06-08-2012, 06:34 PM
#1
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For this week I've been shaving before my shower with practically no prep. All I've done is rinse my face with cold water and then face lather. I take my time with face lathering so that I get quite a bit of beard prep through this alone, especially with an UltraLather. Some may know my affinity for SEs is because I couldn't get a good shave from a traditional DE. The more flexible DE blade would vibrate against the coarseness of my beard and lead to tons of weepers, especially with the sharper blades like Feathers. Enter the Slant bar - the only way I can get a comfortable and blood free shave out of a DE blade. At least until this week when I did my Cold Water Shave (CWS) before my shower using using a Gillette Old with a Voskhod blade. What followed was my best shave with a non-slant DE ever; smooth, comfortable, and best of all blood free. I've continued to follow this procedure with all my following shaves this week but I went back to my Sledgehammer Slant using a Rapira blade (which I've never used before). Still, no blood (nicks, cuts, weepers, nothing) and just enjoyable and very close shaves that are irritation free. I plan on continuing this further with my beloved SEs to see if I can even see an improvement in my shaves with them.

Now, to my questions about this. First, does anyone else follow this type of routine? If so, then what got you to try this when it's the opposite of what is usually recommended? Second, can anyone offer a hypothesis as to why this is working so well for me? And finally, is anyone else willing to give this a try and report back their findings? Don't think you have to sacrifice your hot water to mimic my CWS since I normally CWS. Use your normal routine except try the shave before the shower instead of after. I am very curious to see if this is only a YMMV type of thing or if this could be an alternative recommendation for those that might not be getting the best results with the more "traditional" approach to traditional shaving.

Thanks for any and all help!

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 06-08-2012, 08:55 PM
#2
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I shave without prep quite frequently because I shower before bed sometimes. You may be getting a better shave because you are being more conscious of your lather a letting it work into your beard better. The best prep is good lather and giving it time to strip the oils of your beard and hydrating it.

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 06-09-2012, 01:23 AM
#3
  • ben74
  • Administrator
  • Perth, Australia
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I often shave in the shower, especially during winter. I was advised a long time ago to wait about 20 minutes or so from the time of waking to shaving, something about the face being less swollen or something like that, so apart from hot water, that's about my only prep routine.

The idea behind cold water shaves is that the hair remains stiffer and is more easily cut.

If it works for you stick with it.

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 06-09-2012, 05:52 AM
#4
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(06-08-2012, 06:34 PM)SharpSpine Wrote: Now, to my questions about this. First, does anyone else follow this type of routine? If so, then what got you to try this when it's the opposite of what is usually recommended? Second, can anyone offer a hypothesis as to why this is working so well for me? And finally, is anyone else willing to give this a try and report back their findings? Don't think you have to sacrifice your hot water to mimic my CWS since I normally CWS. Use your normal routine except try the shave before the shower instead of after. I am very curious to see if this is only a YMMV type of thing or if this could be an alternative recommendation for those that might not be getting the best results with the more "traditional" approach to traditional shaving.

Thanks for any and all help!

(06-08-2012, 08:55 PM)SteelTown Wrote: I shave without prep quite frequently because I shower before bed sometimes. You may be getting a better shave because you are being more conscious of your lather a letting it work into your beard better. The best prep is good lather and giving it time to strip the oils of your beard and hydrating it.

We recently developed a slow leak somewhere from the drain pipe from the upstairs bathtub to where I can see water damage in my garage ceiling 2 floors down,if shower times reasonably fast it's way better,at least until I can repair it,so a few weeks ago I began shaving before my shower.

I think Steeltown's got it,I call it going fast by starting slow.I stumbled onto it because I head shave.Soon as I jump out of bed I lather head & face immediately then let it sit a minute or 2 while I get other stuff ready to face the day.

I headshave first,while occasionally dabbing some water on my face lather to maintain moisture.Headshave takes maybe 5 minutes and by then the whiskers on my face are waving the white flag of surrender.This really taught me that a through prep without rushing makes shaving much more effortless.

When finished I set my razor in a plastic container of extremely hot tap water to soak while I shower.

Showering afterwards,knowing everything's being rinsed away is kind of a good clean feeling.

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 06-09-2012, 05:58 AM
#5
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Yes, I agree that the best prep is simply giving your initial lather time to sit on your face before that first pass. However, I've been doing that for a long time now, even post-shower. I still have a noticeable improvement with my pre-shower shave. I used a SE today for the first time with this routine (Valet AutoStrop VC1) and OH MY WORD, it was simply sublime.

The biggest problem I am noticing with this routine is that I'm not using my boar brushes as much since I like to give them plenty of time to soak, especially since none of them are fully broken in yet. If I wasn't concerned about waking my 2yr old and 2month old, then I'd get a cup of coffee or two while it soaked, but that's not worth this risk currently.

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 06-09-2012, 06:01 AM
#6
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I shave before I shower as well, with great results. My routine is basically...

1) splash my face with warm to hot water for about 20-30 seconds.
2) pre shave face wash
3) little bit of pre-shave on my neck
4) Lather on my face and then let it sit on the face for a few minutes while I brush my teeth
5) Go to town with the razor!

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 06-09-2012, 06:38 AM
#7
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Could be that your skin is sensitive and less exfoliation is better for you. By skipping the shower, pre-shave face washing and using a softer brush you are eliminating a lot of additional exfoliation steps and are leaving your skin in better condition for shaving.

