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Gus's Shave diary

Luc

Moderator Emeritus
Yup! That is what I am thinking of doing. I just realised I made a mistake in the title: it was of course shave #5 with setup of shave #4. Thank you for your input, 15-20 minutes really seems like pie in the sky to me at this point.:w00t:
Yeah, I didn't think I would be as quick as a DE eventually but having a larger blade helps for a few sections.
 
Shave #6: Thursday 24.06.2010

Setup same as #5 but for Hega ASB
I was in a hurry today because shortly after SWMBO and I woke up, baby Matilda was already in full swing. I did a sloppy shave and was punished for it with a cut on the central part of the neck and the right side of the neck dented with superficial abrasions making it look like venician blinds. I am thinking of reverting to my 48 hour shave routine so I can take things nice and easy. Initially, I thought that I would shave with the DE on mornings and get a rest from the straight but I am having so much fun with the straight that it has become quite irresistible. I got myself an Alum block which probably saved me from further damage.

I did a full WTG pass which removed quite a bit of stubble on the face but not much on the neck as usual. I then did two mixed XTG-ATG passes: XTG on the face, first on mouth to ear and second ear to mouth and ATG on the neck. The ATG on the neck was not particularly well done as mentioned earlier but it was not a total dead loss because it gave very satisfactory stubble removal. At the end of it all, I had achieved a near DFS on the face with some rough spots and definite progress on the neck area.

I finished up with an ATG with my trusty Merkur 34c and then splashed on some very soothing swedish Hega ASB.

I am wondering if I should perfect my skills on the ATG on the neck or if I should keep doing at least one XTG on the neck to see if this somewhat safer pass gets better with time. What do you think?
 

Luc

Moderator Emeritus
That's the bummer bit with shaving, if you rush it, nicks and cuts.

When you will get more used to it, your time will go down and it will be easier to fit it in your routine. I couldn't imagine taking 45-60 minutes in the bathroom and then be ready for work, unless I woke up at least 30 minutes before my usual time... Now, it's easier.

I think that doing XTG helps before ATG but that's how my face reacts. Try it, if you feel confident, and you will know very quickly. Just remember, if it starts pulling, gripping, skipping, stop.
 
Shave #7 Saturday 26.06.2010

Setup:
E&M 6/8
Plisson silvetip
Fitjar Norwegian Fern SC
Aqua Vera A/S

My first overall SAS shave probably due to a more thorough prep. I washed my face with soap followed by application of C&E Nomad SC with my hands (I got this as a gift and I did not really like the scent and it contains SLS which I am trying to avoid). I let the cream sit there whilst I stropped my razor and then I applied the warm hot towel on my face with the cream still on it and held it there for a minute. Then I rinsed my face, put a dollop of Fitjar SC in my brush and started face-lathering. I think in future I will only apply lather to either face or neck because I am so slow that by the time I finished the face, the neck lather has lost some of its moisture and hence its slickness.

I did the usual WTG on the face paying attention to streching, angle and keepin the full length of the blade on the face. Then I did a XTG on my neck which seemed to remove quite a bit of stubble. I then did a XTG on the face, mouth to ear followed by ATG on the neck and finished up with a XTG, ear to mouth on the face and ATG on the neck. The overall impression was that of a SAS containing DFS areas on the face. The touch-up with my DE is feeling less and less necessary. I am getting much more confident on the chin especially WTG and the XTG chin shave movement is getting there. It seems that on my face the XTG ear to mouth is more effective than the other way round so perhaps I should concentrate more on this pass.The ATG pass still needs a lot of work since I seem to cut myself lightly when positioning the blade.

I am getting the hang of this but I am very impatient. I suppose I just have to have the confidence to realise that this was shave 7 and I still have another 93 to go before I can make up my mind.
 

