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Uninteresting and Incoherent Shave Journal

I use a spreadsheet to keep track of things like how long products last and how many times I use a blade, but I’m using this thread to document more qualitative observations on shaving. And maybe ramble. We’ll see.

At some point there will be much data to be read, so I’ll give some information about myself now to help put it in context:

I’ll be 24 this year. I started traditional shaving when I was 17 or 18. I got A Parker shavette, and some Shark half blades at first. I may as well have tried shaving with a cheese grater... it was pretty brutal. I think I was still using the canned gel I had left over from when I was using carts initially, but I got some Proraso red or something like that early on.

Between buying train tickets, cigarettes, and day old bread from Jimmy John’s while I was in school, it took about a year to save up for a real, brand new SR. I actually just traded it to a member here yesterday. I’m not terribly sentimental, plus I have a feeling he’ll get rid of those plastic scales and put it in some deservedly nicer ones, which I wasn’t going to do anytime soon. Anyway, being used to a shorter blade I immediately cut myself with the SR, just from not accounting for its length. So I have a faint scar next to my right ear from it. Those were the days...

But I learned. Eventually I took a hiatus and used a cheap electric thing for a while. I was working 7 days a week, then living on a tour bus. I just couldn't work in my wet shaving routine at the time. Then I tried DE shaving. And eventually with some practice I could get good (and repeatable) results shaving very quickly and with minimal pampering and supplies. In other words, I started wet shaving every day again. Even when traveling. And now I usually carry more kit with me and want to find a good way to use SRs (of course this means being away for weeks or months and needing strops and stones) on the road. I’ll figure something out eventually.

Why do I travel all the time? I PM and mix FOH for a metal band. AKA make the instruments loud with knobs and switches on the big sound board. I like all kinds of music though. From Shostakovich to Sinatra to Slayer. I like reading musical biographies, etc..

I’m from Chicago if you couldn’t tell. Jeppson’s Malört is a spirit you can pretty much only buy or be served in Chicago, and popular there among people like me who enjoy a strong drink. And my avatar, Sidewall Jones, is a fictional character whose origins would take far too long to explain.

What are some of my current shaving goals?
-To responsibly (ie. not binge buy) acquire a small collection where everything will see regular and justifiable use. This involves getting some new items, and getting rid of things I currently have.
-Getting a proper set of stones and practice so I can be more self sustainable.
-Eliminating grooming and hygiene products from conglomerates like Procter & Gamble and Colgate-Palmolive. I think with my most recent toothpaste refill they’re no longer in the bathroom.
 
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And now, I will get you up to speed and build anticipation by posting about how I’ve shaved for the last two or so weeks.

SOTD 20200209
Head: GC68-P
Handle: RR Super Knurl
Blade: Feather NHS (3)
Prep: Shower
Brush: RR Snowman
Lather: St. James Sandalwood & Bergamot
Aftershave: none
Blade was discarded after this shave.

SOTD 20200210
Head: GC68-P
Handle: RR Titanium Halo
Blade: Polsilver SI (1)
Prep: Shower
Brush: RR Snowman
Lather: RR Alchemy
Aftershave: RR Alchemy

SOTD 20200211
Head: GC68-P
Handle: RR Titanium Halo
Blade: Polsilver SI (2)
Prep: Hot Towel
Brush: RR Snowman
Lather: RR Alchemy
Aftershave: RR Alchemy

SOTD 20200212
Head: GC68-P
Handle: RR Titanium Halo
Blade: Polsilver SI (3)
Prep: Shower
Brush: RR Snowman
Lather: RR Alchemy
Aftershave: RR Alchemy

SOTD 20200213
Head: GC-OC84
Handle: RR DLC Halo
Blade: Polsilver SI (4)
Prep: Shower
Brush: RR Snowman
Lather: RR Alchemy
Aftershave: RR Alchemy

SOTD 20200214
Did not shave.

SOTD 20200215
Head: GC68-P
Handle: RR Titanium Halo
Blade: Feather NHS (1)
Prep: Shower
Brush: RR Snowman
Lather: RR Alchemy
Aftershave: RR Alchemy

SOTD 20200216
Did not shave.

SOTD 20200217
Head: GC68-P
Handle: RR Titanium Halo
Blade: Polsilver SI (5)
Prep: Shower
Brush: RR Snowman
Lather: RR Alchemy
Aftershave: RR Alchemy

SOTD 20200218
Head: GC68-P
Handle: RR Titanium Halo
Blade: Feather NHS (2)
Prep: Hot Towel
Brush: RR Snowman
Lather: RR Alchemy
Aftershave: None

SOTD 20200219
Head: GC68-P
Handle: RR Titanium Halo
Blade: Feather NHS (3)
Prep: Shower
Brush: RR Snowman
Lather: RR Alchemy
Aftershave: RR Alchemy

SOTD 20200220
Did not shave.

