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Shave Journal

After reading several months of newbie threads I have noticed that some people have chronicled most of their first shaves here and received very useful feedback. I have decided to do the same but consolidate it into one thread so that I'm not cluttering up the forum. So without further ado...

Shave #2
Today I had time running against me. My pt session took longer than usual. My supervisor and soon to be shop NCOIC just returned from a 3 month TDY/leave. In addition to the shop drama that occurred while he was gone I wanted to update him on my standing as we haven't spoke in months, my EPR is due soon, and I'm PCSing in a month. We went running and talked during our run and didn't notice that we ran further away from our vehicles than we intended. By the time I got home I had only 40 minutes to get ready for work instead of my usual hour. My AoS lavender arrived today and I really wanted to get my second shave in. However, I still needed to get my blues ready for work and shower/shave. I decided to go ahead with my HD shave.

Although I felt time closing on me I don't feel like I rushed the shave. I used a porcelain bowl instead of a mug to lather in today. The AoS was amazing. It lathered up so much easier and fuller than the Nivea I was using previously. The smell was amazing. I ordered lavender because I figured my SWMBO would like the floral scent. The scent was not the floral scent I expected. It had the lavender, but additionally there was a peppery, musky undertone that was very masculine and pleasing. I am never shaving with unscented cream again. As many of you stated, the AoS was a superior lather and I felt the additional lubrication.

I had a much easier time controlling the blade this time. I just let the blade do its thing and don't think I pressed down once. I went for three WTG passes. The lather up between each pass was much better than yesterday because I floated the bowl in hot water as was suggested. The warm foam was such a pleasing experience. No razor burn or irritation today. Very close on my cheeks with no tangible stubble if I rubbed it WTG, just a bit ATG. My neck I am still having some issues properly applying the blade to, especially the upwards passes for my lower neck. Consequently, the shave was not as close and I still had visible stubble. SWMBO observed the last pass, and I stupidly was looking at her and explaining the process during one stroke and actually nicked myself. The cold water rinse stopped the blood flow temporarily, but it took the styptic pencil to stop it for good. Other than than the one small nick, very comfortable shave today. I was very proud of myself. :001_cool:

Question: I am still having an issue with the head of my HD touching the skin along with the blade. The blade never drags, but the head does drag sometimes on my skin. Should I tilt the handle further down? I am putting the head to my skin perpendicular, and the rolling the handle down just until the blade engages currently.

Thank you all again for the advice. Tonight's shave was remarkable other than my one moment of stupidity. I feel confident that next week I can incorporate one XTG pass unless you all advise differently. Oh, I started looking through pictures of Gillette razors. Some of them are very aesthetically pleasing...especially the flair tips. I think I may have to pick one up after I master my technique with this razor.
 
SWMBO observed the last pass, and I stupidly was looking at her and explaining the process during one stroke and actually nicked myself.
Must...stay...focused...

Question: I am still having an issue with the head of my HD touching the skin along with the blade. The blade never drags, but the head does drag sometimes on my skin. Should I tilt the handle further down?
From one noob to another - if you tilt the handle further, will it make the blade angle too aggressive?

Thank you for your volunteer service to our country. :thumbup1:
 
Must...stay...focused...



From one noob to another - if you tilt the handle further, will it make the blade angle too aggressive?

Thank you for your volunteer service to our country. :thumbup1:
I suppose I could, but I wasn't sure if that was wise. I'm afraid if I do i will end up with the wrong blade angle.
 
I went for four passes today. I had planned on just three WTG passes, but my first pass went so well and I felt like I had such better control of the razor that I got overconfident and decided on 2 WTG, 1 semi-XTG, and 1 XTG. I say over confident because while the passes were not hard to achieve, I had one small weeper, and some significant neck irritation. I also decided to try a slightly steeper blade angle. Stupid, I know. Change only one variable at a time. Now I don't know if was the change in passes or the change in blade angle that went wrong. Although it could have also been that my lather was a little too wet. Oh well. :001_rolle Chalk it up to experience and character building. On the plus side, my shave was very close on my cheeks and it was my first shave that did not leave visible stubble on my neck. I also tossed my first blade today and gave my razor a good soak with Lysol to remove the soap buildup and buffed the razor back to shine. I think I'm going to stay with the 3 shave and toss routine until I have perfected shaving and the I'll learn how to feel exactly how long I can stretch a blade.

