01-08-2015, 12:32 PM
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Curious to know when, if any, of you men thought of shaving as any form of a rite of passage. I surely do and would like to share with you, mine.

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I use to only keep a fairly small goatee and thin side burns that connected to it (a typical African American style). However, I always got really bad ingrown hairs on my neck, from when i shaved using cartridges. I never knew about wet shaving, being that I was never taught to shave. My father wasn't around when i was of age to learn, so my only recollection of shaving, was getting "lined up"at the barbershop in the neighborhood.

When i got to be 25 years of age, i started learning how to cut my own hair in order to save a lil' cash. I was pretty good at it, though never receiving any formal training. I figured too around this time, that i needed to change my face look up but didn't want to keep using carts because of the razor burn and ingrown hairs. So after some good research, i found out about wet shaving. I didn't actually take the plunge until sometime later but found that it might do wonders for my face. I still stuck to my cartridges, and just wasn't really inspired to let them go. Never liked how i looked clean shaving, so i always kept some sort of mustache and chin hair.

After maybe 3 years of cutting my own hair, i really took to noticing how my hairline was thinning. It was getting to a point that i found unbearable, no matter how short i would keep my hair. I reached the conclusion, that i simply could not take it anymore.

I took the plunge after about a month of stressing over my hair line, then proceeded to shave my own head, first with an Andis T-Liner for one month. It looked a lot better; though i wasn't completely clean shaved bald. Next, i used the resurfacable Mach III. I only say this, because so many men swear by this razor for head shaves, and never enjoyed the look of the famous Head Blade razor, nor the whole 5 blade tugger Fusion. So, the Mach lasted for about 6 months. It was pretty good, but I found that I would get razor burn on the back of my head. I then moved to a couple of nicely founded Twin blade handles that i used with Gillette blades. This lasted two more months, but i became quite frustrated paying for cartridges and only maybe getting 5 blades that were good and the rest resulting in some really bad cuts. I then knew it was time to try out a safety razor for real.

I didn't know if anybody had ever used one, though i do know that men of yesteryear used straights for their heads.

Like, Mr. Brynner
[Image: 5e6df53c2df24c7e6c3a61dc212d33d5.jpg]

So i proceeded to find a safety razor since i had read so much about them and hoped that it would work for my head shaves. Instead of purchasing a brand new razor, i figured I'd start with "tradition", and sought out an antique store to find some good ole razors, in pretty decent shape that i could restore and clean up myself. Well i did, and I shaved with my first bought Gillette Slim then a Gold Tech, and i must say, it was the best decision i have ever made as far as grooming goes!

They work perfectly with trimming my facial hair, and are great for my head shaves. No drastic cuts like any of the carts, no significant razor burns, and no crazy prices!

Now, the reason for keeping a beard was because i always wanted to grow one but couldn't get passed the itch. Further committing to research, I found things online on how to concoct my own beard oil, that would help the forth coming hairs on my face and would kill any form of itch that i might experience. It did the trick, went with my bald look, made me appear even more manly than i already do, and my wife loves it!

I trim it, properly, every 4 weeks or so and never felt better in all the ways of my grooming ritual. It is such a fulfilling feeling to have in life. I look forward to teaching my son the ways of a manly tradition, once he is ready to do so. I will be collecting more razors, old and new, and will be passing them down to him,; something i wish i was able to experience with my father, but will be able to head line in my family as the man who started it all!


Thanks for letting me share my "shave-rite" with you gentlemen, and long live Traditional Wet Shaving!


-Bryan

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 01-08-2015, 12:51 PM
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Very interesting story. I don't remember my dad teaching me about shaving but I do remember him telling me "you don't want to shave yet or you'll have to shave for the rest of your life. And it'll come in thicker" mind you I had a mustache and facial hair at like 14yrs old. My son is 9 and I plan on showing him all the great things I've learned about shaving and how it is not a burden but something to enjoy.

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 01-08-2015, 12:55 PM
#3
  • Hanzo
  • Senior Member
  • Oakland, California
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Great post Bryan. What is interesting is how grooming to you is about skill expression and acquisition, about learning to use tools you rate well, not simply about " how I look". I think you have found a hobby you'll have a lot of fun with.

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 01-08-2015, 01:25 PM
#4
  • Giorgio
  • Senior Member
  • Pennsylvania, US
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(01-08-2015, 12:32 PM)C-NoEviL Wrote: It is such a fulfilling feeling to have in life. I look forward to teaching my son the ways of a manly tradition, once he is ready to do so. I will be collecting more razors, old and new, and will be passing them down to him,; something i wish i was able to experience with my father, but will be able to head line in my family as the man who started it all!


Thanks for letting me share my "shave-rite" with you gentlemen, and long live Traditional Wet Shaving!


