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My Straight Shaving Journey

Whoa, whoa, whoa. I didn't say I was giving up, it's just that I thought the gap between shaving closeness and comfort was a lot smaller than I thought. Turns out I was wrong, lol. I appreciate your thoughts on the matter, seeing how close we are to newbishness in terms fo straight shaving.

It may just be with my experience using a straight adding to the shave, because I don't recall arriving at a BBS shave quite so effortlessly before. I don't believe I'll give up on my straight shaving efforts any time soon. It's only been a little over a month, after all, and I think my "every day" equipment is far too gratifying to let sit in a drawer somewhere.
 

Luc

Moderator Emeritus
Whoa, whoa, whoa. I didn't say I was giving up, it's just that I thought the gap between shaving closeness and comfort was a lot smaller than I thought. Turns out I was wrong, lol. I appreciate your thoughts on the matter, seeing how close we are to newbishness in terms fo straight shaving.

It may just be with my experience using a straight adding to the shave, because I don't recall arriving at a BBS shave quite so effortlessly before. I don't believe I'll give up on my straight shaving efforts any time soon. It's only been a little over a month, after all, and I think my "every day" equipment is far too gratifying to let sit in a drawer somewhere.
I know you won't give up! :biggrin:

Just making sure! When a shave isn't that close or comfortable, the idea might pop... It will only be better!
 
I'm really letting this fall by the wayside. However, I've reached shave #40, and things are going very smoothly. I'm beginning to discern even more differences between my full wedge and a somewhat more hollow razor. One thing I really like is skipping my Saturday shave, or sunday, or both, and experience the shave on a well rested face, and a bit more stubble. I thinkI've decided to forego the WTG completely, as it doesn't really seem to add anything to the experience since I shave every day and have a fairly light beard.

Today, after showering, I loaded up from a Tabac puck and went to work. Magnificient. 8 shaves ago I was complaining about the gap in shaving closeness. Now, the disparity between straight and DE shaving shrinks by the day. With a straight, my stubble still feels a bit higher in the problematic areas, but where I manage to get a BBS (cheeks and chin), it seems to last longer than with a safety razor. And my skin feels smoother overall with a straight. I can definitely get behind that.

I've had a couple tubs of Monsavon come in the mail, but I'm going to save that for all of next week.
 
Only up to #41today, but this one hit me better than ever.

I'll be visiting some friends for an early Thanksgiving, so I said "What the hey" and went all out for this shave, since I won't have time to go home after work and do a complete prep.

-Face scrub
-Hot towel
-Hot towel over some thin lather
-Hot shower

I hit my puck of Tabac and whipped up a gorgeous, creamy lather onto my face. Still not crazy about the smell, but the shave is nice. Doublt XTG, then an ATG pass, followed by touch ups with an ultra slippery, see-trough layer of Cremo cream. My face this morning was amazingly smooth. And, having a DE shave in recent memory, I can say for certain that is was much closer. Smoother skin, closer cut facial hair... almost perfect.

However, the area around my mouth felt irritated. Not like how it was at the beginning, suffering from my crappy shaves, but just some lingering soreness, like after accidentally spilling a cup of coffee over yourself. Of course, I made the mistake of splashing on some Pinaud Clubman AS, which stings my skin even when I don't shave. OH, THE BURN! I knew it would've been a mistake from the beginning, but that's Pinaud's fault for making it smell so good.

Despite my complaints, I'd say it was quite a pleasurable morning.
 
Trying something new: those ultra, ultra short strokes everyone recommends.

Cheeks received a single ATG pass. Chin/upper lip took a double XTG (nose to ear, then ear to nose). Throat received a similar double pass, but more up and down instead of side to side, with my head turned far, away from the razor. Very nice. DFS, and something I feel can consistently be done without extra hair growth, or skin rest, or... *ahem* a bit of luck in my prep and technique. The best part: almost no irritation whatsoever. I survived the alum block and a splash of Clubman to no ill effect.

This is my Monsavon week, which I'm still trying to get the hang of, so it's not like I had some fantastic lather to make up for any shortcomings.
 
#42


Blade's easier on my face, but I think the Monsavon is making my skin a bit red. Doesn't hurt, but looks a bit weird....

Anyway, today's shave was done in the same manner as yesterday's, except I threw in an ATG pass on the chin for enhanced smoothness. I think that's a nice way to go about things, as ATG on my upper lip can be a little rough sometimes. Getting a bit better every day now, and that's what really matters to me right now.
 
