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Once Upon A Stubble



Hi, everyone. Thank you for coming in.

I have started my wet shaving in Feb 2020, and thanks to this forum, I've learned quite a bit since the start. In some way, this is my humble way of giving back, may this post be a good reference for anyone starting out in wet shaving, or just a place to hang out and chat about shaving or anything in life. Have a good one!


Why wet shave?

Maybe it's the cost saving, ingrown hair or something you just grew up with. For me, I started it because it was nostalgic.
One of the earliest memories I had about wet shaving was from Grandpa. He used to come visit us couple times a year, and I could still remembered the smell of his lather and the sound of his razor swirling in a sink. At the time, I never could understand why he used a safety razor instead of an electric, but many decades later, with a DE in my hand, I think I am starting to understand why...


Format of this thread

To make information more accessible, I will try to post a quick re-cap on top of each new "page", to summarize all the posts from previous page. As you may have guessed, any newbie is prone to all kind of acquisition disorders and I am definitely one of them. In some of my hobbies, people may advise newbies to start slow and buy cheap with good intentions, but scratch that! Life is too short for bad shaves and gears, here on out, I'd try to find good quality gears, if not the best(not necessary always most expensive though), so I could enjoy each of my shave to the fullest.


Profile

I don't have a face full of heavy bread, most of my stubborn stubbles grow under nose/lip/chin area, but not much on the sideburns. I started off with just disposible razors(no foam/AS) for years, and later on converted to electric shaving for decades.
I would characterize my skin as soft or semi-sensitive, sometimes a little dry in winter since I don't like any oily products on my face.
Basically, I am a night shaver and love hoarding the bathroom to take my own sweet time prepping/shaving. Things are always fun to do when it is not a chore and time has time for itself.


Interests/Hobbies

Besides cultivating my inevitable acquisition disorders for shaving gears, I am into photography, knives collecting, drone flying, hiking, camping, gaming, travelling and the list of addictions goes on... If you have any questions or just want to chit chat for those hobbies too, by all means jump right in!
 
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Feb 3, 2020 (Back logging)

This is the very first day of my shaving. And here are the gears I started with:



Merkur Futur
Col. Ichabod Conk #9 Boar Brush

Generic razor and brush stand (decent, pretty solid)
TOBS St. James collection Luxury cream (this got me hooked the instant I opened it, slickity slick too)
Lather bowl (aka baking glass ware from kitchen)

Comments
: Watched numerous yt video before I start, set the Futur at 2.5 and just started shaving. Excellent shave, unfreaking believable for a newbie...probably because I just shave the other day and there weren't much needed to shave anyway.

Honestly, I had no idea what was in store for me, and wet shaving was nothing as simple as I thought it would be.

Why Futur? After watching hours of shaving, everyone on YT all seems to like this razor, even Amazon rated as most popular adjustable, there I thought this will be the last razor I would ever need. So wrong! This is one aggressive beast of a razor...it's not even funny. I should have known better, everyone(or probably every other one) of those YT shaving 'elites' have a tough face of steel, or just great technique, to use the Futur wide open at even the highest setting. Don't get me wrong, it's a great razor but with my very limited skill, I am now using it at 1-1.5 with caution.

Col. Ichabod #9 is just a totally random purchase, I got it from a really large online knives seller along with Futur.
 
Day 2 (back logging)

Gears: Futur @2.5, Merkur blade(2nd shave), CIC boar brush, TOBS luxury

Comments: Blood bath! Aww sxxt...I totally forgotten the "zero" pressure and shaved like I was using the disposable razor. Managed to cut myself pretty bad under the lip and weepers everywhere. Wet shaving doesn't get any dumber than this.
 
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Day 3 (back logging)

Gears: Futur @2.5, Merkur blade(new blade), CIC boar brush, TOBS luxury

Prep: shower

Comments: Since my last crazy shave, I went online to really start reading and found this site which is a God sent. I did a pseudo-Kyle prep, took a long shower before the shave and that indeed soften the whiskers considerably. Swap in a new blade because I want to remove any uncertainty whether it was dull blade/technique/soap stain.

The end result is so-so. I probably shaved too lightly this time, so many small patches of whiskers/stubble were left after 3 passes. But I didn't bother to do it again fearing I would mess things up again and just use my electric razor to finish the job. Think beard trimming.
 
Day 4 (back logging)

Gears: Futur @1-1.5, merkur Super(2), ICI #9 boar, TOBS luxury

Prep: Shower, shave cream rub-in b/4 lather

Post: cold water rinse

Comments: Good shave. Keep on reminding myself 'Extreme light touch' and it worked like a charm. Futur @1.5 for 1st pass, and @1 for 2nd and 3rd pass. Face felt fine after cold water rinse at the end.
 
