03-06-2019, 11:06 AM
#1
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I know that many of you believe that prep is really important and plays a major role on the shave result. Also, a group of shavers can't imagine shaving without using a pre-shave first.
The last years, all I do is applying warm water on my face before the lather and I feel that this is all someone needs. Most people have no idea what a good prep is, hot towels and pre-shave products are completely unknown for the majority of the shavers, yet they achieve great results even with a simple cartridge razor.
I don't like experimenting with new products, I stick with makers I trust, so I don't have to question a product, if it's good or not.
Learning your equipment and focusing on your technique can make prep redundant in my honest opinion.
Every time I read threads about how a shave ended up to a disaster, members usually recommend a good prep or pre-shave products as a solution to the problem. I can't understand this. Newbies tend to try a ton of products, they want to explore the wet shaving world, we live in the Golden Age of the hobby, every shave consists of different products and they expect the same result every time without having actually "learned" their products. It's all about trying and trying. How can anyone expect the same performance from different products?
How about sticking with a set-up to improve the shaving technique? It's good to have a selection of products, we all like that, but spending money and experimenting with pretty much everything, does not guarantee good shaves.
Sure, hot towels, for example, give a nice feeling. But I can't really say that someone who shaves with DE or SE razors really needs that.

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 03-06-2019, 11:15 AM
#2
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Good prep is important, but does not always require hot towels or any specialized products.  It all depends on the person's facial hair and skin.  For some, applying warm water to the face is sufficient.  I have a very tough beard and just applying warm water to my face is not enough.   I wash my face with a bath soap, then rinse the soap off using hot water.  It takes several rinses of the hot water to get all the soap off, and all that hot water is what preps my facial hair.

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 03-06-2019, 11:17 AM
#3
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The only prep I use is a shower.  Pre-shave oil actually makes the shave worse for me.  I've used AoS and home brew pre shave oil and there's no difference between them for me, they both degrade the experience.

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 03-06-2019, 11:24 AM
#4
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(03-06-2019, 11:15 AM)TheLegalRazor Wrote: Good prep is important, but does not always require hot towels or any specialized products.  It all depends on the person's facial hair and skin.  For some, applying warm water to the face is sufficient.  I have a very tough beard and just applying warm water to my face is not enough.   I wash my face with a bath soap, then rinse the soap off using hot water.  It takes several rinses of the hot water to get all the soap off, and all that hot water is what preps my facial hair.
Ricardo, my beard is full and very tough like most Greeks. My skin is semi-sensitive, meaning that trying many new products is not for me. I don't "trust" many soapmakers and artisans, thus I don't buy new stuff very often. I want to learn a product before trying a new one or investing to a brand. Warm water and products I trust has worked for me. I think that a good prep is very important only if you try new products, products you have no prior experience with. Just my opinion.

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 03-06-2019, 11:26 AM
#5
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(03-06-2019, 11:17 AM)bkatbamna Wrote: The only prep I use is a shower.  Pre-shave oil actually makes the shave worse for me.  I've used AoS and home brew pre shave oil and there's no difference between them for me, they both degrade the experience.
Oils are a no go for me. I never liked the feeling, it's... oily. I've tried a few, but eventually passed them to friends.

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 03-06-2019, 11:27 AM
#6
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I always shave after a hot shower.  While in the shower I wash my face with a moisturizing bath soap.  Then I apply pre-shave oil prior to lathering for my first pass.  I make sure it is really rubbed into my face.  Then I lather up and shave.  Usually a 3 pass plus touchup for me.  Does the pre-shave oil make a difference?  I have at times forgotten to apply it and in my opinion I found those shaves to be slightly less comfortable than when I do apply the pre-shave oil.  Could this be a figment of my imagination?  Sure.  But I don't think so.  I've been shaving with a double edge for almost 4 years now and feel that I have gotten my technique down.  Mapping my beard also helped immensely.  So, little things like prep are noticed as well as times when I forget to focus on my technique.  Clearly this stuff is subtle.  Prior to shaving with a double edge I shaved with a cartridge razor and canned gel or foam from about 1978 until early 2015.  No prep whatsoever.  But here's the thing.  Could I get by without doing any prep?  Absolutely.  But why would I do that when, for a small investment of time, literally less than a minute, I believe I am making my shave a little better than it otherwise would be?  Many of us find great pleasure in not only the act of shaving whiskers off our faces but the entire ritual of wet shaving.  I'm one of those people.  So, prep will always be a part of my ritual, whether it makes a difference or not.

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 03-06-2019, 11:30 AM
#7
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I always shave after a shower for hygiene purposes.

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 03-06-2019, 11:32 AM
#8
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What would those hygiene purposes be?

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 03-06-2019, 11:36 AM
#9
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Prep is important... but I suspect it's more important to be consistent with the prep than to spend a lot of money and/or time on it.

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 03-06-2019, 11:38 AM
#10
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I have been lightly experimenting with this the past couple of weeks. I'm prone to some redness after a shave regardless of how smooth it was, so after years of being in the same routine, I decided to add in a preshave oil.