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 06-09-2012, 06:56 AM
#8
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Brian - another factor may be that hot water shave prep or showering tends to dilate the capillaries near the skin surface, making it more vulnerable to bleeding.

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 06-09-2012, 06:57 AM
#9
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Pre-shower shaver here. This isn't a thought out routine on my part, just a remnant from years of habit. I like knowing I can get all the shave cream off my face in the shower. Now I like it because I use alum on my face after shaving and the shower is the best way to get it all off.

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 06-09-2012, 06:59 AM
#10
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(06-09-2012, 06:56 AM)wknicholas Wrote: Brian - another factor may be that hot water shave prep or showering tends to dilate the capillaries near the skin surface, making it more vulnerable to bleeding.

Nick, I've thought that before too. This was why I followed my shower with a heavy dose of cold water rinses, but it's very possible that it wasn't enough to counteract the time in the hot shower.

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 06-09-2012, 07:14 AM
#11
  • bullgoose
  • The Enabler
  • Redondo Beach, California, U.S.A
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I too shave before my shower with great results. I do wash my face with Mr. Glo prior to shaving but, that is really my only prep.

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 06-09-2012, 09:38 AM
#12
  • syngent
  • Senior Member
  • Oshawa, Canada
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i would say i had to at least wash my face first,.. but then i work around some nasty things and wouldnt want a speck of rust off some warranty part from a car that is hidden in some stuble to catch the edge of the blade or lodge itself into the brush to be found later,..

and all the fumes from cars around dont do much for the skin so a good cleanse is a must for me, i dont think i would trust a simple splash, but other then that i have shaved before a shower one multipul occasions, i find i prefer after for the most part but its nice to not have a fogged up mirror when doing it before hand

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 06-09-2012, 10:29 AM
#13
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Brian, i have been cold-water shaving for a few months now, and do find it better with not seeing so much irritation as using hot water. i do not plan on changing this method as i am getting very good results. As Nick said and others on other forums, the cold water might keep the blood away from the surface of the skin to lessen the possibility of bleeding easily. i actually never shower before or after shaving, but shower in the evening after work as i ride my bike to and from work and shave in the early mornings before work. Having followed this method for three months, now, i do not plan on going back to hot water shaving. In the winter i may use luke-warm water interspersed with cold water, but most will be cold.
Welcome to the cold-water club! Smile

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 06-09-2012, 10:59 AM
#14
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I also shave before showering, if it's a morning before work shave. With a night shave, no showering involved. I always use cold water. Lately since warm weather and warmer cold tap water, I'm using iced water in a bowl. Only cold water shaving for me.

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 06-09-2012, 12:35 PM
#15
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Brian my shaves never coincide with my showers since I shower at night and shave in the morning.

You'd never get me to CWS, did it once months ago and it brought back memories of being in the field and having more than enough of that crap. It's warm to hot water for me. Warm water this time of year, 130°F or more in the winter.

But I love the procedure you outlined. If my mind is present for the shave it works out, if not and I realize it I use one of my milder razors. But I use that prep every day or a minor variation by adding a hot towel.

Just curious, do you feel like making a normal lather instead of an UL and seeing if that's the difference?

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 06-10-2012, 06:57 AM
#16
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(06-09-2012, 06:59 AM)SharpSpine Wrote:
(06-09-2012, 06:56 AM)wknicholas Wrote: Brian - another factor may be that hot water shave prep or showering tends to dilate the capillaries near the skin surface, making it more vulnerable to bleeding.

Nick, I've thought that before too. This was why I followed my shower with a heavy dose of cold water rinses, but it's very possible that it wasn't enough to counteract the time in the hot shower.

I figured you were well aware of that! Smile

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 06-11-2012, 04:09 AM
#17
  • EHV
  • Senior Member
  • Milford,PA
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My method is exactly as Joe's is with the addition of distilled water for my brush soak and lather building. All of the water and post shave rinse is room temp. with the addition of a final cold water rinse.
I use Mr. Glo for the pre-shave wash and then some Proraso Pre-shave all over.

I shower after the shave and rinse everything away plus the shower water seems to give me a final soothing of any irritation as long as it's not too hot.

I think that the real reason that I started this was because I can't stand to shave in a post-shower humid/warm bathroom. It makes me uncomfortable and I feel rushed to get out of that environment.

It is interesting that you mention SE's and the Slant and keeping away from the blade flex and then turning to the cold water shave. I am using more aggressive DE for the most part without much success with the milder ones, (Feather SS, Ikon SK9, Schick Krona)and I wonder if the pre-shower shave has any effect on that with the possibility of less softened facial hair.

(06-09-2012, 06:01 AM)RazoRock_Joe Wrote: I shave before I shower as well, with great results. My routine is basically...

1) splash my face with warm to hot water for about 20-30 seconds.
2) pre shave face wash
3) little bit of pre-shave on my neck
4) Lather on my face and then let it sit on the face for a few minutes while I brush my teeth
5) Go to town with the razor!

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 10-31-2012, 02:21 PM
#18
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I shave before a shower but clean my face with a natural soap such as Dr.Bronners bar soap and scrub with a loofa, I don't use shave oils or after shave, or balms, of course I use our brand of shaving cream

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