View Full Version : Couple of question from a beginner
08-04-2006, 03:43 AM
Only had 3 DE shaves so far. First one was great, but second and third have gotten progressively worse. I'll definitely take the above advice, but while I'm here:
1. What's the best performing pre-shave oil?
2. I put my Vulfix #2235 Super Badger in a coffee mug of water fresh from my hotpot. Noticed the tips of the hair curled a bit. Does this affect the lather creation and application qualities of the brush?
08-04-2006, 03:55 AM
I am not to keen on oil so i can not comment there.
I do not like putting my brush in a mug of water as i feel it does not do the tips any good. (i love my brushes)
What i have done in the years is fill the basin with hot water soak the brush in the water. Then take out the brush and put a finger end size of cream in the centre of the brush. Leave that in the basin a minute. Take out the brush, by now the cream should have almost melted. Lather up. Shave. Etc.
After you have finished rinse your brush and shake and hang.:001_smile
I can certainly advise you to avoid the L'Occitane oil. As much as I love L'occitane products this is far too heavy. When I first started DE shaving, I too was interested in pre shave oils, but the general consensus was that they were not really worth the time and effort. You really should avoid those pre shaves that use Castor Oil such as AOS, as these are very heavy and most likely will cause you to break out.
T+H Ultimate Comfort gets good reviews, as does Nancy Boy (although this isn't supposed to be used with a brush, where's the fun in that?)
I have heard nothing but good things about the Shaving Gallery pre shave and I have that on order now so I will let you know how it performs when it arrives.
Another possible alternative is Em's Place, her products laways get good reviews, but unfortunately she wont ship to the UK.
08-04-2006, 04:41 AM
I don't use a preshave oil, but you might want to consider that your prep work isn't enough and that is causing the problem. Not that I'm one to advise against ADs but I think it might be best to work on your lather, blade angle, and pressure. It is most likely one of these that is causing the bad shaves (change your blade too). When I first started I was keen to grab new products as a solution to my bad shaves, but now I've realized it was my form and since getting better at that, my shaves are perfect almost every time I pick up my DE...although I can't say the same about the straights which I'm starting to learn to demolish my face with.
08-04-2006, 06:33 AM
Lather, Angle, Pressure. These are the keys to true enlightenment. Everything else is just a distraction at this stage.
08-04-2006, 07:29 AM
If you really would like to try a pre-shave treatment, Proraso pre- and after-shave cream is good. You rub some into your wet face before lathering and, if you want to use it as an aftershave, into your dry, freshly shaved face. It takes only a little, and it does make a difference. You can get it from all the usual suspects: Classic Shaving, Em's Place, QED, etc.
08-04-2006, 07:50 AM
the proraso pre/post is also available at Target. Be warned, it changes the smell of your cream slightly. I've used the pre-post before but usually only when I don't have time to shower and in between hot towels.
08-04-2006, 01:09 PM
I think it might be best to work on your lather, blade angle, and pressure. It is most likely one of these that is causing the bad shaves (change your blade too).
I'm quick to agree that focusing and perfecting those three factors will add up to better shaves. But I still don't know if my prep is adequate. I even changed my Merkur blade after only 2 shaves, thinking that might be the cause. But it didn't fix anything. Here's my normal routine (at least for the 3 DE shaves I've had):
1 At least a 10 minute shower and soak brush in hot water
2 Get out of the shower and splash more warm water on my face
3 Put on either Proraso pre-shave cream or Nivea for Men ASB to soften and slicken
4 I let that sit for a minute while I work my lather in a warm bowl
5 Lather gets pretty thick (merigue consistency)
6 Lather up for about 2 minutes
7 Run razor under hot tap water
8 Short strokes with the grain, trying to apply NO PRESSURE
9 Maximum of 2 passes
10 First rinse warm water, second rinse cold water
11 Nivea ASB
There it is. I imagine my techique hasn't been refined enough. I'll keep working.
Still don't know if the tips of the brush curling slightly affect performance. Any advice?
In general I think your prep technique etc is fairly adequate.
One question though: what exactly do you mean with progressively worse? Is it razor burn/irritation that you get or just not as smooth shaves as the first one?