Up to shave #43 today, and things are going well. Watch out Luc, I'm closing in on you. (I like reading your log, btw)

Used my Crown razor today, breaking from my normal full wedge Drew & Sons. The grind difference took a few passes to get used to. I can say this: less chance of the blade sticking to my face! I love my ol' wedge, but combined with its almost-mirror polish would stick to my skin on ATG passes. Maybe the next razor I buy will be a 1/4 grind. I guess I'll start saving up, in case I want to splurge on a Le Grelot. :lol:

So, just like yesterday, and the day before, I went with an easy ATG on the cheeks, double XTG pass everywhere else. It's not BBS, but feels damn good, and is gentle on my face. That's something I appreciate, since I try to shave every day. Man, does that Monsavon make my face red. And not just for a little while, it lasts pretty much the whole day. Tomorrow I suppose I'll just try bowl lathering, and see if that makes a difference.

I've ordered a budget horse hide (cosmetic blemish) from TM to accompany a little stropping wisdom Leighton brought up in another thread. 50 laps on smooth cotton, and another 75 on the latigo. Edges still feel great. I'm thinking about changing to 50 cotton/50 latigo/50 horsehide when it arrives, and see if that makes any difference.
 
Up to shave #45 today. I only shaved last Wednesday and left everythign to grow out, since everything seems to go fantastically when I have a couple days worth of stubble.

Was I ever right. Went straight to my ever faithful Cella, with the ol' standard 3 pass shave. Very nice. Oddly, it feels like a few days' worth of stubble responds to beard prep much better than just a single day. I just went for the shave, and got a near BBS. Oh, it's getting so close, and my skin is back to its normal smoothness.
 
Today was #46, and went fairly well. Just a straight ATG on the cheeks, and then XTG and ATG everywhere else. ATG is still pulling on my follicles a little bit on my moustache area - going to have to find some way to really alleviate that one of these days. However, everything turned out incredibly smooth, and with only a low amount of irritation around my mouth. I'm still pressing a bit hard, and I swear my angle is still too high, IMO. Or maybe not. I've never been able to shave hair when laying the blade flat against my face. It just doesn't cut well when using a hollow, and my wedge just plain sticks to my face.

ARGH. Well, at least the quality of my shave still feels decent, and I have given myself a cut or a weeper in a while. Finished up with an alum block, witch hazel splash, and massaged some after shave into my face and was out the door. Timing myself from when the brush hits my soap to face lather, to exiting the bathroom: 13 minutes
 

Luc

Moderator Emeritus
Up to shave #43 today, and things are going well. Watch out Luc, I'm closing in on you. (I like reading your log, btw)

Used my Crown razor today, breaking from my normal full wedge Drew & Sons. The grind difference took a few passes to get used to. I can say this: less chance of the blade sticking to my face! I love my ol' wedge, but combined with its almost-mirror polish would stick to my skin on ATG passes. Maybe the next razor I buy will be a 1/4 grind. I guess I'll start saving up, in case I want to splurge on a Le Grelot. :lol:

So, just like yesterday, and the day before, I went with an easy ATG on the cheeks, double XTG pass everywhere else. It's not BBS, but feels damn good, and is gentle on my face. That's something I appreciate, since I try to shave every day. Man, does that Monsavon make my face red. And not just for a little while, it lasts pretty much the whole day. Tomorrow I suppose I'll just try bowl lathering, and see if that makes a difference.

I've ordered a budget horse hide (cosmetic blemish) from TM to accompany a little stropping wisdom Leighton brought up in another thread. 50 laps on smooth cotton, and another 75 on the latigo. Edges still feel great. I'm thinking about changing to 50 cotton/50 latigo/50 horsehide when it arrives, and see if that makes any difference.
:lol: :lol: :lol:

What happened to #44?

Seems like it's going well on your side to! :thumbup:
 
Well, I don't write down every one of them. They're really jst... ho hum. Plus, i'm forgetful in my old age.
 
Alright, let's try to go consecutively with 47. This time, I actually got up early enough to shave, cook and write something up.

Things went very well today. Full XTG/XTG/ATG today, with going across the grain from ear-nose, then nose/ear. That alone usually gets a nice, DFS, but I'm working on the Fool's Pass. Using two hands to control the razor is nice, as I'm always worried about jabbing myself in the nose. Doesn't really seem to help irritation though, as it's all even worse today. However, you can't argue with a BBS shave. Well, except for one spot on the right side of my neck, but it's oh so close. And the angle of attack is all wrong, no matter how I hold the razor or which hand I use.

So, the short: BBS, lots of stinging. And one weeper on my upper lip, but there was a zit coming in anyway, so I'm not counting it.
 
But X-Man style, using 2 hands to control the blade. LOL, I've tried it using only a single hand, and it's a much scarier proposition.



