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Report on first DE shaves

Private Larry reporting as ordered, sir. Received my Merkur HD from Charles on Saturday along with creams. Loaded the HD with a new Merkur blade. Did the first shave on Saturday night after a shower. Washed my face good, did some exfoliating before a bit of time with a hot towel. Then, put on some Proraso pre-shave and mixed up some GFT Violet. Lathered up in a small stainless bowl I found at a thrift store and started with a N-S pass, which was just OK due to me being very tentative with the razor. Then, more pre-shave and another lathering and I went at it in the chevron type of pass. Finished off with a cold splash of water and some Nancy Boy shave balm. I got a small amount of razor burn and 3 nicks, which I hit with my styptic pencil that I have had for over 20 years, but still works. The shave was mediocre, but not bad for my first time. I had to hit it again with more shave balm in about 10 minutes due to some burning on my neck. My lather wasn't very good, and I didn't know if it was due to the bowl or unfamiliarity with the GFT (previous Mach 3 shaves were with Proraso).

Tried again last night, this time with Proraso cream in the same bowl. Same issues with lack of lather, which I now know is a bowl problem. I will switch back to a more shallow stainless bowl I had used before with success. Went with the same routine except for lather brand, shaving after shower (I'm a night shower person as opposed to a morning shower person - can't stand to go to bed without a shower), Proraso pre-shave, Proraso cream, N-S pass first. Then, rinsed my face and lathered up again and went for a W-E/E-W/chevron pattern pass. My neck is still the problem area. Some irritation and razor burn. One nick on chin, one nick on neck - styptic pencil stemmed the flow of blood. Lots of Caswell-Massey shave balm followed by Nancy Boy balm. This morning, I put on some moisterizer and that helped. The second shave was a little better than the first, but still way too much irritation, which I attribute to too much pressure on the razor and not good enough lather technique. I know, I know - let the razor do the work. I just need to hone my technique.

Bottom line - this is harder than I remember. I shaved with a DE when I was about 18 years old, but that was 35 years ago. All those years with an electric and cartridge razor screwed me up. But, I didn't expect to get this in 1-2 shaves. I love the products - I'm going to try my Taylors Rose next, and it's satisfying to do this the old-fashioned way. One worry - acquisition disorder. I already suffered through this with watches, and I have thinned out my collection to just a few inexpensive automatics that I wear all the time. Now, I have bought a Gem razor and this Superspeed on the bay:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dl...50015454996&rd=1&sspagename=STRK:MEWN:IT&rd=1

I know I probably paid too much for it, but I spent Saturday morning going through antique shops around my area and didn't find anything except for a bunch of old ladies razors that were priced too high. If this one is as described and is sanitized and ready to go, I will be happy with it at that price. Any comments on the razor would be welcomed. I'm not going to buy any more old razors, I'm not going to buy any old razors. Keep repeating that. However, I did get the $80 brush/razor stand from classicshaving and an alum block. Had to have those, you know.

That's the report. Not too bad of a start, and lots to work on, especially on my neck. Now, to try some blades from the sampler from John (thanks to him for shipping this on Saturday) and try the Gem single edge (Walgreen blades, I guess) and Superspeed and various other combinations. I'm havin' fun.

Thanks to you all for suggestions. My wife officially hates each and every one of you. :lol:
 
Great report and glad to here that things are starting well. Don't be afraid to really work the brush when you're lather. You should be able to make shavable lather in just about any vessel.

Larry C in Texas said:
My wife officially hates each and every one of you. :lol:

Yeah! We need to create a support group forum for significant others.
 
Larry C in Texas said:
Private Larry reporting as ordered, sir. Received my Merkur HD from Charles on Saturday along with creams. Loaded the HD with a new Merkur blade. Did the first shave on Saturday night after a shower. Washed my face good, did some exfoliating before a bit of time with a hot towel. Then, put on some Proraso pre-shave and mixed up some GFT Violet. Lathered up in a small stainless bowl I found at a thrift store and started with a N-S pass, which was just OK due to me being very tentative with the razor. Then, more pre-shave and another lathering and I went at it in the chevron type of pass. Finished off with a cold splash of water and some Nancy Boy shave balm. I got a small amount of razor burn and 3 nicks, which I hit with my styptic pencil that I have had for over 20 years, but still works. The shave was mediocre, but not bad for my first time. I had to hit it again with more shave balm in about 10 minutes due to some burning on my neck. My lather wasn't very good, and I didn't know if it was due to the bowl or unfamiliarity with the GFT (previous Mach 3 shaves were with Proraso).

Tried again last night, this time with Proraso cream in the same bowl. Same issues with lack of lather, which I now know is a bowl problem. I will switch back to a more shallow stainless bowl I had used before with success. Went with the same routine except for lather brand, shaving after shower (I'm a night shower person as opposed to a morning shower person - can't stand to go to bed without a shower), Proraso pre-shave, Proraso cream, N-S pass first. Then, rinsed my face and lathered up again and went for a W-E/E-W/chevron pattern pass. My neck is still the problem area. Some irritation and razor burn. One nick on chin, one nick on neck - styptic pencil stemmed the flow of blood. Lots of Caswell-Massey shave balm followed by Nancy Boy balm. This morning, I put on some moisterizer and that helped. The second shave was a little better than the first, but still way too much irritation, which I attribute to too much pressure on the razor and not good enough lather technique. I know, I know - let the razor do the work. I just need to hone my technique.

Bottom line - this is harder than I remember. I shaved with a DE when I was about 18 years old, but that was 35 years ago. All those years with an electric and cartridge razor screwed me up. But, I didn't expect to get this in 1-2 shaves. I love the products - I'm going to try my Taylors Rose next, and it's satisfying to do this the old-fashioned way. One worry - acquisition disorder. I already suffered through this with watches, and I have thinned out my collection to just a few inexpensive automatics that I wear all the time. Now, I have bought a Gem razor and this Superspeed on the bay:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dl...50015454996&rd=1&sspagename=STRK:MEWN:IT&rd=1

I know I probably paid too much for it, but I spent Saturday morning going through antique shops around my area and didn't find anything except for a bunch of old ladies razors that were priced too high. If this one is as described and is sanitized and ready to go, I will be happy with it at that price. Any comments on the razor would be welcomed. I'm not going to buy any more old razors, I'm not going to buy any old razors. Keep repeating that. However, I did get the $80 brush/razor stand from classicshaving and an alum block. Had to have those, you know.

That's the report. Not too bad of a start, and lots to work on, especially on my neck. Now, to try some blades from the sampler from John (thanks to him for shipping this on Saturday) and try the Gem single edge (Walgreen blades, I guess) and Superspeed and various other combinations. I'm havin' fun.

Thanks to you all for suggestions. My wife officially hates each and every one of you. :lol:

As Steve Perry sang..."Send her my love..."

Randy
 
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