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New to the art of SR shaving

Hello Everyone. I started down this path simply wanting a better shaving cream, which led to picking up a DE razor...

Before I knew it there I was last night, standing in front of my mirror with my first SR in my hand (a 6/8 TI full hollow), wondering if things were going to go my way or if my wife would be driving me to the hospital (almost certainly scolding and denouncing my foolishness).

Good news is I made it through with only one tiny nick at the edge of a mole. Honestly I was ok until I had to switch to left handed, that slightly terrified me. After 2 slow, cautious passes with the SR i had probably the worst shave I have ever done (still far from smooth), but I could see shaving with a SR is possible, I just need more practice. I did a final pass with my DE to make myself acceptable for the night and will try again tonight.

Happy to be a member here, and thank you to all who have posted before me. Reading a lot on here has at least started me in the right direction.

Brent
 
Good going! After about 170 shaves, I’m realizing that I do a whole lot better when I concentrate on what the blade is doing and not what my hands are doing.

Many of the grips seem awkward at first, but if you focus on the blade, the grips start to come naturally. Then right vs left hand issues fade quicker.


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and will try again tonight.
Brent
Your first straight shave sounds a lot like mine. I described it as really scary and not even close to enjoyable, but like you I was intrigued enough to try it again the next day. It's been over six years now and I've not shaved any other way since that first time. I only miss a handful of shaves per year, so I'm well over 2000 straight shaves and still enjoying it. Good luck.
 
Thank you for the welcome, advice, and encouragement. Today’s shave #2 was not nearly as intimidating and nick free (i am sure I will pay for that good fortune down the road somewhere).

This shave was... better. I could tell I had shaved after the SR but am still far from pleased with the remaining stubble. Frustrating that I couldn’t even get one spot to really feel smooth, even stroking WTG my hand could feel stubble. I quit before burning my face any further for the night.

Baby steps
 
Thank you for the welcome, advice, and encouragement. Today’s shave #2 was not nearly as intimidating and nick free (i am sure I will pay for that good fortune down the road somewhere).

This shave was... better. I could tell I had shaved after the SR but am still far from pleased with the remaining stubble. Frustrating that I couldn’t even get one spot to really feel smooth, even stroking WTG my hand could feel stubble. I quit before burning my face any further for the night.

Baby steps
When you get to the point that you don’t feel any improvement, go back to your stone. For me, it is going back and forth between concentrating on technique and honing.

I’m BBS on the cheeks and DFS elsewhere. I think my edges are nice, so I’m down to technique.


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Thank you for the welcome, advice, and encouragement. Today’s shave #2 was not nearly as intimidating and nick free (i am sure I will pay for that good fortune down the road somewhere).

This shave was... better. I could tell I had shaved after the SR but am still far from pleased with the remaining stubble. Frustrating that I couldn’t even get one spot to really feel smooth, even stroking WTG my hand could feel stubble. I quit before burning my face any further for the night.

Baby steps
Don't be ashamed to use the DE when/where you are not yet comfortable with the straight. Start by trying to perfect the technique in areas where you are comfortable using the SR. Then slowly and gradually challenge yourself in other areas. With each shave, you may find yourself more able and more confident.

Check Youtube videos from Lynn S. Abrams for some good tips for beginners.
 
Good luck. I’ve used straight razors on and off for the past 5 years. I compare it to golf. Most golf shots I hit aren’t great, but every once in a while everything comes together just right and the perfect shot happens. Straight razors are the same—most of the time the results I get aren’t spectacular, but when I consistently use the straight and practice, every once in a while everything comes together and I get a great shave. Yesterday was one of those days for me—but the two prior days weren’t great and today was just OK. More practice = better results.
 
Haha I like the golf reference. I managed to do a complete shave last night with the straight. SAS most places, slightly less on my neck and under jaw. The angles there are tricky for me and I can’t do an ATG pass there without it feeling like i am using a belt sander on my skin. Seems like i nick myself every other day, better than every day but they are just frustrating. Last night I did it next to my nose simply because i placed the Razor on my skin at too steep of an angle and pushed just a little to hard. It wasn’t even during a shaving stroke, just as I placed the blade I cut.
 
You’ll get there. The first few shaves just start to establish muscle memory. Just keep going. After a few shaves you’ll get one small area to bbs. The next shave it’ll get bigger and so on. I cut myself all the time in the first 50 shaves but can’t remember now the last time I did it. Eventually you’ll get absolutely great bbs daily with brilliant smoothness in a way it’s just not possible to get with a DE.
 
Haha I like the golf reference.
Very true!

Everyone that plays the game will understand that it's not "one thing" that makes a good player. It's a whole skill set. Some can hit a driver, some can hit an iron, some have a good short game and some can put. To be really good, you have to be good at all of it.

To have a good shave you have to get a few things right. Preparation, technique, edge quality, lathering and after-care.

Most difficult to achieve and maintain is the edge quality, but fortunately, unlike golf, there are short-cuts. You can have your razor honed by a professional, or you can go the shavette route.

I read in a post on this forum a remark that stayed with me. "Too many honers and not enough shavers". It's true, we get hung up with edge quality, but without that, it's impossible to get a good shave.
 
Shave number 7 tonight. In only a week I have fallen down the rabbit hole and “invested” in too many things, or at least so my wife told me today. I like options so I have about 6 soaps/creams. Got a scuttle (which is amazing), upgraded my 15 dollar amazon brush to a manchurian from Elite Razor (also beyond amazing, can’t express how pleased I am with it), and may still have a few things in transit... only thing she didn’t complain about was unscented aftershave as she has a very sensitive nose and hates all colognes/perfumes.

All of that said, I am already doing better with my off hand and finding ways to access tricky spots. I will say going against the grain under my jaw is still extemely difficult. The razor just feels like it wants to grab and cut into me rather than cut those whiskers (not an issue anywhere else on my face so I know the razor is sharp enough to cut). Last night I felt I had a pretty good shave, Strong SAS everywhere. Tonight kind of fell apart, SAS everywhere but under jaw, still sporting a 5 o'clock shadow there.
 
On you neck, try holding your chin up to stretch out and hold the blade as flat to the skin as possible. It’s so easy to get angles that are too steep under your jaw.


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