Hello Dave. Welcome. I was also lurking around a few years before I signed up.Hello all,
I've been reviewing this forum off and on for a while and finally created an account. I really appreciate all the wonderful guidance, suggestions, and opinions on all things shaving and many things unrelated . I just realized that there was this section for newbies to check in so figured I would do that.
This post is a quite bit longer than I initially plan so here's a TL;DR - I'm new here and new to using a DE razor but not new to wetshaving or head shaving. I appreciate all of your comments and expressions on the forum.
I've been a wetshaver since my dad taught me over 30 years ago and have been a head shaver for the past 15 years, maybe a bit longer. Started using a DE razor recently and I'm really enjoying it and wish I would have considered it sooner. Better late than never as they say. Since I've been a head shaver for the better part of 2 decades I wasn't overly concerned about the cost of the cartridges as I figured I was saving money by not going to the barber. Based on what I've read here, I see that some of the cause of my irritation and razor bumps was due to technique and equipment but truthfully mostly technique. While my dad taught me how to shave, he didn't have a great deal of experience because he rarely shaves. When he was in the Marines back in the 60s, he was required to shave everyday but since he rarely had enough facial hair, he would just lather up and use the empty razor to wipe off the lather. He said he would put a blade in it maybe once a week for the stubble that would eventually start to grow.
What he taught me was basically the technique he uses to this day, buy the cheap foamy stuff and a cheap disposable, shave, and apply Skin Bracer. My dad has fine hair but the men on my mom's side have coarse, curly hair and I definitely inherited that. I've always shaved 3 to 4 times a week so after a few years of shaving a friend encouraged me to help the irritation and razor bumps I was getting by moving away from the cheap stuff and spending money on better shave gels, cartridges, and after shave balms, and my improved shaving routine significantly reduced the irritation and razor bumps but never fully fixed the issues. Fast forward a few decades and I find myself hearing dad telling that story again about shaving in the Corp and I get curious. At that time I had considered the DE razor to be old school and inferior compared to the advanced tech involved in Gillette's newest razors with 18 blades, flexible heads, vibrating this, heated that, etc. Don't get me wrong, I respected those old razors and viewed them as "an elegant weapon for a more civilized age."
So anyway, I start doing a bit of research and by a bit I mean a lot as I spent many hours down the YouTube rabbit hole as well as on different forums and websites. I quickly realized that there is so much I didn't know - not only about DE razors but about shaving in general and the ways to properly address my shaving concerns as a black man. I decided to see if using this type of razor was for me so I bought a cheap one, a Vikings Blade Chieftain Jr, and after using it for a while I'm hooked. I've been using Parker blades with it but I've recently made an assortment purchase from Tryablade and I ordered a Rockwell 6S that I'm looking forward to putting through its paces.
Thanks to everyone for your comments and contributions here, they really do have an impact. Not just on those who comment and reply but also on the lurkers like I used to be.