What's new

Starting DE wet shaving, looking for advice

So I'm going to try keeping a log of my adventures with wet shaving. Posting here occasionally with my methods and results, and seeing where I can improve.
My arsenal so far:

wet shaving arsenal.jpg

Merkur 34g razor (Wasn't that pricier compared to the 34c)
Merkur platinum blades, one of which came with the razor
An Omega synthetic brush
Stirling unscented beeswax
some leftover DSC aftershave I"m trying to use up

Pre-shave/lather:
Usually I just lay a warm towel across my face/neck. Next time I'm going to try incorporating hot water into my lathering, what I did today ended up like a thick paint. Wasn't much room in that tub of Stirling soap to work with, I think I did have enough loaded up into the bristles.
I'll try a few more shaves with this setup, though I might look into a pre-shave cream.

The shaving itself:
I really need to work on the angle. There were times where I could hear the razor rasping against my stubble, other strokes not so much. Going with the grain at first to get a feel for the blade, though at least on my neck, my hair tends to grow all over, no specific direction.
Did a stroke with one side of the blade, turned it around for another.
After two passes I decided my skin had enough abuse for the day. Rinsed off and applied some of DSC's Dew. It's somewhat smooth and cooling, with a mild odor. I tried some Nivea's post-shave cream (Or whatever it's specifically called), which works a bit better, and Stirling's Glacial unscented. I like the Glacial balm, a little goes a long way with that stuff, and it's like shoving your face into an ice bath. Really refreshing.

Tomorrow my goals are to get a better, warmer lather and continue working out a good angle with that razor & blade.

So a quick question, how do y'all cut down the few stray hairs right next to one's nose and corner or lips? I always had trouble getting right against my nose during my foray into cartridge shaving.

Thanks y'all.
 
That is excellent advice from @APBinNCA on stretching/repositioning your skin. Inflating can also work sometimes.

My biggest advice (also advice from Gillette a century ago) - lather first (nice and wet), then get the rest of your shave ready while your stubble gets nice and hydrated. I often just wash off the first lather and re-lather before touching razor to skin.
 
So I'm going to try keeping a log of my adventures with wet shaving. Posting here occasionally with my methods and results, and seeing where I can improve.
My arsenal so far:


Merkur 34g razor (Wasn't that pricier compared to the 34c)
Merkur platinum blades, one of which came with the razor
An Omega synthetic brush
Stirling unscented beeswax
some leftover DSC aftershave I"m trying to use up

Pre-shave/lather:
Usually I just lay a warm towel across my face/neck. Next time I'm going to try incorporating hot water into my lathering, what I did today ended up like a thick paint. Wasn't much room in that tub of Stirling soap to work with, I think I did have enough loaded up into the bristles.
I'll try a few more shaves with this setup, though I might look into a pre-shave cream.

The shaving itself:
I really need to work on the angle. There were times where I could hear the razor rasping against my stubble, other strokes not so much. Going with the grain at first to get a feel for the blade, though at least on my neck, my hair tends to grow all over, no specific direction.
Did a stroke with one side of the blade, turned it around for another.
After two passes I decided my skin had enough abuse for the day. Rinsed off and applied some of DSC's Dew. It's somewhat smooth and cooling, with a mild odor. I tried some Nivea's post-shave cream (Or whatever it's specifically called), which works a bit better, and Stirling's Glacial unscented. I like the Glacial balm, a little goes a long way with that stuff, and it's like shoving your face into an ice bath. Really refreshing.

Tomorrow my goals are to get a better, warmer lather and continue working out a good angle with that razor & blade.

So a quick question, how do y'all cut down the few stray hairs right next to one's nose and corner or lips? I always had trouble getting right against my nose during my foray into cartridge shaving.

Thanks y'all.

Welcome to Badger & Blade! :)

You've just embarked on a journey that will take you to the stars in enjoyment. Its IMO that you've started off your journey right, with an excellent razor, that is totally beautiful I might add, and with Stirling shave soap! But there are a few things we can improve upon here. BTW, love that peg stand thats holding your brush and razor, very nice.

Razor Choice = PERFECT!
Shave Soap Choice = PERFECT!
Blade Choice = OK
Brush Choice = OK
Lather Bowl = NONE

Keep using your Merkur blades while you develop your technique, and get through the tuk of blades. Then I would like you to try out some Gillette Nacet blades, which should provide you a very smooth shave. I noticed in your picture, that your brush appears to have a high loft size, I am guessing that your brush is not very stiff, and probably splays out too much.

Of course when it comes to brushes, it can easily be one of those personal preference kind of things. But I personally, don't like a brush that completely splays out flat on its face, its not good for lathering on the face, as its got no backbone, with such a severe loft size. As you experiment with brushes, you might find, that a brush with a shorter loft, with higher backbone, might produce a better lather.

