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First barber shave: Awful

Well, at age 44 11/12, and after 5+ years of wet shaving, I decided to get a barber shave for myself. As it turns out, the barber shop more or less across the street from my apartment complex has two barbers who give shaves. At $18 I figured it was worth a shot but I didn't necessarily expect Trumper's or Farzad, but I figured what the hey. He started with two hot towels which was good, but it went downhill from there. I'm not sure he actually developed any lather at all. I'm pretty sure that he uses the Marvy soap. Honestly, my first DE shave was closer and with fewer nicks. Around my mouth and chin was almost entirely untouched, my neck and cheeks felt like it was, at most, a one WTG pass with a DE (he used a shavette of some sort) and I had no less than 5 nicks and weepers. And the razor burn. Well...

And not even the consolation of smelling like Clubman or Bay Rum! :mad3:

There are other places in town, so I will give them each a chance as I am able.

Cheers,
-Greg
 

Marco

B&B's Man in Italy
Greg, unfortunately "nihil sub sole novi". It happens to hear quite often about poor shaves at barbershops. My hint is to look for a barber saloon with a solid tradition in old school wet shaving. There aren't many, but you should be able to find one in your area.
 
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Greg, unfortunately "nihil sub sole novi". It happens to hear quite often about poor shaves at barbershops. My hint is to look for a barber saloon witi a solid tradition in old school wet shaving. There aren't many, but you should be able to find one in your area.

Agreed, Marco. I still have a few more to try. My brother-in-law was telling me of one yesterday, so I will give that a go. Of course, it also shows how spoiled I've become with the high quality of my own shaves with my vintage SuperSpeed, Omega boar brush, and Proraso. :wink2:

Buon Natale!
-Greg
 
Disapointing shaves are the normal report for most who have tried a shave at a local establishment. I think we tend to build up the experience due to our love and passion for the ritual only to be disapointed by the result. Research is the key to finding local barbers that are adept at providing good shaves, they are out there, you just need to find them.

My general thought is that we shave ourselves because we generally know what works best through time and experience.
 
Had a 'Royal Shave' at the AoS in the MaM in Orlando. It was only 'OK' - especially at the price paid ($55). Was on vacation so why not! Probably wouldn't do it again if I am honest.
 
This is disappointing to hear as I have convinces myself not to try a straight razor until I experience it from a "profession." I've located a couple of shops that I could get a straight shave, one is nearby and one would take a bit of travel but not all that bad. Both claim to be "Master Barbers." Does that make a difference? Or is that moniker something that can be had through the mail and enough sawbucks? :confused1
 

Toothpick

Needs milk and a bidet!
I just don't think the straight razor shave from a barber is what it used to be. Back in the day it was normal, every day business for these guys. people in and out all day long getting SR shaves. The barbers were skilled because they did it countless times a week. Now days people don't go to barbers for shaves so they don't get the practice in that they used to.

They probably get minimal training from their barber school on SR shaves and then add it to their price list. It could be days/weeks for someone to want a shave, and then days/weeks in between shaves.
It's no surprise that you read more reports of terrible barber shaves than great ones. And then add to it that there are only a handful of places that even do a traditional SR shave.
So really if you've got one barber in a 50 mile radius that does SR shaves how many people are going to drive 30 minutes to an hour away to get a SR shave? That lone barber is stuck with his local customers...so how many want shaves?...how many want to pay $20 each time? Not many at all.

It used to be everyday business so the price was reasonable, you could afford it a couple times a week. Now it's a luxury "featured" item and the price is more expensive...I might want it once a month, or on special occasions like bdays, weddings, and such.
 
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There's only one barber shop in my town that I know for sure they do shaves (there are probably others but this one I know for sure). I will eventually go there for a shave, but I'm nervous about it.
 
Well, at age 44 11/12, and after 5+ years of wet shaving, I decided to get a barber shave for myself. As it turns out, the barber shop more or less across the street from my apartment complex has two barbers who give shaves. At $18 I figured it was worth a shot but I didn't necessarily expect Trumper's or Farzad, but I figured what the hey. He started with two hot towels which was good, but it went downhill from there. I'm not sure he actually developed any lather at all. I'm pretty sure that he uses the Marvy soap. Honestly, my first DE shave was closer and with fewer nicks. Around my mouth and chin was almost entirely untouched, my neck and cheeks felt like it was, at most, a one WTG pass with a DE (he used a shavette of some sort) and I had no less than 5 nicks and weepers. And the razor burn. Well...

And not even the consolation of smelling like Clubman or Bay Rum! :mad3:

There are other places in town, so I will give them each a chance as I am able.

