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Newbie's Journey

I have read several post concerning newbie's chronicling there experience with wet shaving. I thing this is great idea and I want to start my own.

A little back ground primer. I have been wet shaving for approximately 2 weeks.
The equipment I will use will be the following:

Weishi TTO razor
Derby Extra blades
TBS Shaving Cream (new formula)
L'Occitane After Shave Balm

I have seen nearly all of Matic's video's and have done extensive research on here and other forums.

So without further ado
 
6 July 2009

Shave Time 8:00am


PREP
Shower, wash beard several times with warm water.
I used SUPERLATHER for this shave
NIVEA facial soap (German)
TBS Shave Cream
Whipped up nice thick luxurious lather proceeded with the following
Kyle's prep, followed verbatim as posted, used the superlather
Rinsed with hot water and re-lathered with the superlather


SHAVE
Modified the 4 pass method for my purpose
1st Pass- N/S pass on all "quadrants" I focused on blade angle and light pressure.

2nd Pass- Hot water rinse and re-lathered. Q1-W/E pass, Q2-E/W pass, Q3- N/S pass, Q4- N/S, Lip and chin N/S pass

3rd Pass- Hot water rinse and re-lathered. Q1 E/W pass, Q2 W/E pass, Q3 S/N pass, Q4 S/N pass

Finisher- Hot water rinse and re-lathered. Rubbed lather with fingers feeling for stubble, any areas where i felt stubble I gave a final ATG pass.

POST SHAVE
Cold water rinse, followed by a styptic pencil "treatment" and L'Occitane AS Balm.

Summary:
All in all not a bad shave. Maybe a DFS or near BBS, Neck area is a little irritated after the final ATG passes I had to do there. A few weepers under the chin and some irritation. Irritation and redness cleared upwithin 1 hour after shave. Irritation definitely visible though.

Any thoughts, comments, suggestions,or criticism's greatly appreciated and encouraged.
 
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Wow, pretty ambitious shave for just starting out. If I had tried to do that many passes at first, I'd have looked like I'd spent too long napping in the sun (as in scorchville-type razor burn). Just as a suggestion, you might want to back off just a skosh on the number of passes, and see if the irritation and weepers stop before they get started...

Once again, YMMV...
 
I will cut back to 2 passes with a finisher.

If you think that is early, wait until tomorrow :biggrin:

Tomorrow I will be short on time for my shave so I'm going to use a hot water rinse, "pre-shave oil", and like suggested 2 passes (but only on the neck area)

Until next time
 
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7 July 2009

Shave Time 4:30am


PREP
Rinsed face with water a few times then applied a thin layer of EVOO.

SHAVE
1st Pass- N/S pass. Followed with a S/N pass where needed.

2nd Pass- Hot water rinse and re-lathered. Added a few drops of EVOO to lather before applying. Also reapplied EVOO to face before shaving. Cheeks were shaven with a XTG pass from ear to nose. All other areas where N/S.

Finisher- None, didn't feel like I needed it.

POST SHAVE
Cold water rinse followed by Nivea Extra Sensitive After Shave Balm.

Summary:
All in all not a bad shave. Maybe a near DFS. I'm going to keep the EVOO as part of my prep for now on. It felt smooth and I liked it. No NEW irritation, cuts, nicks, weepers, or whatever. I think the 2 passes and the EVOO helped a lot. Also it cut my total shave time down to around 15 to 20 minutes.

Any thoughts, comments, suggestions,or criticism's greatly appreciated and encouraged.
 
It sounds to me like you're getting things under control. Starting out easy (2 passes) and getting a good shave is an excellent start...

Beats the heck out of razor burn...
 
After morning PT (I'm in the Army) I noticed some light stubble near the corners of my jaw below my ear so I did some finishing touch ups with TBS shave cream and EVOO added to the lather. I also used the EVOO as a pre-shave.

On the cheeks it felt like I wasn't even doing anything(very very smooth) and certain areas on my neck.

I know I need to work on my technique when shaving under the chin, neck, corners of my upper lip, and the lower area of the chin and just underneath it.

