07-20-2015, 05:33 PM
#1
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Today I had a sensational shave with Mike's Natural, Paladin PK-47 and a Wolfman OC loaded with a Voskhod blade.  It was pretty much all over BBS, no discomfort, no sting, no redness.  Finished nicely with some Lucky Tiger AS.

We've all had experiences with certain products that didn't work as expected or worked well one day and not so well another.  I just saw someone mention that he had the worst shave ever trying a Voskhod blade, a blade which worked very very well for me today.  Was it solely the blade that was responsible for the poor shave?

After today's shave I realized that my great shave was the result of the sum of the parts.  The blade, razor, lather all worked together to provide a great shaving experience.  I'm sure that the quality of the lather can be attributed to the brush, the soap and my technique. The way the razor held the blade and allowed the blade to perform to it's potential as well as the lather having the right combination of slickness, cushion and protection were all necessary components of this excellent shave. Of course experience and concentration must be present as well.  No single element makes a great shave. 

I have to wonder if having a rotation of products, razors etc. contributes to a level of uncertainty with each shave. I'm tempted to repeat this particular combination for a while to see if I get consistent repeatable results.  I know there are a few stout souls who rely upon a very limited range of gear to get the job done... I may become one of them and only occasionally change a variable, e.g. a different soap now and then. 

But really who am I kidding? I love switching products, trying new combinations of brush, lather, blade and razor, as well as post shave treatment.

Your thoughts?

Cheers!

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 07-20-2015, 06:24 PM
#2
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I doubt you'll last three weeks with the same gear before craving to change something, especially, the soap (scent).  Biggrin  Best of luck in your endeavour!

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 07-20-2015, 07:59 PM
#3
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I think that if you change things around randomly you'll progress at a snails pace, never knowing what worked and what was responsible for failure. You may forever be doomed to always be a noob if you choose chaos.

The alternative is to stay with what you know for now, changing nothing, but working on refining technique and getting it right every time. After you have completely mastered what you're presently using and know what happens when you do X differently, then change one item and I mean only one item. See what effect that has and stay with that for a time. Keep learning by that method. In no time at all you'll know exactly what has what effect and you'll be able to change many variables at once and not get into trouble. If you're sharp you will completely master blade shaving in a few months.

BTW, what I just described for you is called scientific method and it's been the standard way for rapid progress for millennia. It works faster than chaotic learning every time.

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 07-21-2015, 02:44 AM
#4
  • BobH
  • Senior Member
  • Thunder Bay Canada
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(07-20-2015, 07:59 PM)ShadowsDad Wrote: I think that if you change things around randomly you'll progress at a snails pace, never knowing what worked and what was responsible for failure. You may forever be doomed to always be a noob if you choose chaos.

The alternative is to stay with what you know for now, changing nothing, but working on refining technique and getting it right every time. After you have completely mastered what you're presently using and know what happens when you do X differently, then change one item and I mean only one item. See what effect that has and stay with that for a time. Keep learning by that method. In no time at all you'll know exactly what has what effect and you'll be able to change many variables at once and not get into trouble. If you're sharp you will completely master blade shaving in a few months.

BTW, what I just described for you is called scientific method and it's been the standard way for rapid progress for millennia. It works faster than chaotic learning every time.

+1 to those words to live by especially for beginners. I have seen too many beginners that are having poor results shaving blame it on the, take your pick, razor, brush or soap. The reality is not that the equipment is lacking but the person's technique that is lacking. They go down a rabbit hole buying more expensive razors, brushes and soaps chasing a good shave. In the end they never really know what it was that made the difference in getting a good shave. By the time they do get consistently good shaves it is likely their, by then, much improved technique has been the major factor and not the gear.

Bob

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 07-21-2015, 05:19 AM
#5
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I congratulate you on your quest.  With all the gear I own, I couldn't stick to just one thing.  Having said that, the gear I own is one that I like and work for me 100% of the time.

Keep at it!

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 07-21-2015, 06:00 AM
#6
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Hector, I didn't write that he shouldn't buy gear, only that he shouldn't use it at this time. Frankly, right now he doesn't know enough to do anything more than to buy chaotically. It might work and it might not, but in a few months of actually learning to become a shaving Jedi he'll be able to know what he wants and more importantly to use it effectively.

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 07-21-2015, 06:31 AM
#7
  • slr31
  • Senior Member
  • Garden City, India
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(07-20-2015, 07:59 PM)ShadowsDad Wrote: I think that if you change things around randomly you'll progress at a snails pace, never knowing what worked and what was responsible for failure. You may forever be doomed to always be a noob if you choose chaos.

