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Taking the straight razor plunge

When starting with a straight, I'd suggest just trying to remove the lather from your face and not worry about removing hair.

You will probably find your lather needs to be wetter than what you are used to with a DE. Slickness matters when using a straight, more so than with a DE. None of the lathers I use would make a SOTD pic as it doesn't look good at all, but it works well. Mostly my lather is just dry enough to adhere to the face.

I said to remove the lather and not try to remove hair. If your razor is sharp enough, you should remove hair with the lather. The angle of the blade matters. Most (I assume) would keep between one and two spine widths between the spine of the razor and the face. I find this works as the wider blade typically has a thicker spine which keeps the angle consistent.

You can shave with your dominant hand only. Many people do. It's not something I have tried though. I find using both hands easier. I also used both hands with DE and carts so take from that what you will.

Your second shave seemed like it went better which is good. The only way to improve is practice. Good luck with the journey.
 
I feel a very strong urge to get a straight razor. This will be my first time using an SR.

I am real keen but have some reservations about cutting myself. A few nicks and cuts I'm not bothered about but deep gashes that would leave big scars I want to avoid.

With practice will I be able to master it avoid deep gashes?

And what's a good SR to start with? Dovo seem to have some really nice models. I like their Edo which is 5/8 width, not sure if that's good or bad for a beginner. And their Bismarck looks pleasant too.

Thiers Issard also look amazing. As do the Japanese Kamisori but they look so sharp I wouldn't assume they are for beginners.
Hi , Phoenix997 hope your intoduction to using a straight razor is going well, defintley read the stickies on the forum. that helped me a lot and the community replies. i never had any serious cuts just nicks. SR as people have said needs to be shave ready especialy as a beginner buy a shave ready razor from member that can hone and set it for you . you send them the razor you have to get it dialed in. store bought factory razors inho will need to be looked at and prepared before using. otherwise trial and error with the shave you will get it and develop your own style when comfortsble. and then learn to maintsin your SR as you go along. how is it going so far ?
 
I can echo what most people have said. Jump in with two feet and take your time. It is daunting at first but does become easier. A good edge IMO is a must otherwise your experience may be disappointing snd could end up with some claret.
I made the jump in January snd haven’t looked back, now shaving exclusively with straights.
 
Hi , Phoenix997 hope your intoduction to using a straight razor is going well, defintley read the stickies on the forum. that helped me a lot and the community replies. i never had any serious cuts just nicks. SR as people have said needs to be shave ready especialy as a beginner buy a shave ready razor from member that can hone and set it for you . you send them the razor you have to get it dialed in. store bought factory razors inho will need to be looked at and prepared before using. otherwise trial and error with the shave you will get it and develop your own style when comfortsble. and then learn to maintsin your SR as you go along. how is it going so far ?
That is some good advice thank you. So I've had my third shave. it went well no major burning after or rashes which is good. I can get some of my cheek areas smooth to the point I wouldn't need to follow up with a DE but the rest does need a couple follow up passes. I feel more confident and less fearful of the blade. I've had worse nicks with a DE so that is positive.
 
Round 4 in the bag. First two passes with and against were ok. Then across was really bad. I felt the blade catching and not gliding smoothly. I already got a big cut that drew blood next to Adam's apple so I ended midway through third pass and finalised with DE.
 
Round 4 in the bag. First two passes with and against were ok. Then across was really bad. I felt the blade catching and not gliding smoothly. I already got a big cut that drew blood next to Adam's apple so I ended midway through third pass and finalised with DE.
If the blade is catching your edge is probably starting to fade. When I first started I would get 4-5 shaves tops before my edges needed a touchup.
 
5th shave was the best yet. Cheeks were smooth and didn't need touch up with DE. Neck did. Managed across the grain on my cheeks but I really struggled with my neck. The large blade is a lot harder to manoeuvre than a DE
 
That is some good advice thank you. So I've had my third shave. it went well no major burning after or rashes which is good. I can get some of my cheek areas smooth to the point I wouldn't need to follow up with a DE but the rest does need a couple follow up passes. I feel more confident and less fearful of the blade. I've had worse nicks with a DE so that is positive.
 
The other bit i should have said, is my opinion on "shave ready"i think as you go along with using a SR , you might find a
a shave ready edge differs from person to person and who is honing. So eventually you might want to try it yourself, its a whole other obsession.
 
