05-04-2013, 09:00 PM
#1
  • matloffm
  • Senior Member
  • Culver City, CA
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In many of my posts I indicate how difficult it is for me to get a close, comfortable shave. My beard is like wire. I have to use the sharpest DE blades I can find (Feather is one of my regular blades) so I won't get a lot of tugging (especially if I have more than a day's growth). This has led me to try the Cobra and Feather SS both of which give me very good shaves. I have also been shaving with straights for 6 months. These are my most frustrating shaves. Poor results with a lot of skin irritation. I tried freshly honed razors, I got a 12K Naniwa stone and learned how to hone. I also use a barber's hone and a pasted strop. The blades would not cut smoothly and left a lot of uncut beard. With straights this can mean your technique is poor and/or you'er are dulling the blade and/or you'er not refreshing the blade properly, i.e., your edge is lacking. As I had no problem with the Feather SS, I attributed my problem with straights to the fact that the disposable blades where just so much sharper than I could get the edge of a straight.

Now I have always prepared for my shaves with hot showers, MrGLO, Proraso pre-shave cream or other pre-shave products. My beard did not soften or change at all from the prep, but with a sharp disposable blade I got a very good shave.

But today I found something that actually did soften my beard. I was in a hury and did not shower first. I washed my face with a new hand soap I was trying. As I did, I could feel my 2 day growth soften. Wow, this is new I thought. I was going to use my Cobra, but changed to my 6/8 Hart. I proceeded to get a DFS as good as my disposable blade razors. I don't know what the new soap did to my beard, but it made all the difference.

What soap did I use? Dr. Bronner's Pure-Castile. Yes, the one with the interesting writings on the label. I don't know what it did to get my beard to absorb water but it changed everything. No, I don't work for the company. I tried it as a hand soap and was satisfied with its performance. I just tried it on my face today because it was there. I know I am not alone in having a difficult beard and sincerely recommend anyone with this problem to give it a try. If it doesn't work as a pre-shave it is still a good soap. It is worth a try. Tongue

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 05-04-2013, 10:12 PM
#2
  • Johnny
  • Super Moderator
  • Wausau, Wisconsin, USA
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Thanks for the tip, I may have to try some sometime.

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 05-04-2013, 11:11 PM
#3
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I almost always use Dr Bronner's for my prep, and it've never let me down. I prefer the liquid variant though, but that's a case of YMMV.

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 05-05-2013, 01:03 AM
#4
  • EHV
  • Senior Member
  • Milford,PA
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Hans is the first person that I thought about when I read your post. Smile

I'm very glad that this worked out for you!

I have tried all of the Dr. Bronner scents in both liquid and bar variety and sadly, they all give me some burn. My wife adores the soap so we always have it in the house. It's a great shampoo for her also.

Kirk's Castile Soap, which is unscented, (except for the ingredients) has proven a worthy alternative and may be another soap that you'd want to check out because it's very gentle and very moisturizing plus it cost a little over $1 a bar.

Continued success to you!!!

Eric

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 05-05-2013, 03:01 AM
#5
  • savagejoerude
  • If you ain't a LOSER, you ain't livin'!!
  • New Orleans USA
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I've never tried Castile soap. I'm a Clearly Natural glycerine man myself.

@ Matt, I see you have a Cobra and get good results. Have you tried any other SE razors? There are many different types and are still reasonably priced.... The theory is that a single edge blade is much more rigid than a thin DE blade and the DE blade being so thin "oscillates" which causes irritation... That makes sense to me...

I got some good shaves from my DE's but since I began using SE's I've had nothing but smooth close and comfortable shaves. Nearly ZERO irritation and I am able to shave every day where with DE's I had to wait at least 36 hours between shaves which was a problem for me as I play music most weekends...When I had the entire weekend booked my face suffered on Saturday night. Not so anymore!!!

Check this thread.... http://shavenook.com/thread-i-m-a-loser-...dge-razors

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 05-05-2013, 02:01 PM
#6
  • matloffm
  • Senior Member
  • Culver City, CA
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Thanks for the comments. I have a bottle of Bronner's peppermint. I can see how it could irritate some people's skin. I assume it's due to the peppermint oil. There are other varieties that I hope are a bit less "invigorating". Thanks for the tip about Kirk's Castile soap.

I have have not tried SEs since the early 60s. I got the Cobra because it took the Feather blades. I actually don't think of it as an SE but more like a straight on T handle. I am open to variety. I shave with DEs, open and closed comb, Parker shavette, Feather SS and a collection of straights, so adding an SE or 2 is something I would consider. Biggrin

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 05-05-2013, 06:45 PM
#7
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I picked up some Bronner's for travel recently & used it on my trip as a preshave. I wasn't all that impressed at the time but there were also a lot of different variables. I've been seeing great results with the Proraso Pre so I think I'll give the Bronner's another shot in the morning. The one I have is peppermint & I really enjoyed it. I hope it works well for me too.

