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First shaves, thoughts and a bit of begging!

Hello everyone (LONG post coming up!),

I am a total noob here so want to start off by saying I love this forum! I have recently made the decision to move into the dark and mysterious world of DE wet shaving after many years of perfectly mediocre shaving with cartridge razors and electric shavers.:wink:

So, I did my research, snooped around lots of forums and opted for a relatively conservative first round of purchases: a Merkur Long Handle Classic and a badger brush and mug/soap combo from Porters. I received the items in an extremely timely manner (rubbing hands with glee.....I do so love to get a parcel:tongue: ). Actually my razor arrived first and I was so excited that I just had to shave with it that very day and so ended up using it with King Of Shaves gel.................ugh! What a disaster! No nicks and cuts, mind you I was being very cautious but a truly abysmal shave. I could have got closer if I'd scraped the hair off my face with butter knife! All I can say is lesson learned.....'nuff said!

My mug/brush and soap arrived the next day...hurrah! I'd also been scouting out the local shops and found The Body Shop stock a shaving cream for men so I bought a tub of that. I also got some drugstore blades as the one that came with the Merkur didn't seem particularly sharp and I read somewhere here that many people just toss this blade and stick a nice new one in!

I got home from work, had my workout and went in for my first, proper shave with all the right tools.......end result....waaaaaaaaaaay better!:001_smile

I decided to shave after my shower and followed all the great advice from this board regarding, hot water, hot towel on face, soaking brush/mug and dish etc. Soon I was ready for my first attempt at lathering up using the citrus and witch hazel soap that came with the Porters Mug. The badger hair brush seems pretty good, obviously not in the same league as really expensive brushes but it's probably about a $40 brush.

So, I tap the brush out and get swirling in my mug with the Porters soap. 5, 10, 20, 30 swirls becomes over a minute of swirling, pumping and working that bad boy into the soap, I was so excited about actually going through the process at last. I look carefully at the brush and there seems to be a reasonable amount of lather, nothing meringue like but not too bad and after all, this is my first attempt. I brush some on my face and..........meh! That was about all I could muster up was.....meh!:confused: The lather wasn't very thick, smelled pretty good but generally not to my liking at all. Still, on with the show, lets try this razor out with a nice new blade.

First pass, I was little more aggressive than with the King Of Shaves gel as even with the pretty poor foam I felt I had better lube than with the KOS. Did the whole face and neck and was OK about the results. "Time for a second pass" I think, hmmmmmmm I wonder how that Body Shop goo will measure up. Soak the brush, get everything nice and hot again, open the tub. Mmmmmmmmmm, it smells puuuuurty, kind of sandalwood and a wee bit spicy. Oh well, here goes nothing.

Shake out brush, little dip and twist in the cream, start swirling in my lather bowl with a few drops of hot water. 5, 10, 20...............hang on a sec, what the hell is all this white stuff that's coming out of nowhere! Keep going for a few more and HOLY MOLY! This is what it should look and feel like, surely?!? I was boggled at where all the lather was coming from and it smelt so good. I lathered up again and the difference was night and day, I couldn't even see my skin the lather was so dense.

I go for the 'cross-grain' pass for my second pass and can feel the blade working its mojo. Oh crap, here comes my neck, God I hate shaving my neck. I do a cross grain attack, lather up again (plenty of lather left in that brush....oh yes!:w00t: ) and try a VERY ginger against the grain pass. Maybe a little too aggressively as a few red dots begin to blossom on my neck......darn it!

I finish up and rinse off warm and then cold before attacking my face with the styptic. The bleeding seems to stop immediately so that relieves me. I wait a while, cold splash again and apply my alcohol free balm. Rub my hands on my face and allow a small smile as it feels pretty good!:biggrin: I think with a bit more practice I could get some BBS results here people. The whole process took about 20 minutes, I'm hoping this will maybe get a bit quicker with practice, although I do realize that this process takes longer than a can'n'Mach3 approach!

I'm really surprised by one thing however. If I had caused my neck to bleed like that with a pass of the Mach3, then no matter what my treatment afterward I would have been rewarded the following day with unsightly red bumps and a truly wicked shaving rash. With the DE, even though I had those nicks, my neck was looking normal within a couple of hours and so far (I'm writing this the day after), things are looking great, that's really impressed me!

So to cap it all off folks, CONGRATULATIONS if you've managed to get to the bottom of this incredibly long first shave post!:lol: I am really looking forward to my journey down the 'slippery slope' of wet shaving and think you guys on this forum seems like a bunch of gents. I have no idea what the average age is of the guys around here, I'm only 32 and wonder if I'm a little young for this kind of endeavor, not that I think I'll be going back!:rolleyes:

Please could I get some assistance in the following two areas? I would love to try out some alternative blades but obviously am not too hot on the idea of having to buy 100 just to try them out. I'm also positively salivating at the the thought of trying out some of the great creams from the 3 T's (I'm pretty sure I'm going to end up being a cream instead of soap kind of guy) and was wondering if anyone would be willing to part with any part-used tub/tube of cream? Of course I'm willing to compensate for these items!, so make me an offer if you've got something you think you could spare.

