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How long for DE newbie to get proficient?

Good day all,

I am pretty new to DE shaving. Before shaving with a safety razor I looked at shaving as a chore, but now I actually enjoy it.

I've been using the DE for about 2 1/2 weeks at this point, and have found all kinds of good tips in this forum and elsewhere, so thanks to all who share!

I have a VDH (Weishi) TTO razor and Dorco ST-300 blades, and when I use the Shave Secret oil, I get really excellent results, and I am actually surprised I am able to get such good results (at least, I think they are) this quickly.

My questions:

1. How long do you think it took before you became proficient?

2. How long did it take you to figure out which combinations of razor/blade/prep product worked best?

3. How long should a newbie wait before experimenting with new razors?

(I'm asking #3 because I have read a lot that the VDH/Weishi is somewhat inefficient due to its conservative design. My shaves take about 15 minutes and I'm looking to reduce this time if I can.)

Thanks!

StewB
 
My shaves take about 15 minutes and I'm looking to reduce this time if I can.
You will be more successful when you realize this is counter productive.

Don't attempt to shave faster. Your goal should be better shaves. Eventually they will take less time. Maybe.

#1 what is proficient? Being about to achieve a great shave with any setup? About 3 months of shaving daily.

#2 work in progress. Although I'm very happy with what I have now. Took me about 1 year to get here.

#3 21 days seems like a reasonable answer.
 
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Don't attempt to shave faster. Your goal should be better shaves.
Totally agree with this. I learned that slow and steady is the best way when learning. I have forums like this to thank for this good advice!

A related question, I guess, would be this: What effect(s) does DE razor head design have on shaving efficiency?
 
Learning this skill is similar to training other motor skills, like in sports, for instance. You're building muscle memory. Eventually, you will not have to think about what you're doing and it will become (almost) automatic. It's hard to predict how long that will take, but you will gradually get more skilled over the course of several months. You will learn faster if you can keep things fairly constant, as long as your equipment is decent.
 

rbscebu

Girls call me Makaluod
For #3 I would say don't change anything until you start to notice no further improvements in you shaving. Then is the time to start changing things. This will better allow you to determine what is better for you and that it is not your technique that is the reason.

The same holds true in straight razor shaving.
 
It took me about five years before I was able to achieve a super close shave with zero irritation. That time was spent exploring straight razors and honing, de razors and blades, se razors, brushes and soaps. However, I could get a reasonably close shave with minimal irritation after a couple of months. Admittedly, I do not expect I will ever know everything there is to know about wet shaving. I am still learning with every shave.

If you will find people on forums like this one who seem to have a beard, skin and preferences similar to yours, you can learn how to identify what might work best for you. Shaving is very much a YMMV type of thing. Slight variations in things like water quality can often have consequences in your shave.

I normally take about 35 minutes for preparation, a shower, shave, and cleanup. About 10 minutes of that time is with razor or brush in hand actually shaving. On those occasions where I cannot allocate a proper amount of time, I shave in the shower using a cartridge razor. However, the quality of my shave is so diminished that I try not to do that more and once every few months. Try to allocate sufficient time for your wet shave so you can enjoy the experience. Rushing is often the cause of poor quality shaves.
 
For #3 I would say don't change anything until you start to notice no further improvements in you shaving. Then is the time to start changing things. This will better allow you to determine what is better for you and that it is not your technique that is the reason.
Excellent, thank you!
 
It took me about five years before I was able to achieve a super close shave with zero irritation.
Patience is a virtue. I guess I am short on that...
Try to allocate sufficient time for your wet shave so you can enjoy the experience. Rushing is often the cause of poor quality shaves.
Understood and agree. I really don't want to rush. In fact, now that I actually enjoy shaving, making that time is a little easier!
 
