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My Straight Shaving Journey

Luc

Moderator Emeritus
Thanks! It's nice knowing Luc and I aren't just talking to ourselves. Man, that LE has a gloriously long break-in period, doesn't it? Monsavon still isn't lathering in the bowl like it should - like the soap's getting sucked right into the bristles. Everything else is working well with it, though it really isn't as scrubby as I was hoping it would be. The tips are just too soft for it to feel that way; I suppose I'm lucky it's so dense.




Last night I finally finished honing my Genco straight, and it's lovely. Just wished I'd gotten a big 8x3 coticule, instead of 6x2, as it seems like it would help keep contact on the stone better. Well, either that or a Naniwa progression! The edge really does feel smooth, even though the bevel has a real matte finish, like I'd scrubbed it with sand. Workably sharp, but I'd definitely like things to be much sharper. It's probably just honing quality. I've been managing to get a nice BBS (or nearly so), if I do more than 2 passes, and this was no different. After all this time, my touch is only really starting to get lighter. That's what my alum block says, anyway.
:lol1: :lol1: :lol1:
 
With my skill with a straight increasing every day, I'm figuring out a WTG pass is completely unnecessary. I just whipped a Tabac lather right onto my face, and started with an BXATG (which my face takes very well). That really hits the spot with at least a DFS on every inch of my face. I turned for an ATG, completely smoothing out my face. I'll be honest, I'd been getting complacent and turning towards longer strokes, but in trying to perform less passes I'm getting back to the recommended short/quick/confident ones. The decreased amount of passes really should cut down on chances of irritation, right?


Still using my Semogue LE 2009, which lathers more favorably on my face and is releases the Tabac very well. I'll give the Monsavon a fair shot again, see how well it flows on the next go.
 
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Ran to my 13/16 Faultless today. It's so much more sharp than my self-honed razors. It cuts well, I believe, just not as sharp as other edges I had, or as smooth. Of course the edges were all on diff types of razors and steels, so it's all probably moot. Guess it's time for a 7-day set to find out what I really want. I at least know I like thin, but relatively weighty scales (bone)!

I'm sticking with the XTG/ATG pattern, since I'm confident now in my ability to maneuver all of my razors around my face with an even stroke. To help with lather flow in my Semogue LE, I superlathered Proraso, Monsavon and a little glycerin. Nicely fragrant and provides nice cushion - could use a little more glide though. BBS is getting pretty consistent these days, as is the difficulty in getting past DFS in the area below my right jaw and above the adam's apple with this razor. It's just big enough that using a right-hand-only technique isn't good enough.
 
Jumped to shave 89 with my Drew & Sons wedge. Even after using all these others razors I really like, it's still my favorite. The edge is just starting to pull - and with probably over 50 shaves on it, I'd expect no less, since most of its use was when i was at my newest - but it's just so smooth on the face. Rocked out the BBS in a 2 pass shave again, XTG and ATG. Takes just a touch getting used to again after going hollow hollow hollow, since my ATG does not lie flat against my face. Mirror polished wedges stick to the skin, you know!
 
Hitting #90. 100 is close, and I decided to stop logging then. I whipped up a glorious Cella lather with my Semogue boar, then scrubbed it into my face. My first pass was an XTG as normal, using my Drew & Sons wedge; gave it a few laps on a CrOx pasted balsa to refresh the edge. For some reason, I decided to adjust my grip with the razor on my face. GRAH. half inch scar just to the right of my chin. Man, did the edge cut super fine, though. Finished up with an ATG, since I love it so. With the edge refresh, it's jsut as sharp as it came from gugi. No pulling, no follicle trouble.
 
Sweet. Monsavon gets a lot of respect around here. Just don't use it to break in your brush like I am, or you'll regret "wasting" all that wonderful lather.
 
I'd be at shave 92 now, i suppose. Just whipped another batch of Cella, and my new 2 pass shave. Very smooth. This was my Yankee Cutlery, which I'd honed on a coticule. I really like it - I think I prefer it a bit more when compared to my other full hollow, a Genco. I swear I honed their edges the same, maybe it's the smile the Yankee has, I think it's easier to perform guillotine and scything strokes with it.
 
Hehe... skipping days on the log. Just for reference, I'm on #96.

Stepped out of the shower and built a lather on my face. Musgo Real - average in terms of function, below average in scent - I can't wait until i use it all up. I've been using my Semogue LE 2009 pretty much every day for the last month. It's a good all around brush, although it could stand to lose 5mm in loft to become a great face latherer, IMO. I let the lather sit while I stropped my Faultless on my smoothest horse hide, making sure it was completely clean since it'd been several days from when I used it last.

I went to the ol' XTG/ATG and, predictably, everything was smooth as can be save for the spot right above my adam's apple on the right side of my neck. What I used for a touch up pass was a really thinned out lather to provide slickness, while being able to see through to my problem spots. I'm BBS all over, with just a spot of irritation on my jaw.


