02-08-2017, 10:39 AM
#1
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Gents--

This morning was my first attempt at shaving with a straight razor.

First of all I want to thank Dan (Doc47) for loaning me two beautiful straight razors (and a Weck) and for the pointers!  And thanks to Tim (Timwcic) for refering me to Dan.

So after watching a bunch of you tube videos, following Lynn A's advice I just did the right (dominant) side of my face, without the mustache.

The short version: no cuts, no nicks, and only a little mild irritation in the goatee/chin area.  The shave itself was not that close, but so what?  It's a start.

I resisted the urge to try the left side with my non-dominant hand -- I figured baby steps are the way to go.

One thing using a straight really highlights is how much thicker and denser the hairs are on the chin area.  The mild irritation I got was from hacking away a little too much in that area.

Overall, it's too early too tell if this will be for me, but I can see why straight shavers like it -- it takes a higher degree of attention, control, awareness and skill.

I'm looking forward to my next baby step...

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 02-08-2017, 10:44 AM
#2
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Best advice I can give is to keep trying.  I did the same as you but eventually worked up to using my non-dominate hand against the grain.

Glad you decided to try straight razors, you will enjoy the journey.

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 02-09-2017, 05:08 AM
#3
  • Steve56
  • Active Member
  • Knoxville, TN
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If you're getting irritation with a well-honed straight, it's probably the result of too high an angle and/or too much pressure. A straight razor exfoliates really well, and too much exfoliation is razor burn. The angle and pressure affects exfoliation a lot.

Cheers, Steve

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 02-09-2017, 08:00 AM
#4
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I have been using SR exclusively for about a year, and it has only been recently that I have my chin area figured out.  Less pressure and pull the skin as tight as I can which isn't easy with old floppy skin lol As a matter of fact all my mishaps are related to not having my skin pulled tight enough and the razor digging in or nicking me.

I am only using my non dominant hand for WTG passes, dominant hand for all ATG work.  After watching countless Anthony Esposito youtube videos I am mimicking his technique.  If it ain't broke don't fix it.

Keep plugging away.  It took me a good 90 to 120 shaves before I began to feel I had SR shaving figured out.  Incidentally about the time you are confident in your skills.....you will cut yourself.  Now if for some reason I feel I do not have the required focus for a SR shave I just put it down and pick up a DE.  A lesson painfully learned.

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 02-09-2017, 06:13 PM
#5
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Thanks for all the insight and tips!  I will keep at it.

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 02-10-2017, 12:58 PM
#6
  • doc47
  • Active Member
  • Northern Arizona
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Great suggestions, all! My 2 cents worth is to continue with the same attitude of going slow and progressing after mastery of the right cheek. The blade angle needs to be low, two spine widths above the skin should work in most spots. Pull your skin more than you think you need too. I suggest taking shorter strokes, but repeating them 2-3 times before moving on; it helps keep the pressure uniform. Master your right hand and then train your left unless you came out of the box semi-ambidextrous, in which case the blade will feel somewhat comfortable in your non-dominant hand. If you need to be clean shaven try this training trick. Use your normal razor for your first pass, then use the straight for your second pass. Here is why this can help, you stop worrying about how close you are getting and can focus just on technique. This works better than shaving after you SR shave to touch up. The important thing is that you enjoy the learning process.

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 02-10-2017, 01:06 PM
#7
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(02-10-2017, 12:58 PM)doc47 Wrote: Great suggestions, all! My 2 cents worth is to continue with the same attitude of going slow and progressing after mastery of the right cheek. The blade angle needs to be low, two spine widths above the skin should work in most spots. Pull your skin more than you think you need too. I suggest taking shorter strokes, but repeating them 2-3 times before moving on; it helps keep the pressure uniform. Master your right hand and then train your left unless you came out of the box semi-ambidextrous, in which case the blade will feel somewhat comfortable in your non-dominant hand. If you need to be clean shaven try this training trick. Use your normal razor for your first pass, then use the straight for your second pass. Here is why this can help, you stop worrying about how close you are getting and can focus just on technique. This works better than shaving after you SR shave to touch up. The important thing is that you enjoy the learning process.

Dan, that's great advice.  I actually thought about doing the same thing today after another attempt at the right cheek.  I did ok but ended up again with a patch of redness which I think came from not stretching enough and/or too much pressure.  I thought: doing the straight after the first pass might help get the motor skill/muscle memory down without having the blade fight as much stubble.  I think where I've gotten into a bit of trouble is when I'm tempted to hack away at it.

