07-19-2015, 03:20 PM
#1
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(1)  what exactly is wet shaving?

is it a drug store razor + shave soap?  or do you need a straight edge/safety razor?

Currently, I only shave once a week.  I trim with a electric razor so my beard is stub length.  Than I use a liquid electric pre-shave and very little shaving cream and use a top of the line rotatory electric razor for 90% of my beard.  After, I use normal amount of shaving cream and gillette fusion razor for sensitive areas (high cheek/under eye and under neck) and side burns (because a rotatory isn’t for side burns).  So have I been wet shaving or dry shaving?

(2)  What’s best for skin?

I don’t necessary want to ditch my electric razor because I paid $300 for it a month ago, plus I think it works great for 90% of my beard and is easier to use.  
I don’t want to use only gillette fusion razors because the blades are expensive (have thick hair, so they barely last) and for 90% of my beard I think my electric razor does just as good as a job and is a lot easier.
But, how does your safety razors/straight edge razors compare to gillette fusion?  Gillette tries to market it self and say they have comfort strips and what not, but from what I read nothing beats your old school razors.

Basically, should I stick to my electric razor for 90% of my beard and gillette fusion for the sensitive areas OR stick to my electric razor for 90% of my beard and use a safety/straight edge razor for the sensitive areas?  OR just use a safety/straight edge razor for everything?

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 07-19-2015, 03:27 PM
#2
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I say stick to what works for you.  To me this is part of my lifestyle, not a hobby, so I use the tools that get the job done.

Having said that, you can always try the DE, SE, or Straight razor experience without breaking the bank.

Welcome to TSN.

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 07-19-2015, 03:44 PM
#3
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Only you can answer your question

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 07-19-2015, 03:52 PM
#4
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(07-19-2015, 03:20 PM)jasonfodor Wrote: (1)  what exactly is wet shaving?

is it a drug store razor + shave soap?  or do you need a straight edge/safety razor?

Currently, I only shave once a week.  I trim with a electric razor so my beard is stub length.  Than I use a liquid electric pre-shave and very little shaving cream and use a top of the line rotatory electric razor for 90% of my beard.  After, I use normal amount of shaving cream and gillette fusion razor for sensitive areas (high cheek/under eye and under neck) and side burns (because a rotatory isn’t for side burns).  So have I been wet shaving or dry shaving?

(2)  What’s best for skin?

I don’t necessary want to ditch my electric razor because I paid $300 for it a month ago, plus I think it works great for 90% of my beard and is easier to use.  
I don’t want to use only gillette fusion razors because the blades are expensive (have thick hair, so they barely last) and for 90% of my beard I think my electric razor does just as good as a job and is a lot easier.
But, how does your safety razors/straight edge razors compare to gillette fusion?  Gillette tries to market it self and say they have comfort strips and what not, but from what I read nothing beats your old school razors.

Basically, should I stick to my electric razor for 90% of my beard and gillette fusion for the sensitive areas OR stick to my electric razor for 90% of my beard and use a safety/straight edge razor for the sensitive areas?  OR just use a safety/straight edge razor for everything?

I never found an electric shaver that worked well so no experience there. I used a Gillette Fusion 5 blade since the day they came out until the beginning of this year when I switched to a Edwin Jagger DE89Lbl safety razor. I can tell you that I will never go back, however that does not mean you will like it. Shaving has become a hobby and a passionate one at that for me now. I shave every day now instead of every other or three days with the Fusion. I enjoy lathering soaps most of all and enjoying the scents. My only advice would be to maybe try a DE safety razor with a nice soap and brush to see if you like it, and if not then continue with your Gillette and electric. Best of luck.

If you stick with your razors then you might want to at least change to a shaving soap and brush so you aren't using chemicals on your face that are found in the canned cremes.

