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Some questions and answers

Justso PM'd me with some questions, and I asked him if he would mind if I posted them to let everyone learn, chime in, and enjoy the conversation. He said yes, so here we go!


This is Justin, "justso" from B&B. I was just wanting to contact you to discuss my ventures into the world of Str8 shaving. Right now, I'm using a Merkur Vision (wide open setting). I think a couple of questions I'd like to start off with is:

1. Can I actually get a better shave with the str8 than my Vision, or am I chasing shave nirvana to the point of futility?
I really can't answer that, because I never really used a DE razor. A few times, actually, just as a novelty years back. Someon else needs to chime in here and gimme a hand...haha. But, with a properly honed straight and a properly prepped face, you can get quite a shave. Even with a (ugh) Mock III, I still feel stubble after about 3 hours on my chin. With a straight, I can go at least 10 hours still having a baby smooth chin.
2. What would your recommendations be going from a Vision to a Str8?
If you truly want to learn using a straight, get rid of the DE. It will be a crutch that can impede your learning curve. Allow yourself enought time whenever you shave to shave your face fully with the straight.

3. What accessories would I need to get to maintain my razor? Any recommendations you have? I have a Shavemac XL from about 6 years ago I use everyday.
Your brush is fine. You will need a strop, and eventually a hone or a good friend who will hone your razor when it needs it. Make sure your razor is dried off when you put it away. Try to wipe or rinse your blade frequently as you use it, don't let shaving cream and whiskers get into the razors pivot.

4. I seem to have hair on the underside of my chin that grows west to due east and I can NEVER shave against the grain there to get the smoothest shave possible. It just kills me. Usually, my passes are as follows:

Pass 1: N-S
Pass 2: S-N
Pass 3: SW-NE on the left side and SE to NW on the right side

But if I try to get that hair growing due east..man, pain city. Is there something I'm doing wrong?
I can't say with the DE, but a good sharp straight should let you shave without pain. You can shave with, against, or cross grain with a straight. Everyone's face is different, so you have to find what works best for you.

5. My shave creams I use are typically Taylor's and Proraso. I have a tube of Trumper's Sandalwood that is just lovely. All in all, I'm pretty new to this whole wetshaving thing. I tried it years ago (when I bought the Shavemac) and got discouraged, but now that I'm having success with the Vision (Set to wide open), it's been blissful. I'd say that on average, I get a great shave 4 out of the 7 days and an EXCEPTIONAL shave 1 out of the 7 days. (some days things just click).

A good straight and proper technique will let you get those blissful shaves a lot more frequently, IMHO. Besides, the bliss is multiplied by the "cool factor" of using a straight.

I know I'm probably a fool for going over to the dark side
No, you are a fool for waiting so long, haha.

Anyway, thanks so much for your informative posts and your time for helping me out if you can find a spare minute or two. I'm very new at this.

Merry Christmas,


Be patient, take your time, and ask away any questions you may have! Welcome to the "Good Side"
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