Just as a heads up I'm quite into the light/airy/oceanic/fruity kind of scents (I like Polo Sport and Issey Mayake colognes as an indicator) but also think I'd like some earthy/woody/herby smells as long as they're not too overpowering....after all I do like the Body Shop cream and that definitely falls in the woody category! I'm not too sure about Rose/Violet smells but who knows, I'm usually up for trying just about anything.

I thank you (and applaud you) for taking the time to read this post and I look forward to hopefully becoming more involved with the community.

Regards amigos!:thumbup1:
you would like 1805 shaving cream and cologne.

what style of blades are you looking for? send me a PM with what you are looking for.

n/m, check your PM.

Enjoyable read. Sounds very, very familiar.

Not sure what the median age here is either, but I'm 33 and now with wetshaving I look 23 (at least when my mirror's foggy).

I'd recommend trying the Taylors Avocado.

Lots of luck!
Welcome aboard Mr. Woodbane.

I'll tell you it only gets better...and expensive as you delve into the world of soaps, creams, balms and all the various combinations of razors, blades, & brushes.

One of the things you'll find (at least I did) is that zits become virtually a thing of the past as well. It's pretty amazing. Color and tone even out nicely too.

But the most important part is how much damn fun it is to actually look forward to shaving each and every morning--weekends too!
Thanks for the replies so far guys and I've had my first offer of assistance with blades/creams etc. via PM. You guys are great!:biggrin:

Just as a side note, I took today off for shaving as its Friday (read casual clothes day at work) and I also wanted to give my neck a couple of days to recover, it did come up with a bit of a rash, although nothing like I was expecting which is a bonus!

May I ask who shaves when? Morning before work or evenings. I was thinking I'm going to change my routine and get up a bit earlier to shave in the morning. Seems silly to shave in the PM and then not have all day to feel a nice smooth face and smell good too! Only problem is I'm horrible at getting up in the morning so it could be a challenge to begin with!:eek:

Hope to hear from some more of you gents on this thread. Cheers!

P.S. Kyle, I don't know why but your Avatar just cracks me up. I found the advert very funny as well. I just have this mental image that you actually look like the guy in the picture now!:tongue: That would explain why you're such a pro-shaver.......you need it!:lol:
woodbane said:
P.S. Kyle, I don't know why but your Avatar just cracks me up. I found the advert very funny as well. I just have this mental image that you actually look like the guy in the picture now!:tongue: That would explain why you're such a pro-shaver.......you need it!:lol:

You mean that's NOT Kyle in the picture?!?!? I could've sworn that's why he got REALLY pissed off when Ron explained, "shaving with a DE is so easy, even a caveman could do it"

Welcome to B&B and the world of wet shaving! It sounds like you are off to a great start.

I shave in the morning before going to work. I was concerned when I started since wet shaving takes a little longer but it's a great way to get yourself ready for the day.

I'm like you Andy, I'm terrible at getting up in the morning too. If leave it to the last possible minute to get up then rush to get out the door.
I've only been DE shaving about a month now and have got the hang of it pretty much though every shave is still better than the last. Not so much closer, they are all at the stage where is not a whisker to be felt, but smoother, less burning and less little areas to relather and touch up.
Anyway, I think during the that time I have planned to shave in the morning about 4 or 5 times. It never happened, each day I just left it too late and went to work unshaved. Luckily for me my job isn't the sort that anyone gives a damn if I shave or not but you somehow feel more confident with a nice smooth face. So all my shaves of a week day have been in the late evening. Luckily they tend to still be smooth the next morning and stubble can't be felt til about 3 or 4 in the afternoon.
Morning or afternoon, I guess it's up to what you can make yourself do. If you have trouble getting up you may have no shave or a rushed one. If your lucky a good evening shave may last a good portion of the next day.
I used to be a nighttime shaver, and for my first couple of weeks of wet shaving, I maintained this schedule. Now, however, I find my morning routine (7 days a week) to be a very special "me" time. I now find it much more pleasant to gain full consciousness by smelling Taylor's scents than other's car exhaust.
I'll vouch for morning shaving.

Once you get into your shaving groove, there's nothing to while away the morning time on the drive to work than sipping some Joe, listening to the radio, feeling the pleasant tingle of a fresh shave as you run your hands over your neck and cheek wondering how you tolerated double and triple blade monstrosities in the past, smelling a cologne that nobody else within miles is wearing, looking at the poor bastard in the car next to you pitying his reliance on $3 blades that leave him a stubbled, empty, hulk, and knowing that you've perfected an art form that you can look forward to repeating the next AM--weekday or week-end! :thumbup:
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