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The beginning of a straight razor shaving journey

I was always interested in learning to shave with a straight razor but never really found the time to thoroughly research it and understand what is required...until I found B&B! I have always wetshaved and am exploring straight razor shaving as a hobby until I get the hang of it enough to do it everyday. I figured there would be less pressure to get things perfect at the beginning that way.

I decided to start off with the following equipment:
1. A Vulfix boar brush I had lying around (soon to be replaced by a SR 3824, hopefully).
2. C.O. Bigelow shaving cream/Body Shop shave cream.
3. 35$ Griffon brought from one of the members here.
4. Filly strop from ruprazor (yet to be received).

Shave reports to follow!
 
Welcome to B&B!! Hit up the Straight Razor Forum here at B&B if you have any questions. Good Luck and Enjoy!!:thumbup1:
 
I used a straight for about 7 months before I switched back to de's. Best piece of advice...TAKE YOUR TIME... or you will get a nice set of racing stripes.
 
Thanks everyone for your kind words and advice, in particular those that told me to take it slow. I plan on doing so, but reminders are always good.

I am already two shaves in, but I think the razor could use some touchup. I plan on giving it some Cr2O3 love this weekend and hopefully will get smoother shaves.

I also ordered some Mama Bear's shaving soap slivers because the reviews seem to indicate that they are some of the best soaps around. If things work out I think I will use Mama Bear's soaps exclusively at home and Tabac/Proraso when I am on the road.

More later!
 
My first shave is long gone, but I will try to recollect it here for my own benefit and possibly for others benefit too.

I used Body Shop shaving cream with a vulfix boar brush. Worked up a decent lather on my first attempt not using canned stuff and went to work.

Result: Lots of pulling and some irritation.

What I learnt:
1. Optimum angle is important. There were some areas on my face which seemed better shaved than others. I realized that those were the ones where the spine was two spine widths away from my face. Need to train muscles to do that.
2. Blade is probably not sharp enough. The blade I got did not mention shave ready in the description so I think this was the cause of the pulling too.
3. Lather could have been better. I did not find the lather cushioning enough. I cant wait to try those Mama Bears soap samples,
 
Again, long gone, but here for notekeeping. Did not go as well as the first. Infact, it was hands down the worst shaving experience of my life. :thumbdown

Not so much pulling as shave #1 and a couple of nicks. I thought it went well....until....my face felt like it was on fire afterwards.

I ran out and got some Witch Hazel once the bleeding stopped. Also got some Eucalyptus and Peppermint EO. I mixed up 3oz of WH with 10 drops peppermint EO and 15 drops eucalyptus EO, applied the resulting mixture to my burning face and was greeted with immediate relief.

Things learnt:
1. NEVER use too much pressure. I now know what people were talking about when they said to let the weight of the blade do the work.
2. Blade is probably sharp enough to give a decent shave without so much irritation.
3. Improve stropping routine. Perhaps 30 laps on bare leather?
 
Much, much better than the second! Not exactly DFS but not far from DFS either. No ATG or XTG passes either.

I did some more prep this time (pretty much followed Kyles prep). I think I am beginning to get the hang of the stropping motion.

What went well:
1. Lathering. Got thick cushioning lather. I will repeat the same steps next time and see if I am able to reproduce the results.
Notes: Soak brush in scorching hot water, shake water out, rub the brush on top of the cream and start lathering. Rub the protolather back into the bottom of the bowl, add a few drops of water and whisk till lather forms. Add some more water once lather has formed to hydrate the foam.
2. Blade angle. 30 degrees works best. Can get slightly more/less aggressive.
3. Stretching skin. I think this made the biggest difference in the closeness of the shave.
4. The WH + Eucalyptus EO + peppermint EO mixture seems to work well for my skin. I need to tone down the peppermint somewhat. Next time try 7 drops peppermint EO instead of 10.

Trouble areas:
1. Below the chin. Getting there but needs more work.

I am happy with DFS and will not attempt XTG or even ATG passes for now.
 

Luc

Moderator Emeritus
Welcome to B&B!

Sounds like it's starting to get better.

I would recommend 50-60 laps on the strop, that should help. And... take it slow!
 
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