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How long until aha?

BigJ

Ambassador
My guess is that it will take around 3-6 months. Even then, you need to concentrate until you have enough ‘muscle memory.’ Well worth the effort to develop this skill set!! :thumbup: :thumbup:
 
My advice is to consider the richer Nivea Sensitive Moisturiser rather than just the balm. I suggest this because you said your skin felt ‘sunburnt’ and I also experienced this. My issue was I needed more moisturisation post-shave.
I use the nivea sensitive skin after shave balm if it feels bad when I use the witch hazel if not I use the original, and sometimes I use the nivea soft for sensitive skin, is there a different one that I haven't been able to find?

Thanks
mreeveshp
 
Consider cold water splash before and after the shave...and during the shave...use cold water to rinse off your razor. Cold water shaving helped me with irritation.
I do cold water after the shave but I might try cold during like you recommended, I just dont know how I would feel about cold steel on my face haha

Thanks
mreeveshp
 
If you can break the habit of going over the same area twice without relathering, you'll be way ahead of the game.

Try dropping down to a single pass shave for a few days to let the irritation completely heal. Once you've gone a week with irritation free single pass shaves, add in your xtg pass. Once you've gone a week irritation free with 2 pass, increase to 3 pass. That's my 2 cents anyway.
My problem would be leaving so much stubble on my chin, I have trouble keeping the angle while going down and around my chin, but like I said I like everything about it to give up so I'm going to keep trying

Thanks
mreeveshp
 
As well as a light touch, try slower strokes.

Sometimes people have a tendency to scratch at their face with short, fast strokes - imagine a dog scratching its ear with its hind leg. That's the sort of frequency I mean. It's asking for trouble both because it's inherently clumsy and because it means you're doing multiple passes over the skin instead of one smooth, measured stroke.

Try to move the razor slowly and focus on how it feels as it glides across your skin. Turn off the tap, if you left it on, so you can hear what's happening.

Another thing to try is to ride the cap. Put the cap on your face with the handle sticking straight out then gradually lower the handle towards your face until you're --just-- cutting hair.

You might be able to safely increase the angle just a little more but too big an angle increases the chance of nicks.

ATG passes often need a really shallow angle but leave that for now.

Finally, try the mildest blade which can still cut your hair. Derby Extra is probably the mildest you can buy. If it feels tuggy ditch it and switch up to Astra SP (medium).

Unless you've got really thick, heavy hair, it might be best to leave the sharp blades until you can get around your face with no nicks.

About three weeks after I got my first DE safety razor, I bought my first shavette. After that, a DE was easy ;)
 
What you're doing is developing muscle memory as you progress through your shaves. With a de razor you're looking at around the 30 shave mark before you start to get decent at it. With a straight razor you're looking at around 100 shaves to get you to the same point. After you reach this milestone then you'll find yourself much better at it. Perfect shaves come much more frequently and are attainable without discomfort. In the mean time watch your angle and pressure and don't overdo it with touch up seeking out a perfect shave. Nobody but you will likely notice that your shave isn't perfect anyway.
 
For me, aha is a moving target.

Up until a month ago, I was skating along thinking I wasn’t going to get any better, then I changed my razor alone and the whole game changed completely for the better, and not by a marginal amount either, it was a HUGE improvement, and quite eye opening really.

Based on this experience, there is no doubt in my mind that there is something out there that can push my shaves even higher, but I’m at a point in my life where I have far more pressing matters to handle and my shaves are perfectly adequate to get me out the door smooth, clean, redness and irritation free so I can do whatever it is I need to do without looking and feeling like a train wreck.

So for me, a few months shy of a couple years, which is pretty long if you think about it!
 
As well as a light touch, try slower strokes.

Sometimes people have a tendency to scratch at their face with short, fast strokes - imagine a dog scratching its ear with its hind leg. That's the sort of frequency I mean. It's asking for trouble both because it's inherently clumsy and because it means you're doing multiple passes over the skin instead of one smooth, measured stroke.

Try to move the razor slowly and focus on how it feels as it glides across your skin. Turn off the tap, if you left it on, so you can hear what's happening.

Another thing to try is to ride the cap. Put the cap on your face with the handle sticking straight out then gradually lower the handle towards your face until you're --just-- cutting hair.

You might be able to safely increase the angle just a little more but too big an angle increases the chance of nicks.

ATG passes often need a really shallow angle but leave that for now.

Finally, try the mildest blade which can still cut your hair. Derby Extra is probably the mildest you can buy. If it feels tuggy ditch it and switch up to Astra SP (medium).

Unless you've got really thick, heavy hair, it might be best to leave the sharp blades until you can get around your face with no nicks.

About three weeks after I got my first DE safety razor, I bought my first shavette. After that, a DE was easy ;)
I have 100 pack of astra ss and sp and I have 6 packs of different blades, since all my money is going to medical bills and I'm out of work I chose the merkur 34c and the astra blades as my birthday gift, I was using VDH ss and o have the ice tempered but haven't tried them and since I got the merkur I was using the blade that came with it.

The only time I used a DE before was when a guy I worked paramedic/fire with let me try his but I don't know what equipment he used, my father always used electric and I know my grandfather's at some point used DE but I lived in a different state then them.

I do like the zen of the whole process it really seems to help my anxiety and PTSD a whole lot more than with a cart, I have been using VDH soap even when I was using carts instead of the stuff in a can I hated that stuff.

