reduce, reduce, reduce, then eliminate. I have sensitive and very fair skin and getting close to a BBS without irritation is a non-issue. Let the razor do the work and keep your skin lathered for each pass, no cheating.
  3. Chan Eil Whiskers

    Chan Eil Whiskers Contributor

    Thanks, Uncle Sam, that's what everybody says, and I'm sure it is correct. It is my experience as well, and what I've done most days. Today's shave was intended to emphasize comfort even at the expense of closeness.

    I can't hear good advice too often. Especially *no pressure* which seems to be the most essentially razor, as opposed to preparation, tip. Get the angle right, apply no pressure, and do multiple, lathered passes. That's the ticket.

    My razor is a Feather, and I should use it like a feather. Very light. Almost not touching my skin. Not indenting the surface of the skin.

    This is such a nice forum. Folks are helpful, polite, and well mannered. Gentlemanly! Maybe there is hope for Western civilization after all.

  4. If you ever get tired of your Feather, send it to me, I can't afford a new one!
  5. ackvil

    ackvil Moderator

    Welcome to B&B.
  6. dangerousdon

    dangerousdon Moderator Emeritus

    Hope...yes...there is hope! Welcome to Badger & Blade!
  7. You left out one thing: enjoy the ride! ;) Welcome to B&B! :badger:
  8. Chan Eil Whiskers

    Chan Eil Whiskers Contributor

    My idea about it - having done a ton of homework on razors, and having considered what I knew about my face, and having read everything I could find on the Feather AS-D2 - was that I'd regret not buying it if I bought something else first, and had to then buy the Feather later.

    However, it sounds like you're already getting close, comfortable shaves so why change?

    Yeah, I know it's tempting to try lots of razor, the grass being greener, etc., but YMMV with any of them. Collecting razors is undoubtedly a fine and harmless hobby, but I'm mostly interested in getting a good shave with the Feather if that's possible (and if it is not, which I very much doubt, I might get rid of it).

    If this is my one and only razor it's cheap at the price I paid for it.

    Trying to justify to my wife - already critical of my new, *intense, brief interest* in shaving - the purchase of multiple razors is not something I want to do. She's already told me I have three too many brushes; her grandfather had one brush his whole life so why do I need four, etc. As an aspiring gentleman I don't mention shoes, and fabric, at least not to her. She is very good hearted after all.

    What each of us can afford, and what that means is an individual matter, but if I use the Feather and don't buy another razor and leave the Feather to an heir what has its price actually been? The cost of bad shaves, uncomfortable shave, and cuts is simply too high for me to worry about the price of a razor. For a razor, this one is very expensive, but I've bought shoes which ended up not being comfortable for more than $140, and spent more on a restaurant meal which I didn't even like (this was purely to please a certain shoe collector). There was a time when a $140 razor might as well have cost a million bucks, of course, and when a new disposable BIC was a financial stretch, so it's all relative to one's circumstances.
  9. You're right, of course, Chan. We would all be smart to get one good razor and be done. I have six razors but all combined cost less than the AS-D2. Now brushes, one should have at least two and maybe more if you're a daily shaver so they can dry out between shaves. I have four good brushes in my daily rotation (I shave at least 5 days a week). With soaps and creams, I like variety and have too many. I don't want a "signature" scent as it's fun to use something different most days. And I must have at least 7 or 8 different blades in quantity but have mostly defaulted to Feathers (although I have 100 Kais on the way).
  10. Welcome to the club, Jim. Glad to have you aboard.
  11. Welcome aboard!
  12. Welcome, Jim! Speaking of one pass shaves, when I started out I did one pass WTG only shaves for the first two weeks. My shaves were socially acceptable and it made for an easy break-in period for me to get accustomed to the new razor, blade, brush, soap, etc. After that it's just a matter of practice and the shaves steadily improve. Also check out this thread on neck shaving for a lot of very helpful information.
  13. Chan Eil Whiskers

    Chan Eil Whiskers Contributor

    Thanks. That really is a great thread. I've read through it a couple of times.

    When I map my neck on Tuesday I find some places where the map has changed since Monday, but, I agree that mapping, and getting to know your own *shaving surfaces* is vital to getting a decent shave.

    I'm thinking that maybe tomorrow I will go back to doing everything exactly like I did it on Friday (blade, brush, etc.), except that I will cold shave, and shower before shaving. That way I'll move towards finding which changed variable made such a difference today. If I had to guess it was the cold, but who knows? I know better than to change a bunch of variables all at the same time. Some people get away with it, but I'm not usually one of them.

    As someone aptly remarked it's important to enjoy the ride.
  14. Welcome Jim, great to have you here mate:)
  15. Chan Eil Whiskers

    Chan Eil Whiskers Contributor

    Thanks, everybody, for welcoming me. Glad to be here with you all.

    My goal for today was to continue my experiment with cold shaving. However, yesterday's shave turned out to be less close than my initial impression indicated.