Cheers,
-Greg

Describes my only barber shave to a tee, a bummer. I had just started straight shaving and figured I could pick up some pointers and have an enjoyable experience at the same time. Wrong. My regular barber doesn't offer shampoo, styling, or shaves because he makes the most money just cutting hair. In the 70s when the hair styles were long, shampooing and styling were profitable. Shaving was eliminated in the early 80s when the AIDS scare first surfaced, due to all the regulations attached to it.

You can probably get the kind of shave you anticipated at a theme barbershop where a shave might cost somewhere in the neighborhood of double what you paid and the barber has time to take as long as it takes to do a good job.

I can't fault my barber for doing what pays the bills. He's in business with his daughter, he's getting up in years, his daughter just ended a two-year ordeal breast cancer (which means he did the work of two people), and his landlord kicked him out after being a tenant 47 years. I've noticed the prices creeping up and watch him work non-stop without breaks. He's doing what he has to do.

I don't know whether or not you're a straight razor shaver, but I am and routinely give myself a shave that might command $40-$50 on the open market. It's probably the greatest and most satisfying luxury I give myself.
 
This is a common report here. Sorry the shave wasn't up to your expectations. I wonder, though (setting aside the price) if it's really reasonable to expect someone, even a "master" barber, to shave a "strange" face as well as the stranger can?
 
This is a common report here. Sorry the shave wasn't up to your expectations. I wonder, though (setting aside the price) if it's really reasonable to expect someone, even a "master" barber, to shave a "strange" face as well as the stranger can?

I'm sure they can, but in the time it takes the barber could complete several haircuts, and it's unrealistic to expect a customer to pay the cost of multiple haircuts for something he can do himself. The shave I got was one pass, no brush, and I estimate it took longer than a haircut to complete.

I have been straight shaving since March 2010, and I'm sure I can shave myself as good or better than a barber can shave me, but I probably couldn't say that until this year. Straight shaving demands that you learn how to shave, and I think one of the reasons we found this forum is that today's' mainstream methods of wet shaving were designed to cheat the learning curve and we suffered from irritated faces, poor shaves, and inflated prices of equipment.

The girl in the James Bond movie said she had to attend barber school three weeks to do that brief shaving scene. I don't know what she had to learn, but it must have been a lot of study material.
 
Does any history buff know what a shave used to cost back when it was common to get one at a barber? Or maybe the better comparison would be between the cost of the haircut and the shave.
 
I took the soninlaw for shave at the AOS near here and they did a wonderful job, even with his quite sensitive skin.
Actually moved the soninlaw to try out the here-to-fore unused Feather shavette that I had gifted him earlier.
He's now enjoying switching out from his carts to the Feather whenever he gets the extra time.

$dans shave at aos.jpg
 
I'm sorry to hear it didn't go well. The barber shop I go to near my house does them and I've gotten several. The first barber was pretty good and gave nice shaves, this was before I got my first DE setup and it was worth it to pay out and get a decent shave then to do it my self with carts/disposables. He then left to go to another shop and I got a few from another barber that does them there, nothing to write home about with plenty of irritation. So it wasn't worth paying out extra money every time I got a haircut. Now that I have pretty good technique and get better shaves with my DE it doesn't seem worth it. I might give it another try in the future. I'm afraid a good old barber shop shave is hard to come by these days.
 
I seam to have very sensitive skin and even paying for a proper shave at Truefitt and Hill, yes the people that shave the UK Royalty.

I came out so stinging. Probably too close a shave.
 
In the US, unless you are in a big city, finding a decent barber for a shave is tough. I think there is an AOS two hours from me that MIGHT have a barber, otherwise, its about 4 hours to MPLS/ST. Paul.

I think in some other countries, it might be easier. I got a pretty good shave in Istanbul for about 4 bucks by my hotel
 
Anyone have experience with Barber shaves in England? My brother lives in London and I'll be visiting in July 2014. Would love a great shave while on vacation.
 
In my city there are many barbers but when it comes to wet shaving they suck. Many years ago I went to a barber for a haircut, after he was done I asked him if he could give me a shave. Well that was my mistake. When he loaded a half DE razor in his shavette I already saw his hand shaking. I guess we was scared. He left me with one cut that had the size of the razor on my face.

There is an Arab guy here in town. A good and honest barber. Went one time to him for a shave and it was a full bbs with no nicks or cuts.
 
Anyone have experience with Barber shaves in England? My brother lives in London and I'll be visiting in July 2014. Would love a great shave while on vacation.

There are some youtube videos from Taylors and Trumpers you might want to check out.
 
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