The alternative is to stay with what you know for now, changing nothing, but working on refining technique and getting it right every time. After you have completely mastered what you're presently using and know what happens when you do X differently, then change one item and I mean only one item. See what effect that has and stay with that for a time. Keep learning by that method. In no time at all you'll know exactly what has what effect and you'll be able to change many variables at once and not get into trouble. If you're sharp you will completely master blade shaving in a few months.

BTW, what I just described for you is called scientific method and it's been the standard way for rapid progress for millennia. It works faster than chaotic learning every time.

+1. Great advise.

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 07-21-2015, 06:33 AM
#8
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(07-21-2015, 06:00 AM)ShadowsDad Wrote: Hector, I didn't write that he shouldn't buy gear, only that he shouldn't use it at this time. Frankly, right now he doesn't know enough to do anything more than to buy chaotically. It might work and it might not, but in a few months of actually learning to become a shaving Jedi he'll be able to know what he wants and more importantly to use it effectively.

I agree with you.  I don't know why are you quoting me since I didn't addressed anything you typed  Huh   I was speaking for myself.  Time to move alone!  Unbelievable.....

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 07-21-2015, 07:52 AM
#9
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Brian- thanks for your thoughtful and informative response.

I don't actually have any issue with the "chaos" of using several different razors, brushes, soaps, blades and as treatments.  I generally get excellent shaves, albeit with some variability to the quality of the outcome, usually BBS or close to it.

My post was more a reflection on the evaluation of a product without factoring in the dependence upon the rest of the kit.  I often see people dismissing a product's performance as YMMV without using the scientific method as you have described.  Certainly the only way to honestly evaluate a product is through the scientific method.  Also I think that technique is also underestimated.  Lather can work better or worse not only dependent upon the water and brush, but the skill with which it is made... razors and blades are especially dependent upon technique.

I was inspired by the confluence of products and technique that gave me such a great shave yesterday...flawless if I might say.  Of course I continue to try new products and combinations of products. I do foresee a day when my den shrinks to fewer elements, although I don't have anything in the den that can't work well in one combination or another.

Let's hear if for the science of shaving.

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 07-21-2015, 08:09 AM
#10
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That's why I stuck with one razor when evaluating a bunch of different blades. The only problem is that I have other razors. Working my way through all the different combinations is going to take a while. Smile

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 07-21-2015, 02:16 PM
#11
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Yeah, well... I used a completely different setup today, and had a sweet BBS shave.

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 07-21-2015, 02:32 PM
#12
  • chazt
  • Senior Member
  • Bayside, NY
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(07-21-2015, 06:33 AM)hrfdez Wrote:
(07-21-2015, 06:00 AM)ShadowsDad Wrote: Hector, I didn't write that he shouldn't buy gear, only that he shouldn't use it at this time. Frankly, right now he doesn't know enough to do anything more than to buy chaotically. It might work and it might not, but in a few months of actually learning to become a shaving Jedi he'll be able to know what he wants and more importantly to use it effectively.

I agree with you.  I don't know why are you quoting me since I didn't addressed anything you typed  Huh   I was speaking for myself.  Time to move alone!  Unbelievable.....

My only impression was that Brian was just engaging in dialogue. That's why we come here, to talk about shaving  Biggrin

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 07-21-2015, 03:20 PM
#13
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(07-21-2015, 08:09 AM)Shannon Wrote: That's why I stuck with one razor when evaluating a bunch of different blades.  The only problem is that I have other razors.  Working my way through all the different combinations is going to take a while. Smile

I used the BBS-1 for several weeks when I first got it so that I could reduce the variables and check out different blades.  The big surprise for me was that Feather blades which had been terrible for me in other razors are great in the BBS-1.

Now I really only use three razors, sometimes a fourth when I travel.  I feel that I have a pretty good sense of which blades work best for each, the correct angle etc.

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 07-23-2015, 10:23 AM
#14
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I find that it is also the sum of the parts that leads to a perfect shave.  You may be able to get away with several combinations that work well, but if you substitute just one of those elements with a sub-par product and you can be in for a rude awakening.

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 07-31-2015, 05:16 PM
#15
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I agree with what many have said here.  After getting to a basic competence of DE shaving with my first razor, a Muhle R89, I got the acquisition bug like many here and I bought a bunch of soaps, brushes, and a handful of different razors.   And i will admit that switching razors and soaps all the time has resulted in some fluctuation in the quality of my shaves.

But I will say that this has helped me learn:

-- What different types of brushes do and how best to use them

-- What kind of soaps work best for me

As for the razor, I think this is the variable that is best to keep constant until you have a certain degree of proficiency.  I also think that unlike for some people, the razor makes enough difference in the quality of my shaves that I foresee narrowing down the number I have to somewhere between 1-3 at the most.   Then narrowing down the soaps and brushes to 7+ for a weekly rotation.

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