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Tak's shave diary

Roaring success today. I tried Godrej cream and witch hazel. The Godrej was just as much a delight to face lather and actually use as it was to palm lather when I first got it.

I liked the feel of witch hazel at first, but a few minute after applying it my skin felt really dry and tight. I might give it another try in the future, but I'll probably be sticking with regular AS balms. A little bummed if it does end up being a drying factor, but I like balms or lotions more than splashes anyway.

Time to up my game, I think. Tomorrow it's two passes!
 
Number six just done :) Total time was just under 10 minutes. I only do one pass and I do leave my goatee, which I'm sure keeps the time down. I'm going to tackle the chin and nose in a few weeks, I need to get used to going smooth again.
Cool! Definitely for me, the chin was totally unshavable for the first month. Then, somehow, magically the chin hairs became softer and the razor became sharper! You're smart to take it in small steps.
 
Cool! Definitely for me, the chin was totally unshavable for the first month. Then, somehow, magically the chin hairs became softer and the razor became sharper! You're smart to take it in small steps.
That's what I'm hoping :) It looks so easy on the videos.
 
That's what I'm hoping :) It looks so easy on the videos.
Of course it's all physics. There's no magic happening. There's no such thing as "confidence" or "experience". It's all reducible to physical motions. If the right motions are present, it works. If they are not, it doesn't.

For me, it was direction of motion, blade angle, and pressure, and skin stretching. Get those all right, and the chin hairs just fall off. And that's what makes this fun!
 
All physics indeed sir, but so is launching a rocket into space. Neither is something I feel quite comfortable tackling just yet! ;)

All kidding aside, I mixed up a few things today. I tried Arko for a shave, which was just all kinds of fun. I also switched to a razor I've had sitting around for a while, to a) try the blade type and b) see if I could tell a difference in sharpness.

My starter razor from Larry is a small wedge labeled Rose's Wedge from Rose's Barber Supply co. I assume this is just made under that name by someone else, but who I couldn't say. It works like a champ but I'm sure I've put a hurt on it judging by the state of my poor strop.

The razor I used today is a larger hollow ground labeled the Original Rifle Razor. Wow what a difference! The razor was all around heftier, so I really had to watch the pressure. The hairs just fell off in front of that edge. I think they actually surrendered and jumped into the shave soap when they saw it coming! So the real question is: how much of that was due to the edge, and how much to the overall heft increase of the razor? Something to keep in mind for future shaves.

I did get a few small (as in closed up as soon as I saw them) papercuts from the hollow ground which I hadn't gotten from the wedge. Too much pressure when starting the stroke is what it looks like.

I did two passes instead of one, and that went fine. The end result is a super duper close shave. My cheeks are completely bereft of hair, my neck has the shortest stubble it has ever had on it. I'm a little warm about the shaved areas, so I put on a little more razor than I should have, but since I'm not bright wino-red I guess it wasn't TOO bad. The aftershave is letting me know where I screwed up the worst, though. Mighty thoughtful of it.

Straight razor shaving is a blast! I'll probably back down to one pass again tomorrow just to be sure I don't over do it, but I can't wait to try that hollow ground again.
 
It's great when starting out to try new razors and soaps and creams and aftershaves because you get caught up in the frenzy...but don't overdo it on changing all your variables at once. If you get irritation, you will never know what caused it!
 
It's my favorite one so far. I've picked up a few different sizes and types of shave-ready razors and all the dimensions of the ORIGINAL RIFLE RAZOR *booming announcer voice* feel spot on.

