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First DE shave ever…generally horrible!

Not only my first DE shave, but a head shave to boot!

6S - plate 3
Crown Supreme Glide Pre-Shave Formula
Castle Forbes 1445 cream
Some kind of overpriced 24mm Badger brush
Scuttle (that was underwhelming in terms of the heat)
Alum
Castle Forbes 1445 Aftershave Balm

Negatives:

1. Cream dried on my head. It was totally absorbed. Disappeared. I don’t think I used nearly enough. I got a tiny sample and used half of it. I should have used the whole thing. Maybe the whole thing wasn’t even enough, let alone half of it. The samples were intended to be for scent assessment, not shaving.

2. My first pass turned into a multi pass - WTG, XTG, ATG - whatever. That first pass was the whole enchilada and really consisted of about 5 passes, four of which were completely cream free. It quickly evolved into trying to hit everywhere I could, any way I could. Very early on, all strategy disappeared in favour of a full on blitz.

3. I got a bit of razor burn on the left side of my head. I assume that’s what it is - raised red bumps. No discomfort though. My right hand couldn’t get over there very well, and my left hand was a little…no, a lot…less precise. There was a lot of what I would call dry scraping.


Positives:

1. I didn’t get a knick. Not one. I ran the alum block over my entire head 2 or 3 times after and felt nothing. Even on the razor burn. The alum block hit a little cut on my hand and yeah - it stung. So I know it was working. Turns out my head is incredibly tough. I had no idea. I hit it hard - with absolutely no precision. None. And it didn’t flinch.

2. I got through it unscathed and am looking forward to my next attempt.

3. My GF watched me struggle through it and told me that the whole thing was…errr…very nice to watch (I’m paraphrasing) 😳

Clearly I have a ton to learn. All good. Super relieved I have you guys to help me.
 
What COdiak said, and then some. After I moved to DE shaving from a long time w/a Harry's razor, I can say w/absolute certainty that technique matters a lot more w/a traditional DE razor than the typical cartridge type.
 
Before now, I’ve never used a blade - cartridge or otherwise, on my face or head. This was the first time.

My shave is not very close. It’s uniform but sandpaper rough. A really fine grit sandpaper. I thought it would be easy to get it BBS. Nope. The guys on YouTube make it look so easy. Lol.
 
Its all in the angles, you play around with that and your noggin will be as smooth as a baby's butt in no time. I would also recommend not being shy with the soap or cream. Have fun and use it up so you can buy more. This is the way.
 
It’s all in the angles, you play around with that and your noggin will be as smooth as a baby's butt in no time. I would also recommend not being shy with the soap or cream. Have fun and use it up so you can buy more. This is the way.
I also have an unopened bowl of Truefitt & Hill Grafton. I’m placing an order right now for some soaps. A variety of Stirling and Razorock. All are inexpensive so I don’t mind buying them blind.

I have to say I am 100% underwhelmed with almost everything I used tonight. I could barely smell the soap, which dried on my head almost immediately. The scuttle was almost completely ineffective at warming the lather.

Everything was kinda meh. Except the razor. It was surprisingly simple, safe and gentle. I started with the 1 plate and turned it over almost immediately to the 3 plate. I may try the 4 plate next shave, which will be tomorrow.

And yes - it is indeed all about the angles. I generally had the razor handle too close to my face. I had to keep reminding myself to raise it up. But when I would find the right angle, I would have to move up and over the top of my head, and would lose the angle in the process. It’s not as easy as it looks!!!
 
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Quick question if I might…

I washed my brush out after and gently shook it dry. Then I hung it, handle up, on the stand. The bristles are kinda splayed out on the sides now. It doesn’t look nearly as “neat” as it looked out of the package. Is that ok? Should I be doing anything else to it? That’s the one thing I can see myself unintentionally ruining - the brush.
 
As many here said, soap/cream is cheap so I always make an abundance of lather. Getting the product/water ratio right will help with the drying out issue. Just do a couple of test lathers to see how much water it takes and how the lather changes.

Regarding passes, for my first one I always go from the top of my head down as would water = WTG after that it’s more freestyle but the first one gets most of the stubble anyway.

I do that every second day. Razorock Eco either a big Boar or Synth and one or the other cream. Cream let you judge the necessary amount better then brush loading time.

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Quick question if I might…

I washed my brush out after and gently shook it dry. Then I hung it, handle up, on the stand. The bristles are kinda splayed out on the sides now. It doesn’t look nearly as “neat” as it looked out of the package. Is that ok? Should I be doing anything else to it? That’s the one thing I can see myself unintentionally ruining - the brush.
A wet „blooming“ brush is normal just don’t mash it hard into the bottom of your bowl.
 