Im still looking for techniques and suggestions for these areas. Today I tried the "bullfrog" technique. I'll try it again tomorrow.

Any suggestions,comments, concerns, or techniques is appreciated and encouraged.
 
8 July 2009

Shave Time 4:30am


PREP
Rinsed face with hot water a twice then applied a layer of EVOO.

SHAVE
1st Pass- N/S pass. Followed with a S/N pass .

2nd Pass- Re-lathered neck area and performed a S/N pass in that area.

Finisher- None, didn't feel like I needed it.

POST SHAVE
Cold water rinse followed by Nivea Extra Sensitive After Shave Balm.

Summary:
All in all not a bad shave. Maybe a near DFS. No NEW irritation, cuts, nicks, weepers, or whatever. I think the 2 passes and the EVOO helped a lot. Also it cut my total shave time down to around 15 to 20 minutes. I still feel stubble when I rub my neck area/under chin. The reason for this is because the grain grows in a E/W on the left side and W/E on the right side and at this time I do not feel comfortable in using the razor in ATG on my neck. :biggrin: In time I'm sure I will finally do it. Maybe tomorrow. :biggrin:

Any thoughts, comments, suggestions,or criticism's greatly appreciated and encouraged.
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SiBurning

Contributor
Could you go back once a week and reread your previous thoughts and comment if you've learned something or changed how you view things? You might be surprised at what you post. I sure was.

Please keep this up for a while if you can. It doesn't have to be every day. There's a lot of disjointed threads, but it would be useful to have a few full chronicles so new shavers can see how others progress. It needs to be done in real time because we remember things differently later, and our perspective changes. It's this perspective that's missing from the disjointed threads.

Wish I'd kept a diary of learning to use a straight. I laugh at my earlier posts.
 
I do plan on keeping this up awhile. The products do not change much maybe just techniques. I post this right after my shave. So this is real time for me I will read my post once a week tonotice any changes to techniques and such. So with out further ado.

9 July 2009

Shave Time 6:30

PREP
I had more time this morning so I took a shower and then used a thin layer of EVOO on face and a few drops to the lather.

SHAVE
1st Pass- N/S pass. Followed with a S/N pass where needed.

2nd Pass- I only did a 2nd pass on the neck area. Also I was a little braver today and I did W/E and E/W passes to (this is actually ATG). Suprisingly no new irritation or cuts.

POST SHAVE
Cold water rinse followed by L'Occitane AS Balm. So far L'Occitane AS is the best one I have used to date.

Summary

I did not enjoy this shave as much. I found the neck area to be especially hard to get to DFS or any decency for that matter. So more work is in store. Cheek area again no problems. I do have some different blades and shaving cream coming so there will be some change ups soon.

Any comments, suggestions, and recommendations is appreciated and encouraged.
 

SiBurning

Contributor
Don't know exactly how you do those N-S passes on the neck, but there are 360 degrees to play with. There's also curves, where you rotate the blade a little as you go to follow the grain as it changes direction. The j-hook is an example of this, but with a very tight curve. I also do small arcs of much wider curves.

If you haven't done it already, spend some time mapping out the direction when you're nowhere near any water. Rub your fingers across different small areas in different directions and feel which way feels best. You have to go over an area several times. Don't be fooled by the looks or the first few passes--after a good few rubs you might notice the hair likes to be rubbed in a different direction than at first. You have to sort of comb the hair a few times to get there. When you get to shaving, don't necessarily go in that direction for a WTG pass--there are places on the neck where the face curves in a way that makes it difficult to shave exactly WTG, so you need to adapt.
 
SiBurning thanks for the heads up. I have mapped my beard a few times. I also heard of j-hooking and at this time to not feel that I am experienced enough to do this technique. I will break the hair growth into 3 areas for clarification Q1, Q2, and Q3. Q1 is the left side of the neck. Q2 is the center of the neck area that is about 1" wide "strip" and Q3 is the right side of the neck.