Observations:
1) Despite only being shave 3, I feel like my ability to control the razor has grown by leaps and bounds.
2) I want a scuttle. My floating bowl trick didn't keep the lather warm today.
3) It's only shave three and I want to try more cream scents... Uh oh.
 
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Thanks. I plan on keeping this journal up for awhile, at least until I feel like i have mastered my technique. One thing I have learned from the Air Force is the value of a log for troubleshooting.

And I am active duty Air Force. I posted in the AD thead already.
 
If I were to venture a guess, your irritation came from the blade angle. If it were me, I would try the XTG pass again but return to your previous blade angle. And, yes, it is hard when you are new to keep everything consistent and not try multiple things at once. I made this mistake many times myself.
 
Today was the second time I have shaved for no other reason than to shave; no work, no special event, I just wanted to shave (yesterday was number one). The shave went very well. I put an old clock radio up on the counter and dialed in a local classical music station. I took my usual shower before hand, lathered up and went to it. I went for 2 WTG passes and 1 XTG pass. Although I didn't XTG the top of my adams apple. My razor head just doesn't fit. I will have to ATG it in the future. My first lather didn't work too well. It seemed to dry up and disappear both on my face and in the bowl. After I hit my cheeks, I dipped the tip of my brush in the sink water and used to add some water to the lather on my neck. It went a bit better, but it was still too dry. I rewashed my bowl and brush and created some new lather for passes 2 and 3. It was properly watered and worked much better. My cheeks are even closer today than yesterday and my neck is better as well. The only visible stubble was on the top of my adam's apple. I also started stretching my skin today. It really helped my razor to smoothly move and not skip across my face.

Observations:
1) I really took my time and went slow today, went well.
2) Rolling my razor down to find the angle again, seemed to work better.
3) The razor caught and tugged on hairs for the first time today. I thought maybe I had a dud razor but I'm thinking it was maybe my angle not adjusting correctly as it was just past my jaw.
4) Stretching the skin really helps.
 
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"It hurts"
"Can I touch it?"
"No, don't touch it. Don't even breathe on it."

That is part of the conversation I just had with my wife because I was too stupid to just take it slow. I read the stories. I was warned. I knew better than to give in to my pride and curiosity. But I caved, my disciplined failed, and as a result I am in pain. :ohmy:

Today's shave is by far the worst shave I have had in memory. I had planned to go one WTG pass and one XTG pass. I had planned a CCS to bring an end to my weekend. Alas, it was not so.

First, my lather was a complete failure. It was not slick and did not lubricate. None was left behind after each stroke. The head of my razor was really dragging. By the end of the first half of my first pass, the lather was evaporating. I tried adding water, no luck. Second pass, even less useful lather. I tried the squeezing the "nice" lather out of my brush for the first time and applying it with my hand; it evaporated as well. :confused:

I should have just stopped. I should have just ended the shave before it got worse. But no, I decided that the hole I was standing in wasn't deep enough yet. I decided to go ATG on one half of my face as an experiment. Bad lather and all, I went ATG on the right side of my face. My cheek and jaw are very smooth. I imagine my neck is as well, but for the love of all that is holy I'm not going to touch it to find out. Not even 20 seconds after I finished my neck the bleeding started, then the itching, then the burning. An application of styptic stopped the bleeding, but two applications of ASB could not stop the burn. Dante himself has felt no burn like this. :spockflam I would try another application of Nivea but I have a feeling just agitating the air around my neck would hurt.

This is shaving suicide. The stores around here should be opening in a couple of hours. I'm going to buy some WH first thing.

If you see the devil, let him know I'm ready to make a deal.

Observations:

1) Stop the shave as soon as it goes south, not when it bottoms out. :mad2:
2) Surprisingly, the non-ATG side of my face feels fine. I guess my technique is getting good enough that the bad lather didn't matter too much.
3) I suspect that in addition to the fact that I went ATG, the jaw to chin movement was not helpful considering that my neck is not flat for motions like that. I think I'll take two XTG passes over an ATG on my neck from now on.
4) My jaw and cheek still feel okay. I bet that in the future I can ATG them just fine.
 
Do not be too hard on yourself, we have all been there. It is too easy for us to think, how bad can it be. Bad, it can be bad! It is also hard to admit defeat. Stopping in the middle of a bad shave seems impossible sometimes. However, you are right. Just stop then, that is best.
 
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