Been thinking about getting a new shave soap. I was really looking to try some Nancy Boy, but think I like the slickness of soaps better. So far, Art of Shaving sandalwood is on the top of my list. Well, unless I can find vintage Floris, Yardley or Penhaligon soaps for a ridiculously low price like some of the guys out there.
 

Alacrity59

Wanting for wisdom
Moderator Emeritus
Contributor
Neat stuff. I just stumbled onto this thread. I'm on day 23 of just such a self imposed journey after fooling around with straights for about a year. So far great fun.

I've been alternating between a Wade & Butcher smile and a Geneva Cutlery carbon steel. I think I need to hone the smile once more. Probably my honing skills are a bit lacking for a smile . . . practice makes perfect. The razor has amazing hone ware which makes me wonder if the razor belonged to a barber.

Fun to know there are a few of us in the same or similar boats.
 
Man, those razors are just so different, it must take a bit of adjustment on the first pass Alacrity. I've seen your thread, looks like making yourself shave with a straight every day is really paying off, huh?




Today's shave comes in at #97, using an Australian Palmolive shave stick, courtesy of Luc. Well, four actually. First impressions on the soap: definitely not as good as the UK Classic version, which is made with tallow. Firstly, the Aus version is quite a bit harder and has a different color. It reminds me more of a candle in color and texture, while the UK Palmolive is more like pistachio ice cream, I suppose. Scent is about the same, but the UK has better cushion, slickness, and is easier to lather. Good grief! Moisturizing properties are close to the same (a touch drying), but both left my skin feeling very clean.

All that aside, it worked just fine combining with my Drew & Sons wedge. Stayed hydrated better than Tabac, and worked at least as well as Proraso the first time out. Smell is lovely, just very clean and refreshing. In fact, I think Palmolive is my favorite scent out of all the shaving soaps, creams and aftershaves. Today required a triple pass, I suppose since my lather wasn't quite on point, even though I lathered right onto my face this morning. Of course, I shaved before showering, and my facial hair isn't quite as prepped when doing it that way.

Of course, I don't do a hot towel or anything, lol.



Australian Palmolive ingredients:
Sodium Palmate, Sodium Palm Kernelate, Potassium Stearate, Stearic Acid, Water, Glycerin, Palm Kernel Acid, Fragrance, Sodium Chloride, Tetrasodium EDTA, Tetrasoduim Etidronate, CI 74260, CI 11680, CI 77266

UK Classic Palmolive ingredients:
Potassium Hydrogenated Tallowate, Sodium Tallowate, Sodium Cocoate, Aqua, Glycerin, Parfum, Olea Europaea, Elaeis Guineensis, Tetrasodium EDTA, Tetrasodium Etidronate, BHT, Butylphenyl Methylpropional, Citronellol, Coumarin, Hydroxyisohexyl 3-Cyclohexene, Carboxaldehyde, Limonene, Linalool, CI 11680, CI 12490, CI 74260, CI 77891
 

Luc

Moderator Emeritus
Man, those razors are just so different, it must take a bit of adjustment on the first pass Alacrity. I've seen your thread, looks like making yourself shave with a straight every day is really paying off, huh?




Today's shave comes in at #97, using an Australian Palmolive shave stick, courtesy of Luc. Well, four actually. First impressions on the soap: definitely not as good as the UK Classic version, which is made with tallow. Firstly, the Aus version is quite a bit harder and has a different color. It reminds me more of a candle in color and texture, while the UK Palmolive is more like pistachio ice cream, I suppose. Scent is about the same, but the UK has better cushion, slickness, and is easier to lather. Good grief! Moisturizing properties are close to the same (a touch drying), but both left my skin feeling very clean.

All that aside, it worked just fine combining with my Drew & Sons wedge. Stayed hydrated better than Tabac, and worked at least as well as Proraso the first time out. Smell is lovely, just very clean and refreshing. In fact, I think Palmolive is my favorite scent out of all the shaving soaps, creams and aftershaves. Today required a triple pass, I suppose since my lather wasn't quite on point, even though I lathered right onto my face this morning. Of course, I shaved before showering, and my facial hair isn't quite as prepped when doing it that way.

Of course, I don't do a hot towel or anything, lol.



Australian Palmolive ingredients:
Sodium Palmate, Sodium Palm Kernelate, Potassium Stearate, Stearic Acid, Water, Glycerin, Palm Kernel Acid, Fragrance, Sodium Chloride, Tetrasodium EDTA, Tetrasoduim Etidronate, CI 74260, CI 11680, CI 77266

UK Classic Palmolive ingredients:
Potassium Hydrogenated Tallowate, Sodium Tallowate, Sodium Cocoate, Aqua, Glycerin, Parfum, Olea Europaea, Elaeis Guineensis, Tetrasodium EDTA, Tetrasodium Etidronate, BHT, Butylphenyl Methylpropional, Citronellol, Coumarin, Hydroxyisohexyl 3-Cyclohexene, Carboxaldehyde, Limonene, Linalool, CI 11680, CI 12490, CI 74260, CI 77891
Happy that you like it.

