View Full Version : Want to get into DE Shaving but looking for some advice
04-02-2010, 07:09 PM
A bit about me regarding this. I haven't "electric" shaved for years and have been using the multi-blade cartridges for several years. I have within the last week started using the BIC blades due to their "lack" of tilt head so that I can start working on "technique" some.
My Skin sensitivity seems to be fairly moderate . . . . Except for one area of the neck which seems to be really sensitive.
I am thinking of starting with the brush and soap or cream (haven't decided which yet) and continue to use the BIC razor with using the soap/cream and later get the razor and start working with that (kind of build up to the whole thing in stages)
A Couple questions.
1) I am curious as to some general guidelines on whether to use Soap or Cream for building a lather - What are some general pro's / Con's for each type.
2) I have decided I would like to get and "adjustable" razor. Are there any suggestions as to which adjustable razor would be great for beginners but will provide very close shaves now and years later? Also, which blades would be great for beginning as I realize I can easily upgrade blades later, but upgrading the "razor" itself is not something I want to do much of (or any as I would like to get "one" and keep it for years).
04-02-2010, 07:27 PM
Welcome to B&B.
I know you have questions, but read this (http://badgerandblade.com/vb/showthread.php?t=141676) first and these helpful things. (http://badgerandblade.com/vb/showthread.php?t=9745)
Then with soap and creams:
Creams are generally easier to to make a lather and some say hold the scent better.
Soaps take a little more effort, but not much, to make a lather. Some say soaps are slicker than creams. This is all "your miles may vary"
I would stay away from an adjustable if you are learning. The temptation to change the setting is too great. Stick with a non-adjustable first until you know a how to get a great Close Comfortable Shave, a baseline shave really. A vintage Gillete or modern Merkur HD will be a fine razor to start with and better than using an inferior deposable razor.
People tend to like Derby's and Persona Red Packs for beginners. Stay away from Merkur blades.
After you get a Close Conformable Shave get a blade sample pack from one of the recommended vendors. People tend to like West Coast Shaving blade sample packs. (http://westcoastshaving.com/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=2)
Use One Brush, One soap/cream, one razor and learn proper technique for some time then start experimenting.
Preparation is 90% of the shave. So read this. (http://badgerandblade.com/vb/showthread.php?t=9745)
04-02-2010, 07:30 PM
Welcome to B&B - you have come to the right place. And you'll probably get a few answers too. If you haven't already, check out Mantic's videos on lathering and you can decide - it's really a matter of choice. I suggest you pick up a small tube of cream and maybe a little puck of soap and just play around with it. See what you like. Some guys opt for creams; some like soaps. This choice will also impact your brush choice as well, as some are typically better for soaps and others for creams. As far as the adjustable goes, a Gillette Slim might be your best bet - a decent one can be had for the price of a new razor and it will last you for as long as you take care of it. Most of all, be open to experimenting and enjoy-
04-02-2010, 07:39 PM
Hello! Welcome to B&B. Glad to see you here.
I think your plan to start in stages is a good one. Not sure if you've decided on a brush, but it's fairly universal advice to consider a Tweezerman Badger or an Omega Boar brush to start off with. They're both quality brushes and both modestly priced. I'm a fan of the Omegas. I believe they're built to last compared to the wooden Tweezerman, but it's a personal preference thing.
As to your questions:
1. You'll get a hundred opinions on this and there's really no right answer. Both are capable of doing a great job. I started with Proraso and Speick cream and built lather in an over-sized cappuccino mug. I have since switched to soaps/shave sticks for 90% of my shaves. A shave stick is soap that's in a cylindrical form which you rub directly on your face and then brush into a lather. I find it more convenient to build lather directly on my face, the way I've seen my grandfather do it. I save the creams for when I really want to take my time and sort of have a more relaxed, slow shave.
2. There are a several adjustables out there, and like everything in shaving, each has its own fan base. I am squarely in the Gillette Slim Adjustable camp. I have used Fatboys and I find the Slims to be more to my liking. I have not used a Merkur adjustable for a couple of reasons. I like vintage razors, and because the Slim works so well for me I haven't felt the need to try a Merkur.
An adjustable is a great way to go if you want to get only one razor right from the beginning. You can dial it right down to the least aggressive setting until you're comfortable and keep dialing it up until you find the 'sweet spot' for your face. Also, any of the adjustables out there are built to last, so you can feel secure in your purchase there.