Day 5 (Feb 13 2020, back logging)

Cond: 2mm whiskers

Gears: Feather AS-D2 (new gear) vs Futur @1-1.5, Merkur Super(1), ICI boar #9, TOBS luxury

Prep: Shower, Proraso white Pre-shave (new cream)

Shave: Futur @1.5, Feather AS-D2, Futur @1; all passes used the same new Merkur Super blade

Post: Cold water rinse

Comments:
Yes, RAD has started and got myself a AS-D2. I found the B&B chart of aggressiveness and AS-D2 has ranked as one of the most mild, while Futur being the more aggressive adjustable. I want to know what is the other end of the extreme is like, and this time, I did more research here on B&B. I think general feedback is AS-D2 has a pretty simple design and good production quality, and the all stainless steel construction should be pretty long lasting too.

1st pass, Futur @1.5 is pretty effective and audible. Extreme light pressure, no harm done.
2nd pass, AS-D2 + Merkur Super, this is a 'confusing' pass. I felt like it is not doing anything except feeling it is really really 'safe'.
3rd pass, [email protected] try to clean up what's remaining.
3.5 pass, swap back to AS-D2, tried to use this to clean under-nose trouble spot, again it felt so safe that I even tried ATG under the chin. No harm done.
 
Feb 16, 2020 (Day 6, back logging)

Cond: 2mm whiskers

Gears: Continue testing Feather AS-D2 vs Futur, Astra SP(New gear), ICI Boar #9, TOBS luxury

Prep: Shower, Proraso White Pre-shave

Shave: Using the same Astra SP for all 3 passes, AS-D2 vs Futur

Post: Cold water rinse, Proraso white

Comments:
Felt like a pretty close shave and the face felt quite 'raw' afterwards, CCS.
1st pass: Trim 80% off, no irritation. Astra SP with ASD2 has more audible feedback than last time with Merkur Super
2nd pass: Futur @1, with same blade. I could feel more blade clearly, felt aggressive. Trimmed 90-95% off, face felt raw and uncomfortably 'close'.
3rd pass: Switch back to AS-D2, still feel effective and shave quite well. But the face do felt raw now, and even the TOBS shaving cream stung a little.

As a newbie, I am sure I haven't got the technique all perfect. In retrospect, I think switching between razor mid-shave could post a challenge of inconsistency of pressure and angle. But in some way, I have learnt to become more sensitive to how I shave and face condition.

I looked up sharpness of different blades on internet afterwards. I don't know how reliable it could be, but the test from "Redefined" looks reasonably trust worthy. Merkur super is actually ranked one of the dullest blade, while Astra SP is ranked pretty high. That may explain the difference between this shave and the last.
 
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Feb 18, 2020 (Day 7, back logging)

Cond: 2mm whiskers

Gears: Continue testing Feather AS-D2 vs Merkur Futur, Feather Blade(New gear) vs Astra SP(2), CIC boar #9, TOBS

Prep: No more Proraso White(Gear abandoned), shower, pre-shave lather rub in

Shave: 1st pass: AS-D2 w/ Feather blade(new)
2nd pass: Futur w/ Astra SP (2)
3rd pass: AS-D2 w/ Feather(new)

Post: Cold water rinse

Comments:

Two nights from last shave, I am testing to see whether I could shave slightly more often than every 3 nights.

I stopped using the Proraso white pre-shave cream altogether. Thinking back, I think the feeling of 'rawness' and the pretty clear sting is often linked with the Proraso. Maybe it's the Menthol? I don't know why, but it just burn seconds after I apply it. So I am dropping it from here on out.

It is quite true the Feather AS-D2 indeed is a 'mild' razor, even to a newbie like me. I knew Feather blade is supposed to be the sharpest, but the razor does 'tame' this blade big time, and I don't feel it's unnecessarily sharp. Futur @1 in the 2nd pass did cause me a weeper, maybe just tad bit too much pressure switching from ASD2 to Futur.

Overall, still a CCS, but the face felt a lot nicer. Gone is the 'raw' feeling.
 
I don't have a face full of heavy bread, most of my stubborn stubbles grow under nose/lip/chin area, but not much on the sideburns.

DOUGH!

Homer-Doh-250x300_edit.png

:lol:

You seem to have jumped in with both feet, my friend. A very eager start. And I'm going to suggest too eager. Classic noob error, trying something new every shave. You will actually slow the learning curve that way, as you won't know what change in results was kit, and what was you!

Pick ONE set up and stick with it for a month. Seriously. I know it's easy to get excited about new stuff, but focus on shaving first and shopping later ;)
 
DOUGH!

