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How has your shaving routine changed?

Back 15-ish years ago is when I started my wet shaving journey. The shaving community was very different back then, forums were few and far between, and there were self appointed gurus who tried to make sure they were recognized as the keepers of all shaving knowledge. Dissent with the popular opinions was met with ridicule and mob mentality attacks. For instance, using Arkansas stones to hone straight razors was ridiculed as heresy. You were expected to use a certain amount of strokes on a certain hone, regardless of steel hardness, grind, or bevel condition. If you couldn't follow these commandments, then you couldn't hone. It was your fault. If you used a pasted strop to hone your razors, then you were basically a second class citizen.
Products were few and far between as well. The internet and sales were nothing like what is today, artisan soaps were unheard of, custom straights and high end DE razors were simply non existent.
Well I sort of digressed from my titular intention, but I feel the background and history was a good precursor to my own discussion on how my routine has changed.
Yes, I hone rather well on Arkansas stones. I've used the internet to buy products from all over the world. I can discuss a half dozen ways to hone a razor, and learn from others how they do it too. No one is "less" of a wet shaver. I used to use an immersion heater in a mug to get water even hotter than my water heater could put out. Now I only use cold tap water. Along the way, I have learned to enjoy DE razors too. I had to use a badger brush back in the day, because that's what all the cool kids used, lol. Now I can't see myself not using a ten dollar synthetic brush. I'm perfectly happy with a stick of Arko, but I have also spent ten times what Arko costs on artisan soaps. I no longer wish to chase the next best soap or cream. I've learned a few products that I like and am happy using just them. I want to enjoy my shaves, instead of doing the wet shaving equivalent of blind dating or speed dating, haha. I've also learned that YMMV is a very real thing, and your experiences may be opposite of mine, and that's fine. If you've made it this far, thanks for reading. Please share your experiences on how your routine has changed.
For me it is pretty simple. Until I stumbled on this forum I used Proraso, my Merkur 33C, and Bluebird or Proraso blue blades. I did use different aftershaves, but besides that I used what I used and nothing more.

Now, after this forum, I've tried and bought various soaps, razors and brushes. I didn't know what RAD was, but now I have to fight it off almost daily.

It's all been very fun, except for the irritation I get from trying out a razor I'm not used to.

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I have generally ‘simplified’ my routine over time.
1. Focus on a good prep.
2. Top-tier soaps (mostly ‘tallow’) lathered on my face.
3. Limited number of razors (in the mild/moderate range).
4. Top-tier sharp blade rotation (with many exceptions to try interesting blades).
5. AS rotation.
Works for me!! :a29:
@Galaktus, as we're approaching the end of the year, this is a good reflection topic. Fortunately (or unfortunately or whatever), I converted to wet shaving late and started on B&B, so I missed a lot of the "brutal years" that others may have experienced on "other forums".

I have to say that, here, I've never been made fun of or ridiculed for any of my rookie mistakes or selection of lousy equipment; there has been some very good natured banter. Comments are usually frames as "you might want to try this" or "here's what works for me". Excellent environment for a noobie to learn the craft.

I'm not as refined in my routine as @BigJ (whose opinions and comments I respect), and I'm having way too much fun discovering new things. Biggest thing is that shaving, for me, has become a great and fun endeavor that I look forward to instead of a daily drudgery chore.


Remember to forget me!
I've always ignored trends, which is why I was using a DE in my teens, while everyone else was getting all excited about the new Mach III or whichever iteration the modern cartridge was on back then. I still ignore trends today.

How have I changed since signing up here a year ago? Well I've started dabbling with aftershaves again after a two decade abstention. Only cheap ones though, a couple of store own brand lotions, and my own homebrewed version.

I have discovered the joy of the shavestick for travel, and also the fact that a synthetic brush works well with it. I never used to travel with a brush before, and either used bar soap, oil, or a cheapo gel.

I have dabbled with lapping film, and gotten shaves with hollow ground blades that likely haven't shaved a face before mine in decades. Only occasional use items though, I wouldn't want to have to do all that peripheral maintenance full time.

I also count the shaves of my DE blades to compare how different brands perform, which is essentially pointless, as I have enough on the drawer that I'll probably never need to buy another blade in my life.

Aside from that, I'm still the stubborn cheapskate I always was, and still ignore the hysteria of the crowd cheering the arrival of the latest and greatest whatever, and find my favourite products and techniques.
Old guy.

Began with a liberated Tech in 1966. Used that forever. Started with Ivory soap. Moved on to a boar and Colgate/Williams. Like most, sinned for a while with electrics, disposables, carts. But mostly used cheap brushes, cheap soaps, cheap blades. Shaves were meh; my technique wasn't much.

Since discovering shaving stores, forums, high end soaps, etc I have cycled through new, vintage, and such. Lotta fun. And I am now retired, so a leisurely shave is always on the calendar.

Never tried straights. However, maybe 20 or so brushes and as many DE razors followed me home. Many left.

OP, fly fishing is something I've done for decades. Recall some of the same guru business in that sport.

One thing for sure, all this whizbang technology makes learning faster, easier. And oh, the many options in kit!

Happy shaving,

Going to answer this from two perspectives, technical and idiosyncratic.

Prior to joining Badger & Blade my technical skills were brutal, and that's being kind. My idea of lathering was to twirl the brush (usually far too wet) over a Williams puck for 15 seconds and being ticked I was able to get was this foam slurry that was worthless to shave with. Of course I still tried and got the expected brutal results. Would get frustrated and revert back to canned goo, usually Proraso green so a decent goo but goo nonetheless. My shaving method was similar to how I approach cutting the lawn. Trim as much with a single pass as possible and speed is important. Had no idea of how to properly hold the razor, thought more pressure was preferred to less and with the exception of touching up missed spots I would never have considered more than one pass. Since joining B&B and being a sponge to try and soak up as much information as possible my technique has improved considerably. Some of the members generosity of knowledge and time still never fails to impress me.