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 07-19-2015, 04:53 PM
#5
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You haft to have the patience to learn the skill. Your first shaves with an old school razor usually won't be all that good however if you take the time to learn it you'll get much better shaves IMO. I wore a stubble beard or whatever you want to call it and shaved just as you did for years because like you I have a viking beard and the cost of fusions was ridiculous. I started wets having hated it and went back to my beard. Finally I stuck it out learned the craft and haven't looked back since and now I hate facial hair.

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 07-19-2015, 04:55 PM
#6
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Electrics worked OK at best for me.  I also couldn't bring myself to spend almost as much for replacement heads as I spent for the whole razor.  I can't pull a razor with more than two blades through my stubble without a serious argument, plus those 5+ blade carts are soooo expensive.  I can't fathom spending that much for something that doesn't work well.  So I had to give traditional wet shaving a try.

I started out with a vintage Gillette Super Speed that I won on eBay for $.99.  Shipping couldn't have been more than $5, and a Schick injector was included.  I got a $10 badger shaving brush from Target, and my wife made me some shaving soap.  Blades for the Super Speed were something like $2.00 from the drug store.  Even for as little as I spent and with as little experience as I had, I still got a pretty good shave the first time I tried it.  I later found out that my dad had some old DEs laying around that he was happy to give me (though he kept his Slim adjustable), so my collection expanded a bit more for free.

I can't speak for straights, as I haven't tried one.  I may pick up a shavette to dip my toe in those waters at some point.

You'll really need to try it to see if it's for you, but you can try it pretty inexpensively.  You might not have the best equipment (though vintage DEs and SEs are plentiful, and many good ones are reasonably priced), but you'll at least get the idea.

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 07-19-2015, 07:37 PM
#7
  • Mel S Meles
  • On the edge, ouch
  • 44.4899° south of the North Pole
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(07-19-2015, 03:20 PM)jasonfodor Wrote: (1)  what exactly is wet shaving?
is it a drug store razor + shave soap?  or do you need a straight edge/safety razor?

You will see two separate and distinct schools of thought on that issue on this board.  Although there are marginal variations at the edges of the two groups, they break down thus:  
  1. You must use a blade that places only one edge at a time on the face, and that blade must be capable of drawing blood in the act of shaving, or else you are not “wet shaving”;
  2. If the shave prep includes the use of a brush to build lather, then you are “wet shaving.”
Usually, the adherents of the first point of view insist that any person who shaves with a cartridge razor must — on penalty of death — also use aerosol supermarket shaving cream for beard preparation, and (as a not necessary corollary) when shaving with a DE or straight razor, one may not — on penalty of death — use an aerosol supermarket shave cream.  That is, there is a presumed ironclad correlation between cartridge razors and aerosol foams, regardless of actual experience and evidence to the contrary.

(07-19-2015, 03:20 PM)jasonfodor Wrote: (2)  What’s best for skin?

Your mileage may vary (YMMV), but my bride, who is a native-born Asian from a region where the women are reputed to have the very clearest skin, and who takes care of her complexion daily with various lotions and night creams, daily compliments me, an older codger, on the exceptional clearness and vibrant quality of my complexion.  I engage in “wet shaving” according to the second of the two definitions above.

(07-19-2015, 03:20 PM)jasonfodor Wrote: I don’t necessary want to ditch my electric razor because I paid $300 for it a month ago, plus I think it works great for 90% of my beard and is easier to use.  
I don’t want to use only gillette fusion razors because the blades are expensive (have thick hair, so they barely last) and for 90% of my beard I think my electric razor does just as good as a job and is a lot easier.
But, how does your safety razors/straight edge razors compare to gillette fusion?  Gillette tries to market it self and say they have comfort strips and what not, but from what I read nothing beats your old school razors.

You set a very low bar when you ask the members of this forum to compare shaving techniques with a Gillette Fusion.  Look, just because Gillette has a huge advertising budget, and it gets pride of placement on the shelves of your local Kroger or Target or Wal-Mart, that should not make it the standard against which to compare other methods of shaving.  