View attachment 1069681

:lol:

You seem to have jumped in with both feet, my friend. A very eager start. And I'm going to suggest too eager. Classic noob error, trying something new every shave. You will actually slow the learning curve that way, as you won't know what change in results was kit, and what was you!

Pick ONE set up and stick with it for a month. Seriously. I know it's easy to get excited about new stuff, but focus on shaving first and shopping later ;)
Indeed! I notice that could be a problem and started ratifying that by sticking with one set of gear for longer period of time starting end of month. Good call!:thumbsup:
 
By the way, I know Smashie, gustophersmob, and MadPlumbarian are members here, but I don't think they're regular posters, so I don't know if they'll drop by to say hello.
 
By the way, I know Smashie, gustophersmob, and MadPlumbarian are members here, but I don't think they're regular posters, so I don't know if they'll drop by to say hello.
Smashie! Which reminded to prop back to your thread about him being in hospital in NLC, hope he's out by now!

I posted a little back in break room about me starting wet shave too, it will be lovely to bump into them here on B&B.
 
Yeah, Smashie is out now. He made a post in that thread to thank everyone for their well wishes. He's stopping with family for a few days to recover
 
Feb 20, 2020 (back logging)

Cond: 2mm whiskers

Gears: Continue testing Feather AS-D2, Feather Blade(2), CIC boar #9, TOBS luxury

Prep: shower, pre-shave lather rub in

Shave: All 3 passes using AS-D2 with Feather Blade(2)

Post: Cold water rinse

Comments:
Felt a tidy bit of sting from shaving cream, which didn't really happen before. Maybe shaving every other day is a little too soon.
SAS>CCS shave, I started XTG under nose and right under the jaw. If all 3 passes are WTG, I may end up patches of hair unshaved(which looks silly)
 
Feb 23, 2020 (back logging)

Cond: 3mm whiskers

Gears: Merkur Futur, Astra SP(2), CIC boar #9, TOBS luxury

Prep: shower, pre-shave lather rub in

Shave: 1st pass Futur @1.5, 2nd pass Futur @1, Futur @1

Post: Cold water rinse

Comments: A small weeper above lip, maybe due to careless XTG when I was in 2nd pass. Futur is definitely far more aggressive @1-1.5 than AS-D2 in previous shave. But overall, very effective razor, felt it right from 1st pass seeing all these stubbles fall. And the face feel less 'raw' since I waited on the 3rd day to shave instead of every other day.
 
Feb 26, 2020 (back logging)

Cond: 2-3mm whiskers

Gears: Feather AS-D2, Feather(1), CIC boar #9, TOBS luxury

Prep: shower, pre-shave lather rub in

Shave:
1st pass: WTG, 65-70% effective, patches of hair everywhere
2nd pass: stay closer to mirror for better look, WTG, 90+% finish
3rd pass: very, very light touch XTG, to 'trim' problem area under nose

Post: Cold water rinse

Comments:
Good shave, CCS/DFS, no 'raw' feeling on face, felt a little slight 'tug' from Feather blade but not too much 'blade' feel. Staying really close to mirror to get a closer look does help the shave greatly.
 
Mar 1, 2020 (back logging)

Cond: 3mm whiskers

Gears: Feather AS-D2, Feather(2), CIC boar #9, TOBS luxury

Prep: shower, pre-shave lather rub in

Shave:
1st pass: WTG, stay close to mirror and watch what I was doing, 80% done
2nd pass: WTG, w/ XTG under nose, 90-95% fin
3rd pass: Apply thick lather again, a very light pressure XTG on problem area, ATG under chin

Post: Cold water rinse

Comments:
The Feather blade felt a lot less 'effective' than its first shave. I do feel the 'tug' a lot more, and feeling the dilemma where if I put more pressure, the skin will feel more irritated, but less pressure may mean more pass/less effective. But as a newbie, I don't want to make bold conclusion when I don't have all my technique down. So I gonna keep a more open mind about this.

The Col. Ichabod Conk #9 boar brush finally start to have split ends(which is a good thing), it took around 11 wet/dry cycles, and I didn't put in a freezer to accelerate anything. Overall, I felt it's pretty scratchy and being 19mm knot, I could imagine there will be far better brush out there for a better experience.
 
Alright, all catch up with the backlogging...

I know, I know, it may be pretty dry and boring to just read some random dude's shaving diary, and it was silly of me not having the foresight to take more pictures as I shave:facep:. But promise there will be more pictures, shaving or hobbies, moving onward!

A short re-cap of my newbie first month wet shaving experience will be posted on top of page 2.
 
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