Luc

Moderator Emeritus
Shave #7 Saturday 26.06.2010

Setup:
E&M 6/8
Plisson silvetip
Fitjar Norwegian Fern SC
Aqua Vera A/S

My first overall SAS shave probably due to a more thorough prep. I washed my face with soap followed by application of C&E Nomad SC with my hands (I got this as a gift and I did not really like the scent and it contains SLS which I am trying to avoid). I let the cream sit there whilst I stropped my razor and then I applied the warm hot towel on my face with the cream still on it and held it there for a minute. Then I rinsed my face, put a dollop of Fitjar SC in my brush and started face-lathering. I think in future I will only apply lather to either face or neck because I am so slow that by the time I finished the face, the neck lather has lost some of its moisture and hence its slickness.

I did the usual WTG on the face paying attention to streching, angle and keepin the full length of the blade on the face. Then I did a XTG on my neck which seemed to remove quite a bit of stubble. I then did a XTG on the face, mouth to ear followed by ATG on the neck and finished up with a XTG, ear to mouth on the face and ATG on the neck. The overall impression was that of a SAS containing DFS areas on the face. The touch-up with my DE is feeling less and less necessary. I am getting much more confident on the chin especially WTG and the XTG chin shave movement is getting there. It seems that on my face the XTG ear to mouth is more effective than the other way round so perhaps I should concentrate more on this pass.The ATG pass still needs a lot of work since I seem to cut myself lightly when positioning the blade.

I am getting the hang of this but I am very impatient. I suppose I just have to have the confidence to realise that this was shave 7 and I still have another 93 to go before I can make up my mind.
Nice!

I was always curious about the Plisson, how is it?

Fitjar is something I will need to try one day, I heard so much about them! How do you find it?

You don't have to go 93 more shaves. At shave 20 I knew that I was going the straight razor way and I wouldn't turn back!
 
The Plisson is nice although I must admit I do not have much to compare with since SBAB has not set in yet. I got it from my father who had not used it much it has a huge knot and carries a lot of lather once it is fully loaded. Its tips are nice and soft yet the bristles themselves are very stiff.

You owe yourself to try the Fitjar creams. When I was exclusively DE shaving I went through a lot of samples from Trumpers, T&H, TOBS, Weleda, Speick and Fitjar. But I found Ftjar's samples to be better than all of them.
 
Shave #8 Monday 28.06.2010

Setup as in shave #7 except for Speick ASB at the end. I spent a bit of time looking at the hair on my neck and realised it grows quite a bit more down and to the sides than I had thought so XTG should be more effective than ATG.

I had a tremendous shave last night, I prepped the same way as in shave 7 and then started my WTG pass on the face trying to hold the razor slightly askew to get the slicing motion I have heard so much about. I must say it was quite effective. I then did a XTG on the neck which left it feeling quite rough. I then relathered the face and went XTG from ear to nose, then lathered the neck and did yet another XTG pass. Finally I repeated this full XTG pass and when I then rinsed with cooler water I was standing there thinking to myself: WOW a definite SAS with large stretches of DFS. The beauty of it was that I skipped the DE-touchup and did some straight razor touch-ups. I still have some rough spots along the jawline, chin and especially the adam's apple but for the first time in 8 months the DE was out of work!

Maybe this was just a fluke but if not I am seriously getting the hang of this. How do you shave the adam's apple area with a straight?
 

Luc

Moderator Emeritus
Nice work! :thumbup1:

I don't have a pronounced Adam's apple but I would imagine that stretching the skin would be the trick. I would try to look up and left then pull the skin up and right to stretch the skin. Opposite for the other side.
 
Shave #9 Wednesday 30.06.2010

Setup: same tools as usual, Fitjar Folgefonn SC (pine and mint very soothing) and Hega ASB

I did much the same shave as during shave #8 with minor modifications and ended up with a DFS on the face with a minor weeper on the jawline. What a fabulous feeling.

The neck was also much improved thanks to Luc's suggestions on shaving technique around the adam's apple. I spent quite some time messing around on the neck, trying this and that with mixed success. I am confident that the adam's apple area issue will be solved with practice so now I must tend to another rough spot: when I stretch my neck backwards, it is the area just next to and under the jawline, half way between the adam's apple and the chin. I cannot seem to get at these hairs XTG because the blade is too long to maneuver in the corner area and if I stretch my neck back even more to flatten it out I cannot see what I am doing. I suppose I will try a light ATG on it next time.

