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Rookie Gets a Barber Razor

or...Rookie's last post! 🤣

Tomorrow is September 1st, a restock day for GRUME. And somehow I got it in my head that I need to learn to shave with a straight razor. So tomorrow I go to Sally's and grab a barber razor.

But wait! Didn't you say you want a straight? I did. But for right now, I'm a little intimidated by the upkeep. Baby steps.

I've read the stickied guides and watched some YouTube videos. And what the hey, why not get started with a first shave tomorrow. Welcome aboard for an adventure in watching a new guy learn, and cut himself to ribbons in the process!
 
I'm going to get it today on my way home. I'll get whatever they have, as long as it looks good.
 
I do have a question for the group though. I have a 100 pack of Parker blades and another Shark. Plus 2 dozen ones and twos from various sample packs and a 100 pack of GSB on the way.

I know about varying mileage and all. But I was wondering if anyone had any blade recommendations? It'll be a generic folder from Sally's that takes half DE blades. But if you were to recommend anything I would want to start with, I'd appreciate that. Just a good starting point, or (just as good) anything to avoid. Thank you!
 
I do have a question for the group though. I have a 100 pack of Parker blades and another Shark. Plus 2 dozen ones and twos from various sample packs and a 100 pack of GSB on the way.

I know about varying mileage and all. But I was wondering if anyone had any blade recommendations? It'll be a generic folder from Sally's that takes half DE blades. But if you were to recommend anything I would want to start with, I'd appreciate that. Just a good starting point, or (just as good) anything to avoid. Thank you!
I would go with a Feather Professional Artist Club SS, and Schick Proline AC blades. It is a little more expensive to start with, around $65 for the razor on Amazon, but very easy to use.
 

thombrogan

Lounging On The Isle Of Tugsley.
Maybe there’s info at this club that matches your goals?


Towards Dr. Doug’s recommendation, they do sell what looks like a priced-to-own Feather clone:

I was thinking you were getting a Fromm/Diane hair shaper razor and hair shaper blades (they look like a GEM and an Injector blade had a baby) as that was my second Sally thought (first being if my kid wanted more nail stuff for her artwork).
 

AimlessWanderer

Contributor
I use the Derby Premium half blades, as it saves me trying to safely store the second half. If I was breaking blades, I'd work to the smoother end of the spectrum (Derby Extra, SuperMax Blue Diamond Titanium, etc)
 
So this is what I got. 15989953314768048067441394948401.jpg
Nothing fancy or cutting edge (😂). Just something plain and simple and affordable enough that if it doesn't work, it won't hurt to PIF this and a couple tucks.

I really like the weight of it. It weighs nothing so there's no wear in any position. Yet in the hand there's a sense of heft and solid to make control easier. I think? Oh, and to start, I think I'll pair it with an Astra I found hiding amongst my leftover samples.

My goal today isn't to get a good shave. It's to kind of make friends with the system and not seriously hurt myself. And with that, I'm off to a shower and inaugural shave with my new razor!
 

Attachments

So I didn't cut myself! Not a great shave though. I have been spoiled by a year of DE shaving and this is the very first steps in learning a new skill.

So I didn't cut myself. I went two passes WTG and decided to quit while I was ahead. Co9T told me there was a good bit of irritation. And it's not really the smoothest shave I've ever had. Left quite a bit of face fur. But that was me trying like all hell not to go hard. That's something that improve with time and comfort. And I had a little trouble with the angle and my hand/ wrist feeling awkward. But again, with time. And I've never liked the Astra blades. I don't know why I loaded it. I think I wanted to give it another chance. But I don't want to switch anything yet because deep down I know it's not the blade.

Well, the good news is I'm now 99 away from the mythical 100th shave. And I didn't cut myself!
 

AimlessWanderer

Contributor
Are you still just doing a neck clean up below the full beard, Rookie? I much prefer the comfort and convenience of Double Edge razors, particularly on the neck, but do occasionally enjoy shavettes, purely for the additional challenge.
 

thombrogan

Lounging On The Isle Of Tugsley.
Congratulations! Better than my first SR shave and you’ll have your second SR shave before I do
 
Yeah, still just the neck and tops of the cheeks. That's all I've shaved in so long I think I forgot how to shave my upper lip.

Thanks, @thombrogan. My second one will be tomorrow, because I did such a bad job on this one. First time in years I shaved two days in a row.
 
My second shave was a little better. I started off confidently holding the razor a feeling like I got this. I just went WTG and for three passes before I was satisfied. It did go and feel much smoother as I was shaving, though. Not near the irritation as last time.

Today I learned exactly what no pressure means. The blade kissed me a little. Lesson learned. I'm not cutting hair, I'm just removing that layer of lather.

And that was the last shave with that blade. Next time, I'm going to rummage through my samples and see what I have. I know it's not the Astra's fault I nicked myself, but I've never cared of the blade. I'll see if I have any Derbys left. If not, maybe one of my oopsie Parkers that I didn't mean to order.

So 2 down, 98 to go!
 
Today's shave was the best yet! I had in a brand new Parker half blade in. And, for whatever it's worth, a tried a new soap. Harry Cavendish Lavender. That's a great soap! That's what I'm using for the shavette. Mrs. Rookie surprised me with it. I got one of my old coffee cups from a favorite crab house (it's a Maryland thing) and that's now my shave mug.

The shave was smooth as glass feeling. Maybe I'm starting to figure out my angle or how to hold the foolish thing? Maybe a fresh blade and pleasant smelling soap was a mental thing? Anyways, in two passes WTG I was ready to call my neck good enough. My cheeks is where it got interesting. By gripping my beard, I'm able to really stretch out my skin. I tried an AGT pass on my cheeks. I felt good doing that, not nervous or anything. I think next time I'll try on my neck.

