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Who taught you to use a DE razor and how

When I was a young lad, my father asked me if I knew how to shave. I had watched him and my grandfather many times, so I thought I did, and told him so. Handing me his Fatboy, he asked me to show him. So I splashed some water on my face, lathered up from his puck and eagerly commenced with my first pass up, cutting myself up nicely after only a few strokes. He waited for me to finish before telling me what I did wrong - not enough water, lather too thin, too much pressure, angle too steep, no regard for my grain.

Four or five days later I tried again with the same poor result. Disheartened and bewildered, I started out of the bathroom. He stopped me asking if I knew Einstein's definition of insanity. I did not, so he told me ("doing the same thing over and over, expecting a different result") and I didn't feel any better. Before picking up the razor for my third shave, he asked what I would do differently. After responding that I wasn't sure, he took the razor and carefully handed me a cork with an DE blade embedded into side and told me to try it. Since I loved my Dad, I did, and it gave me the worst shave of my life. My lather turned pink, blood dripped down my cheeks and the sink streamed with red. My face was a mess and it was many days after that before I was able to shave again.

In the interim, I did a lot of thinking about angles and pressure. Holding the cork in my hands, it occurred to me how I might reduce blade pressure by holding it lightly on the ends between my thumb and index finger. In front of a mirror, I looked closely at my beard, feeling the direction of growth with my hands. A few days later, I was ready to shave again and did so this time with a much better result. Although it still wasn't anywhere perfect and there were many nicks and plenty of razor burn, I completed my first full shave. Looking over at my Dad and seeing the pride in his eyes, I immediately understood how well he knew me and the wisdom of his logic. Although my Dad passed a few years back, I'll never forget him or how he taught me to shave.
Youtube, sites like this one and a lot of trial and error. My grandfather did show me how to shave, but that was with a cartridge. He still used a brush though.



My dad handed me what is now my Tech and actually taught me step-by-step how to shave. So, no blood involved beyond a couple weepers. That was when I was 15. After a few weeks, my mom handed me a Blue Tip SuoerSpeed she didn't use saying I might like that better. So, RAD begins! ;)

Now, when I was 18 my grandmother handed me my recently departed grandfather's Old Type. That one was too much and some blood was involved. It did take me a while to teach myself how to use it, and it really wasn't until I found this site that I learned a trick which made it work out a lot better: trim a used blade into a shim to lift a modern (too thin) blade up to put the cutting edge back where it ought to be.

Also, when I was in my 20s, my dad also taught me how to use my other grandfather's straight razors. :)

I can say all my teenage friends also were taught how to shave by their dads - with whatever their dads used.

So you're saying it's actually possible to learn how to shave without Youtube and the interwebs?

You mean like men have been doing for thousands and thousands of years?

Now that's shocking ...
My styptic pencil is still hermetically sealed in its packaging. I attribute that to this website's mantra of "no pressure". Trial and error to be sure, but cannot discount what a few words of solid advice can achieve.
The Internet, when I was an old lad.

My dad was a great dad, but I don't recall him ever really teaching me anything about shaving. He still used a DE when I was very young, but later switched to disposables and sometimes an electric. I never knew him to take shaving too seriously; just a thing that had to be done, with canned foam and whatever razor he had on hand. Other than remembering him using a DE, the only other interesting shaving thing in our house was a book of Burma Shave "poetry" he either bought or received as a gift. He really got a kick out of that book, even though I never knew him to ever use the product in my lifetime (if it even still existed). That book was how I learned such a product ever existed (and what was meant by a "Burma Shave sign display").

Basically, as a youngster everything I learned about shaving I learned on the streets.
My styptic pencil is still hermetically sealed in its packaging. I attribute that to this website's mantra of "no pressure". Trial and error to be sure, but cannot discount what a few words of solid advice can achieve.
I wasn't talking about this site. I was actually talking about all the shaving "celebrities" on the interwebs.

I do value the knowledge and info provided by the regular guy, unbiased opinions, without attachments to certain brands or vendors. But we don't want to go off topic here, and this is just my opinion.

Obviously I think this site and its members have tons of excellent info/advice to offer, otherwise I wouldn't be here and I wouldn't have over 16k posts.
Nice memories from the OP.

My father showed me how to shave with a straight razor. However it was more like a demo.

I learned to use a DE on my own.


Fussy Evil Genius
That's a great story, OP!

I pretty much taught myself how to DE/SE shave. Shaving is like driving. You can read about it and watch someone else do it as much as you want, but you'll never learn how to do it until you just do it.
Figured it out myself,took at least a couple of years,if not longer, to get it to all come together mind!.Slow learner,RAD,BAD,SAD,didn't help,but now,about 6 years later,I pretty much have it down.Apart from my last shave,with a new razor,new blade,very little prep,as it turned into a banned scene from Friday 13th Part XVIII,still paying for it now 2 days later.Have not had a shave that bad in years mind.:blush:


my dad handed me the razor (an adjustable) and that was about it. my oldest brother gave me my first pointers. But B&B is where I've learned the fine art and have to enjoy shaving.


I watched my Dad shave and just imitated him. Gradually I changed my technique after reading the instructions that came with my FB razor.
I had to learn on my own. There was no internet when I started. Years of Bic disposables taught me to take my time and cut the hair, not my face. Dad had a full beard and several 6-packs so he was no help. This site taught me how to make proper lather and how to enjoy shaving. Its true, you can teach an old dog new tricks.