5th shave was the best yet. Cheeks were smooth and didn't need touch up with DE. Neck did. Managed across the grain on my cheeks but I really struggled with my neck. The large blade is a lot harder to manoeuvre than a DE
That's awesome my friend! You will get better shaves with time. One tip I got was using witchs hazel to help with the after shave roughness, I use it even when I have great shaves, I add some essential oils to make it smell nice, I personally use bergamot and oh man it's a game changer. Cheers my friend i'm wishing you the best.
 
shaving with the razor in the direction perpendicular to the blade with a good angle there will not be much chance for cuts. if there is any side to side motion then you will get a cut
 
If the blade is catching your edge is probably starting to fade. When I first started I would get 4-5 shaves tops before my edges needed a touchup.
Great work - Keep it up !!

A couple other things to note are the quality of slick or wetness in your lather - the wetter/slicker - the better.
The other thing is keeping close regard of your angles; especially if you are also introducing shaving using both hands.

I haven't seen whether you've had this edge honemeistered; but I highly suggest you do so. I can tell you my Bokers (et al) were able to be shaven with, but definitely not shave ready. The difference will be night and day...

Round 4 in the bag. First two passes with and against were ok. Then across was really bad. I felt the blade catching and not gliding smoothly. I already got a big cut that drew blood next to Adam's apple so I ended midway through third pass and finalised with DE.
Use Mederma on that cut to lessen its chances of scarring - I've used it plenty enough to know :adoration:
My typical is 2 passes with the SR, then a final cleanup using either a DE or BIC Metal.
 
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I'm improving. A few shaves ago I wanted to give up but now it feels more natural. I still struggle across the grain on the neck but otherwise getting there. I don't have to clean up as much with the DE. One thing though is it does burn on my neck for the most of the day after an SR shave and I apply aftershave 3-4 times a day to calm it down.

I do love it now but I takes forever with the stropping and the slower shave.

oh and my strop is pretty much ripped to shreds
 
The rule of thumb, "light hand", is even more important with SR than in DE shaving.
A "gulliotine" style "slicing" motion will also help a smoother shave. And, do experiment with angle.

For me SR shaving was a steep learning curve, but I actually figured it out and got really nice shaves after a while.
The real challenge -- which I still haven't cracked, and the reason I reverted back to DE shaving -- is the honing ....!!

Unless you find a true hone-meister, you are left to honing your SR knives yourself.
That's a really interesting and enjoyable part of SR shaving too, but man, is it hard to get a good edge and a straight ....
Good luck when you get to that part..!! But take it as encouragement: the hard part of SR shaving is not the actual shaving ...
 
I'm improving. A few shaves ago I wanted to give up but now it feels more natural. I still struggle across the grain on the neck but otherwise getting there. I don't have to clean up as much with the DE. One thing though is it does burn on my neck for the most of the day after an SR shave and I apply aftershave 3-4 times a day to calm it down.

I do love it now but I takes forever with the stropping and the slower shave.

oh and my strop is pretty much ripped to shreds
I'm somewhere above 700 shaves at this point.

I never go across the grain on the neck. There's no need, and I'm not sure it's physically possible with a straight, given my neck contours.

I stopped having neck burn once I got it through my head and hands what "no pressure" really means. I was getting better at honing during the same period, so I guess it could be the combination.
 
The rule of thumb, "light hand", is even more important with SR than in DE shaving.
A "gulliotine" style "slicing" motion will also help a smoother shave. And, do experiment with angle.

For me SR shaving was a steep learning curve, but I actually figured it out and got really nice shaves after a while.
The real challenge -- which I still haven't cracked, and the reason I reverted back to DE shaving -- is the honing ....!!

Unless you find a true hone-meister, you are left to honing your SR knives yourself.
That's a really interesting and enjoyable part of SR shaving too, but man, is it hard to get a good edge and a straight ....
Good luck when you get to that part..!! But take it as encouragement: the hard part of SR shaving is not the actual shaving ...
Yes, honing does seem daunting. But the plus for me is not having to mess around with razor blades. It's so freeing
 
I'm somewhere above 700 shaves at this point.

I never go across the grain on the neck. There's no need, and I'm not sure it's physically possible with a straight, given my neck contours.

I stopped having neck burn once I got it through my head and hands what "no pressure" really means. I was getting better at honing during the same period, so I guess it could be the combination.
That makes sense. It just seems impossible going across with such a long blade
 
I'm somewhere above 700 shaves at this point.

I never go across the grain on the neck. There's no need, and I'm not sure it's physically possible with a straight, given my neck contours...
That makes sense. It just seems impossible going across with such a long blade
I recognized early on that there are too many failure points for me along this route.
(East-West or ATG along the throat)
 
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