Q1 the grain grows from W to E
Q2 the grain grows from N to S
Q3 the grain grows from E to W

At this time in my development of my techniques and experience I don't feel confident in doing a true WTG pass and a ATG pass so essentially all my passes on the neck area are XTG passes except Q2 which I do WTG and ATG passes.

For what ever reason I cannot eliminate the stubble on my neck. Some areas are smooth and others are close to being decent. Also I'm having an issue around the bottom of my chin where it "curves" to the underside.

Any suggestions or techniques?
 
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SiBurning

Contributor
For what ever reason I cannot eliminate the stubble on my neck. Some areas are smooth and others are close to being decent. Also I'm having an issue around the bottom of my chin where it "curves" to the underside.

Any suggestions or techniques?
Yes. Take your time, and don't worry too much about getting too close a shave for now.

When you check for stubble, are you feeling against the grain? Maybe you should only worry about how it looks, or check only with the grain. Some people get irritation and ingrown hairs, and probably should never try for BBS.
 
SiBurning it looks good in the mirror and feels good when I rub WTG. All irritation has stopped. I'm not to worried about it though but it would be nice to have a BBS or a DFS but that's all in time.

Am I right in that BBS means no stubble can be felt at all. And with a DFS you might feel some stubble?

I ordered some Israeli red packs and some Feathers. Just waiting for them to arrive. So we'll see which blades I like the best. Also I otdered a tub of TOBS.
 
10 July 2009

Shave Time 4:30am

PREP

Honestly none but I did splash some water on my face.

SHAVE

1st Pass- N/S pass.

2nd Pass- I did a ear to nose pass on the cheek area. N/S on lip and chin. and a S/N on neck.

POST SHAVE
Cold water rinse followed by L'Occitane AS Balm.

Summary
I did not enjoy this shave at all. But as far as quality a better one. Surprisingly with the no prep I had no irritation. I didn't even take my time with the lather. I'm getting new blades so we'll see how that works out.

Any comments, suggestions, and recommendations is appreciated and encouraged.
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11 July 2009

Shave Time 7:00am

PREP
Shower, EVOO with hot tower over it, and facial soap.

SHAVE
1st Pass- N/S pass.

2nd Pass- S/N pass

FINISHING
Did some XTG passes on chin and upper lip

POST SHAVE
Cold water rinse followed by Nivea Extra Soothing AS Balm.

Summary
This was a more enjoyable shave compared to yesterday. Some weepers around the corner of my lip on the right side. Other than that no issues.

Any comments, suggestions, and recommendations is appreciated and encouraged.
 
13 July 2009

Shave Time 4:30am

PREP
Nutreagena Razor Defense Facial Scrub, Thin layer of baby oil.

SHAVE
1st Pass- N/S pass.

2nd Pass- S/N pass

FINISHING
Did some XTG passes on chin and neck.

POST SHAVE
Cold water rinse followed by Nivea Extra Soothing AS Balm.

Summary
This was a more enjoyable shave compared to yesterday. One of the best so far. I used VDH soap and it wasn't the best lather it worked. I also used the cheap blades that I bought from the PX(American Razor Company made). Tomorrow I'll try the cream and see what the results are. Then Derby Extra blades.

Any comments, suggestions, and recommendations is appreciated and encouraged.
 
14 July 2009

Shave Time 3:45am

PREP
Nutreagena Razor Defense Facial Scrub, Thin layer of baby oil.

SHAVE
1st Pass- N/S pass.

2nd Pass- None

FINISHING
None

POST SHAVE
Cold water rinse followed by L'Occitane Cade ASB.

Summary
I was to tired to do a full all out shave. But I feel that I have an SAS and that's with 1 pass. No cuts, irritation, or anything. I used VDH soap, Cheap razor blade from the PX. So far this combination has provided the best results. Tomorrow I'll use TBS shaving cream and see what the results are. I still need to work on my soap lathering techniques. I might use it just on the weekends or as superlather as it takes me longer to make lather with soap than cream and I already get up early enough as it is.

Any comments, suggestions, and recommendations is appreciated and encouraged.
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