-Bryan

Thanks for sharing Bryan! Your words that I quoted capture my thoughts/feeling perfectly. I started with a Gillette Sensor when I "had to" shave with no one to teach me how. Many years later I found traditional wet shaving as something different to experience and I loved it. Now, I truly am looking forward to teaching my son (and other son due next week Biggrin) all about traditional shaving. I also pick up items here and there to build a solid collection to pass down to them one day Smile

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 01-08-2015, 01:44 PM
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Great post Bryan!

I started with an electric razor and used that for a few years initially (my Father had long since given up safety razors and was using an electric himself by then, so never gave me any instruction otherwise). Then I started using carts when they first came out and tried them all in succession (the Mach 3 is still the best of them IMHO). I eventually got fed up with the canned goo in the first instance and switched to a brush and a puck of soap, which amazed me by lasting a couple of years or so (still using my Mach 3). I eventually decided to try a safety razor when I went to buy another puck of soap and have never looked back.

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 01-08-2015, 03:46 PM
#6
  • clk
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  • Louisville, Kentucky
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Excellent post, Bryan. Although I recall "shaving" with an empty SE razor next to my father while he shaved with his Gillette, he never actually taught me how to shave. I have gotten great pleasure teaching both of my sons how to shave. My 19 year old uses a GEM Push button, and my 16 year old uses a Schick Injector. I doubt few of their contemporaries would even know what they are. I still get a charge out of watching my sons shave, and often make comments on their lather consistency and/or shaving technique. Just something we have in common (wet shaving) that other father and sons do not.

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 01-08-2015, 03:52 PM
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i am impressed by your openminded and interestingly told story bryan. i take it it's yul brynner being the heroic straight shaver. wish i had his large triptych-mirror Smile

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 01-08-2015, 05:16 PM
#8
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I had to be bribed by my mother to shave for the first time. I didn't take it as a right of passage, but as "I don't want to grow up." I was probably 14 years old and only had a mustache. I used an electric razor and it was itchy for about three days. If my dad taught me how to shave with a real razor and cream, I'm sure I would have thought of it all as a right of passage.

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 01-08-2015, 07:09 PM
#9
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Nice topic and great story, Bryan.

My shave rite of passage had to due with teenage frustration with the electric razor that I was given for Christmas that seemed to dull into a buzzing tugging machine almost instantly.

I found an old Super-adjustable that was probably my Grandfathers from when he stayed with us, in the medicine chest along with some Noxzema canned goo and some razor blades. On a lark one day, I gave it a whirl and despite what I later learned were weepers, I got a pretty good shave.

Fast forward to 2008, the great recession and a desire to "save money" Lightbulb (you can all laugh now), I did a little bit of research to see what old razor I should buy on ebay....the rest is history.

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 01-08-2015, 07:51 PM
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Nice story, Bryan!. I guess I didn't get taught to shave either. Somehow I ended up with a disposable and a can of goo and went through 35 years of carts and a couple electrics. I too, wanted to save money...Blush

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 01-08-2015, 08:34 PM
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Excellent story, Bryan! I almost thought that was you in the photos during your younger years! Biggrin

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 01-09-2015, 12:06 AM
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(01-08-2015, 12:55 PM)Hanzo Wrote: Great post Bryan. What is interesting is how grooming to you is about skill expression and acquisition, about learning to use tools you rate well, not simply about " how I look". I think you have found a hobby you'll have a lot of fun with.
Thank you Hanzo for the acknowledgment. It is true, i love it and I'd rather be a well groomed classy man, than another swagger having pretty boy!
(01-08-2015, 01:25 PM)Giorgio Wrote:
(01-08-2015, 12:32 PM)C-NoEviL Wrote: It is such a fulfilling feeling to have in life. I look forward to teaching my son the ways of a manly tradition, once he is ready to do so. I will be collecting more razors, old and new, and will be passing them down to him,; something i wish i was able to experience with my father, but will be able to head line in my family as the man who started it all!


Thanks for letting me share my "shave-rite" with you gentlemen, and long live Traditional Wet Shaving!


-Bryan

Thanks for sharing Bryan! Your words that I quoted capture my thoughts/feeling perfectly. I started with a Gillette Sensor when I "had to" shave with no one to teach me how. Many years later I found traditional wet shaving as something different to experience and I loved it. Now, I truly am looking forward to teaching my son (and other son due next week ) all about traditional shaving. I also pick up items here and there to build a solid collection to pass down to them one day
It's gonna be such a great thing for your songs to remember. Congratulations on the new lil soldier on the way, too!

(01-08-2015, 03:52 PM)tonsorius Wrote: i am impressed by your openminded and interestingly told story bryan. i take it it's yul brynner being the heroic straight shaver. wish i had his large triptych-mirror
You are right Marius!
(01-08-2015, 08:34 PM)celestino Wrote: Excellent story, Bryan! I almost thought that was you in the photos during your younger years!
Hahaa, no, but that would have been good if i looked as dapper as Mr. Brynner.

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 01-09-2015, 01:57 AM
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Great read Bryan! It is very true that the vast majority of today's generations of young men will never be taught much of anything from their fathers, much less shaving. I count myself blessed that I will get to pass some knowledge down to my son (including shaving). He already has his own brush and DE razor that I allow him to "shave" with in the tub with a cup full of lather (He's 3yrs old).