08-04-2006, 03:39 PM
Actually I think it's both. The two shaves since my first have not been as close. And I've had a little more irritation after each time. I had my wife pick me up some Pantene Conditioner (she had a coupon!) and I'm going to add that to my prep tomorrow morning. Since my shave on Weds morning went so sour, I skipped today to let the stubble grow a little more to see the growth pattern better. I'll let ya'll know if it's any better.
Does anyone find their skin more prone to razor burn when they start a shave with very little stubble to begin with? When I was using an M3, I found that to be true.
I think you will find that most people here say they get a closer, more comfortable shave when they have a couple of days growth.
08-04-2006, 04:14 PM
Put in a new blade and shave your face like you're shaving a balloon. Remember no pressure! Do the prep and skip the oil.
08-04-2006, 08:39 PM
I used to have much better shaves after a day off of shaving. However, now that I've gotten better about zero pressure I can shave every day with near bbs and no irritation. However, I'd wait a day and see what happens. Just concentrate on a slick rather, a no pressure shave, and getting the right blade angle. Also, I do four passes each of them with almost zero pressure and this gives me great shaves. I also took the time to determine the direction of hair growth so that I could choose four passes that would be increasingly against the grain from with the grain to two across and slighlty against, then to full against the grain.
08-04-2006, 08:56 PM
Just a quick thought, I wonder if part of the redness might be caused by some sort of a reaction to the Nivea or Proraso and one of the oils in those two products? I'm new at this so I may be way off base but it might be worth trying a shave cream that is unscented just to see if you have some sort of a sensitivity to those products. Not sure if you used either of the products before you started using a DE or not but wanted to throw out the idea.
08-05-2006, 02:28 AM
I would have put the redness down to lack of preparation, blunt blade etc. If it is on the throat area you may over stretching your skin when shaving.
Sounds odd, but perhaps try a slower stroke.
I played around with slower strokes this morning and had one of my best shaves. I like mantic's metaphor of shaving as a game of golf--he who takes the fewest number of strokes wins.:biggrin:
08-06-2006, 03:15 PM
I can certainly advise you to avoid the L'Occitane oil. As much as I love L'occitane products this is far too heavy.
AOS pre-shave oil is the same way.
08-06-2006, 03:22 PM
All is right with the world again!!!
Saturday morning I got up at 5am, determined to have my best shave. (normally 5am wakeup on Saturday is unheard to me, but we had a wedding to attend at 10am in a town 80 miles away) Anyway, I found the missing link to my shave prep--hair conditioner! Friday my wife picked up some Pantene Pro V. After washing my face I left it on for about 5 minutes then rinsed. I knew it was going to be a hot day so I went with Proraso (excellent choice, since this was an outdoor wedding).
BEST SHAVE SO FAR!!! :biggrin: Finding the right prep, correct blade angle, and NO PRESSURE are really the three essentials. I was on a shave high the rest of the day. You other beginners, listen up. Focus on these three things and give yourself time, and your learning curve will increase rapidly.
BTW, I may be starting to convert my dad and my brother. After the wedding, my brother called me. He was at Target picking up a Sensor Excel (he has never shaved with a blade before and wants to go a slow transition) and even looked for Proraso. Also, I was married on Father's Day weekend this year, so I had not had a chance to get my dad anything. After discovering wetshaving, I knew the perfect gift. He wants to transition slow, so I picked up a pure badger travel brush and sweet almond oil shave cream from C&E. Asked him how his first shave went; he really liked it.
It's always a great day when you get a great shave. But when you can help others on their way to great shaves, the day gets even better!
Great post--and I agree that prep is one of the biggest keys.
08-06-2006, 05:48 PM
I'm using Pacific Shave Oil (PSO) with great results.
I had a bad encounter with some soaps a while back and discovered the fault lied with how I was prepping. Being a head shaver, I had been lathering up my noggin with my face. I'd shave my head, then switch to a Gillette Adjustable and finish my face. What I found was that leaving the soap lather on my face that long created irritation. I had three days of back to back pain. So.....
I now step out of the shower, wet my face again and apply 5-8 drops of PSO. Then I make my lather up and shave my head. When I'm done with that, I wet my face again and lather up. The rest proceeds as normal.
The result has been a series of incredibly smooth shaves with all sorts of creams and soaps.
Way to go Kyle !:thumbup:
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