PS -- I used the Ran Tan Ka Rus Red Devil today.  What a beautiful razor.

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 02-10-2017, 02:04 PM
#8
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Glad the journey is going well. You will get your proficiency better with every shave.  Go slow with your non-dominant hand, go a little further every shave.

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 02-13-2017, 07:14 PM
#9
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Think of it as wiping your face....smooth fluid motions...just take your time and progress a little at a time....before you know it youll be doing your whole face. Just remember stretch the skin and try to keep the angle of the blade shallow and concistent

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 02-17-2017, 11:11 AM
#10
  • doc47
  • Active Member
  • Northern Arizona
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How are you doing with the straights? Still going well?

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 02-17-2017, 12:02 PM
#11
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Hi Dan--

I'm getting it, slowly.  I feel like my stropping has improved.  I've been giving my face a day of rest between shaves, which has slowed things down.  But I feel like I'm starting to get the feel for the angle better.  Last shave I got a little too careless and gave myself my first nick.  The point of the razor hit my ear lobe.  Barely even felt it.  

I'm going to keep at it!

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 02-17-2017, 03:44 PM
#12
  • doc47
  • Active Member
  • Northern Arizona
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The ear sure bleeds! Glad to hear you are progressing, let me know if you have any questions or issues.

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 02-17-2017, 10:04 PM
#13
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dear surfer;

great handle, being from santa monica!

there is nothing like the accomplishment you will feel when everything falls in place, you splash your face with water, find there is no hair, and no blood.  ufff....

and that will make you want to start honing, because the only accomplishment bigger than that is to do just that with an edge you just made... believe me, the grin in your face will last all day!

if your chin keeps giving you trouble, grow a goatee before you become a plastic surgeon! jajajajaja... just kiddin

best regards,

Pepe Peña

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 02-23-2017, 09:08 AM
#14
  • doc47
  • Active Member
  • Northern Arizona
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How is your progress going? Have you a preference of razor and have you tried the WECK?  Shy

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 03-02-2017, 06:13 PM
#15
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(02-08-2017, 10:39 AM)surfshaver Wrote: Gents--

This morning was my first attempt at shaving with a straight razor.

First of all I want to thank Dan (Doc47) for loaning me two beautiful straight razors (and a Weck) and for the pointers!  And thanks to Tim (Timwcic) for refering me to Dan.

So after watching a bunch of you tube videos, following Lynn A's advice I just did the right (dominant) side of my face, without the mustache.

The short version: no cuts, no nicks, and only a little mild irritation in the goatee/chin area.  The shave itself was not that close, but so what?  It's a start.

I resisted the urge to try the left side with my non-dominant hand -- I figured baby steps are the way to go.

One thing using a straight really highlights is how much thicker and denser the hairs are on the chin area.  The mild irritation I got was from hacking away a little too much in that area.

Overall, it's too early too tell if this will be for me, but I can see why straight shavers like it -- it takes a higher degree of attention, control, awareness and skill.

I'm looking forward to my next baby step...

After about six shaves using a straight blade, I have to ask myself why ? The learning curve is a pain, prep and razor maintenance is just added chores that take time. I have shaved in the tub with a DE for over 40 years with no problems, just don't see any real up side to this.

So it seems I will have a blade, strop and a very nice set of unused stones that I just don't think I will have any use for after this. Seriously, what is the point over something like a Rockwell or vintage Gillette that can get the job done in 1/4 the time.

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 03-03-2017, 04:54 AM
#16
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(03-02-2017, 06:13 PM)grayhane Wrote:
(02-08-2017, 10:39 AM)surfshaver Wrote: Gents--

This morning was my first attempt at shaving with a straight razor.

First of all I want to thank Dan (Doc47) for loaning me two beautiful straight razors (and a Weck) and for the pointers!  And thanks to Tim (Timwcic) for refering me to Dan.

So after watching a bunch of you tube videos, following Lynn A's advice I just did the right (dominant) side of my face, without the mustache.

The short version: no cuts, no nicks, and only a little mild irritation in the goatee/chin area.  The shave itself was not that close, but so what?  It's a start.

I resisted the urge to try the left side with my non-dominant hand -- I figured baby steps are the way to go.

One thing using a straight really highlights is how much thicker and denser the hairs are on the chin area.  The mild irritation I got was from hacking away a little too much in that area.