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 01-10-2015, 10:31 AM
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(01-09-2015, 01:57 AM)RunWithScissors Wrote: Great read Bryan! It is very true that the vast majority of today's generations of young men will never be taught much of anything from their fathers, much less shaving. I count myself blessed that I will get to pass some knowledge down to my son (including shaving). He already has his own brush and DE razor that I allow him to "shave" with in the tub with a cup full of lather (He's 3yrs old).
This is so true. Honestly, it's a force that has been around for centuries that was designed to eventually eliminate the protectors of mankind, the MEN, from truly stepping into their roles, for their families. Which is to teach, lead, protect, procreate, provide, and to pass on honorable traditions.

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 01-10-2015, 11:03 AM
#15
  • clk
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  • Louisville, Kentucky
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(01-10-2015, 10:31 AM)C-NoEviL Wrote: Which is to teach, lead, protect, procreate, provide, and to pass on honorable traditions.
Well said.

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 01-13-2015, 04:52 PM
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(01-10-2015, 11:03 AM)clk Wrote:
(01-10-2015, 10:31 AM)C-NoEviL Wrote: Which is to teach, lead, protect, procreate, provide, and to pass on honorable traditions.
Well said.
Thank you Chuck. And I'll be in touch with you soon, too.

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 01-13-2015, 05:12 PM
#17
  • Johnny
  • MODERATOR EMERITUS
  • Wausau, Wisconsin, USA
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Well stated Bryan. I was lucky enough to watch my father shave when I was a boy. On my 15th birthday he gave me a Schick Injector, a cheap boar brush, a puck of Colgate soap, and a bottle of Aqua Velva. He said, Happy Birthday and welcome to the club. I've been wet shaving every since.

My oldest son uses one of my Dad's old Schick Injectors and different shave creams. My youngest son, well, he's a rebel. As a wedding gift I am giving him a Feather AS-D2, some KAI blades, a Plisson synthetic brush, and several soaps and creams. I've already instructed my future daughter-in-law to hide his carts and can goo.

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 01-13-2015, 07:50 PM
#18
  • chazt
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  • Bayside, NY
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Bryan, thanks for sharing. My dad shaved with an electric razor, save for his time in the army. When i started to shave the only thing he knew to pass down was, shaving with an electric. I tried... went through 3 electrics in 2 years, not enjoying shaving at all! Spent the next 40 odd years shaving with whatever Gillette's latest / greatest was at the time. Hated shaving all of that time, too.

Over the years i often flashed back to watching my grandfather shave with a TTO and a shave stick. Frankly, it was the MTO commercial that pushed me over the edge and had me make a go at wet shaving. Now i'm loving it! Being that i have daughters and no sons, i'll likely need to wait until they give me grandsons to mentor. Something to look forward to, for sure!

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 01-13-2015, 10:32 PM
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(01-13-2015, 05:12 PM)Johnny Wrote: Well stated Bryan. I was lucky enough to watch my father shave when I was a boy. On my 15th birthday he gave me a Schick Injector, a cheap boar brush, a puck of Colgate soap, and a bottle of Aqua Velva. He said, Happy Birthday and welcome to the club. I've been wet shaving every since.

My oldest son uses one of my Dad's old Schick Injectors and different shave creams. My youngest son, well, he's a rebel. As a wedding gift I am giving him a Feather AS-D2, some KAI blades, a Plisson synthetic brush, and several soaps and creams. I've already instructed my future daughter-in-law to hide his carts and can goo.
This is awesome Johnny. Though i love him at his age now, i still cannot wait to have my son step into his rite of passage.
(01-13-2015, 07:50 PM)chazt Wrote: Bryan, thanks for sharing. My dad shaved with an electric razor, save for his time in the army. When i started to shave the only thing he knew to pass down was, shaving with an electric. I tried... went through 3 electrics in 2 years, not enjoying shaving at all! Spent the next 40 odd years shaving with whatever Gillette's latest / greatest was at the time. Hated shaving all of that time, too.

Over the years i often flashed back to watching my grandfather shave with a TTO and a shave stick. Frankly, it was the MTO commercial that pushed me over the edge and had me make a go at wet shaving. Now i'm loving it! Being that i have daughters and no sons, i'll likely need to wait until they give me grandsons to mentor. Something to look forward to, for sure!
So, you'll be carrying on the tradition and skipping a generation. That is still good because i learned very good things from my grandfather.

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 01-15-2015, 12:30 AM
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(01-10-2015, 10:31 AM)C-NoEviL Wrote: This is so true. Honestly, it's a force that has been around for centuries that was designed to eventually eliminate the protectors of mankind, the MEN, from truly stepping into their roles, for their families. Which is to teach, lead, protect, procreate, provide, and to pass on honorable traditions.
With your permission I would love to quote you.

I learned a saying that is more powerful than cursing here in Korea, 'is that how your father taught you?'

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