For the first ten years that I had to shave my face, I used an electric razor, and I was happy with the results — although I did not make the connection at the time that the electric shaver was the proximate cause of my suffering ingrown hairs under the skin of my neck.  For four decades after switching to “wet shaving” (second definition above), I used various Gillette brand cartridge razors, because I did not know any better, and — exactly because I did not know any better, and because I no longer suffered ingrown hairs on my neck — I was blissfully satisfied.  When I switched to Schick cartridge systems, I had an experience of satori that Gillette was not the center of the shaving universe.  And I since have learned from experience that the Feather MR3 neo cartridge razor is as much better than the best Schick (Hydro3) as the Schick Hydro3 is better than the Gillette Fusion.

That said, a “traditional” double-edge razor with the proper blade (blade choice is the ultimate YMMV, because skin types and beard types differ) can give you a shave almost as close and almost as smooth as a Feather MR3 neo can give you, with a “fun factor” added:  compare the Feather MR3 neo to a modern sedan with a smooth automatic transmission and power steering and power brakes and climate control and multi-speaker stereo system and GPS, and compare a DE razor and blade to an elbows-out, wind blowing through your hair, roadster sports car with a manual transmission and quicker-than-quick but manual steering:  either will get you from point A to point B, but the experiences may be very different.


(07-19-2015, 03:20 PM)jasonfodor Wrote: Basically, should I stick to my electric razor for 90% of my beard and gillette fusion for the sensitive areas OR stick to my electric razor for 90% of my beard and use a safety/straight edge razor for the sensitive areas?  OR just use a safety/straight edge razor for everything?

Discard any option where the words Gillette Fusion are involved.

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 07-19-2015, 09:32 PM
#8
  • Johnny
  • MODERATOR EMERITUS
  • Wausau, Wisconsin, USA
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We are all different and you have to use what best suits your needs.

However, to answer your first question, what is wet shaving; wet shaving involves water, a brush, and either a hard shaving soap or shaving cream and you use the brush to build lather to put on your face.

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 07-19-2015, 11:08 PM
#9
  • ben74
  • Senior Member
  • Perth, Australia
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Wet shaving is simply "a shave in which lather and a razor are used, as opposed to an electric shaver."

This encompasses everything from canned foam and carts to more traditional tools and water (whether hot or cold).

Traditional wet shaving is perhaps most easily defined as “the kind of shaving your grandfather probably did.”

This encompasses using more traditional single edge razors like the Straight, Injector and Double Edge Safety Razor; and lather made from soap with water and a brush.

Essentially what draws people to forums such as ours is the need for a better shaving experience.

Many members here have suffered poor results with modern multi edged razors and ready to use foams and gels.

Embracing more traditionally inspired tools and products has for many transformed a painful chore in to a passionate hobby.

However, just as every face looks different, different techniques and tools have different results, hence the many discussions and variety of opinions shared here.

"YMMV" is the only one single constant or inescapable universal truth.

Please don't be polarised by opinions that assert there must be opposing factions within the shaving world and remember not to take it it too seriously, its just shaving...

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 07-20-2015, 02:10 AM
#10
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What Ben said - even if the majority of shavers on the forum uses "wetshaving" as a short form of "traditional wetshaving".

Use an electric if that works for you - it's your face after all - but don't hesitate to dump the cart for a different cart or a single blade if that works out better for you.

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 07-20-2015, 04:30 AM
#11
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I used to use a sensor excel or mach 3 to clean up areas other than set length stubble (using a Remington or Wahl razor). Now I use a DE or a straight razor. To be honest the difference is minimal. Yes I get to use a nice brush a razor which requires more skill and 'haelthier' products, which is why I enjoy it, but again my skin never 'suffered' initially. The biggest improvement with the straight is accuracy when lining the beard. Definitely do whatever suits you best.

