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Getting into safety razor shaving

Hi,

I'm looking to get some advice on starting safety razor shaving.

Generally I'm a cartridge user but due to ingrown hairs and major irritation I'd to make the switch. Electric razors (of which I've tried many) are even worse, giving a poor shave and irritation.

I've tried several recommended beginner mild (DE89 and a couple of others) DE razors in the past with very little success, despite watching tutorials on angle, pressure etc vs cartridge shaving, and trying different blades, each time after a few weeks given up and returned to carts. For info I shave every other day, have sensitive skin and a very coarse growth.

The only razor I've had some success with is a Oneblade, but looking to switch due to the cost of the blades and the fact that they last one shave at best.

On asking around I've had a couple of recommendations to either try a more aggressive DE, or try a single edge razor given the better result with the Oneblade. In particular a couple of Alpha products were suggested as suitable, either their Outlaw Mild or the Claymore.

The shaving angle on a single edge razor I believe, to me would be more natural (not using the pivoted Oneblade as an example, having tried a Twig and a Parker injector razor with middling results, but better than the previous DEs) and wondered what the concensus might be on the suggestions above.

Thanks for any advice in advance and apologies for the long post.
 
You might try an adjustable. I don't have one. The DE89 would have been the one I suggested but that didn't seem to work for you. Also try describing what your problem is. Is your skin on fire? Are you not getting a good clean shave? How many passes are you doing? With the grain, against the grain? Is it just you neck? I am sure you will get some good advice here.
 
We ALL have sensitive skin and a coarse beard. With proper technique and good lather, it won't matter what your skin sensitivity is.

Get yourself a vintage Gillette Tech and learn on that. Don't go aggressive, don't go single edge, until you have your DE technique down with a mild razor.

There may be some modern knocks off of it, but they are plentiful on eBay and cheap for an original.
 

ajkel64

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Welcome to the forum from Australia. As mentioned by @brucered, get yourself a Gillette Tech. They are plentiful on eBay and in Antique Shops. Use it for a month or more until you get everything working nicely. Remember that using a DE it is gradual beard reduction when shaving. I did not understand this when I first tried DE shaving back in the early 1980’s. I was used to mowing the whiskers down with a cartridge razor.
 
Thanks for the swift replies all.

Not so much skin on fire (apart from using a 5 bladed cart, anything less doesn't cause that), getting a clean shave with most razors requires several passes, I could never get anywhere near a close shave with a DE (lots of stubble left all over, but especially on the sides of the neck). Three passes, WTG and two across grain, haven't tried ATG for years due to the irritation, which is around the neck and lower cheeks.

I've never tried a DE adjustable, I did have a Parker injector which was adjustable but provided very poor shaves - even though finding the correct angle was much easier.

I'll get a Tech as suggested - it's certainly the technique that needs improvement of course.
 
Are you using just the Derby Greens that came with the DE89? Have you tried different DE blades? Are you using a shave brush or canned goo? Tech should help with technique. Don’t give up on the DE89 completely. Set it aside and try again in a few weeks. Keep at it!
I've used Astra and Derby blades in the past, always used proper shave cream with brush and bowl - think I've got the lathering technique down at least!
 
Welcome aboard!

Great advice above!

’Traditional’ wet shaving is a skill set that takes awhile to acquire. I suggest you focus on the basics:
1. Good prep.
2. Slick, protective lather.
3. Proper razor angle.
4. NO pressure.

Once you accomplish the above, you will get good shaves from most razors. Just my $0.02!
 
If you could get a second grade occam Oren (adjustable, pretty clear angle, ac) and use guarded blades from feather or Kai. You should have an easy no harm shaver. Cheaper as a oneblade not as cheap as de though.
Start with something like a Gillette silver blue or platinum in the de you can always go down or up in sharpness.
For de adjustables I love my snmirn dirt cheap mild forgiving razor.

Try a pre shave soap under your soap (paa, stirling) helps.
 
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I like Isreali Red blades. You can try those with an adjustable razor. You will get a much better shave than electric or cartridge type razors for sure. Just need to find the combo that works for you. Ebay is your friend or else the classifieds here may yield results. Good Luck
 
Thanks very much for all the answers, much appreciated. I certainly have a fair few options to consider and I'll get something sorted over the weekend.
I guess the key overall is to keep at it for longer than I've tried and learn to improve the technique, particularly the angle and pressure - slightly fell into the trap of seeing a few videos and comparing what seemed like everyone else's effortless DE shaves compared to my results.
 
Welcome aboard!

Great advice above!

’Traditional’ wet shaving is a skill set that takes awhile to acquire. I suggest you focus on the basics:
1. Good prep.
2. Slick, protective lather.
3. Proper razor angle.
4. NO pressure.

Once you accomplish the above, you will get good shaves from most razors. Just my $0.02!
Well said. That's my $0.02 too! Stick with it & give it a few months. And NO pressure.

Oh, and welcome!!!!
 
Welcome! Hope it works out for you. It's a super enjoyable ritual once you can get rid of the irritation, which you will. The advice here to choose one piece of kit that is very widely used and stick with it for a few months is well given in my experience.
 
Hi,

I'm looking to get some advice on starting safety razor shaving.

Generally I'm a cartridge user but due to ingrown hairs and major irritation I'd to make the switch. Electric razors (of which I've tried many) are even worse, giving a poor shave and irritation.

I've tried several recommended beginner mild (DE89 and a couple of others) DE razors in the past with very little success, despite watching tutorials on angle, pressure etc vs cartridge shaving, and trying different blades, each time after a few weeks given up and returned to carts. For info I shave every other day, have sensitive skin and a very coarse growth.

Thanks for any advice in advance and apologies for the long post.
I am "that" guy. The electric razor guy. IF you still have an electric razor, and IF it is a "wet or dry" type, try using it with lather. No, it probably will not shave as close as a blade. But there will be much less irritation. Use a soap with lots of slickness or glide and your electric razor will be much more comfortable. If it is not close enough for you, still use an electric razor first to remove as much hair as possible. Then use your blade razor to finish the job. Once again, this will reduce the amount of irritation. If you already have the razor and the soap there is no cost to giving it a try. You might like it.
 
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Welcome to B&B. Don't give up, we all struggled some in the beginning. I will say I started with the DE89 and always had issues with irritation. Used it for months on end and never seemed to improved. I switched over to a Merkur 34C and got drastically better results. Found a Gillette Tech in good shape and got better shaves as well. Not telling you to go out and buy new gear, but it could make a difference if you come to the point that your shaves just don't get any better.

As you will come to learn, prep, technique, razors, blades, soaps, etc all impact the shave. Time is the biggest factor in my opinion. It takes time to develop good technique and to find the gear that works best for you. Good luck and enjoy the journey.
 
Welcome to B&B where the information is abundant.. the people are extraordinary and oh yes we have a few rabbit holes 🐇🕳️ of shave equipment here and there.
Lots of great information already listed.
Not sure if it helps or not but one of the things that helped my shaving was to use it as an evening wind down time as opposed to part of the morning rush..... Slow down... Relax and enjoy your self... shaving time is your time.
 
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