You'll get it. I would consider a first-time head shave with no nicks or irritation to be a victory.

The hardest part for me was getting the correct angle on the side opposite my dominant hand - shaving the right side with my left hand (I'm left-handed). I had to force myself to use my non-dominanr right hand on the right side, but now it feels more normal and is much more efficient resulting in fewer passes and less touchup.

For my first pass, I now go front to back on the top of my head (not much hair there), WTG on th back, and XTG on the sides. I follow with ATG all around, then touchup, and usually get BBS - so, 2-pass with touchup.

I usually use a large Omega boar or Razorock synthetic brush because it gives me good coverage and holds a lot of soap/lather, which is often Stirling, and find it to be a great soap - one of my favorites and reasonably priced.
 
Clearly I have a ton to learn. All good. Super relieved I have you guys to help me.
Keep working on the razor technique and making good lather and you will get there. The Shave Wiki is very helpful; ShaveWiki | Badger & Blade
I washed my brush out after and gently shook it dry. Then I hung it, handle up, on the stand. The bristles are kinda splayed out on the sides now. It doesn’t look nearly as “neat” as it looked out of the package. Is that ok?
New brushes do bloom a little so that is normal.
 
I no longer remember details but when I started shaving with a safety razor in the 60's, I had no instruction (parents divorced) and I had to learn on my own. After a few months, I got things sorted from trial and error but the first months were bloody. Of course, I'm just talking about shaving my face. I have hair on my head so that's not in my world.
 
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Don't worry, you just have to practice more and you'll get the hang of it. If your lather is drying out, you need to add more water. You can add water up to the point where the lather is almost runny. It will be slicker that way. Brushes do bloom out a bit, if you want it to be neater, cut a piece to length from an empty paper towel roll and use it as a storage tube.
 

Phoenixkh

I shaved a fortune
Another hearty welcome, this time from Florida. Congrats on a successful first shave....an adventure in overcoming obstacles. You'll, no doubt, see quick progress as you continue your new journey.
 
Don't get discouraged! You'll get improved results the more you practice. It took me about 6 months of practice and unlearning old bad habits (mainly, using pressure) before I started to get really good results consistently.
 
Not an expert by any means, but here a a few tips that might help you in the future.
It’s not a race, slow and steady always wins.
Rinse of blade when you‘re done, and put back in razor.
Use an empty spray bottle or buy a mister to help rehydrate lather that is drying on skin.
You sort of have to find your own technique, way too many hair, skin and growth patterns to have one technique that works for everyone.
Don’t invest in too many alum blocks, it was nice in beginning to find out where I was having issues with. With time and practice it can be eliminated from the routime.
 
Welcome! I'm glad you're taking the approach you are. Yeah, nobody is really good at anything when they start. Keep at it. The last shave wasn't great, but the next one will be better. As you start figuring this wet shaving thing out, it'll continue to improve. As you continue to improve, you'll enjoy it more. It's a vicious cycle. Before too long you'll be asking questions about straights. It's good to have you in our merry band.
 
Not an expert by any means, but here a a few tips that might help you in the future.
It’s not a race, slow and steady always wins.
Rinse of blade when you‘re done, and put back in razor.
Use an empty spray bottle or buy a mister to help rehydrate lather that is drying on skin.
You sort of have to find your own technique, way too many hair, skin and growth patterns to have one technique that works for everyone.
Don’t invest in too many alum blocks, it was nice in beginning to find out where I was having issues with. With time and practice it can be eliminated from the routime.
On the razor blade advice, I removed it last evening, cleaned it and dried it off. I did the same with the razor. I put the blade back in the razor this morning after everything was bone dry. I thought I had read that there was a risk of rust and/discolouration from the cheap blades, if left in the razor. Or was it from one of the 1,000 YouTube videos I watched (3 times each)…😝
 
Not an expert by any means, but here a a few tips that might help you in the future.
It’s not a race, slow and steady always wins.
Rinse of blade when you‘re done, and put back in razor.
Use an empty spray bottle or buy a mister to help rehydrate lather that is drying on skin.
You sort of have to find your own technique, way too many hair, skin and growth patterns to have one technique that works for everyone.
Don’t invest in too many alum blocks, it was nice in beginning to find out where I was having issues with. With time and practice it can be eliminated from the routime.
…all great advice. Thank you. I’m super stoked for my next shave. Likely tomorrow 👍
 
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