Sent from my HTC One_M8 using Tapatalk

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 07-20-2015, 06:35 AM
#12
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I used an foil electric shaver for a few weeks, it was a birthday gift. I later used a cheap travel rotary, only for a few days. They never felt that great or comfortable. Having seen the alleged closeup of cut hairs after they have been cut by a shaver compared to the clean cut of a cart/SE/DE I will stick to the latter. I would prefer a trimmer and stubble look over a standard electric shaver.  YMMV, terms and conditions apply etc

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 07-20-2015, 07:48 AM
#13
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Only you can be the judge of that.

If you're curious and got some money to burn you can get a decent setup pretty cheaply. Safety razors aren't necessarily pricey and neither are brushes. Blades are dirt cheap, and your local grocery store or pharmacy likely stock some shaving cream or soap. It will not set you back a lot.

For many of us, that initial purchase was a very slippery slope however Biggrin

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 07-20-2015, 07:51 AM
#14
  • Wrathen
  • Senior Member
  • Gulf Breeze, FL
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I found my skin never liked any of the electrics I tried and I do my head and face so alot of surface area every other day. I moved to wet shaving with a safety razor to get away from buying expensive cartridges. Now I love the process and the relaxing peace of mind I get when I shave.

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 07-20-2015, 08:39 AM
#15
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:-) Maybe we should call it traditional wet blade shaving ?

OP, you need to experiment to find what works best for you. But I just have to comment... WOW! $300 for an electric!? If I had to save $ on shaving I can't imaging how long I could shave on that budget and get (in my case) better and far more enjoyable shaves. I hated shaving when I was using a Norelco and later, a cartridge. It was boring and frustrating.

But ultimately the way you shave is up to you. It costs little to experiment, especially with vintage razors. Any lathering technique you learn will only benefit you since the lather you make will be far better than anything out of a can.

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 07-20-2015, 08:48 AM
#16
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(07-20-2015, 08:39 AM)ShadowsDad Wrote: Maybe we should call it traditional wet blade shaving ?

The disposable blades for Feather Artist Club and Kai Captain razors use the most modern technology designed for precision medical instruments. Synthetic brushes use the latest developments in fiber technology. When is traditional really traditional?  Blush

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 07-20-2015, 08:58 AM
#17
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You'll never find out until you, at least, try it and dedicate some time to it, really. What have you got to lose, except a small amount of money on a decent starter kit. You can always go back to your electric razor if it doesn't suit you.
Best of luck. Smile

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 07-20-2015, 10:37 AM
#18
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I don't think there is any official definition of wet shaving.  I will loosely define it for myself by saying that wet shaving is that which involves lather created by adding water to soap or cream and building it up with a brush, then applying it to your face with the brush.  What kind of razor is used will vary from person to person, but most people's definition of wet shaving will not include an electric razor.

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 07-20-2015, 10:53 AM
#19
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IMO, if you are only shaving 1 day a week it will take some time to get used to the intricacies of "wet shaving" with a Double Edge or Single Edge Razor. As commented above, for most of us this is more than just facial hair maintenance and has become a hobby we are all passionate about. We invest both the time and money trying different things to find out what works best for us as different blades and razor combinations work differently.

Unless you could foresee yourself shaving more regularly(which could happen if you switched completely to the "old school" style of shaving), stick with what you know. Just my 0.02.

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 07-20-2015, 10:58 AM
#20
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(07-20-2015, 10:37 AM)FenderMan Wrote: I don't think there is any official definition of wet shaving.  I will loosely define it for myself by saying that wet shaving is that which involves lather created by adding water to soap or cream and building it up with a brush, then applying it to your face with the brush.  What kind of razor is used will vary from person to person, but most people's definition of wet shaving will not include an electric razor.

Modern electrics are now using shaving foam and gels. There are many DE shavers that still use Foamy and Barbasol or straight razors users using the latest gels and brushless creams. My definition is that if you are running water whilst shaving, that is wet shaving  Cool . But what about the electric shavers using shaving gels and foams....Hmmm


[Image: Dan-Carter-Shaving.jpg]

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