I've shaved since my last post, but it was another one-and-done to get out the door so it didn't seem like anything worth noting. I'm really not sure what all my trepidation was about. Yeah, it's a different experience, yeah, you have to pay a tad more attention, and yeah it takes a little more 'stuff' to do, but I enjoy the heck out of shaving. Tomorrow (well, today at this point) I plan on doing another multi-pass shave with the ORR *bav* and VDH Deluxe. Known quantities for an adventure in skin irritation. :)

Cheers, happy gaming
 
It's great when starting out to try new razors and soaps and creams and aftershaves because you get caught up in the frenzy...but don't overdo it on changing all your variables at once. If you get irritation, you will never know what caused it!
Very true sir, and I thank you for the reminder :) I mostly shave with the same stuff and am mindful of changing too many variables at once, but I have a handful of soaps that I want to try (under $10 usual suspects). I've hand lathered all of them, some of them twice or thrice. You know, just to test. Gotta make sure they work. They might work less the 2nd time, you know. It's incredibly fun and just a little bit sad and lonely :lol:
 
Shave uh...seven? eight? Whatever today.

Round up Leeloo and call me Korben Dallas because I just had a MULTI-PASS!

Three passes total. I used VDH Deluxe soap because I know it works (though I think I prefer Arko, I need to use it more and see if it irks me given time). Original Rifle Razor (booming, etc) because I prefer the feel of it to the wedge.

My first two passes were with the grain, or at least 'with the natural feeling shave angle' which is sort of a mix of across/with the grain. The second I made an incredible Gumby-esque effort to shave against the grain.

Two lessons: 1) Holy cow, that's smooth. I've got a few patches of nekkid smooth skin, and everywhere else it's closer than I've ever shaved before. I think I'm on to something here...
2) I need to work on holding the razor to get against the grain. Curse you, swirly beard growth.

The patchiness I attribute, like the two small spots of blood, to inconsistent form. I don't think I have *bad* technique, but it certainly has lots of room for improvement. The trickiest part is trying to go across the face ear to mouth. The only way I could figure to do it was to use the opposite side hand and really mind blade angle. How do the rest of you tackle that pass? I think I'll have to do the same thing to go south to north on either check. My neck is still a mind boggling maze of confusing hair.

I followed up the shave with my good old cheapy Gillette gel. I've tried the Nivea Sensitive balm and just plain don't like it. I've got to quit trying to fix what ain't broke! ;)

It's now about 20 minutes post shave and the little bleeding spots are all closed up and gone. The only redness is about a dime sized spot around a mole that didn't agree with multiple passes (on, surprise, my neck!). All told, I say it wasn't too bad. The real test will be in a day when we learn if I have ingrown hairs or not. Stay tuned! Or not! Your choice! Thanks for reading! :)

Cheers, happy shaving AND gaming! :)
 
Sounds like you are doing well. When going across the face ear to nose I do the following. On my left cheek I have the razor in my right hand. I start by moistening the fingers of my left hand and grab my alum block briefly. This makes your hands stick to your skin allowing for stretching (see Chimensch's vid in the stickies). I then grab my left earlobe with my left hand and then position my razor for action and shave the side burn area enough to switch the grip with my free hand to the area I have just shaved. Then I stretch the skin back and slightly up and continue shaving towards the nose repositioning my hand for stretching as needed. I hope this helps. Good luck!
 
Grabbing the ear helped! It was the thicker sideburn area I was having the most trouble with, and grabbing my ear did just the trick to get that spot clear. Why I did not think of this before, I have no idea. Thank you! :D

However many days since I last posted is how many times I've shaved. In an effort to prevent getting spammy I'm not going to post every shave. There are others who it looks are having more trouble adjusting than I (knock on wood!), and need to be on the front page and get more feedback.

I've been doing two passes, as that is about the limit of what my face will take without getting red. That's also the point of diminishing returns. The two passes are progressively getting closer and closer to the skin though, so progress is being made!

Thanks for all the tips and patience. This site has been and continues to be a wealth of knowledge.

Cheers and happy shaving :)
 
I am glad I could help and I also wondered why did I not think of the grab your earlobe thing.

If it is any solace the skin redness issue is still a problem I face from time to time but it got a lot better once I learnt to lock my wrist whilst doing a stroke. This helps in keeping the same angle and minimizes the blade contact with the skin. You want to try and do the movement out of your arm and not out of your wrist. Try it and see if it helps, it is a bit awkward to begin with but becomes second nature soon enough.
 
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