    By the end of the day yesterday I looked a bit rough although I probably could have made it through a work day without anyone commenting if I took off from work a little early. Besides, I shaved later in the morning yesterday than I would have on a work day so everything tells me the shave wasn't very close at all not that it has to be to watch football all day and night.

    This morning my wife commented that I hadn't shaved yesterday. Well, I had, and it was pretty comfortable. Could I get a better shave combined with a close shave?

    Today I went 100% cold after my hot shower. I did not wash my face. I sat for a couple of minutes under a cold towel on top of my first lather with MWF. I used a new Feather blade. My brush of choice was the chrome handled, heavy RazoRock Silvertip Plissoft Synthetic. A new razor, it has a nice feel. It may be too heavy; I'm not throwing it out as maybe it'll grow on me.

    To achieve a closer shave I did three lathered passes. Seems to me the shave is quite acceptable. Probably close to BBS on my face, and close to DFS on my neck.

    What about comfort? My goal is Damn Comfortable Shave above all things, but the shave also has to be close enough for my wife and for the office. Did I achieve that today?

    I think maybe I did. Not saying the shave couldn't possibly be more comfortable, but it seems okay in the comfort department. It is certainly very satisfactory as a close shave, too, so what's not to like.

    Considering that my Feather AS-D2 arrived last Monday, and I've only shaved with a DE six times since 1970, things are looking good in the shaving den! I am rather pleased.

    I should mention that one very important thing I've learned on this forum is the use of witch hazel. I bought a bottle of Dickinson's a couple of days ago. Really wonderful stuff that witch hazel. I'm using it before applying my bedtime moisturizer. I'm using it again after shaving, and before my after shave moisturizer. Today, I used the alum block after my shave because I wanted to, and because I had one tiny weeper, let the alum dry, rinsed the alum off, patted my face dry, and applied the Dickinson's. Once it dried, I applied my moisturizer.

    The moisturizer I've long used is Cremo. I like it just fine.

    Thanks for the tips about witch hazel, everyone. Wonderful stuff. How did I not even know what witch hazel was for? Really, there should be classes in junior high school about witch hazel, don't you think.

    I'm open to suggestions concerning anything I might do better. Obviously I have not perfected *no pressure* or anything else about wet shaving with a DE, but I'm enjoying climbing the learning curve, and beginning to understand the joys of wet shaving the DE way.

    Speaking of which. I've ordered several products.
    D H Harris Arlington in a mahogany bowl
    Arko shaving soap in a bowl
    Shaving Soap WSP Formula T (tobacco)
    Lucky Tiger aftershave and face tonic
    Clubman Pinaud aftershave lotion

    I have no desire to accumulate a bunch of hardware beyond a small and useful collection of brushes and an everyday razor. I believe I have the razor (and am open to the possibility I don't, but I like the Feather). I have a couple of boars, and a couple of synthetics, and another boar on the way, and another synthetic in mind when it become available again (the RazoRock BC silvertip). Maybe one day I'll spring for a badger, but not necessarily as I like the brushes I have, and the boars aren't quite fully broken in yet.

    Software is another matter.

    Did I mention how much I like cold shaving. It may be just the ticket for my sensitive neck. I plan to continue with cold shaving for a good while, at least until my Dirty Bird 1.5 scuttle arrives in a month or so. I'm sure the scuttle can be filled with ice water, too, so maybe it has a cold shave function.

    Happy shaves,

  16. On the witch hazel thing, I know it's very popular on shaving sites (but so is the myth that skin pores open and close, they do not). I think most dermatologists will suggest you don't use witch hazel. A good friend who is a long time dermotologist advised me to not use it after shaving. He though alum was ok but a proper skin moisterizer was far better.

    I've never gotten on with cold shaving but I do like a cold rinse before I put on whatever balm I'm using that day.
  17. Chan Eil Whiskers

    Chan Eil Whiskers Contributor

    I'll read some more, and thanks for letting me know it might be a problem, but I'm not convinced witch hazel is going to hurt me, and it sure seems great to my skin so far. YMMV, of course.

    Witch Hazel - The Dermatology Review

    What Exactly Is Witch Hazel, And Is It Safe To Use On Your Skin? | HuffPost

    A skin moisturizer does seem very important after shaving in my experience, and it certainly makes sense, but I have to say I noticed some very immediate improvements with witch hazel due, I believe, to its anti-inflammatory properties. Sure felt like an immediate decrease in inflammation.

    My next bottle will likely be alcohol free. Maybe Thayer's.

    I will read more.

    Happy shaves,

  18. I love WH -- it really does soothe!
  19. Chan, I'm sure it's very much a YMMV thing. I quit using it but lots of others here seem to like it. But I don't get irritated from shaving and I find a simple balm (usually Lubriderm 3-in-1) works best for me and helps my face feel rehydrated.
  20. good luck getting those comfortable shaves. I can nice close shaves but it takes awhile to get the very nice ones so I save those for special days

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