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I am scared!

I just recently ordered my first straight (Dovo Special 6/8, from Straight Razor Designs) after researching a lot about the advantages of SR shaving. I have been a DE (39C) user for 2+ years and have no complaints.

So, in preparation for the Dovo, I tried shaving with a Feather AC RG today and hacked my face apart. I even cut my ear lobe and a knuckle. It got so bad that I initially contemplated just returning the Dovo to SRD unopened.

I think I'm going to keep it. But, and I recognize the AC's fearsome reputation, is keeping it a good idea? I guess I just need to know whether a "true" straight is more forgiving or whether I am a DE guy at heart.
 
I have never shaved with the Feather, and I can't speak about shavette type razors from experience because I've never used one.
But I read here a lot that they don't compare to the methods used in a regular straight razor.
I was scared to death before I had my first straight razor shave. I mean I had the shakes about it.
5 minutes into the shave, I knew it was for me.
It takes a long time to learn how to get a decent shave out of it (I mean a long time), but it is just so much fun and so great to learn how to do it properly.
I have had a few nicks, and one painful gash on my neck, but I got those later, after I fancied I knew what I was doing and got cocky and careless.
If you take your time, make sure strokes and watch what you are doing, you'll be fine.
Don't be afraid of the blade.
It wants to shave you, you just gotta help it.
 

Alacrity59

Wanting for wisdom
I've never tried the various disposable options . . . Straight razors are longer so it does take a bit to adjust to the point where you can know by feel you are not cutting you ear off.
 
I have a Feather AC as well as many straights. Give your Dovo a chance. The Feather is not a true straight, the blades are wicked sharp, and I don't believe they are quite as forgiving as a true straight.
 
It is a very different technique to shave with a straight whether you use a Feather or a true straight. The hardest part is that you have to pay more attention to the angle and you may be focusing so much on that part that you forget to keep the pressure extremely light. You may also tend to increase the pressure just because you are nervous (I know that I did early in my learning curve).

You will find it very rewarding once you have mastered the technique (and your nerves). So, keep it up for at least a while. I think you will find it very personally rewarding in the end. Also, don't worry about doing your whole face. Do the easy parts with your straight. Finish the rest with your DE. The point is that you will be getting comfortable with the angles and technique before you proceed to the more difficult parts of your face.
 
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Forget about the AC, pretend like it never happened. Straights are more forgiving (though still plenty dangerous). Take the first shave slow and only try to complete a WTG pass on the planes of your face. Once you get comfortable with that, WTG on the neck, chin and lastly, the coupe de maitre.
 
I believe the time I spent learning to get good straight razor shaves, about two months, was well worth the effort. The advice above to take it slow and not try and achieve a BBS shave right off is good advice. After the learning curve the results are superior and the ST8 fun factor is a multiple of the DE fun factor.

I did not follow the advice to do just the easy parts of your face with a ST8 and do the rest with the DE. I just decided to go ahead and give it a full go. Some cuts and nicks were endured, but overall I found I learned quicker when focused on the angles needed for the ST8. Of course, YMMV. I also went just WTG until I got more comfortable (about two weeks) and did slowly add more passes and strokes. Oh, make sure to stretch your skin- very important for good results with ST8s.

The one tip I picked up here that was really important was to have privacy when you shave. It was not good to have SWMBO talking to me while I shaved- it was distracting, i.e. impeded progress and resulted in some cuts.

Have fun and good luck!
 
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Huge +1 to what everyone here is saying. Forget about the Feather and everything else.

I know that straight shaving for me had a high "pucker factor" at first, but it calmed down after a week or so. As a matter of fact, I didn't get great shaves until I had confidence in the strokes I was doing.
 
Thanks everyone for the feedback and reassurance. In a completely unrelated matter, does anyone want to buy a Feather AC RG with Professional blades (used once, all blood hs been removed)? (Obviously I'm being humorous. but I am interested in selling it - send me a PM).
 
I bought a Dovo 5/8 'Best Quality' about two weeks ago. Its easier to use than a shavette and not as sharp. But Straights are sharp. I've had a few nicks but do enjoy the shaves although i'm no where near getting shaves that i would say were comparable to my DE shaves.
 
I have no experience with the shavettes but as phil stated above i too went in to my first shave mortified, this was about six weeks ago. don't quite remember but it was about 6 pretty good nicks all over my face. shave two got about halfway through with another 3 nicks and put the razor down and finished with a DE, afterwards i figured that straights were just not for me and cleaned up the razor and got it repackaged for resale. long story short after a few days i was able to shake the willy's and decided to give it one more attempt and have not picked up the DE since! good luck with whatever you decide.

Ian
 
I'm a straight razor newbie, having just finished my 10th shave yesterday, and I can tell you I was terrified to try it for the first shave. I bought a restored spike point razor on the BST and didn't know whether to be more scared of the edge or that wicked spike. In the end, I also bucked conventional wisdom and went for a complete multi-pass shave my first trip out of the gate. I wound up with about four or five nicks/cuts (mostly from not knowing where the spike was at any given time), but continued on. I've never touched up with a DE, and I haven't had to go to the emergency room yet!

Don't focus on the negatives. Give the Dovo a try, you'll be surprised how enjoyable it will be...
 
You should have used the Dovo in preparation for the Feather AC RG, those feather blades are really something....... :p

My first shave with a straight was with a Friodur 7/8, scary since it is a fairly big blade. I did manage to cut myself (minor nick) on the chin and on the neck the first times, my 444 alum stone was a very helpful tool at that time. ;)

Take your time and don't give up!
 
I just recently ordered my first straight (Dovo Special 6/8, from Straight Razor Designs) after researching a lot about the advantages of SR shaving. I have been a DE (39C) user for 2+ years and have no complaints.

So, in preparation for the Dovo, I tried shaving with a Feather AC RG today and hacked my face apart. I even cut my ear lobe and a knuckle. It got so bad that I initially contemplated just returning the Dovo to SRD unopened.

I think I'm going to keep it. But, and I recognize the AC's fearsome reputation, is keeping it a good idea? I guess I just need to know whether a "true" straight is more forgiving or whether I am a DE guy at heart.

The Feather AC is a little less forgiving, but it is a good shaving tool. Now that you have it, I would keep using it while giving it respect, especially as you relearn the contours of your face, places which can be easily bitten by a straight razor. By far the most important part of the technique is to use a light touch.

It took me a little while, but I realized how Feather razor must have gotten its name...imagine that you are dragging a bird feather across your face, where you are not using any pressure but letting the blade do all the work. At which point you will get a nice shave free of nicks.
 
There is nothing to fear from your Dovo!

I wanted to start with an Artist Club razor, mainly to avoid the expense of all the incidentals necessary to properly move to a traditional straight razor, but the shave gods did not smile upon me.
In a way, it was the best for me that the AC purchase did not work out, although I feel terrible for the seller losing his razor. But, I caused me to bite the bullet and get a traditional straight with all the accompanying parephenalia. From the first use, I have never looked back!
Did complete shaves from the start, and haven't touched a DE since that first straight shave.
The straight will NOT cut your head clean off, slice your jugular or do any damage that will not heal. I've suffered the same nicks from the spike, but in a few days they're gone... all part of the learning process and "payin' one's dues...."
Besides, if you do scar yourself, it's a great talking point, and never forget that chicks dig scars...

Just kidding!!!

Like Nike says.... Just do it!

Good advice about keeping the wife away during those first shaves though... :bored:
 
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