What's new

Shave Journal

~i will post my experiences and acquisitions here. hopefully some of what i share here will be helpful to other greenhorns in one way or another, and will be otherwise interesting for anyone else who decides to read along.~

-> Merkur 34C HD + Merkur Blade + Feather Hi-Stainless
-> Proraso Green Shaving Cream + Pre/Post Shave + Proraso White Aftershave Balm/Green Aftershave Lotion
-> Fendrihan Black Synthetic Brush

i usually end up shaving every 3-4 days, sometimes longer. i may start trying to close the gap on the intervals a bit more regularly. i acquired my 34C at the same time as my piccolo special edition with open/closed combs, and have been using the open comb and my G1 fatboy for the past few shaves. this was my first go with the 34C.

my fendrihan black synthetic works just fine, its pretty soft and builds a good lather. the handle is not great, its too short in my opinion. its my first and only brush so nothing to compare it to yet. i have a simpson trafalgar t3 in the mail, but im honestly somewhat skeptical about the actual benefit of more expensive brushes. still intrigued and excited to see how it performs.

i started off with the blade that came with the 34C. it felt akin to shaving with a piece of a soda can. i gave it a pass and a half, and even when the hair was significantly shorter, it was still pulling quite a bit. halfway through the second pass i just couldnt keep on like that, so into the used blade jar it went. i then loaded a feather hi-stainless and completed the rest of my passes and touch-ups with no nicks or irritation.

a feather hi-stainless was actually the very first DE blade i tried, and even though i nicked myself quite a bit and had some razor burn that day (which i half blame on the bum fendrihan razor i later received a replacement for), i think it set a high bar on expected sharpness for me. my facial hair is rather coarse and relatively thick - a lot more so than i had ever thought previously i suppose. it would additionally also stand to reason that this blade works so well for me since i am generally not an everyday shaver. when my hair is much shorter to begin with, the other blades ive tried so far have all performed relatively well to varying degrees.

as far as how the razor itself performs, im not sure if i like the 34C very much yet. i feel that it may be far too mild for me. i find it much easier to use good technique when there is more blade exposure/gap. ill continue to rotate it in though, perhaps it will actually assist in developing consistent technique since it seems to depend on a perfect angle in order to be effective at all. even when it is cutting though, it just doesnt seem super efficient for me. for a decently affordable razor, it definitely seems well constructed. i would say the handle seems nicer than the cap/mount, but i think that seems to be pretty common amongst razors of this tier.

i have to say, considering the price that you can get a ("player grade" so to speak) perfectly functional vintage gillette razor, it seems the current production razors in the affordable category that i have experience with so far are just not on the same level in terms of construction and therefore value in my opinion. i would recommend other newcomers who still may be considering their first razor purchase or who want the inevitable upgrade from the cheapie that they thought would be "good enough" take the time to do a bit of research on vintage gillettes and try and score a decent deal on one. you can always get it refurbished to whatever extent you desire later if that is important to you, but if it is fully functional and structurally sound then i urge you to pick one up. i have not yet had any experience with new razors in the high dollar category, but i suspect my fatboy will be at the very least comparable in terms of overall quality to most if not all of them. that said, its still nice to have a few options and my 34C HD is certainly not a bad razor by any means; my favorite part of this razor is the handle for sure.
-> Merkur 34C HD + Feather Hi-Stainless (2nd Shave)
-> Martin De Candre Vetyver Shaving Soap + Proraso Green Pre/Post Shave + Geo F T Skin Food - Coral + Proraso Green Aftershave Lotion
-> Simpson Trafalgar 3 Synthetic Brush

2 shaves in a row, damn. a box of stuff arrived earlier than expected, so i couldnt wait. upon unboxing the simpson brush i realized immediately that my skepticism towards a more expensive brush was foolish. just holding it in your hand, you can feel and see that youre getting what you pay for. got it soaking and set aside the whole reason for placing the order in the first place, the martin de candre sample.

i really dislike a lot of modern style branding that i see on shave products, especially soaps. just in my short time of browsing the myriad of options available, ive seen everything from corny to downright cringeworthy. the choice of aesthetics says a lot about the contents of whatever youre looking at. its the very first thing that someone associates with your work; far more people will put eyes on your product than will ever actually consume it. i lament the fact that close attention to timeless presentation across the majority of our modern daily lives seems now to be a lost art, rarely appreciated or even considered amongst the generation that the universe decided to assign me to. naturally, this led me to rounding my order off by grabbing some samples of dr harris, taylor of old bond st, and geo f t as well. on a less related note, i also got a sample of ariana & evans asian plum, because i was hoping it would be similar to plum japonais. unfortunately this is not the case, but an interesting scent nonetheless.

with the brush soaked, i loaded a tiny bit of soap and got churning. i want to live inside the smell of this stuff. there is certainly a small but discernible difference in texture and thickness from what ive been using. the brush felt and performed great, noticeably better than my old one. im getting used to the overly mild 34C. it was far easier to attempt an ATG pass with this razor compared to my others. im still not fully comfortable with ATG but will continue to work at it. honestly, i didnt see a huge difference in the areas that i opted to do it on, and its really not a huge priority for me as long im enjoying my shaves for the first time in my life.

i can imagine how many people i know would probably be confused by my new interest in shaving. for me, its such a relief to actually enjoy taking care of myself for once in my life. its nice to be able to experience a piece of a world where most companies still cared about the quality of the products they manufactured, even the little things like razors. a time when the majority of things were built to last and user serviceable. its relishing in little things like this that really improve the overall quality of my life. i didnt get to know either of my grandfathers very well, but at least i can enjoy a nice shave in the same style that they likely did for many years. my shower is already my zen time for the day, this whole thing has added another aspect to it that i really appreciate. i really do feel lucky to be able to enjoy the privilege of a roof over my head with a bathroom to have a hot shower and a shave in anytime i please.

enough rambling for one night. i think that ive decided im gonna use the 34C for the next few sessions, we'll see.

Top Bottom