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Greetings from a northern newbie!

Greetings from the far North!

I am writing from the town of Rovaniemi in Finnish Lapland. I have been shaving for about 16 years now and until last spring used to do it with a 5-blade cartridge razor and the typical supermarket foams and gels (in the past I also experimented very briefly with an electric razor but for some incomprehensible reason it simply couldn't properly shave my rather modest beard growth). Honestly I quite liked it; the result was smooth and I never experienced any notable irritation of the skin or ingrown hairs. I didn't even need any kind of aftershave products (until recently I thought of them as unnecessary and, well, somewhat unmanly) . What I didn't like was the price of the replacement cartridges. So after doing some research on the Internet about alternatives I was soon convinced of the superiority of safety razors. Mostly the reasons were of economical nature, but there is certainly a large "cool factor" about them and I'm also quite passionate about old timey stuff in general. So I decided to obtain one as soon as my last cartridge was worn out of use. That day dawned last April.

I purchased the necessary kit: of an affordable entry level safety razor and some blades. There was still plenty of shaving gel in my can so being the cheap b*stard frugal gentleman I am I decided to postpone buying a shaving brush and soap (that was a mistake but it has now been corrected). After my first shave with the real deal my feelings were somewhat mixed. While the result was mostly sufficiently smooth, there were some rough patches here and there and I was bleeding more than ever after shaving out of three nicks on my face. I deemed this acceptable for a first time trying out new equipment and finished my shave with a good rinse of cold water and the old toilet paper fix for the bleeding. While not entirely happy or proud, knowing I saved money and the environment felt pretty good.

After some 15 minutes it struck. The skin on my face and neck felt odd. Tight, dry and hot with a little stinging and burning sensation. I had never experienced post-shave irritation before but a close shave with some real steel on my skin, even a beginner friendly blade, did it for me. Luckily I had a some barely used aftershave balm I got as a present many Christmases ago forgotten in the bathroom cupboard. I learned many valuable lessons for life that day but the most unforgettable one was this: there's so much more to shaving than just grabbing the nearest razor and cutting away. And maybe aftershave isn't only for smelling good on special occasions and the guys using it might be sensible and not vain and unmanly.

Fast forward to this day, I routinely shave with the same razor and have discovered some very nice blades to go with it. I also have expanded my arsenal gradually and now proudly own a shaving brush, soap, alum and aftershaves for everyday and festive use. Shaving is now an enjoyable and fun experience for me and I eagerly look forward to it every time. It's incredible how something so previously tedious and mundane can become so lovely. I am in the enviable position of possessing very durable skin (though not quite as indestructible as I previously thought) so I need not consider if my shaving products are gentle enough. Then again, in my line of work wearing fragrances is considered inappropriate so I'll have to reserve the really nice aftershaves for weekend use (a fact that has protected me from binge buying shaving stuff in the first intense periods of enthusiasm). Also, my first winter of DE shaving is upon me now - when you live five miles from the Arctic Circle you really need to be clever about what you do to the skin of your face in winter time.

One man's journey to save money has certainly taken some unexpected turns. A judgemental and inconsiderate person is turning into something of a gentleman. My only regret is that I should have done this a lot sooner.

I look forward to having some great discussions on this fine forum!
 
Greetings from the far North!

I am writing from the town of Rovaniemi in Finnish Lapland. I have been shaving for about 16 years now and until last spring used to do it with a 5-blade cartridge razor and the typical supermarket foams and gels (in the past I also experimented very briefly with an electric razor but for some incomprehensible reason it simply couldn't properly shave my rather modest beard growth). Honestly I quite liked it; the result was smooth and I never experienced any notable irritation of the skin or ingrown hairs. I didn't even need any kind of aftershave products (until recently I thought of them as unnecessary and, well, somewhat unmanly) . What I didn't like was the price of the replacement cartridges. So after doing some research on the Internet about alternatives I was soon convinced of the superiority of safety razors. Mostly the reasons were of economical nature, but there is certainly a large "cool factor" about them and I'm also quite passionate about old timey stuff in general. So I decided to obtain one as soon as my last cartridge was worn out of use. That day dawned last April.

I purchased the necessary kit: of an affordable entry level safety razor and some blades. There was still plenty of shaving gel in my can so being the cheap b*stard frugal gentleman I am I decided to postpone buying a shaving brush and soap (that was a mistake but it has now been corrected). After my first shave with the real deal my feelings were somewhat mixed. While the result was mostly sufficiently smooth, there were some rough patches here and there and I was bleeding more than ever after shaving out of three nicks on my face. I deemed this acceptable for a first time trying out new equipment and finished my shave with a good rinse of cold water and the old toilet paper fix for the bleeding. While not entirely happy or proud, knowing I saved money and the environment felt pretty good.