Thanks
mreeveshp
 
I do have very thin hairs on my face except my upper lip and chin, it does grow all over my face just thinner light colored hairs, so a lot of the time I don't get that feedback that everyone talks about until I'm doing around my mouth and chin which I keep wondering if that makes it a little harder and I do at some point want to get into straight razor shaving, I just love the looks of that so much and think it might be another way to relax, but that's in the far future.

Thanks
mreeveshp
 
I do have very thin hairs on my face except my upper lip and chin, it does grow all over my face just thinner light colored hairs, so a lot of the time I don't get that feedback that everyone talks about until I'm doing around my mouth and chin which I keep wondering if that makes it a little harder and I do at some point want to get into straight razor shaving, I just love the looks of that so much and think it might be another way to relax, but that's in the far future.

Thanks
mreeveshp
Right, aim to keep your equipment constant instead of changing things up all the time. You are trying to build technique and skill, experimenting with a lot of different things can come later on. Just find a setup that you like and stick with it for around 30 days would be my suggestion.
 
That looks like a tube version of what I use but might be a little different, right now I use these depending on what I feel my face needs I have some other face lotions but those 3 are my main go to lotions:

I'll have to see if that nivea is any different and if so figure out my funds to possibly be able to get it


Thanks
mreeveshp
 
The day I learned to let the weight of the razor do the work instead of pressing down is the day I stopped cutting myself with any DE blade; even feathers can't bleed me once I lightened up. Weight. Of. The. Razor. If it can't cut, either the blade isn't sharp enough or you need more lather
 
The day I learned to let the weight of the razor do the work instead of pressing down is the day I stopped cutting myself with any DE blade; even feathers can't bleed me once I lightened up. Weight. Of. The. Razor. If it can't cut, either the blade isn't sharp enough or you need more lather
I had a pretty good shave 2 days ago, my skin didn't feel as tight and the only 2 slight cuts I has was where I had a little zit or something, and for some reason I can't find any styptic pencils in any of the stores so I keep using toilet paper until one day that I'm gifted one or an alum block or in the far future when I have a little money to burn. The left cheek was a little sore probably because I'm reaching it with my right hand and I have rosacea on part of my forehead that spreads down my left cheek in front of my ear so that gets sore just from scrubbing with a wash cloth in the shower.

But I was very careful to not use pressure and re-lather as needed, I used my 34c with a brand new voskhod blade instead of the merkur blade that already had 3 shaves on it, and I still haven't tried the astra ss or sp that I got with the merkur for my birthday on the 12th or 13th whenever we celebrated it. And went back to my VDH soap instead of arko soap. It wasn't the closest shave I've ever had but it was close enough that no one would have been able to tell.

I'm definitely not going to give up the whole zen process of lathering and slowly shaving seems to actually help my anxiety and PTSD symptoms. So I think I'm here to stay haha.

I would still love to hear more stories from everyone about how it was when they got started and finally got it but I love the advice I've already got from this thread alone so thank you all for sharing.

Thanks
mreeveshp
 
This is the one I mean. It has the camomile and other healing ingredients also found in the balm.
I looked at 6 stores around my area and couldn't find that at all so my father was nice enough to get me another larger tub of the nivea soft and they didn't have the after shave balm for sensitive skin so he is going to keep a look out just so I have plenty on hand.

Thanks
mreeveshp
 
It took me about a month or two to really nail down the basics of getting a presentable shave. To reliably get a quality, smooth shave, regardless of razor or blade? That took a fair bit longer, and I'd say that I'm still working on it twelve or so
years later.
 
..But I was very careful to not use pressure and re-lather as needed, I used my 34c with a brand new voskhod blade instead of the merkur blade that already had 3 shaves on it, and I still haven't tried the astra ss or sp that I got with the merkur for my birthday..
Change to the Astra SP blade as soon as possible because that is a better blade than the Voskhod I find. The Astra SS is very similar and I find it hard to tell the difference. Merkur blades are very disappointing.
I think you are on the right track though; minimum overlap on each stroke of the razor equals a faster shave with less irritation. I tend to use the Nivea post shave balm but just as a moisturiser and it is readily available.
Take your time and enjoy your shaves.
 

KeenDogg

Social Media Guru
Moderator
Contributor
I was great off the bat. Then, I moved to hard soaps. My face wasn't getting enough moisture and was dry. Make sure you are keeping the face moisturized and supple. It will nick less. At least it did for me. My shaves got much better. I use CeraVe in the fall and winter.
 
Change to the Astra SP blade as soon as possible because that is a better blade than the Voskhod I find. The Astra SS is very similar and I find it hard to tell the difference. Merkur blades are very disappointing.
I think you are on the right track though; minimum overlap on each stroke of the razor equals a faster shave with less irritation. I tend to use the Nivea post shave balm but just as a moisturiser and it is readily available.
Take your time and enjoy your shaves.
After I use the voskhod i will switch to one of the packs in the picture or the astras


Thanks
mreeveshp
 
I was great off the bat. Then, I moved to hard soaps. My face wasn't getting enough moisture and was dry. Make sure you are keeping the face moisturized and supple. It will nick less. At least it did for me. My shaves got much better. I use CeraVe in the fall and winter.
I use the nivea after shave balm to moisturize after the shave and on days I don't shave I usually use nivea soft, I started the habit of using the nivea soft to help with the rosacea because it will get a very scaly kind of feeling very fast, and I use sensitive skin face soap with moisturizer

Thanks
mreeveshp
 
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