We have two vendors on B&B who make awesome brushes, one is APShaveCO, and the other is Rudy Vey. You can contact either one of them, to help get you squared away with a solid brush. I will say however, Omega does make some pretty solid brushes, so that is a good brand you have there, I am just not sure about that brush specifically.

Now, I noticed that you have no lather bowl. Guess what? Neither did I in my first week of wet shaving. LOL - But as I discovered, trying to whip up a lather in a soap puk container, is really asking a lot, and I usually never could get a good lather consistency that way. Things changed considerably, once I got myself a lather bowl.

There are many lather bowls to choose from, plastic, silicone, steel, aluminum, copper, ceramic, marble. If you'd like, you could always start out with the famous Proraso GREEN lather bowl/mug. Its plastic and its affordable, you won't break the bank in order to get it, its a great starting point for lather bowls. I really think you will get a much better experience, whipping up a lather in a lather bowl, just saying.

In regards to your technique, believe it or not, every razor is different, so its a YMMV sort of thing. Having said that however, I have learned, to find your angle, star with the razor handle facing down, the razor head facing up towards the ceiling. Put it to your face, and start tilting the head towards your face, until you start hearing the blade cutting, that is your angle usually.

Another thing to note, is to NEVER apply pressure when using a DE safety razor. Always let the weight of the razor, carry the blade through the cut. This reduces chances of nicks and weepers. Never let your face dry out either, make sure its wet before applying lather, make sure its nice and slick. This will also help the razor to glide across the skin, performing the proverbial whisker weight reduction.

Practice is key to gaining experience, and I have faith that you will get there. Please have faith in yourself, have patience, and you will become an experience wet shaver in no time. Work on getting yourself a lather bowl, and maybe a better brush.

PS: Once you've mastered a plastic lather bowl, and you wish to upgrade your bowl in the future, I would go with a Captains Choice ceramic or copper lather bowl.
 
Welcome and congrats on a not horrible first shave! A lot of good advice above. I'd chime in on the lather bowl being a recommendation.

While you certainly can purchase something from a site that says it's a "shaving" bowl you'll likely have something in your kitchen that will serve you just fine. I actually use a hammered copper bowl that I bought from a kitchen supply store for 4 bucks. Try for something you can "palm" with your hand and is not too smooth. If it's a tad too big you can always rest it on the counter (a damp towel or washcloth will help keep it from sliding around too much).

When building a lather I adhere to the Golden rule of cooking as well. You can always add more (in this case water) but you can't take it out. Adding an 8th of a teaspoon at the beginning at most and then a few drops at a time is nice and slow. You'll get a feel for it quickly.

Also, I'm glad to read you listened to your face and stopped when it told you. Once a week or so I'll just do two passes WTG and stop there. No one could tell the difference just by looking at me.

Good luck! And if you haven't noticed many of us are happy to ramble on with our "sage" words of wisdom. Just remember to go slow and take your time. It is a new skill.
 

AimlessWanderer

Remember to forget me!
Welcome aboard. 🍻

Here is my stock advice for newcomers...

 

ajkel64

Check Out Chick
Welcome to the forum from Australia and thanks for checking in with us. You could start a Dairy or Journal in the Diary and Journals Forum to keep track of everything that you try so that it will be easier to find.
 
Thanks y'all. I got a little better lather going on today. I do agree with the suggestion of a bowl, my mom collects pottery and I"m sure there's a spare bowl/mug she'll let me use.
I changed my pre-shave routine a bit, started with a lather then rinsed with warm water. Second lathering was nice and creamy.
In terms of blade angle, I think I'm improving somewhat. That advice about keeping the razor straight and tilting it until you hear it cutting hair helped.
I made it through three passes WTG before tapping out for the day. I'm slowly figuring out my beard growth direction.
My face & neck is mostly smooth going WTG, with a few rough spots. Still looks like I barely shaved though.
Not a lot of irritation, except near my lips where I'm sure I got too close, trying to smooth out my sandpaper mustache.
So my goal from here on out is to get an irritation free shave, then I'll work on smoothing it out.
I'm also gonna move these daily logs to the journals forums, might be more appropriate there
 
Welcome! The Merkur 34 (I have the C version) is a very good razor.

I get decent result from lathering shave soap by peeling some of the soap using a vegetable peeler and pressing a thin layer of the soap to the bottom of the bowl using my fingers. I then wet my synthetic brush and start swirling. Typically I have to add a bit of water in small increments to get the proper amount, but before too long I got the feel of it.

Also, just because I like what happens when someone mentions it, Arko is an inexpensive and high performing soap!
 
