03-27-2014, 06:22 PM
#1
  • Teddyboy
  • Guilty, with an explanation
  • NYC
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I have recently (and finally) started to explore which of my numerous blades in rotation are best for me. Similarly, which soaps are best.

To make a long story short, in order to rule out influences other than the blade and/or soap, I have been concentrating on a uniform, consistent preparation regimen. The specifics are not important - I soap and wash my face with hot water for a few minutes with natural sea sponge and a hand towel- and lather up. The blades are randomly distributed among the twelve razors in my rotation so I don't know what the blade is until I remove it about one month later. Soaps are selected at random.

The point is that I have not had one bad shave - all winners. No weepers, no tugging, no aftershave sting. Whatever soap or blade I used, they all provide great shaves. My working hypothesis is that prepping is
so important that it can smooth out the differences in performance often seen with different products. Whenever I rediscover the importance of prepping I can kick myself for buying MdC for $70 when my $5 Speick stick is as good.

Anyway, let that be a lesson to you youngin's. Thanks for listening.

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 03-27-2014, 07:04 PM
#2
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Congratulations, Ted! It is always nice to rediscover something.

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 03-27-2014, 07:04 PM
#3
  • BobH
  • Senior Member
  • Thunder Bay Canada
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What about those who have tried different prep routines and found they made no difference? Now I just waddle into the bathroom, splash on some cold water, lather up and have at her.

I think it is a case of whatever works for you personally.

Bob

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 03-27-2014, 08:07 PM
#4
  • Johnny
  • Super Moderator
  • Wausau, Wisconsin, USA
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We are all at different ages, have different skin types, different beard types, etc., but I agree, the preparation is very important. I won't go in to the ritual I go through other than to say it took me 50-years to perfect it.

I still think for each individual the type of razor, blade, and soap/cream are important and what's good for me might not be good for you.

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 03-28-2014, 03:21 AM
#5
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It seems nearly impossible to find that perfect shave with so many variables and great products to try. So far though, that pursuit for perfection makes for a great hobby. Im curious to know the routine your 50+years of preshave trial and error have garnered, johnny.

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 03-28-2014, 03:46 AM
#6
  • Johnny
  • Super Moderator
  • Wausau, Wisconsin, USA
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(03-28-2014, 03:21 AM)chance Wrote: It seems nearly impossible to find that perfect shave with so many variables and great products to try. So far though, that pursuit for perfection makes for a great hobby. Im curious to know the routine your 50+years of preshave trial and error have garnered, johnny.

This is my routine at home only.

1. Wash face with warm water and a good face soap. Right now that is L'Occitane Verdon.

2. I apply a warm lather and wrap my face for a hot towel soak. I have an old Campbell Hot Lather Machine to make the warm lather.

[Image: yMCqALB.jpg]

3. Rinse with warm water then lather with my soap/cream of choice.

4. After the shave I rinse with warm water then do a cold towel soak.

5. Pat face dry then apply the aftershave lotion/balm of choice.

When I am traveling I leave out step number 2.

And before someone ask, yes, I do use just the lather from the hot lather machine to shave with sometimes, but not very often.

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 03-28-2014, 04:17 PM
#7
  • CMur12
  • Semogueiro de Coração
  • Moses Lake, Washington State, USA
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My experience, too, is that good prep makes for a smoother, easier cut and the blade lasts longer. Although I favor sharper blades (but not Feather sharp), a lot of different blades work well for me.

- Murray

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 03-30-2014, 06:12 AM
#8
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The longer I do this, the more I feel that face prep is arguably the most important step in wet shaving. It levels the field and allows good results with almost any razor/blade combination.

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 03-30-2014, 09:39 AM
#9
  • Teddyboy
  • Guilty, with an explanation
  • NYC
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(03-30-2014, 06:12 AM)mswofford Wrote: The longer I do this, the more I feel that face prep is arguably the most important step in wet shaving. It levels the field and allows good results with almost any razor/blade combination.

Amen brother!

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 03-30-2014, 10:10 AM
#10
  • evnpar
  • Emeritus
  • Portland, Oregon
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I agree that a good prep is an important and an essential step. However, for 51 years I never thought about it, and just shaved after getting out of the shower as I'd always done. Now that I've found the forums, I've begun to think about what I'm doing. The only change I've made is to run the hot water over my beard a few times as I'm showering, to use one of the artisan soaps with shea butter on my washcloth, and to leave the hot washcloth on my beard a bit longer. This, combined with a rich, slick lather and a sharp blade, have improved the quality of my shaves.

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 03-30-2014, 11:35 AM
#11
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To me prep is not as important as the finish that is post shave. A good cold water soak, balm (very important) and end with an after shave or cologne.

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 03-30-2014, 01:34 PM
#12
  • CMur12
  • Semogueiro de Coração
  • Moses Lake, Washington State, USA
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Years before coming to these forums, I was mystified by the fact that I got an easier, smoother shave in the shower, using only shampoo for "lather," than I did with actual lather generated with a boar brush and shaving soap or cream in the evening.

After coming to these forums, I came to realize that the difference was the preparation. In the shower, my beard had been washed and soaked before the shave. My evening shave with brush and soap/cream, on the other hand, had included no previous preparation of the beard.

- Murray

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 03-30-2014, 03:04 PM
#13
  • Johnny
  • Super Moderator
  • Wausau, Wisconsin, USA
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I shower at night and prep and shave in the morning.

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