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Hello! I am a nervous newbie here who is greatly in need of some help and advice!

Hello there!

My name is John and I have been debating getting into the wetshaving club for sometime but I have always been, quite frankly, freaked out! I am a 25-year-old man who has pretty clear, sensitive skin. However, sometimes my clear skin will be ravaged by an unsightly ingrown hair that leaves me very self-conscious. I pride myself on on exuding a healthy look and nothing is more unhealthy looking then an irritated red bump on your face caused by shaving. I never want to feel that horrible feeling again!

So, these are the things that I believe I will be buying to start my first weshave expereince - (please let me know if you believe I should start with a different product/tool)

Safety Razor - Merkur Classic Safety Razor or The Merkur Hefty Class (not sure on which?)

Shaving Brush - Vulfix #404 Best Badger Shaving Brush

Shaving Cream - I am thinking of trying the Proraso because I hear such great things about it, however, I am confused because I thought that wetshaving always includes a cream that is in a tub. Proraso is in a bottle, no?

I was also thinking about the Taylor of Old Bond Street Avocado Shaving cream.

Aftershave - Undecided, I would really appreciate your recommendations.

That is what I am going with so far...I could really use some help as I am soooo lost!
Hello Canan, welcome to B&B!!

Your shave setup looks fine. The Proraso cream comes in a metal foil tube, that looks like an oversized tube of toothpaste.

They also make a shave soap that is packaged in a covered plastic cup, and has been described as a hard cream or a soft soap. Both are excellent, though the tube is more common.

Grocery store/drug store aftershaves are fine and will get you started. You can later decide if you want to branch out a bit.

Many shave creams are packaged in tubes as well as tubs (jars). The ToBS creams are excellent.

Read the tutorials and How-to's in the stickied thread at the top of this forum. It's worth your time and will be helpful.

-- John Gehman
Being new to wet shaving I wish I could help you out, but I'm sure some of the experienced gents here will be more than happy to answer some of your questions. The only one I'm sure about is the Proraso, it comes both in cream, the tube kind, and in soap in a tub container. I purchased the Proraso soap, but I just recently purchased the Proraso cream. I would like to try both of them out to see which one I prefer.

Oh, as far as the Merkur I purchased, at first, the 180 long handle, but didn't like the feel of it. I have big hands and I thought it would be the best choice for me, it wasn't. I went ahead and picked up a Merkur Heavy Duty Double Edge Razor #34C, which is smaller. Incredibly the smaller razor feels better in my hand than the long handle one. I feel like I have more control with the #34C. Hope that helps you a little.

John, most of your setup sounds fine. I would recommend the Merkur 33c over the HD. With sensative skin, you will probably find the HD much more challenging and less comforting, especially starting out.

Good choice in a bush. For a cream, consider Trumpers Extract of Limes. This particular cream is mild, lathers well, provides good cushion and slickness, as well as being gentle on sensative skin.

The hard part is finding the blade that works best for you. I would recommend getting a blade sampler back. Regardless, which ever razor you choose, avoid the Merkur sample blades that come with it.

Aftershaves, do you prefer a splash or a balm? Balms may work better for sensative skin. I recommend trying both and find which one you prefer.


"To Wiki or Not To Wiki, That's The Question".
Welcome to B&B!

Did you get a razor blade sample pack? That would help you trying different blades and see which works best for you.

For the AS, I would recommend good old Nivea Sensitive balm. Easy to find, cheap and works well. I used it for years.

For additional help, there's a section in the FAQ (see top menu).


Do not hesitate if you have any questions.
Hi John, for your first razor I would actually recommend the Muhle R89. It's not quite as aggressive as the Merkur models but provides a close shave while being smooth and forgiving. It can be found for roughly the same price as the Merkur HD and in my opinion (I use both regularly) it's by far the better built.

On aftershaves, if you have sensitive skin I would suggest picking up some Clinique Post-Shave Healer (a creamy balm). I've never found anything better for after my shave

Hope this helps!

I would also look at the EJ89L (same head as the muhle R89 mentioned above) as a starter razor. Mine is head and shoulders above a Merkur. Or you could try out a classic Gillette super speed and save some money as they are always on BST and are great razors.

I started with TOBS cream, but have gravitated towards soaps. Not sure about the vulfix brush, but if you are not opposed to using a boar, the semogue line offers tremendous value. I enjoy my boars from semogue better than a lot of my badgers, and they are all in the $20-$30 range (the semogue 1305 is quite popular - I own the 620, 830 and 2000 and would recommend them all. For a started brush though the 830 is a great all around brush).
Welcome to B&B, you have a a bunch of good adviceto far and you have what looks like a very nice setup. Prorasso is an excellent cream and has always given me an irritation free shave and is probably the most relaxing cream in my rotation (I've even considered using up everything and only replacing the magical green tube).
Hey John! Welcome to B&B!

I would definitely consider the Edwin Jagger DE 89L razor. I purchased one not too long ago and it did provide for very smooth, close shaves. I don't have any of the Merkurs you mention, but do have the Barber Pole versions of the Slant Bar and Open Comb, along with the Futur.

All give me a BBS shave, with the main difference being the length of time it takes to achieve said shave, and how long the shave lasts.

As far as Shaving Cream, you can't go wrong with TOBS. The Prorasso also comes in a tube, I believe.

Oh, and plus 1 on the sample pack.

Good Luck, and feel free to ask more questions!
All great suggestions so far, and the prorasso is available at Bath and body works branded as CO Bigelow. Works great for alot of people around here... for me it never really rang my bell as I am more of a soap person. Kiss My Face is also a great cream and very inexpensive. Ditto on the sampler pack of blades.... and welcome to B&B
I'm in the same boat as you. I'll be 25 in August, and I like to keep my appearance flawless.

That being said, I will never go back to the Mach3 and Goo-in-a-can.

I am so glad I walked into a store called Gentlemen's Best out of curiousity.

Thank you for all the help and suggestions! I will def. be doing a bit more research!


Welcome to you.

I think it's great you are doing more research but don't over analyse it. There is a point where you will need to just make a decision and "dive in". As a newbie I've found I've spent a bit of money on trying different things.

I own a Merkur HD (34C) but others have recommended razors like the Muhle R89. I notice these two razors have one thing in common, i.e. a similar cross pattern on the handle. I've found this helps with the grip on my razor in terms of it not slipping in my fingers.

I've noticed other people having good shaves with razors with smooth handles but for newbies like you and me I think that's worth considering.
First, Welcome.

I would add some witch hazel. Iuse Thayers' Rose Petal witch hazel which soothes any irritation I might feel. As for after shave lotion or balms I use T&H Products if my skin is not that irritated I use T&H products (ultimate, Grafton, etc.) If my skin feels a little raw I then use Neutrogena Triple Defense.
Do you guys have any advice on what blade I should choose from the sample kit for sensitive kit? Just starting off?
I just started as well, and I have both the EJ DE89L and the Merkur 33C (which is an HD with a smaller handle). Both provide me with an excellent shave and being a newbie, I can't tell too much difference yet.

One thing I would add is an alum bar. I rub it on right after a cool water rinse and before aftershave.

Good luck!
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