The all inclusive list of shaving myths

Discussion in 'General Shaving Discussion' started by luvmysuper, Nov 27, 2015.

  1. luvmysuper

    luvmysuper Moderator Emeritus Contributor

    Herein I submit, according to my own observation and not based on any scientific method, my personal opinion on the most common shaving myths.
    YMMV, so if you read this and don't agree - that's your option. You don't have to agree with me, and I don't have to agree with you!

    1. The Tech is a beginner razor.

    False. The Tech has gotten a reputation as a good razor for beginners, and while this is certainly true, it is not true that this razor is outgrown once you develop some skills at this endeavor we all share.

    The Tech is often referred to as a "mild" razor, as if mild is something to be disdained. As if a real pro uses a razor that, with a moment of inattention, will result in removing a section of skin suitable for grafting purposes.

    I submit that a real pro is capable of getting an outstanding shave with a Tech, and that people who frequent the "looking for a more aggressive razor" bandwagon are doing so because their technique sucks, and an aggressive razor can make up for that lack of technique.

    There are of course reasons for using an aggressive razor.
    You like the styling of said razor.
    You like the characteristics of said razor.
    You like the challenge of said razor.
    You have RAD and said razor is next on the list.

    But buying an aggressive razor because you can't get a decent shave from a Tech is indicative of a problem with the operator, not with the razor.
  2. Agreed. Same with the blue tip superspeed.
  3. I shaved with a fat-handle Tech this morning. I love how it fits in my hand. Just pinch it between thumb and forefinger and I can whip it all over my face in a breeze. Great razor!
  4. Pepin

    Pepin Ambassador

    True, a person can start with any razor. I started with my father British Rocket, and my second was a RazoRock Jaws. Both great razors.
  5. captp

    captp Contributor

    Well put, Phil
  6. luvmysuper

    luvmysuper Moderator Emeritus Contributor

    2. Alcohol splashes damage your skin and should be avoided at all costs.

    False. Despite what some so-called skin-gurus claim (usually those who just happen to have a non-alchol substitute they'd love to sell to you), routine use of alcohol based splashes do not harm your skin.

    From releasing free radicals to drying out the skin and causing irritant dermatitis, alcohol is blamed for a long laundry list of evils and the evidence just isn't there to support the claims. Studies claiming such links often reference experiments where skin cells were submersed in high concentrations of alchol, and the results are gleefully reported as evidence that the same will happen to your poor precious face.

    Alcohol, in it's many different forms can be beneficial. Alcohol may be used as a solvent and sometimes to assist in preservation, and yes - alcohol is an antiseptic. Is the alcohol in an aftershave as effective at combating bacteria as a straight application of 70% isopropyl alchol is? No. But it does have some beneficial effects against bacteria - and that can't be a bad thing, now can it?

    Dermatologist Dr. Audrey Kunin, M.D. says “If I had to pick a single ingredient as the most misunderstood, it would be alcohol. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard ‘I can’t use that product, it contains alcohol and will dry, irritate my skin.’ Is this true? Probably not.”

    Phi Beta Kappa Honors Society and magna cum laude with degrees in Biological Sciences and Physics/Astronomy, as well as a minor in Chemistry as a part of the B.S./M.D. at the University of Pittsburgh graduate Nicki Zevola says "Alcohol can be drying – yes, this is true. But in a properly-formulated skin care product, it can help increase penetration of key ingredients. Some alcohols also act as slip agents, emollients, and/or hydrators."

    She illustrates that research on release of free radicals was a result of a study on the consumption of alcohol, not its topical application. She further debunks the notion that the effects of alcohol on a skin cell sample in a petri dish is quite different from that applied to a living breathing creature.

    Can alcohol be a bad thing? Yes, of course. Should some people avoid alcohol splashes? Probably.

    Avoid alcohol splashes if you are
    Applying large quantities of high concentrations to your skin frequently and essentially "soaking in it".
    Consuming large quantities of alcohol internally.
    An individual with sensitive or dry skin and find it personally irritating.
    Allergic to the alcohol, or to ingredients in the splash which may be exacerbated by the penetrating assist that alcohol provides.
    Someone who doesn't like the feel that an alcohol splash provides.
  7. I definitely concur with Damon and John, as well as you too Phil! I have one Tech-a 1952 X3 Plastic Handle used for travel due to its lightweight and compact size when broken down. It is an excellent shaver, and DEFINATELY not a beginner's razor and requires a developed technique for excellent shaves due to the shorter handle and unbalanced weight. Absolutely the Super Speed Blue Tip is the most misaligned of all the Super Speeds- mild yes, yet it (a 1955 A2) consistently delivers one of the best and irritation free shaves imaginable-even in a hurry. Not so with my 1955 A2-Red Tip, which in a moment of inattention or distraction can produce a bloodletting of transfusion proportions and carve you up a new face to boot. I kinda' like the geography of my jowl if you will... I have an excellent technique (no brag, just fact as Will Sonnett used to say), and CAN lather modern Williams too!