My normal routine was a hot shower then shave, so for a week on, then a week off, I've added in a low comedogenic preshave oil. Low and behold, the weeks with the preshave oil I've left the bathroom with much less redness that before.

I acknowledge that that type of shave soap/cream used can make a big different as well, so experiments are ongoing to see if the preshave oil is needed for every sopa I have, or just some. But I've been pleased with the results, and that's the most important part, right?

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 03-06-2019, 11:58 AM
#11
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(03-06-2019, 11:32 AM)MntnMan62 Wrote: What would those hygiene purposes be?
Clean face from the dirt/sweat of the day. I work 9-10 hours per day, so I'm not staying home all day.

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 03-06-2019, 12:01 PM
#12
  • RyznRio
  • Active Member
  • Connecticut
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As a new shaver, I tend to agree. I go thru a prep ritual. the whole process of wet shaving is a ritual. some of us are more OCD about it than others but its all part of YMMV

When I asked the forum how long it would take me to develop good technique, the answer was to shave with the same hardware and software for 30 days in order to eliminate variables and learn how to use the software and hardware in my possession to the best advantage. Many gents remarked that it would probably happen faster than that but that 30 was a good number. 

I would say that the recommendation helped me to avoid the rush to buy and try new products without properly evaluating the products that I already owned. now that I have products that I like and I can properly use the tools for a consistent DFS, I can evaluate new products by changing out 1 element confident that if I don't get a DFS its probably the different brush or soap or blade or razor and not me making rookie mistakes and blaming my software and/or hardware and researching and buying the new wet shave holy grail.

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 03-06-2019, 12:22 PM
#13
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(03-06-2019, 11:58 AM)nikos.a Wrote:
(03-06-2019, 11:32 AM)MntnMan62 Wrote: What would those hygiene purposes be?
Clean face from the dirt/sweat of the day. I work 9-10 hours per day, so I'm not staying home all day.

OK.  It's official.  I'm an idiot.  I read your response as "I always shave before a shower for hygiene purposes."  Clearly that is not what you typed.  For some reason that's what my eyes saw.  I need to step away from the computer more often.

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 03-06-2019, 12:23 PM
#14
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(03-06-2019, 12:22 PM)MntnMan62 Wrote:
(03-06-2019, 11:58 AM)nikos.a Wrote:
(03-06-2019, 11:32 AM)MntnMan62 Wrote: What would those hygiene purposes be?
Clean face from the dirt/sweat of the day. I work 9-10 hours per day, so I'm not staying home all day.

OK.  It's official.  I'm an idiot.  I read your response as "I always shave before a shower for hygiene purposes."  Clearly that is not what you typed.  For some reason that's what my eyes saw.  I need to step away from the computer more often.
No worries, my friend.

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 03-06-2019, 01:26 PM
#15
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I think prep is important from a comfort aspect, at least it is for me. But I don't spend any $ on it. At it's most luxurious, for me anyway, it uses a hot towel or two to start, then a face lathering for a few minutes. W/O the few minutes for me to soften the whiskers the shave simply isn't as enjoyable and is much "coarser" feeling. Rinsing with hot water completes my luxurious shave. Once I discovered face lathering I didn't go back to any other way in a meaningful way.

Years ago I shaved with a cartridge razor and frankly the shaves were good, but totally boring and a chore. There was no prep, it was just something I needed to do every few days, and I hated every second I put into it, yet it had to be done.

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 03-06-2019, 02:59 PM
#16
  • chazt
  • Senior Member
  • Queens, NY
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My prep is pretty simple. Warm water rinse for about 30 seconds. Incrementally add plenty of water to the brush while face lathering for 3-5 minutes. I know by the sound of the brush on my soapy whiskers, when they’re plump enough for slicing.

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 03-06-2019, 03:42 PM
#17
  • iamsms
  • The Patient Disciple
  • San Jose, CA
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When I am shaving with a DE/SE or even a Feather Artist Club razor, prep is not that important for me. I can get away with just a splash of water, and get comfortable close shaves.

But when it comes to straight razors, the difference in comfort and closeness is really noticable between shaves with and without a shower. I have been experimenting this for the last few weeks with a freshly honed razor (honed by a reputed vendor) and I have been shaving with a SR for close to 3 years. I have come to the conclusion that I can't get a comfortable, tugg free, close shave with a SR without a shower first.

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 03-06-2019, 04:26 PM
#18
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Shower before shave, apply hair conditioner to face and neck during shower to soften whiskers.

Has yielded my best results.

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 03-06-2019, 04:53 PM
#19
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For me prep is simply thoroughly washing my beard with hot water + soap, and taking time to build a hydrated face lather. Those two things are consistent across all products, razors, and even when I travel and shave with a cartridge. My prep is easily the most important, and most controllable aspect of my shave routine.

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 03-06-2019, 05:26 PM
#20
  • chazt
  • Senior Member
  • Queens, NY
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(03-06-2019, 04:53 PM)mike_the_kraken Wrote: For me prep is simply thoroughly washing my beard with hot water + soap, and taking time to build a hydrated face lather. Those two things are consistent across all products, razors, and even when I travel and shave with a cartridge. My prep is easily the most important, and most controllable aspect of my shave routine.

Well said.

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