Today, I achieved a really nice shave. Opposing double XTG passes on my upper lip, and XTG/ATG move on the chin, ATG on my cheeks and sideburns, then the old scything motion on my neck. I've done this before, but today I used the Wheat cream from The Shave Den. Now, keep in mind I'd previously written it off as having rather mediocre lather, something that did the job to create cushion and impart a little slickness. I broke it out today intending on using up the rest of my tub. I'm not sure what happened, but it created the most wonderful lather. Great slickness and cushion. Really, it felt like my full wedge was floating on top of the lather.

I don't know if it was because I shaved so closely yesterday or what, but the closeness is pretty much the same, except no irritation at all, save for where I nicked my zit on my last shave. I've only used soaps since switching to a straight. Could it be I'm really just a cream guy that loves to use soaps? Good grief, there goes my wallet.

Lucky I was planning on trying some Nancy Boy shave cream anyway.
 
But X-Man style, using 2 hands to control the blade. LOL, I've tried it using only a single hand, and it's a much scarier proposition.
Jeez, I've been trying that as well. Didn't know it had a name—or was supposed to be difficult. I'm relieved that it's not supposed to be an easy manoeuver...maybe I'll just skip it myself! :lol



Today, I achieved a really nice shave. Opposing double XTG passes on my upper lip, and XTG/ATG move on the chin, ATG on my cheeks and sideburns, then the old scything motion on my neck. I've done this before, but today I used the Wheat cream from The Shave Den. Now, keep in mind I'd previously written it off as having rather mediocre lather, something that did the job to create cushion and impart a little slickness. I broke it out today intending on using up the rest of my tub. I'm not sure what happened, but it created the most wonderful lather. Great slickness and cushion. Really, it felt like my full wedge was floating on top of the lather.
This is something that's interesting to me in general: are there products or practices that you had when you were a DE shaver that don't work now that you're a straight shaver? And vice versa, are there things you use/do now that you're a straight shaver?

For example, I face lather now, and there's some soaps and creams I'm thinking of PIFing to a newbie DE shaver because I don't think I can use 'em now.
 
Jeez, I've been trying that as well. Didn't know it had a name—or was supposed to be difficult. I'm relieved that it's not supposed to be an easy manoeuver...maybe I'll just skip it myself! :lol
I think, for absolute closeness, it'll probably be the best way to get an ATG pass on your upper lip.





This is something that's interesting to me in general: are there products or practices that you had when you were a DE shaver that don't work now that you're a straight shaver? And vice versa, are there things you use/do now that you're a straight shaver?

For example, I face lather now, and there's some soaps and creams I'm thinking of PIFing to a newbie DE shaver because I don't think I can use 'em now.

Actually, Proraso waas great when using a DE (and still is), but I really think it's a bit lacking now. The same way I thought the TSD Wheat was lacking. Good enough to do the job, but not as slippery as I'd like, or provides a much protection that a lot of others do. I need much more beard prep as well - before I could just have washed with some hot water and face lathered (I've always face lathered) and I'd bee good to go. Now... eh. I put a little lather on my face, then take a shower, and then have to face lather to feel I'v softened my facial hair enough to shave easily. Oh! And, for some reason, I need to rinse my face with cold water before using a straight, otherwise there's a bit more discomfort. Maybe the skin is just too pliant, you know?

Of course, now I can't shave while in the shower. Using a DE, it was easy enough to deal with wet, soapy hands on that slick nickel finish, but my lather always came effortlessly. Trying that with a straight would just turn my money into rust.
 

Luc

Moderator Emeritus
Jeez, I've been trying that as well. Didn't know it had a name—or was supposed to be difficult. I'm relieved that it's not supposed to be an easy manoeuver...maybe I'll just skip it myself! :lol
I think, for absolute closeness, it'll probably be the best way to get an ATG pass on your upper lip.








Actually, Proraso waas great when using a DE (and still is), but I really think it's a bit lacking now. The same way I thought the TSD Wheat was lacking. Good enough to do the job, but not as slippery as I'd like, or provides a much protection that a lot of others do. I need much more beard prep as well - before I could just have washed with some hot water and face lathered (I've always face lathered) and I'd bee good to go. Now... eh. I put a little lather on my face, then take a shower, and then have to face lather to feel I'v softened my facial hair enough to shave easily. Oh! And, for some reason, I need to rinse my face with cold water before using a straight, otherwise there's a bit more discomfort. Maybe the skin is just too pliant, you know?

Of course, now I can't shave while in the shower. Using a DE, it was easy enough to deal with wet, soapy hands on that slick nickel finish, but my lather always came effortlessly. Trying that with a straight would just turn my money into rust.
Try to make superlather with it. For some reason, Proraso in superlather is on top! Proraso Green cream + Proraso white soap = one of the best superlather I had!

If not, well, you need to buy more soaps/creams! :laugh:
 
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