After some 15 minutes it struck. The skin on my face and neck felt odd. Tight, dry and hot with a little stinging and burning sensation. I had never experienced post-shave irritation before but a close shave with some real steel on my skin, even a beginner friendly blade, did it for me. Luckily I had a some barely used aftershave balm I got as a present many Christmases ago forgotten in the bathroom cupboard. I learned many valuable lessons for life that day but the most unforgettable one was this: there's so much more to shaving than just grabbing the nearest razor and cutting away. And maybe aftershave isn't only for smelling good on special occasions and the guys using it might be sensible and not vain and unmanly.

Fast forward to this day, I routinely shave with the same razor and have discovered some very nice blades to go with it. I also have expanded my arsenal gradually and now proudly own a shaving brush, soap, alum and aftershaves for everyday and festive use. Shaving is now an enjoyable and fun experience for me and I eagerly look forward to it every time. It's incredible how something so previously tedious and mundane can become so lovely. I am in the enviable position of possessing very durable skin (though not quite as indestructible as I previously thought) so I need not consider if my shaving products are gentle enough. Then again, in my line of work wearing fragrances is considered inappropriate so I'll have to reserve the really nice aftershaves for weekend use (a fact that has protected me from binge buying shaving stuff in the first intense periods of enthusiasm). Also, my first winter of DE shaving is upon me now - when you live five miles from the Arctic Circle you really need to be clever about what you do to the skin of your face in winter time.

One man's journey to save money has certainly taken some unexpected turns. A judgemental and inconsiderate person is turning into something of a gentleman. My only regret is that I should have done this a lot sooner.

I look forward to having some great discussions on this fine forum!
First let me welcome you to B&B. I’m glad that you have seen the light and come over to the other side.
You will have many things to experiment with in your new shaving adventure.
It sounds to me right off the go is you might be pressing the razor too hard. Let the weight of the razor do the work.
Get a blade sampler so you can find out what blade works best with your skin. You’ll also need to figure out the right angle to hold the razor to eliminate the irritation.
When you mention cool factor “you a ain’t seen nothing yet” until you try a straight razor.
Enjoy your journey here and in wet shaving.
 
Welcome to B & B a great place to learn and ask questions of others.
I will say that living in the New England area of the US, while not as far north as you, also presents skin challenges with the cold weather. May I recommend adding a number of balms to your larder. Something as simple as the ones from Nivea do wonders in the cooler and dryer weather.... And has a reasonably low scent profile.
 
@DachshundFan thank you for a lovely introduction and welcome to B&B.

I was very much like you with the multi-blade carts. I however, did not go to "safety" razor shaving. I went directly to straight razor shaving. I am scared to shave with a razor where I can't see the edge against my skin.

My only regret is that I didn't start straight razor shaving in my teens.
 
One man's journey to save money has certainly taken some unexpected turns. A judgemental and inconsiderate person is turning into something of a gentleman. My only regret is that I should have done this a lot sooner.

I look forward to having some great discussions on this fine forum!
Thank you for your introduction, it was nice to read & get to know you a bit. You are quite right, this is a journey that will have some twists & turns. But I have found the twists & turns to be most enjoyable. I hope you do, as well. And like you, I wish I would have started my wet shaving journey many years sooner. Oh well, we're here now.

Enjoy your shaves!
 
Welcome to B & B a great place to learn and ask questions of others.
I will say that living in the New England area of the US, while not as far north as you, also presents skin challenges with the cold weather. May I recommend adding a number of balms to your larder. Something as simple as the ones from Nivea do wonders in the cooler and dryer weather.... And has a reasonably low scent profile.
Yes, balms are supposedly the proper stuff for cold weather. I know of 3 Finnish cosmetics brands that manufacture some kind of balm and I'm definitely going to give them a try and if none of them suit me I'll try the Nivea. That stuff is available everywhere, including my closest corner shop.
 
@DachshundFan thank you for a lovely introduction and welcome to B&B.

I was very much like you with the multi-blade carts. I however, did not go to "safety" razor shaving. I went directly to straight razor shaving. I am scared to shave with a razor where I can't see the edge against my skin.

My only regret is that I didn't start straight razor shaving in my teens.
I find straight razors intriguing but a bit intimidating. But since my beginner phase of DE shacing left no permanent scars I'm positive I'll try one... some day.
 
And thanks for the warm welcome to all you fine folks! It's kind of strange to see an active, good old internet forum in this day and age when there's social media and all kinds of other alternatives and information sources. It has been some 20 years I was lsd active on a forum and didn't think I'd join one some day. The UI and other stuff seem pretty awkward at this moment but I hope I'll manage.
 
Welcome aboard! So what kind of badger hounds are you particularly a fan of?

My wife and I are well-managed by a registered standard wirehair Wild Boar little girl who keeps the household running. As the only dachshund in "the pack" she doesn't get to do the famous Dachshund Group Howl that happens when two or more get together, so we occasionally sing along when she's giving a free concert. She likes that.

O.H.
 
Welcome! I'm new to both B&B and to DE shaving as well. Great community here, I've picked up a lot of tips and product suggestions already.
 
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