My personal choices & preferences have evolved as well. When I got serious about DE shaving I went on what my GF describes as a "frantic" buying spree, I prefer to think of it as enthusiastic. With not a lot of consideration to what I'd really enjoy to use or value to have in my collection I just bought stuff. Stupid for sure but in defense of this I was able to quickly try a whole lot of kit in short order. Once I calmed down and became more selective in my acquisitions I was able to build an inventory I'm both quite proud of as well as pleased in how almost everything performs. I still have a few items I'm not convinced are going to stay but as my technique continues to improve I want to be objective before a brush, razor, etc. gets the boot.
I have been wet shaving since about 2011. I still enjoy the experimentation. I have a Timeless Bronze. It could easily be my last razor, but I still want to try some more. Same with brushes. I have a $10 synthetic and I have a Chubby 2. I love them both. Since my desired razors and brushes are pretty pricey for me, I delight myself with soaps. One of my morning pleasures is smelling my various soaps and deciding which one to use. I just took delivery of B&M Seville and have not stopped smelling it. It has already given me a lot of joy for what I paid for it. Razors and brushed my cost, but a good soap can be enjoyed for very little.
I still use the same things I used when I started shaving forty years ago: a DE razor (although I retired my 50s Fatboy my father gave me with a Merkur 34c in 2000),a can of shaving foam (usually Figaro,Proraso or Nivea, they are all dirt cheap in the EU) and an alcohol based AS (usually Pitralon).
Hot water of course for my daily four pass ,I always shave after my morning shower,five minute shave is mandatory.
I tried the brush/cream/soap when I stumbled on the "internets" forums but they did not provide a better shave (how could they since I always got a BBS irritation free shave from the start?).
The only thing that hasn't changed are two of the razors in my rotation: a FB or adjustable as it was called when I bought it in a pharmacy and my Slim.

Back then my routine was similar to what I do now. I shave then shower. However, I only did two passes back then North to South and South to North. As a result, I had frequent irritation. My original soap was in flake form and I would mix it in a mug with warm water. I would use one product exclusively until it was used up. We didn't call it 3017ing back then.
I started off doing the typical 3 pass shave (WTG,XTG,ATG) with a DE razor using slow strokes. I would relather in between passes and have to take my time to avoid nicking myself. This process took nearly 40 minutes.

Nowadays, I shave with single edge razors and shave 1 section of my face/neck at a time. I have split my face/neck into 5 sections: right side of face, left side of face, upper lip and chin, left side of neck, and right side of neck. I shave 1 section of my face/neck in a WTG/XTG direction using fast buffing strokes then rewet that section with bloom water and shave ATG before moving onto the next section of my face/neck. This process provides better results, uses less soap, and only takes 7-10 minutes.

I encourage everyone to try shaving like this at least once. I keep my bloom water in a coffee mug and use my non-dominant hand to apply the bloom water to the face. I use a cotton finger sleeve, from PAA, on my index finger to keep the grip on my skin when skin-stretching since my non-dominant hand gets very slippery.
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I put a vintage radio on the shelf. Moved out to the laundry with its shelves and vintage cabinet. Loaded it up with supplies. And a daily 20+mins to myself. I'd say the biggest gain in my life apart from bbs shaves is the ritual and time out to myself. Man therapy.
Stage 1 - "Ignorance"
Cheap butterfly DE razor, Astra SPs, cheap badger brush, Cella and Proraso

Stage 2 - "Expansion"
Several DE razors, like Tech, Slim, Progress, Personna Reds, Maseto silver tip brush, first artisan soaps from WK and Eufros

Stage 3 - "Taking stock"
ATT SE1 and 6C razors with P-30s and 7 o'clock Yellows, sell Maseto and switch to synthetics with Yaqi Mokka Mew Brown, over 30 artisan soaps from SV, Pannacrema, Grooming Dept. etc. and start to sell off unused soaps like Cella, Proraso, TOBS, T&S

Stage 4 - "Beginnings of Wisdom"
Ever-Ready 1912 with PTFE blades, focus on technique using stretch and short strokes, 2 more Yaqi brushes, selling off more soaps and reading Fragrantica on fragrances and notes, selling more soaps that wouldn't fit into a rotation of 30 and looking at cutting down further, getting much more focussed on soap making and scent combinations, starting to be very targeted about soap buying, like "buy one, sell one", exploring UK artisans like Wickhams and Nanny's Silly Soaps and getting interested in how they put their range of scents together and how they choose the ingredients. Shaving now takes longer and is done in more detail giving closer shaves with less irritation from rigid SE blades. Still use 6C and SE1 but mostly GEM razors now.
Well yeah, always a wet shaver. originally I shaved with Barbasol and a two bladed cart. Then it was a Mach 3 Gillette with Barbasol or Noxema cream for many many years. No brush. One pass shave. Quick and dirty. Every couple days.

Went DE and it was a solely a Muhle R89, TOBS & Nivea shaving cream, Thayers WH and Nivea or Proraso Balm. Omega brush. 3 pass shave.

It morphed with this forum into a small rotation of razors and hard soaps with alum vice WH but added splashes, different balm. Blades stayed the same pretty much the same. Badger brushes mostly. Sometimes synthetic. Generally two passes daily.
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