05-27-2016, 01:40 AM
#1
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So yesterday was the day. I had acquired all of the basics, a razor, blades, soap and a brush. I woke up around 8:30 am and sat everything out, excited, but hopefully about my new path to a better shave.


I had purchased a mini gift set of White Birch and tobacco butter from Burlington Coat Factory. So, it wasn't a puck, nor really cream. It all ready had the yogurt consistency in the jar. It smelled more menthol than anything. No idea what white birch smelt like, and the tobacco smell was faint. I then pulled out the synthetic brush that came with the gift set and wasn't impressed.

I picked up my Shave Factory (Derby) razor bought from Sally's Beauty Supply and dropped it onto the tile floor. Should have taken that as a sign, but I inspected it and saw nothing wrong (as if I could tell) and proceeded. I placed the razor and the brush in my mug filled with warm water and took a shower.

After the shower I began by taking a dime sized mount of the cream with water and placed it is the mug and tried to work up a lather. It only made the cream more milky. Another bad sign. No matter how much I tried, no lather. I checked the directions. Which were of no help. I finally stuck the brush directly in the cream and applied. I then realized this was possibly a brushless soap. I remembered a few guys mentioning that slightly in the limited reviews I had found online, but never processed what that meant to actually applying it. I proceeded to lather my face and head with the shaving soap. The smell was very minimal. The brush was able to lather ok. But, sadly I could get the blade to catch on my skin. I was able to shave without incident. I didn't have any nicks or cuts, mostly because I followed all the advice of light pressure, but the blade never really came into contact to cut substantial facial hair (which I had a 3-4 day growth of). Then, it happened, the cream started to run down my head into my eyes. Which made me ask should I be doing my face and head at the same time, or should it be done separately? So, now looking like Carrie (minus the red color of blood) with milky white goo running down my head into my eyes, distracting my rhythm while applying a sharp blade to my face and head-ah, living the dream! I decided to power through, but sadly had it running down my neck to my chest and stomach. It was a bloody mess, especially compounded by the fact I didn't see any hair in the sink after each rinse. I was not impressed with the Personna blade (a last minute substitute from the Astra). It seemed to sit to far in and not set out far enough. Will definitely consider upgrading to VDH, Astra and possibly Feather blades-hell anything else, maybe a rusty soup can lid.

I had planned to do 2 passes WTG only (remember it my first time). But after the 2nd pass left me with a goatee stubble (under the nose, mouth and chin) and virtually no hair removed from the back of my head. I finished and went to take a nap, but couldn't sleep, because I needed to address my failure. So, I got up and did one final pass against the grain and did not duplicate the messy disaster of earlier. I got mostly all of the hair that remained. I still had some very light hair on my cheeks. But, I felt it was good enough as I concluded I would also need to refine my technique by much more practice. It was the closest shave I have had in a long time.

Immediate takeaways: I got over my anxiety of having the blade contact my skin (when it did) so that's gone. The knowledge that my face has many more subtle contours than I knew-but thankfully no cuts or nicks occured. That I need to do more research on the selection and use of my tools and products. Also watch more videos, ask questions on the forum, educate myself by reading other members posts on the forum. I concluded it's the long game I need to focus on and the goal was to improve.

So all in all, not dissuaded, just a lot discouraged, because I thought I had prepared well for my first time-not even close: "Beware mileage may vary". I'll be doing it again, but I don't know if I'm suppose to shave everyday or when I have growth after a few days. I did feel manly, but the little girl in me died a messy death to achieve that.

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 05-27-2016, 02:54 AM
#2
  • chazt
  • Senior Member
  • Bayside, NY
User Info
Little to no blood is a good thing. Be patient, do it again. As you add new products, add them one at a time so you get to understand the idiosyncracies of that one product. Then move on to the next one after a week of shaves.

You'll get better at it. Good luck and enjoy your shaves Smile

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 05-27-2016, 03:21 AM
#3
  • jtmke
  • Ex shaving hater
  • milwaukee
User Info
It sounds as though you were using a bad angle of attack. Before blaming the blade or razor work on your technique. Start with the cap of the razor touching your skin and come down with the handle until the blade makes contact. This and remember not to put any pressure on the razor when the blade is against your skin. 

As for lather, I am unfamiliar with your choice in soap/cream/lotion?  For a couple bucks you can get a puck of VdH which is an excellent performer for sub $5. Load heavy until you get the hang of the soap.

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 05-27-2016, 05:04 AM
#4
  • BobH
  • Senior Member
  • Thunder Bay Canada
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(05-27-2016, 03:21 AM)jtmke Wrote: It sounds as though you were using a bad angle of attack. Before blaming the blade or razor work on your technique. Start with the cap of the razor touching your skin and come down with the handle until the blade makes contact. This and remember not to put any pressure on the razor when the blade is against your skin. 

As for lather, I am unfamiliar with your choice in soap/cream/lotion?  For a couple bucks you can get a puck of VdH which is an excellent performer for sub $5. Load heavy until you get the hang of the soap.


Yup, find the right angle. VDH Luxury is a little better than VDH Deluxe from my experience and not much different in price. Arko is even cheaper and I think produces a better lather.

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 05-28-2016, 07:30 PM
#5
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I started my adolescent shaving years ago with a DE razor and a dad to teach me real time and in the flesh.  Do you have a buddy near who is a DE user who could help?  I'm sure you have watched some of the YouTube shave jockeys, many of whom are a wealth of knowledge.  shoot, if you would like, pm me and I'd set up a FaceTime session. If  itd help.

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 05-29-2016, 02:42 AM
#6
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imho I think you story is good reading material and worthy of publication and not just here.

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 05-29-2016, 04:11 AM
#7
  • chazt
  • Senior Member
  • Bayside, NY
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A quick surf indicated he's posted his story on at least one other forum Jack.

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 06-11-2016, 10:25 PM
#8
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Hang in there,you will get it!

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