Kirks is one I've used before too. For some reason though I couldn't use it a lot. I think the pH wasn't a good march for me.

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 05-05-2013, 08:25 PM
#8
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Do you always shower before a shave? It could have been that not showering before the shave helped with your shave. i always find i get better results when shaving, firstly, for whatever reason. i just use a bit of cool/lukewarm water to wet my face and start lathering and i get some very good results. However, every time i shower before the shave, the results are always less so with more irritation! Go figure.
Dr. Bronner's is the best soap out there. You should really try the Rose or Lavender as they are unbelievably wonderful!
There is a baby scent also which is the mildest one of the lot as it won't irritate you lads, or should not.

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 05-06-2013, 04:04 AM
#9
  • slantman
  • Expert Shaver
  • Leesburg, Florida
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Got to try that soap. I use bar soap for practically everything.

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 05-07-2013, 01:13 PM
#10
  • OldDog23
  • Senior Member
  • BeanTown MetroWest
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if you like the peppermint Bronner's but mind the peppermint tang, there is also the unscented one sold as "Babymild", which is the same soap, sans EO.
While Bronner says their soap can be used for shaving, NOT for me.
good glide, but not enough cushion. off topic, but the peppermint castille makes for a very good shampoo, also,

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 05-07-2013, 03:41 PM
#11
  • matloffm
  • Senior Member
  • Culver City, CA
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I can't see using it as a substitute for shave cream/soap. What I assumed before using DrB is that any soap would remove the oil and dirt from one's beard, the fact that this was not true for me was the big surprise. Without removing the oil all the other prep was not doing much. That's why I posted this as I am sure there are others in the same situation.

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 05-07-2013, 04:14 PM
#12
  • OldDog23
  • Senior Member
  • BeanTown MetroWest
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I should have included in my first post that I agreed with Bronner's doing a great job at beard softening when used a pre-shave washup.... sorry, my bad ! Sad
can't say for certain just why that is, but, it sure does work great !

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 05-07-2013, 06:58 PM
#13
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(05-05-2013, 06:45 PM)SharpSpine Wrote: I picked up some Bronner's for travel recently & used it on my trip as a preshave. I wasn't all that impressed at the time but there were also a lot of different variables. I've been seeing great results with the Proraso Pre so I think I'll give the Bronner's another shot in the morning. The one I have is peppermint & I really enjoyed it. I hope it works well for me too.

Kirks is one I've used before too. For some reason though I couldn't use it a lot. I think the pH wasn't a good march for me.

Well, no more Dr. Bronner's as a PreShave for me. My face felt irritated all day starting about 2-3 hours after my shave yesterday. I went back to the Proraso Pre today with the same razor & blade with a much better result today.

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 05-08-2013, 02:18 PM
#14
  • matloffm
  • Senior Member
  • Culver City, CA
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(05-07-2013, 06:58 PM)SharpSpine Wrote:
(05-05-2013, 06:45 PM)SharpSpine Wrote: I picked up some Bronner's for travel recently & used it on my trip as a preshave. I wasn't all that impressed at the time but there were also a lot of different variables. I've been seeing great results with the Proraso Pre so I think I'll give the Bronner's another shot in the morning. The one I have is peppermint & I really enjoyed it. I hope it works well for me too.

Kirks is one I've used before too. For some reason though I couldn't use it a lot. I think the pH wasn't a good march for me.

Well, no more Dr. Bronner's as a PreShave for me. My face felt irritated all day starting about 2-3 hours after my shave yesterday. I went back to the Proraso Pre today with the same razor & blade with a much better result today.

Just curious, did you wash your face with it or leave it on like Proraso pre-shave? I have not tried leaving it on as the EO in it is a bit irritating.

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 05-08-2013, 02:20 PM
#15
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(05-08-2013, 02:18 PM)matloffm Wrote:
(05-07-2013, 06:58 PM)SharpSpine Wrote:
(05-05-2013, 06:45 PM)SharpSpine Wrote: I picked up some Bronner's for travel recently & used it on my trip as a preshave. I wasn't all that impressed at the time but there were also a lot of different variables. I've been seeing great results with the Proraso Pre so I think I'll give the Bronner's another shot in the morning. The one I have is peppermint & I really enjoyed it. I hope it works well for me too.

Kirks is one I've used before too. For some reason though I couldn't use it a lot. I think the pH wasn't a good march for me.

Well, no more Dr. Bronner's as a PreShave for me. My face felt irritated all day starting about 2-3 hours after my shave yesterday. I went back to the Proraso Pre today with the same razor & blade with a much better result today.

Just curious, did you wash your face with it or leave it on like Proraso pre-shave? I have not tried leaving it on as the EO in it is a bit irritating.

It was not on my skin for long. I was too concerned about the EO as you mentioned.

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