Thanks y'all. I got a little better lather going on today. I do agree with the suggestion of a bowl, my mom collects pottery and I"m sure there's a spare bowl/mug she'll let me use.
I changed my pre-shave routine a bit, started with a lather then rinsed with warm water. Second lathering was nice and creamy.
In terms of blade angle, I think I'm improving somewhat. That advice about keeping the razor straight and tilting it until you hear it cutting hair helped.
I made it through three passes WTG before tapping out for the day. I'm slowly figuring out my beard growth direction.
My face & neck is mostly smooth going WTG, with a few rough spots. Still looks like I barely shaved though.
Not a lot of irritation, except near my lips where I'm sure I got too close, trying to smooth out my sandpaper mustache.
So my goal from here on out is to get an irritation free shave, then I'll work on smoothing it out.
I'm also gonna move these daily logs to the journals forums, might be more appropriate there

YAY, see, I told you that you could do it! You are amazing! Keep up the great work! And glad my advice helped you in some way as well. Have a great shave, have a great day! :)
 
Welcome to the asylum...I mean...B&B!

Basic, basic advice: Shave. Just shave. If it isn't working, reflect on that. If it is working, reflect on that.

I guess I could say, "Shave like a Buddhist." Mindfulness wins, especially with sharper blades and more aggressive razors.

(And yeah, I'm still working on that...)

O.H.
 
Thanks y'all. I got a little better lather going on today. I do agree with the suggestion of a bowl, my mom collects pottery and I"m sure there's a spare bowl/mug she'll let me use.
I changed my pre-shave routine a bit, started with a lather then rinsed with warm water. Second lathering was nice and creamy.
In terms of blade angle, I think I'm improving somewhat. That advice about keeping the razor straight and tilting it until you hear it cutting hair helped.
I made it through three passes WTG before tapping out for the day. I'm slowly figuring out my beard growth direction.
My face & neck is mostly smooth going WTG, with a few rough spots. Still looks like I barely shaved though.
Not a lot of irritation, except near my lips where I'm sure I got too close, trying to smooth out my sandpaper mustache.
So my goal from here on out is to get an irritation free shave, then I'll work on smoothing it out.
I'm also gonna move these daily logs to the journals forums, might be more appropriate there

You may want to try an XTG pass as your 2nd or 3rd pass. It may help you get a slightly closer shave, without risking the irritation of going ATG. As you have found, going only WTG will only get you so far.

My first shave was WTG only, fearing I would cut up my face, but I quickly realized I could safely end with an XTG pass and minor touch up for a very smooth (not BBS) shave.

You're approaching it correctly and as you gain your confidence and touch, your shaves will improve.
 
Welcome! Regarding nose, it depends on razore I use. If it has higher head like r89 then I use gentle “J” move to shave these extra hair right under nose. Re-leather if more touch-ups is needed. Regarding mouth, lot’s of good advise already here. Just be extra careful in this area.
 
lather.jpg

Had a better shave today. Used a fresh blade, still a Merkur platinum, as well as whipping up a proper lather. Using that bowl made a big difference, much more room to work. That yogurt like consistency worked well. That and a better pre-shave routine: hot towel on face, followed by a lathering, rinsing off said lather, and a second lather coat after which I started shaving.
First pass was WTG, second was XTG with a few touch-ups. Rinsing and re-lathering between passes, and I stopped for the day after feeling some irritation.
No nicks, less irritation than usual, still some rough spots to smooth out. I'm getting better at least. Yay, progress!

So is it better to keep shaving daily, or wait a day or two to let one's skin/hair recover?
 
Welcome to B & B!

Technique trumps all. Use no pressure. Lather should be thin & watery creamy, not thick billowy tufts. Practice, practice, practice. And it's a lot to read, but the Wanderers Guide to DE Shaving is the best overview I've read. Excellent advice & suggestions:
Welcome aboard. 🍻

Here is my stock advice for newcomers...

 

Had a better shave today. Used a fresh blade, still a Merkur platinum, as well as whipping up a proper lather. Using that bowl made a big difference, much more room to work. That yogurt like consistency worked well. That and a better pre-shave routine: hot towel on face, followed by a lathering, rinsing off said lather, and a second lather coat after which I started shaving.
First pass was WTG, second was XTG with a few touch-ups. Rinsing and re-lathering between passes, and I stopped for the day after feeling some irritation.
No nicks, less irritation than usual, still some rough spots to smooth out. I'm getting better at least. Yay, progress!

So is it better to keep shaving daily, or wait a day or two to let one's skin/hair recover?

Your awesomeness cannot be disputed, you are the embodiment of success. Keep up the amazing work, I love that you are sharing your journey with us, and I love that you are learning, and getting better. I always knew you could do it! 😍
 
Top Bottom