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Straight shave #4

This is going to be a long journey aka learning process.

I've read somewhere that when you start straight shaving you should stick with it and only shave with a straight for a month or so as the technique is so different to a DE.
Unfortunately I don't have the time to straight shave on workdays, so I'll have to settle for weekends and days off work.

Well, my first two attempts wasn't bad, but my third shave was a disaster. I got some serious razor burn, and had to shave max two passes WTG with a DE for a week before my skin was back to normal.

My stropping attempts (can't call it a technique just yet :001_smile) is getting better and today's shave wasn't bad at all.

I took good time preparing, I was stretching the skin so the hair almost popped out by themselves and the razor wasn't too dull after the stropping.
Two WTG passes and three little nicks later my face was pretty much as clean shaven as yesterday's DE shave and no need for touch ups - I'm quite satisfied with my effort :001_smile

The difference between shave #3 and #4 are miles apart and looking back and analysing shave #3, I did several things wrong; The prep was too poor, I didn't stretch the skin and I was kind of forcing the shave and that gave the above result.
I've learnt my lesson and is looking forward to improve on all fields in the future.

One question though: Is it possible to shave too slow?

I mean, in my problem areas (under the nose and on the chin) I'm shaving more slowly not to cut myself, but it is if the razor gets stuck in the hair, whereas in areas where I'm more confident I don't have that problem, and I'm thinking the speed might have something to say.
 
I wouldn't worry about not being able to shave every day. If you've noticed Luc's shaving journal, he started off only straight shaving on the weekends and things have progressed for him just fine. He and I have about the same number of shaves on the belt. I just took the "every day if you can" approach, in order to build my skill up quickly.

I really do think it's possible to shave too slowly. In my own experience, too slow of a stroke makes it more likely to alter the pressure of the blade on your skin. This causes an unevenness in your stroke and, in my case, can make it more likely to cut yourself as you can feel a little extra friction on your skin. Of course, the longer you take causes your lather to dry out. Just try shorter strokes - quick, but confident.
 
I wouldn't worry about not being able to shave every day. If you've noticed Luc's shaving journal, he started off only straight shaving on the weekends and things have progressed for him just fine. He and I have about the same number of shaves on the belt. I just took the "every day if you can" approach, in order to build my skill up quickly.

I really do think it's possible to shave too slowly. In my own experience, too slow of a stroke makes it more likely to alter the pressure of the blade on your skin. This causes an unevenness in your stroke and, in my case, can make it more likely to cut yourself as you can feel a little extra friction on your skin. Of course, the longer you take causes your lather to dry out. Just try shorter strokes - quick, but confident.

Thank you for the advice.

I was going to use a DE today, but my face (~ skin) felt like it could handle another straight shave - so I did.
With your advice in mind, I did shorter and faster strokes and the shave was quite good. Especially the second pass felt really smooth, which also leads me to believe that the stropping wasn't too bad either :biggrin1:
 
Nice! Have you nicked your strop yet? I nicked my first strop within 5 passes. And then again later that stropping session.
 
Im in the same boat. Im thinking about shaving at night to give myself more time to use the straight.
klarion i thought i would never nick my strop "ill go slow and be careful"..tons of tiny nicks; good thing i got the filly.
 

Luc

Moderator Emeritus
Good advices up here. Eventually you will pickup some speed so it will get better!

For the nicks on a strop, sandpaper is the best thing to make them disappear!
 
Nice! Have you nicked your strop yet? I nicked my first strop within 5 passes. And then again later that stropping session.
Yes :blushing:

and just as tylerdurden mention, I thought that wouldn't happen if I was just concentrating, but...
Ah well, I'm not to worried, I know it is a long learning process and those things will happen, at least I haven't parted it in two - yet :biggrin1:
 
I also wondered how to approach learning the straight, decided to switched to shaving at night. I don't like it as a rule, but it removes the time pressure and lets me focus on the shaving - also get to shave daily, to get the skills up faster. Night shaving might not suit those who need to look clean shaven for the first few weeks :blush: because an initially poor night shave and then 20 hours means you look a bit rough at 5pm the next day :lol:

.
 
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Nice! Have you nicked your strop yet? I nicked my first strop within 5 passes. And then again later that stropping session.
lol I can totally relate to that. I thought "you have to be joking" as i sliced a huge nick into it. i was annoyed, but this was tempered by relief; I had wanted to get a fancy horsehide strop before being told about the filly strop, which is what i bought. In total i put about 8 nicks in it, all in the first few days.

.
 

Luc

Moderator Emeritus
I also wondered how to approach learning the straight, decided to switched to shaving at night. I don't like it as a rule, but it removes the time pressure and lets me focus on the shaving - also get to shave daily, to get the skills up faster. Night shaving might not suit those who need to look clean shaven for the first few weeks :blush: because an initially poor night shave and then 20 hours means you look a bit rough at 5pm the next day :lol:

.
My take on straight shaving was to shave in the morning but only during the week-end as I didn't need to get ready to go to work. I had all the time in the world without any pressure.

