View Full Version : First Shave
10-22-2006, 12:54 PM
I just completed my first shave with my dovo 5/8 that I bougth from Mr. Miller over at the well shaved gentle man. I am rather happy with my first shave as I am able to count to ten and my face does not look like some halloween costume. I have a couple of questions about how to get the best experience that I was hoping you guys could answer. Should I restrop in the middle of shaving? Some later areas are not as baby smooth as the first few areas. Also, it seems really hard to draw taunt certain areas as there is shaving cream which impeads my hands gripping, I ran into this around my neck, how can I get those areas tighter? Also is there any advantages to switching hands, or is it purely based on personal choice?
10-22-2006, 01:35 PM
Just a quick reply. If your fingers are slipping when skin stretching, either use a wet/dry washcloth to stretch the skin (it grips) or use a dry washcloth to wipe off excess lather so your fingers can grip the skin on their own.
With practice, you'll find it's easiest not to 'over lather', i.e. just put enough on that you need for the shave and no more. Try not to put lather where you don't need it, otherwise it just causes problems with the skin stretching.
If you follow a logical pattern, you wipe off the lather with the razor and then you can grip the now dry skin you've just shaved to stretch the next bit of skin as you move along.
Have you got Lynn's DVD? I found watching that was of great help to my technique.
I don't think you really need to re-strop in between passes, it's probably overkill. You can if you want but don't forget to use correct technique with a tight strop and only just enough pressure on the strop, otherwise it's very easy to dull the edge rather than brighten it.
Are you on www.straightrazorplace.com yet? There more folks over there who use straights exclusively than there are here. :smile:
10-22-2006, 01:38 PM
If your beard is really tough stropping between passes is useful. You shouldn't need to strop in the middle of a single pass though.
As far as grip, I bunch up a wet rag and use it to pull my face taut. Also I start shaving in areas where I know I'll want to grip for later parts of my face.
10-22-2006, 01:43 PM
John, Iwan, I don't know you guys can do the stretching. I'd pass out from the pain. It hurts me so much, you have no idea.
10-22-2006, 02:42 PM
You've got good advice. Strop mid-shave if you want. Try it and see if it helps. For some its mandatory. Just keep water off your strop.
There is a little benefit to using both hands, mostly in the ease of stroking the off hand side with the best angle and from the best direction. You can get it with the right hand (lets assume your right handed) and but you'll create irritation unless you use the left hand on some spots.
I wouldn't go to alot of effort to "draw taught" the skin. Just get it flat enough to get closer than a DE shave and you should be fine. Really your more supporting the skin against the razor than trying to stretch the skin.
As mentioned, just grab sections that are lather free. Some guys use Alum for this but you shouldn't need it.
You probably started on your cheeks, they are always smoother with a straight, don't sweat the small stuff yet. Practice for a while.
And congrats! Neat experience wasn't it?
10-22-2006, 03:56 PM
I don't stretch so much that it hurts. Is your face really tight or something? I think you're calling us fat, or at least extra skinned :)
10-22-2006, 09:00 PM
Yes, it was a very neat experience. I had a lot of fun and the areas that I shaved properly were quite smooth.
10-22-2006, 09:06 PM
Just relax and take your time. Getting a great shave with a straight will require a bit of learning, but you'll get there. If you feel the razor start to pull, then stop and strop. As Alan mentioned, you probably won't do that in the middle of a pass. Just stay focused, and watch where the blade is at ALL times. It's just as dangerous when it's not against your face.
10-23-2006, 09:34 AM
I don't switch hands while shaving and I am fine. That is a personal preference for sure and I'm much more comfortable with one hand. I don't strop mid shave either and if I find an area needs it, I touch it up after. I found that a combination of 'stretching the skin' and just varying the angle of my head (taking advantage of natural stretching) works fine for me. The key is presenting the razor with a good surface, not increasing the surface area IMO.
Let the razor do the work and guide it with zero pressure across your face. Take your time and be patient and pay attention to what you are doing. You will have great results and your confidence will grow. Welcome to the world of Straight Shaving and remember to embrace the RAD that you are already feeling. PM me anytime if you have any questions.
Two hands would definately make things easier- I just wish I could do it!
You'll have to contort yourself into a variety of seemingly impossible positions. but it will soon all (or most of it) come naturally. If you're right handed, a S-N pass on the left side of your face will be much easier than on the right side. Using the opposite hand helps the most for a N-S pass on the left side, or a S-N pass on the right side.
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