I should have finished off with the Co9T because I felt that confident of the shave. But Mrs. Rookie remarked how the lavender really good well with Clubman aftershave. Well I've never known Clubman to be wrong answer, so I went with a happy life instead of bragging to myself.

So I noticed something today. While shaving the tops of my cheeks above the beard, an epiphany moment happened. Since I'm able to watch the cutting edge as it cuts, that precise, it clicked why they're such a great shaping tool. No guard to get in the way, no razor head, just the bare blade and facial fur to trim off. I know that's an incredibly stupid and newbie thing to be impressed by. But I don't care. My beard is about to get a whole lot sharper!

3 down, 97 to go!
 
I realized that I forgot to add any kind of bio or reasoning why I'm doing this. Oops! Well, let's rectify this now.

Well, let's see. I live in suburban Baltimore, MD (East Coast USA, about 30 miles north of Washington DC and 100 miles south of Philadelphia). I'm the father of 4, between 12 and 2, and have been married for a little over 20 years. Once upon a time, good old RookieGuy was actually Sgt. Rookie Guy of the United States Army. That's when I learned to hate shaving. But then, I don't remember why, I borrowed my father's DE he used on special occasions and was hooked. Took shaving from something I had to do to something I still have to do but can be much more luxurious.

I've been DE shaving since around 2013, but took a break when I lost my razors in a fire. I got a new one around a year ago. Then I found here and got into it whole hog.

I'm not really sure why I want to learn to shave with a straight(ish) razor. Mrs. Rookie asked and I didn't have an answer. Luckily a Rooklet came in and saved me. I suppose it's just a new skill to learn. A useful skill that could serve me well in situations where I don't have access to a razor? Or since I have a thing for knives, learning how to use another blade made sense? In any case, I got it in my head to learn. My plan was to take the September GRUME and learn.

And this journal I hope to document my first 100 shaves with it. Asking questions and making observations along the way. Maybe making someone chuckle with my rookie mistakes and epiphanies.
 

thombrogan

Lounging On The Isle Of Tugsley.
An origin story! Not all heroes wear barber capes. Congratulations to your Rooklet for saving the shaving. Not surprising for an edged-tool enthusiast to have sharp progeny.
 
I realized that I forgot to add any kind of bio or reasoning why I'm doing this. Oops! Well, let's rectify this now.

Well, let's see. I live in suburban Baltimore, MD (East Coast USA, about 30 miles north of Washington DC and 100 miles south of Philadelphia). I'm the father of 4, between 12 and 2, and have been married for a little over 20 years. Once upon a time, good old RookieGuy was actually Sgt. Rookie Guy of the United States Army. That's when I learned to hate shaving. But then, I don't remember why, I borrowed my father's DE he used on special occasions and was hooked. Took shaving from something I had to do to something I still have to do but can be much more luxurious.

I've been DE shaving since around 2013, but took a break when I lost my razors in a fire. I got a new one around a year ago. Then I found here and got into it whole hog.

I'm not really sure why I want to learn to shave with a straight(ish) razor. Mrs. Rookie asked and I didn't have an answer. Luckily a Rooklet came in and saved me. I suppose it's just a new skill to learn. A useful skill that could serve me well in situations where I don't have access to a razor? Or since I have a thing for knives, learning how to use another blade made sense? In any case, I got it in my head to learn. My plan was to take the September GRUME and learn.

And this journal I hope to document my first 100 shaves with it. Asking questions and making observations along the way. Maybe making someone chuckle with my rookie mistakes and epiphanies.
I guess a "It's Cool!" or "Prepping for the zombie apocalypse" wouldn't fly to well with the missus. :)

It is fun learning something new though, and a challenge is fun as well.
 
@thombrogan, yeah, those little rugrats have gotten me out of trouble before. Of course, nowhere near the trouble they have caused over the years. Lol sharp progeny!

You know, @Clay S, she didn't notice it for about 4 days after I brought it into the house. One $15 razor really flies in under the radar. And, for the record, if ever "because it's cool" isn't an acceptable answer from either of us, we have bigger problems.

Well, tonight's shave went pretty ok. I learned that I am in no way, shape, or form either a southpaw or ambidextrous. The razor did not feel comfortable in my left hand at all. And my face and neck knew it. I limited myself to WTG for my left hand.

The other thing I did was go ATG tonight for the first time. That felt good. Sure, a little sketch going from neck to under the jaw, but not so much. I just took my time, made slow, calm, deliberate movements, and I survived without a nick!

Is it just me or is that a thing in life? Take your time and take calm yet deliberate action and it seems that you should be able to get through most of life relatively unscathed.
Man, first really learning DE, then a tobacco pipe courtesy of our fellow B&B members further down the sub list page, and now zen moments. This is by far one of the healthiest cults I've ever been in! 🤣
 
Shave #5 went pretty well this evening. I used some of the Henry Cavendish Lavender again. I really like that stuff. And it goes well with Clubman aftershave.

I think this was the last shave for that blade though. Three very decent shaves in my inexperienced hands per half is good enough for me. 600 shaves for the $10 I spent on it.

So I'm still going 2 WTG 2 AGT passes. And it's getting me good enough for what I'm doing. But it's not really a DFS. I think it's time to push myself into XTG. The way my beard comes in on my neck, it really shows in my every other day shaving.

With that, I call shave 5 a success. And I look forward to the next 95!
 
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