There's a palmolive shave stick from Fiji with tallow. Those are a bit more difficult to get...
 
Hahaha, Fiji? What do they do, make you swim over or something? What I wouldn't give for a big ol' 200gram puck of Palmovie with tallow. I really appreciate the send.
 
So..... I've finally hit the century mark - 100 straight razor shaves - and this thread is coming to a close. Biggest thanks to Luc, whose shaving thread ran nearly concurrently with my own. Seeing how your shaves developed was a real incentive to continue on, plus those Palmolive sticks are going to last me a good while. I really appreciate the support of others, especially early on, since while I wasn't on the verge of quitting, my shaves were pretty crummy. Especially Ambrose, Gugi and Ray, who gave me some great edges to test out on my razors.


I've recently been skipping a decent prep in lieu of a little pre-shave lather and hot face wash. While it works, I know things could be better, as it introduces a touch of pulling on my ATG passes. So, I prepped normal, took a hot shower, and then gave myself a good face lather after a cold cold rinse. I stuck with Cella, since my it leaves my skin absolutely smooth. I like to rinse my face with cold water after showering, since my skin really feels too pliable afterward, and has been known to move with the blade. I dunno, it just feels like it gives me a tighter surface to work on.

To commemorate, i used my Yankee Cutlery razor, which I originally started off with. It probably looks the most worn out of everything I own, but I love it so. Something odd I noticed, my touch is still getting lighter. I notice this moreso when I'm doing very short strokes. Kind of annoying, actually, but at least I'm not getting any irritation and it doesn't seem to affect how close my blade is cutting. I stuck with my newly favored XTG/ATG + right neck touch up. It works wonderfully to give me a nick-free (unless I have acne peeking through), BBS shave with little-to-no irritation. Or, as I like to think of it... smooth as an android's bottom.

I just splashed a little skin witch hazel, following with Nivea ASB for sensitive skin and then called it a day. Today clocked in just a little over 14 minutes, which includes: lather building, full shave, clean-up, full stropping. My stropping routine consists of 50 laps on cotton and 50 on red latigo after a shave to make sure my blades are clean and dry. I also give a full 50 on one of my horse hide strops beforehand to make sure I've stripped off all oxygen. I'm really going to have to get myself some triple milled soaps, since I favor slickness more than cushion, whereas I preferred it the other way around when I used a DE. AOS Sandalwood and Mitchell's Wool Fat are at the top of my list. I doubt I'm going to have the luck of finding vintage Yardley for $5 at a garage sale.

After all that, I just need to buy some not-quite-shave-ready razors and learn how to use my coticule properly. Quite honestly, I want to develop AD so badly, but don't feel much need to, aside from making myself proficient so I can sustain razors myself, or restore something that really suits my fancy. It's really a shame my stropping routine feels like it's preserving the edges so well, I'd hate to try to rehone any perfectly good razors. Ah well, I'm not even half a year in, so I've got plenty of time.
 

Alacrity59

Wanting for wisdom
Moderator Emeritus
Contributor
Man, those razors are just so different, it must take a bit of adjustment on the first pass Alacrity. I've seen your thread, looks like making yourself shave with a straight every day is really paying off, huh?
It is funny how things evolve. At first I felt far more comfortable shaving with the heaver but narrower blade and the thin full hollow blade scared me a bit as it pinged like a bell with every whisker cut. Then it turned out I was getting better shaves with the scary razor as I was using less pressure. Lately it seems not to make much difference.

I've got a goatee so I've not yet shaved some areas but for what I do shave I think I've got it licked. Now it is seeing how long until I need to hone.

All great fun and a strange feeling of accomplishment.
 
Thanks for the words fellas.


I hear you about liking different blades, Alacrity. First, I thoguht it was a small wedge. Then a big hollow. Then a smaller hollow. Now, I think the grind is going to matter less, and the shave readiness of the blade much more so. Especially the sharp vs. smooth tradeoffs, unless I want to buy a nice Nakayama or something.
 

Luc

Moderator Emeritus
Thanks for the words fellas.


I hear you about liking different blades, Alacrity. First, I thoguht it was a small wedge. Then a big hollow. Then a smaller hollow. Now, I think the grind is going to matter less, and the shave readiness of the blade much more so. Especially the sharp vs. smooth tradeoffs, unless I want to buy a nice Nakayama or something.
Sounds like you're ready to get a new blade... :closedeye
 
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