When it comes to blades, it's pretty much consensus that one should pick up a variety of blades to start with. Different blades work best for different people. West Coast Shaving has nice sampler packs to choose from.
Good luck! There are plenty of kind folks out here who will help you with advice on your journey.
I'll throw my two cents in.
I think creams are easier to lather when you begin, so I'd go with something like TOBS Avocado or Trumpers Lime.
The general consensus is for newbies to not get an adjustable to start, but I got both adjustables and non-adjustables early on and I didn't find the adjustables any harder to use. You should pick a low setting and leave it alone for awhile, though. Personally, I like the Merkur Progress. It is a bit more money, but I had Mer (you can PM him here) upgrade it to a Mergress. It is probably my favorite DE and I'm sure it will be around to hand down to my son (who is currently 3 :001_smile).
As far as the blades, get a sampler and test them out. Blades are the most personal part of the experience, IMO so it is best to just try some and see what you like.
04-02-2010, 08:48 PM
Thanks Everyone for the quick updates.
As for the concerns about the "adjustable" for a beginner - I have my reasons for that. 1) I realize the temptation to adjust too quickly may cause dislike or problems; but I don't want to have to upgrade razors when my face/technique get better over time. I realize I will be starting on low and working my way up (rather than purchacing new razors as I work my way up). 2) As I only "seem" to have one section of the neck that is really sensitive, an adjustable razor (after learning over time) might be good for shaving most of my face and neck and a different setting for that particular area of the neck.
JPM. The Progress is the one razor that I found that I was strongly thinking of; but I wanted opinions from others. I had also seen sometime in the past research about the Mergress. If I make my final decision to be the Merkur progress, How can I get ahold of him as would like to have the changes made.
Other razors mentioned were the Gillette adjustable razors. Where do I find those to check out? When I do a search for "adjustable" razors, I get mostly the Merkur. When I go to Gillette Website - all I find are the cartridge razors. If anyone could point me in the direction of the Gillette adjustable razors, I would like to read up on those as well.
IMO - without trying several different styles of razor/blade/paraphernalia you won't know which is best suited for you.
It takes experience rather than reading and inferred intellectual understanding.
I enjoy my mergress but it's a truck compared to my '67 slim. Both of them yield different unique results with different blades.
Would you know which guitar to buy by reading the catalog? And which strings do you use? and which repairman set up your action?
you can PM "mer" on this site. He will replace the funky plastic tail piece with a cool chrome one and true your blade clearance if you decide on a progress.
Read the reviews here for gillette info and good luck with your purchase from buy/sell/trade here or your ebay bidding if you go for vintage gillette.
Welcome to B&B!
Good advices up here!
1) Soap or creams. Soap will last longer but is more difficult to work with.
2) Adjustable to start with? That's all right. I would go for the non-adjustable first to learn proper technique first. You will play with the adjustment for sure. However, if you really want an adjustable, I would get a Gillette Slim on BST.
As advised up here, razor blade sample pack is a must!
04-02-2010, 09:38 PM
04-03-2010, 04:14 AM
2) As I only "seem" to have one section of the neck that is really sensitive, an adjustable razor (after learning over time) might be good for shaving most of my face and neck and a different setting for that particular area of the neck.
completely unnecessary. the biggest cause for neck irritation is cartridge use. I used a Mach 3 for 12 years and while my face was fine, there were 2 patches of my neck that were permanently bumpy and bleeding.
I switched to a Merkur HD just under a month ago and within 2 shaves.. my neck was healed!!! since then, zero neck irritation. I recommend you try Red Personna's for your first few shaves. as previously mentioned; technique and preparation are the keys. not adjusting the razor :wink2:
04-03-2010, 06:19 AM
1) I realize the temptation to adjust too quickly may cause dislike or problems; but I don't want to have to upgrade razors when my face/technique get better over time. I realize I will be starting on low and working my way up (rather than purchacing new razors as I work my way up).
This is a misunderstanding. Starting low and going high later doesn't necessarily lead to a better shave. Plus some adjustable are mild and don't get very aggressive and vice versa.
Technique is what gives a good shave. Razors then just become a preference. My HD is a non adjustable, and still my favourite and best razor, even though my progress is far more aggressive.
04-04-2010, 03:09 PM
Welcome to B&B !!
04-04-2010, 06:19 PM
Welcome to B&B!
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