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The beginning of a straight razor shaving journey

Not sure if we have an acronym for this (SAS?), but the fourth shave was better than the third, so much so that I would not be embarrassed to go out without any more touchups. I am still have trouble around the chin area, but I think most newbs have trouble with that so I think I need to learn some more :)


1. What went well
a. Lather: Much better and more hydrating than last time.
Notes: After protolather, the cream can handle a lot more water than I was using before (20 drops vs 4-5 drops earlier)
b. Closeness: The closest shave I have gotten so far.
c. WH + Eucalyptus + Peppermint = Sweeet!
d. Stropping: Stropped 5 laps on CrO side, and 50 laps on bare leather. I am still scared to use my TM Artisan Latigo strop but did use the TM practice strop and no nicks/cuts etc so far on either the TM practice or the Filly. Will only strop on bare leather (60+ passes) next time. 50 laps went way faster than they used to and no nicks/cuts to the strop.

2. Could improve:
a. Lather: Not there yet.
b. Time required to shave: With prep, lathering etc, it takes me about 30 minutes to shave, I need to bring that down much more before it will be feasible for me to only use straight razors.

SWMBO was very impressed and is beginning to lose some of her reservations about the whole shaving with straights thing.
Must say, I am enjoying taking it slow and dont intend to drop down my shave time any time soon since I shave at night and when I am not in a hurry. It would be nice to not have to purchase more M3 blades though (I have 4 blades left from the Costco Wholesale pack).
Only one pass, and DFS!

Skimped on prep this time (no hot towel etc) but still ended up getting a very good shave. Will not skimp prep next time, but its nice to know that I can possibly get away with it.

What went well:
1. Stropping: 50 on smooth cotton, 20 on CrO and 50 on bare leather, in that order. I daresay this was the cause of the smooth shave with very less irritation. What can I say, TM strops are fantastic!
2. Lathering: Still getting the hang of it, but getting better every time.
3. SWMBO is warming up to the idea of ditching M3/Fusion entirely.

What did not go so well:
1. Neck Area could use more work
2. Prep: Didnt do any, I imagine it would be an easier shave if I had taken some time to prep.
I think I am beginning to get the hang of this. This shave was as good, if not better, than the fifth.

Face Lathering works best for me and also saves time with having to work up a lather etc. The action of the brush on the face also probably helps.

Am down to 15 minutes of shave time now. I will try travelling with my straight razor this week and see how that works out

Things that worked:
1. Stropping: Following the same stropping routine really seems to make a difference in the sharpness of my blade.
2. Face lathering: Love the scrubbing action of the brush on the face.

Things to watch for:
1. Should probably stick with EO soaps/creams. The last MB shaving soap with FO (Bay Rum) irritated my skin a little.
2. Hyrdation of lather: Water is the best lubricant and keeps the skin soft and hydrated during shaving. Still need to master lathering, though face lathering makes it much more easy.
Starting to get interested in acquiring a multitude of shaving creams and one (just one, I know) shaving brush and a hone. So far, leaning towards a jnat since I am fascinated by all things Japanese (and I also intend to acquire some Aritsugu knives at some point).

As for the shave, this one was good, I would not say exceptionally so. No nicks or cuts, repeated stropping routine from last time. Continuing to cut down on shaving time, but still not to the point where it can substitute for my M3 timewise. I suspect it will come close but overall time shaving with M3 will always be lower.

I intend to take my straight razors with me in checked in baggage when I travel this week. Lets see how that goes!
Sounds like you're really doing great!

BTW, did I read you right:

1. Stropping: 50 on smooth cotton, 20 on CrO and 50 on bare leather, in that order.
...before EVERY shave?

Maybe I've got it all wrong, but I thought you only needed the CrO (5 or 6 laps) every 7 or 8 shaves, and just focus on leather in between.

Whatever works, I'm new so every opinion counts :001_smile
You did read that right. That blade was getting dull so I did 20 to try and restore the shaving edge. I dont use CrO at all otherwise. Wont be needing CrO anymore I think (details in next post).
Starting to see that this will work as my regular shaving routine. The difference this time was that I touched up the blade on a Frictionite 00 that I acquired off the 'bay. The blade was the sharpest that I have seen (not honemeister sharp, mind you). I can see now that some of the trouble I had in the beginning was due to not having a sharp enough razor.

Same stropping routine as last time and I am using my TM latigo strop exclusively now. I got it with the cotton backing and that surface is just superb.

I am placing an order for a SR 3118 today. Cant wait for it to get here!
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Great journal and I am following along as someone who is about to start my Straight Razor journey(my razor and strop are in the mail).
Great to know you like the journal Barbash. I am keeping it solely for my own notes but with the hopes that others may benefit from it.
Used my new brush for the first time yesterday. I must admit I was curious to know why Max described it as having your face lathered by angels, and I have to say, he was right!

This is one heckuva brush at the price. I can unhesitatingly recomend it to anyone in the market for a new brush!
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Got some Proraso Pre/Post cream and used that for the first time today. I really like it, especially in combination with Proraso shave cream. Menthol goodness all round. I did realize that Proraso is not a product I like using in winter because of the menthol cooling effect. I will save this till summer and use that as an excuse to buy new creams/soaps.

Also caught up trying to decide between soaps vs creams. It seems soaps are more consistent for lathering but I have not had major problems with creams thus far.

The frictionite 00 has really helped bring back the edge on my Griffon. I am considering selling the Griffon + my filly in the B/S/T because I have the TM practice strop as well and cannot justify two practice strops. I also have a new razor from mainaman on the way (7/8 henckels friodur in G10).
Pulled out the Cade SS and ASB from the closet today for this shave. This shave did not go so well for the following reasons:

1. I nicked my TM strop when stropping. Fortunately it was on the cotton side and is barely noticeable. I suspect this may have dulled the blade somewhat since I experienced some pulling today.
2. Did not have such good luck with lathering the Cade SS today. I was using my new 3120 and probably need to figure out water to soap ratio etc. Part of the learning process I guess.
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