Once again DE-touchup felt completely superfluous. The ASB on the other hand hit the spot and took care of the inevitable razor burn on the neck area following too much messing about.

I am astonished at the rate of my progress. I realise that I am nearing a plateau where progress is going to be slower but where I will be able to concentrate on consistent shave quality and speeding things up.

To up the ante slightly, starting next week, I think I might switch razors from my Eickelnberg and Mack/Solingen to my swedish vintage Erik Anton Berg which is slightly smaller and with a more pronounced tip. This weekend when I have some more time I will try to post some pictures.
 

Luc

Moderator Emeritus
Don't worry too much about the progression. If you are happy with the shave, it all that matters. It will get closer with time but I have to admit, it took a while before I said, that's BBS.
 
I agree with you and and if my DE-experience is anything to go by, if I may paraphrase: "If you take care of your DFS-shaves, your BBS-shaves will take care of themselves".
 

Luc

Moderator Emeritus
Yes, the good thing about knowing how to shave with a DE is that you already know a good lot of what you need to do (prep, lather, post-shave)!
 
Gustav- I have enjoyed reading about your progress. It has been an inspiration for me as I get started. Glad to read that the adams apple area got better for you. I have yet to tackle my neck area. I can;t even get the left cheek much yet. Hope your next shave goes even better.
 
Shave #10

Setup as in shave 9 except for Aqua vera ASB

Same routine as in shave 9 all around. Paid a lot of attention to stretching which seems to pay off. I again spent a lot of time on the adam's apple area stretching this way and that, slicing and scything. It did some good but I also got a lot of razor-burn and a long superficial cut under the chin. Then end result was a DFS all around with which I was quite satisfied. I think I am going to back off from this obsessive neck shaving because it does not seem worth taking big risks to shave off just a few whiskers.

I have taken some pictures which I will hopefully find time to post tomorrow.
 
Congratulations Gus, it sounds like you're getting the hang of it! :thumbup:

I'm only just at 40 shaves with a str8. I'm already finding that it's taking much less time and getting better results as my technique improves. I find that I can do a WTG followed by an ATG on my neck with no major problems....certainly with less irritation than I used to get with DE's. Under my jawline (near my earlobe) is a bit easier with a 4/8 rather than a 6/8 (for me), although even that's getting easier! :001_smile
 
Congratulations Gus, it sounds like you're getting the hang of it! :thumbup:

I'm only just at 40 shaves with a str8. I'm already finding that it's taking much less time and getting better results as my technique improves. I find that I can do a WTG followed by an ATG on my neck with no major problems....certainly with less irritation than I used to get with DE's. Under my jawline (near my earlobe) is a bit easier with a 4/8 rather than a 6/8 (for me), although even that's getting easier! :001_smile
That sound promising because I have a great little 5/8 Swedish vintage Erik Anton Berg that I am going to try on Sunday evening. Hopefully that thinner blade will make a difference.
 

Luc

Moderator Emeritus
Good work!

The smaller blade is easier to work with in difficult places (under the nose) but I find that big razor shave more hair. YMMV!

It's good that you didn't force it on the neck. That's how you cut yourself! It will get closer, at 10 shaves in, you already made giant leaps with the results you got!
 
Indeed, I had never imagined that I could learn this technique so fast. I still have a long way to go but that does not bother me since I am enjoying it so much.

When I think about my transition from DE to straights, snorkeling and diving springs to mind. When I started snorkeling I found it was absolutely fantastic and that I would always enjoy it. Then I did my open water diving certificate whilst on our honeymoon in the Maldives and almost overnight snorkeling lost most of its appeal compared to diving.
 

Luc

Moderator Emeritus
Indeed, I had never imagined that I could learn this technique so fast. I still have a long way to go but that does not bother me since I am enjoying it so much.

When I think about my transition from DE to straights, snorkeling and diving springs to mind. When I started snorkeling I found it was absolutely fantastic and that I would always enjoy it. Then I did my open water diving certificate whilst on our honeymoon in the Maldives and almost overnight snorkeling lost most of its appeal compared to diving.
Great comparison! Happy to know that you love it! :thumbup1:
 
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