What effect(s) does DE razor head design have on shaving efficiency?
Well, given a slick soap, good consistency of lather, and a blade well known for its sharpness, what else is left? Haha. The head design is most of the efficiency. But there are other factors than can increase or decrease regardless of what razor you have. When you're ready, put a Kai or Feather in that razor of yours and see what happens.
 
I will say three months to get good shaves without irritation but honestly I still learn almost every shave. Try different techniques, different razors, skin stretching, different lather making processes. The journey is different for us all. Try many different blades to find one that is comfortable and sharp enough for your beard type. Buy soap samples to find which ones produce the best lather for you. Experiment!
 
I am pretty good after about three years. 4 out of 5 shaves are exquisite. I used the same hardware for a year. The greatest improvements were in lather building, getting the right consistency helped me a ton. And also using no pressure and letting the razor do the work. That being said, I bought and sold a few razors and have three now that work very very well on my beard /stubble. Same with blades, it took a little experimenting to find the right blade for the razor.
 
Good day all,

I am pretty new to DE shaving. Before shaving with a safety razor I looked at shaving as a chore, but now I actually enjoy it.

I've been using the DE for about 2 1/2 weeks at this point, and have found all kinds of good tips in this forum and elsewhere, so thanks to all who share!

I have a VDH (Weishi) TTO razor and Dorco ST-300 blades, and when I use the Shave Secret oil, I get really excellent results, and I am actually surprised I am able to get such good results (at least, I think they are) this quickly.

My questions:

1. How long do you think it took before you became proficient?

2. How long did it take you to figure out which combinations of razor/blade/prep product worked best?

3. How long should a newbie wait before experimenting with new razors?

(I'm asking #3 because I have read a lot that the VDH/Weishi is somewhat inefficient due to its conservative design. My shaves take about 15 minutes and I'm looking to reduce this time if I can.)

Thanks!

StewB

My VDH is all I use. It's a great razor. I don't know what you mean by a conservative design. If you think the VDH is inefficient, try tilting it back on the top cap until the blade lightly touches the skin. Slice instead of scrape for a great shave. With every stroke, use the top cap to push a little soap over the area where the next stroke will go.

After 3 1/2 years, I found a new technique just a couple of weeks ago that works so well, nobody else wants to use it. I shave in about seven minutes including cleanup. Speed comes with time.

I tried a Dorco blade that came as a sample with something. It was a good blade. I mostly use an Astra SP because I have a couple of hundred of them.

Once you start experimenting with changes, set aside a few thousand dollars. It goes quickly.
 
Learning how to shave with a DE wouldn't take very long (somewhere between a few days to a few weeks), but ''mastering'' your technique and developing your own unique technique might take years to perfect.

It also depends on your skin and beard, since some folks are naturally born with more rugged skin and they tend to learn pretty quick, since they don't get as much of irritation, weepers and other issues like the rest. Also, having a light and/or not very dense beard would also help a lot and your shaves are definitely going to be much easy.

The other thing is that it depends on how much deep you want to into this hobby. If you just want one razor, then all you have to do is buy a blade sample with some of the highly recommended blades on the market and experiment to find out what works out for you the best and after that you're pretty much done. Such individuals exist, but they are not very common in these parts.

If, however you decide to join the dark side to own multiple razors, then your technique and skill will definitely improve a lot more, since different razors require different approach and while you might use more pressure with some razors, with others it's just nearly impossible.

Since the whole shaving experience differs from person to person it's impossible to say for sure how long exactly is going to take for you to learn or is you're going to like it or not. My advice for you is to have patience, do a lot of reasearch before buying anything (especially expensive stuff), try and experiment from time to time while shaving, take everything you read with a grain of salt including what I just wrote and most importantly - enjoy the hobby.
 
I am a year in and still see set back regularly ... one might say I am on a life long journey.

It took me 6 month to find a good working combo Merkur 34 HD, Voshkod balde, proraso whit in a tub and accompanying AS balm, not to forget the boar brush

Some need a sharp blade, I just butcher my face with it
 
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