    When I first started vintage shaving, I thought that a Fat Boy would be the pinnacle of razor acquisition.

    Unfortunately-this is also a misconception for many. I have never shaved with one, but with my small sized hand, a Slim would make a better choice methinks, if one MUST have an adjustable razor. Gillette arguably produced all that is necessary in a fine razor within their Super Speed lineup from 1947-1955. You may not agree with this, so God Bless you as it is just an opinion. The workhorse for Super Speeds, is indeed the Flare Tip, with its redesigned head in 1955 as my choice between the earlier 1954 variant. My A1 Flare Tip has become my go-to razor, one for the everyman. God Bless! Tony Brown RN mgbbrown $No Brag Just Fact Walter Brennen The Guns of Will Sonnett.jpg
  8. How about you can only shave with warm or hot water....I shave with cold most of the time.
  9. August West

    August West Moderator Emeritus

    Very small brushes like the Omega Mighty Midget and the Simpson Wee Scot are only good for travel. Granted, they can be ergonomically clumsy for bowl lathering, but they can be used as an everyday go to brush for face lathering or bowl lathering.
  10. Especially face lathering.
  11. luvmysuper

    luvmysuper Moderator Emeritus Contributor

    3. For proper wetshaving technique, you need * water.

    * a.) Hot
    * b.) Cold

    False. Let's face it fellas - we are an obsessive lot here. From trying to use products never intended for the purpose, to digging into the minutia of how to cup ones hand when dispensing aftershave, we often go overboard with every single aspect of shaving, from A to Z. Which brings us to water temperature.

    There are those convinced that a shave just can't be accomplished without hot water and those convinced it can't be accomplish with it. This is truly a YMMV item. There's no scientific evidence that hot water is any better than cold water, and no evidence that cold water is better than hot. Hot water doesn't "open pores" to allow a closer shave. Cold water, likewise, has no magical properties to make the hair stand up at attention for cutting.

    It's all a matter of personal preference. Having experimented with both processes, I personally prefer hot water because it's simply more comfortable for me. In the winter - the water is a little hotter than in the summer for obvious reasons, but in no case have I ever attempted to shave with scalding or ice water. The quality of my shave was unaffected by the temperature of the water - it's just a matter of personal preference.

    Which brings us to a more finite point:


    What I mean by this takes one of two forms while shaving:
    1. People who have an electric tea kettle on their sink.
    2. People who empty ice trays into their sink.

    There's absolutely no reason to go to these extremes.

    Hot water from the tap can generally get hotter than one would be comfortable shaving with. If you're using boiling water for your shaving, you're in for pain. Sooner or later. It's just a matter of time. Boiling water is damaging to ones skin. Swishing a razor in boiling water and applying it to the face is damaging to ones skin. Swishing your brush in boiling water is damaging to your brush. Stop it. Really. Just stop it.

    Cold water from the tap can generally get colder than one needs to avoid the summer heat, or to provide that cold water shaving experience. If you're using ice cubes for your shaving, and think it's helping the shave - it isn't. Soaps (particularly tallow soaps) don't react with cold water as well as with hot water. It's chemistry. Live with it. More so if you think you are thoroughly rinsing your brush out after the shave, and using cold water. You're the guys that are posting the question "where can I find that procedure to clean my brush?". Stop it. Really. Just stop it.

