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New guy here! Dabbling in the deep end.

Hey everyone! Nibs here, stumbled on this forum courtesy of Google. First I'd like to say that I'm amazed at the high activity of this forum! It's one of the most active forums I've ever been on! I apologize in advance for the long post, I just need some guidance. Skip down to the blue text if you wanna avoid the short novel lol

A little about myself: 22 year old guy from Ohio. I' started shaving in 7th grade (14 y/o). Being the only kid with a mustache coming in, it made me super self conscious and eventually got fed up. Let's just say I'm middle eastern with thick dark hair all over my body. Facial hair is thick, course, and grows quickly. I started with an electric norelco, because that is what my dad used (and still uses). Well, that didn't end up well. Apparently I have some wickedly sensitive skin and coupled with my acne at the time my face turned into a tomato. I got the idea to shave the "correct" way and bought a Mach3 and some cartridges. Worked well I guess and I thought that was the best I could achieve.

Few years later my beard began growing rapidly and getting thicker. Every time I shaved it would result in unflattering breakouts. Nonetheless I have continued using the mach3 till the present. I no longer have the super sensitive skin I once had and have adapted my products pretty well. My routine goes like this: I trim my beard with a trimmer to the lowest setting, jump in the shower, get out and apply a shaving gel (not the canned aerosol stuff) called bump patrol. I also add in a small amount of anti frizz serum that is cyclomethicone (no idea what that is lol) based for extra slickness. All this time, all this experience, all these product trials and I still get razor bumps which often times subsequently turn to cysts. :thumbdown

Sooo...I am looking to venture into the straight razor. I've done a lot of research on here and youtube regarding the straight razor. I have decided to take the path of the shavette style of razor. It is most appealing to me and do not want to worry about all the maintenance that seems to come with the traditional straight razor (I hope I don't offend anyone). Here's my question/dilemma: I am baffled, confused, and overwhelmed by all the information I have come across. I have no idea where to start; from the razor, to the blades, to the soaps/gels, aftershaves, and where to purchase (websites). My criteria are as follows: price, quality, non-proprietary equipment (blades), and easy to find. I have searched this forum a whole lot, and the information I've gained is amazing yet I'm still having trouble on knowing where to start.

Just a note, I do keep a beard (shortly trimmed). But I line it up nicely, shaving everything a few cm's under my jawline and from my cheek bones downward to a certain point. Would a straight razor be able to achieve this or is it a waste for shaping?
Welcome to the group. I think a straight razor might be a little drastic for a newbie and requires a lot of maintenance, but you might consider easing toward it with an injector razor. They have been called "a straight razor on a stick," but they still have a guard bar and use replaceable blades. Schicks, Pals, and Personnas are all readily available and relatively cheap on BST and ebay. Blades can be easily found at Amazon and other places online as well as on ebay.

There are literally hundreds of Injector threads on the Single Edge forum which provide info on injector razors, blades, technique, personal experiences, pictures, and Shaves of the Day. Check them out.

Then, if you're feeling macho, you can consider a move up to the glorious Cobra Classic (which isn't exactly an injector, but close enough).

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Welcome to B&B!

From your post, it sounds like you want to break free of the cartridge razor, and go with a single blade, in the hopes that it will help avoid the bumps and ingrown hairs your currently deal with. You like the idea of a straight razor, but the maintenance required is more work that you're willing to do. Because of this, you've decided to try a shavette. Is this correct?

If so, it really sounds like you're a perfect candidate to try a double edged safety razor (DE). DEs have a shorter learning curve than straights, have readily available and inexpensive blades, and when used properly, will give you a clean, close shave, with no irritation. I've been DE shaving for four years now, and don't for a second regret giving up the carts.

I understand the appeal of a straight; my first straight should be here some time this week, and I can't wait. If you've really got your heart set on a straight, by all means, go for it, but I think a DE would be a perfect starting point for you. You can get a new one relatively cheap (under $30), or even pick up a vintage Gillette on the BST on the cheap.

Whatever you you decide, best of luck to you!
You are on the right track and I second the idea of starting with a DE...I too had problems with ingrown hairs and have all but eliminated the issue since switching to a Gillette super speed blue tip with an Astra SP blade a few months ago. Have fun and experiment with creams and soaps. i have found that Proraso is tough to beat.

Welcome to the forum....great group here.
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