Overall, it's too early too tell if this will be for me, but I can see why straight shavers like it -- it takes a higher degree of attention, control, awareness and skill.

I'm looking forward to my next baby step...

After about six shaves using a straight blade, I have to ask myself why ? The learning curve is a pain, prep and razor maintenance is just added chores that take time. I have shaved in the tub with a DE for over 40 years with no problems, just don't see any real up side to this.

So it seems I will have a blade, strop and a very nice set of unused stones that I just don't think I will have any use for after this. Seriously, what is the point over something like a Rockwell or vintage Gillette that can get the job done in 1/4 the time.


Dear Gray;

The point is the journey.

Some of us rebels like a good challenge. We like to swim against the current. We are different. And we feel good for doing something not everybody can do.

With respect!

Let me ask you this? Why a Rockwell or vintage gillette? Will a fusion or a mach3 wont be easier? Heck! An electric saves you from buying soap, and using brushes! Even better, lets get laser and be done with facial hair for all time...

A microwave is a nice thing to have. But no one will use it to cook the ultimate surf and turf. For the same reason we like burgers or ribs made in a bbq instead of a stove. That is why people still ride horses....

Its a matter of pleasure and acomplishment. It really has nothing to do with speed.

And no, it is not learned in six shaves. :-/

Best regards,

Pepe Peña


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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 03-03-2017, 05:04 AM
#17
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Dear Surfer;

How is your project going?

Another tip:

As your technique improves, so will improve your expectations. Therefore, while you learn you will perceive some "setbacks" that really are not. It is simply the way of making progress.

As you fine tune your technique and strategies you will keep striving for better and better shaves. Dont be discouraged.

What i use to think was a great shave its a really bad one by my standards of today.

Keep hunting, hustling, searching. That is the joy and the spirit of the game!

The best for you,

Pepe Peña


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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 03-19-2017, 09:25 PM
#18
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(03-03-2017, 04:54 AM)carlospppena Wrote: Dear Gray;

The point is the journey.

Some of us rebels like a good challenge. We like to swim against the current. We are different. And we feel good for doing something not everybody can do.

With respect!

Let me ask you this? Why a Rockwell or vintage gillette? Will a fusion or a mach3 wont be easier?  Heck! An electric saves you from buying soap, and using brushes!  Even better, lets get laser and be done with facial hair for all time...

A microwave is a nice thing to have. But no one will use it to cook the ultimate surf and turf. For the same reason we like burgers or ribs made in a bbq instead of a stove. That is why people still ride horses....

Its a matter of pleasure and acomplishment. It really has nothing to do with speed.

And no, it is not learned in six shaves. :-/

Best regards,

Pepe Peña



Hi Pepe,
Yes your sage advice is correct and welcome. Once the blood stopped flowing and I got the geometry of the blade corrected by an expert, things improved.
Not to sure how many under the belt now, I decided not to put a notch on the scales for each successful shave...

Also helps to remember this is man stuff and we don't pout.

I am waiting on a couple Gold Dollars from china to use as pratice with my honing skills so I should have this down the road

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 03-19-2017, 09:47 PM
#19
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(03-03-2017, 05:04 AM)carlospppena Wrote: Dear Surfer;

How is your project going?

Another tip:

As your technique improves, so will improve your expectations. Therefore, while you learn you will perceive some "setbacks" that really are not. It is simply the way of making progress.

As you fine tune your technique and strategies you will keep striving for better and better shaves. Dont be discouraged.

What i use to think was a great shave its a really bad one by my standards of today.  

Keep hunting, hustling, searching. That is the joy and the spirit of the game!

The best for you,

Pepe Peña


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Pepe, apologies for the delayed response.  Thanks for the encouragement!

I've been super busy with work the last few weeks and so haven't had the time to put into learning with the straight as much as I have wanted.

That said, I am still committed to getting more into it.  As you say, it's the journey not the destination.

Greyhane, I appreciate your perspective as well.  The nice thing about this hobby is we can all find our own limit/scope of what makes it fun and enjoyable.  For some, that means having a huge brush collection, for others it means using traditional shaving soaps with a Gillette Fusion.  I may never become good at using a straight razor, but at least I can say I tried it out.

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 03-24-2017, 04:41 PM
#20
  • Steve56
  • Active Member
  • Knoxville, TN
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You'll get there, just takes practice, like riding a bicycle. If you need a honing, I'll hone it for return postage.

Cheers, Steve

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