SOTD 20200221
Head: GC-OC84
Handle: RR Super Knurl
Blade: Polsilver SI (6)
Prep: Hot Towel
Brush: RR Snowman
Lather: RR Alchemy
Aftershave: RR Alchemy

SOTD 20200222
Head: GC-OC84
Handle: RR Super Knurl
Blade: Polsilver SI (7)
Prep: Shower
Brush: RR Snowman
Lather: RR Alchemy
Aftershave: RR Alchemy

SOTD 20200223
Head: GC-OC84
Handle: RR Super Knurl
Blade: Polsilver SI (9)
Prep: Water Rinse
Brush: RR Snowman
Lather: RR Alchemy
Aftershave: None

SOTD 20200224
Head: GC68-P
Handle: RR DLC Halo
Blade: Feather NHS (4)
Prep: Shower
Brush: RR Snowman
Lather: RR Alchemy
Aftershave: RR Alchemy

SOTD 20200225
Head: GC68-P
Handle: RR Super Knurl
Blade: Polsilver SI (9)
Prep: Shower
Brush: RR Snowman
Lather: St. James Sandalwood & Bergamot
Aftershave: None

SOTD 20200226
Head: GC68-P
Handle: RR Super Knurl
Blade: Polsilver SI (10)
Prep: Water Rinse
Brush: RR Snowman
Lather: St. James Sandalwood & Bergamot
Aftershave: None
 
You get the idea. I haven’t been home in 2 months. I’ve got one tub of RazoRock Alchemy (thankfully I enjoy the smell!) and a small sample sized amount of St. James that I break out every once in a while.

Is it redundant? Yeah, but it’s far from tragic. I‘ve gotten good shaves from New York to LA with what I’ve got with me. I’ll probably 3017 it before moving on.
 
SOTD 20200227
Head: GC68-P
Handle: RR Super Knurl
Blade: Polsilver SI (11)
Prep: Shower
Brush: RR Snowman
Lather: RR Alchemy
Aftershave: RR Alchemy

I shaved just before midnight last night and still cut a decent length of beard off when I got to home base at around 2:30pm today. It’s more than I thought I’d accomplish because I’ve noticed this blade doesn’t cut very close anymore and it’s only getting worse. The Feather I’m also using is still okay at best but after another shave or two I’ll rotate a new one in. I’ve stropped this Polsilver on my wallet and it’s made a big difference so far. It’s dull by my standards but still reasonably comfortable to shave with. I’ll see how far I can take it.

Side note: in the past I typically use blades 2-5 times and only recently have I been trying to stretch it.

Did one pass mostly WTG on face any mostly ATG on neck. Wasn’t the nicest shave. Mostly because of the weak lather. I try and use as little product as possible. I’m not sure if I didn’t load the brush up enough or it has something to do with the Aleppo soap I had just used to wash my face. Maybe both.

I might try to shave with the Aleppo soon. Out of morbid curiosity of course. I know olive oil soaps don’t really lather well and this isn’t an exception, but it makes some bubbles in my hair, so I bet my brush can make something out of it.
 
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SOTD 20200228
Head: GC-OC84
Handle: RR Titanium Halo
Blade: Polsilver SI (12)
Prep: Shower
Brush: RR Snowman
Lather: Aleppo 35%
Aftershave: None

I did foreshadow this yesterday, but I didn’t think I’d do it so soon. I thought I’d build some suspense, maybe tease it a few more times. I used the Aleppo soap I use in the shower, not expecting it to work well for shaving. But it is a pretty attractive idea to only need one soap.

I didn’t get the results I expected, though I’ve never tried to use an olive oil based soap. I expected to get a sticky, golden puddle of lather but I actually got a familiar looking white foam (see picture). At least at first anyway. I loaded my damp brush up with some of the soap that I had just used in the shower, and mixed it with a few drops of water that were in the bowl. I got a lather pretty quickly but the bubbles were too big. I was able to consolidate the lather from the sides of the bowl and work it some more, and repeat, to get the bubbles smaller. All in all I didn’t spend enough time on this because it looked okay and I thought I could work it some more on my face. The lather wasn’t very dense to begin with, and once I worked it into my stubble I could feel it deflating and the bubbles popping so figured I should just hurry up and shave.

Oddly enough, it felt really good. The lather was nice and slick and what little was actually there kept my face hydrated just fine. In a pinch this soap would work, and I’ll probably try it again sometime soon when I have the patience to experiment with making a better lather. I skipped on the aftershave because I only have one with me and I don’t think it’d go so well with the earthy smell. Yes, it’s unscented but it stinks like dirty. Or clay.

I probably could’ve used the skin food in the aftershave because I feel a little dry but I did basically just wash my face twice in a row (I did it in the shower still not planning on shaving with the bar soap) and that typically doesn’t work well for me.

The stupid dull Polsilver I keep using didn’t put up any fight this time. I did strop it earlier on my wallet. I did one pass, mostly WTG on my face, cheating more towards XTG on my chin, and ATG on my neck, going back and lining up the sideburns. Didn’t wait around for the lather to dry up so I was done in like 30 seconds. With the efficiency of OC84 on a light handle like that I can get a pretty decent shave even with one pass.
 

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