    Now - caveat time.
    Use the temperature which you feel comfortable using. I mean, if you can apply boiling water to your face and like it. Ok. No problem. Happy Trails. If you like rubbing ice cubes on your face pre and post shave - have at it. Enjoy yourself.
    These are matters of personal comfort and part of the experience that we enjoy. Recognize that, and recognize that neither the boiling water or the ice cubes are improving the quality of your shave.
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2015
  12. I don't use alcohol on my face, but as a medical treatment I do.
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 27, 2015
  13. I agree with both bullet points so far.
    1. A few months into my d.e. shaving odyssey, and I decided I should shave with a more aggressive razor. A few months after that, I decided that if a mild razor is comfortable and gives me a great shave, then why do i need an aggressive razor? I'm perfectly happy using a razor that's milder than it is aggressive, and a blade that smoother than it is sharp. And I'd happily compare my results to anybody's.
    2. I used to think that as I was aging, I needed to stop using splashes and stick to balms, because they're better for my skin. But as I've gotten into more traditional shaving, I find that many splashes are much, more more healing than balms. Pitralon splashes are at the top of the "healing" list, but I recently discovered that Suavecito bay rum is also very healthy¬ómuch more so than any balm I've ever used. So I'm no longer afraid of a little alcohol.
  14. You covered it to the tee....
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 27, 2015
  15. Even with dry skin you can use alcohol, just don't forget the mositurizer.
  16. One of the myths I heard was that wetshaving was supposed to save me money. After 6 different razors, 6 different brushes, atleast 13 different soaps and creams, and an unhealthy obsession with aftershave I don't believe I have saved any money, but I do enjoy shaving tremendously now. :w00t:
  17. Thanks, Phil. Great thread. When can we get the rest of the myths list?
  18. How about the famous "DE shaves will never be as close as a straight shave which is inherently superior". I understand the retro vibe associated with the straight and the feeling of accomplishment in learning to use and maintain one however, more than one honemeister has stated that a brand new DE blade is actually sharper than a shave ready straight. I've achieved perfect BBS DE shaves with everything from an ASD2 to a FaTip Grande by using good (not excessive) prep and techniques such as paying attention to the direction of growth for multiple passes as well as skin stretching with my free hand. I've read posts from die-hard straight shavers who state that they use a DE for final clean up. That kinda blows the whole theory out of the water. It also reminds me very much of the "I need a more aggressive razor" argument that I suspect is about something other than shaving. If you hold a DE to your face at the angle that allows the blade to contact the skin it will shave the stubble to the level of the epidermis.
  19. luvmysuper

    luvmysuper Moderator Emeritus Contributor

    4. Our method of shaving is NOT cheaper.

    False. Ok, we've all heard it "This traditional way of shaving will save you money." Which is immediately followed by vast quantities of money being spent on shaving related items, thus seemingly debunking the idea that it is cheaper. Right?


    This method IS cheaper.

    Let's use DE shaving for an example.

    Average quality, average priced razor blades = $ 0.13 each
    One year cost - $ 6.76 (based on 1 week of shaves per blade)

    Average quality, average priced soap = $ 10.00
    One year cost - $ 20.00 (A dedicated test of a tub of Proraso, shaving daily, lasted me 1 year)

    Average quality, average price Razor = $ 33.00
    One year cost $ 33.00

    Average quality, average price brush - $ 40.00
    One year cost - $40.00

    I'm leaving aftershave off the list, as it would be used in any blade type shaving system.

    Total outlay for one year - $ 99.76 (which includes the razor and brush which is good for many more years).

    Gillette Pro-glide razor - $ 12.47 (with 2 carts)
    One year cost - $ 12.47

    Fusion blades - $ 33.14
    One year cost - $ 66.28 (based on 2 weeks of shaves per cart)

    Barbasol Shaving Cream - $ 5.97
    One year cost - $ 23.88 (I used one can every 3 months while cart shaving)

    Total outlay for one year - $ 102.63 (which includes the razor which is good for many more years).

    One year shows a winner in DE shaving by a small margin. $ 99.76 for DE and $ 102.63 for cart.


    The biggest cost difference is blades with $ 66.28 for carts and $ 6.76 for DE blades for one year.
    After the initial outlay of equipment, the cost per year after the first year, the difference is significant.

    The reason so many people think that shaving our way is NOT cheaper is because we
    Buy more and more razors looking for that perfect BBS shave every single morning. Rotation anyone?
    Buy that East Himalayan High Mountain White Silver Water Badger brush with unobtanium handle for the equivalent cost of the GDP of a small country.
    Keep buying the latest soap from the latest manufacturer even though we already have a 15 year supply on the counter.

    It's not the system we use that is expensive here fellas. It's being in constant communication with a large group of like minded fellows who are all enablers.
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2015
  20. This would be a good topic to explore. I find a substantial difference between mild and aggressive razors.

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