Eventually, I got better (will a lot of time) and moved to shave once during the week with a straight (3x a week). I'm currently at 4x week with a straight as I am going throught some razors blades in the DE that I want to try.

If I'm on holidays, I use a straight, no questions asked!
 
My winter self improvement project this year is to learn to shave with a straight bladed razor. I took some advice from the forums here and purchased a disposable straight blade. Up until now I have always shaved with a cartridge razor going against the grain for the closeness of the shave.
My question is how long does it normally take for the closeness to return when changing to shaving with the grain? Being subjected to wearing a face mask and fresh air at work, I need the best seal possible so that the smallest amount of pollutants are encountered. Any help or ideas concerning this subject will be greatly appreciated.
 
My take on straight shaving was to shave in the morning but only during the week-end as I didn't need to get ready to go to work. I had all the time in the world without any pressure.

Eventually, I got better (will a lot of time) and moved to shave once during the week with a straight (3x a week). I'm currently at 4x week with a straight as I am going throught some razors blades in the DE that I want to try.

If I'm on holidays, I use a straight, no questions asked!

Thanks.
This is pretty much how I'm doing at the moment. Looks like it just will take longer but I'll get there at the end :001_smile
Currently visiting my sister in the other part of the country, and I've left the straight at home. I'll be back Thursday though so I have three days of straight shaving waiting for me :biggrin1:
 
Thanks to you guys and leighton's advice in this thread, shave #6 was by far the best.

I was almost chanting the Nike slogan "Just do it" and shaved with confident short strokes and it really helped. Especially under the nose where I had absolutely no problems today.
Still can't quite come to turns on how to do the chin without going back and forth a couple of times.
Nicked my Adams-apple and cheek just a bit, but other than that I experienced very little redness and irritation after the shave.

The razor felt really good, so my stropping is getting better as well. I believe I can hear when the blade lies perfectly on the strop as the sound is quite distinct in contrast to when it is submitted to too much or uneven pressure.

Looking forward to tomorrows shave already :biggrin1:
 
Good for you, Soren. Glad to know it's all getting better really quickly, I'm looking forward to seeing how things track for you.
 
Thanks to you guys and leighton's advice in this thread, shave #6 was by far the best.

I was almost chanting the Nike slogan "Just do it" and shaved with confident short strokes and it really helped. Especially under the nose where I had absolutely no problems today.
Still can't quite come to turns on how to do the chin without going back and forth a couple of times.
Nicked my Adams-apple and cheek just a bit, but other than that I experienced very little redness and irritation after the shave.

The razor felt really good, so my stropping is getting better as well. I believe I can hear when the blade lies perfectly on the strop as the sound is quite distinct in contrast to when it is submitted to too much or uneven pressure.

Looking forward to tomorrows shave already :biggrin1:
:thumbup:

Glad to know I helped!
 
:thumbup:

Glad to know I helped!

Oh yes, it was a good advice. I haven't had problems under the nose area since I've started the "Just do it" technique :biggrin1:


Shaves #7 and 8 was pretty much like the 6th, with different issues to why I didn't improve - but at least I know the reasons, so they can be tackled accordingly.

With shave #7 I had a small problem of creating a good lather, I shouldn't have used my new Semogue 2009 LE, as it is not broken in yet.

With shave #8 it was clearly a stropping issue. After the first pass I wasn't satisfied and tried stropping the razor again and it did help, not as much as I would have liked, but at least sufficient.
The shave did however leave some irritation of the skin, but I managed to escape with just one little nick - really nothing to talk about.

I'm not sure it will be a straight shave tomorrow, it will depend on if the skin is still irritated.
But I am going to give the razor a good stropping on both cotton weave and leather next time it is to see action.
 
Shave #9 and what a shave :thumbup:

I received a George Johan 6/8" Square Point with great scales yesterday (bough on the B/S/T from DogHair, who shipped it shave-ready, thanks to him and the B&B).

I couldn't help myself today and had to try it out, and boy am I glad I did.

First pass, WTG, went so easy I almost couldn't believe it. Second pass, WGT, just as smooth and that made me confident enough to do a third pass, XTG.

Result: DFS - no nicks, cuts or wheepers and just a slight irritation under the chin.

If shave #9 can be so good, I can only imagine how great it will eventually be when my technique improves :biggrin1:

My SOTD picture of the straight and a new soap as well. The Ogallala Bay Rum AS was courtesy of DogHair as well - great guy.
 
that is a Sweet Shaving set up, Interesting scales on that beastie. I'm gonna hazard a guess that they are a plastic of some sort?


and yeah, I'm glad that you're enjoying the razor, she's looks a right beauty. Might be worth keeping with this one in predominant rotation
 
Yes, the scales are plastic.

And yes, it will definitely see some action, it shaves great - not that I have a lot to compare with, but with the shave today...
 
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