Here is a little background about my shaving journey. My dad never really taught me to shave. When I noticed little hairs sprouting on my chin I basically bought a package of disposable razors and shaved after a shower. After a year or so, I switched to a Mach 3 and did the same routine and added shaving cream out of a can. A few months later, I switched to a Norelco electric and shaved when my face was towel dried (yowch!). I was essentially given no instruction on how to shave, and learned off the Gillete and Norelco commercials. I came across the idea of classic wetshaving from another forum when I read a thread about what people use to shave. And voila, I lurked the forums here for a while and did some research before deciding which products to buy:
- Merkur HD
- C&E Badger brush
- Proraso pre/post
- Variety pack of blades (Feather, Crystal, Derby Extra, Red Israeli Personna, Astra Superior Platinum).
- AOS Lavender shaving cream
- Styptic stick
You guys already know what those look like so I’m not going to post pics. One thing I am proud of is my lathering bowl that I picked up from a Japanese store for $1.50. It’s grooved and lathers like a badboy:
Despite having a bunch of blades to choose from and based on reading the advice here on the forums, I plan on standardizing my routine. This means sticking with one type of blade for a good month to get adjusted to the feel of this style of shaving. For this aspect, I chose the Derbys. I decided to keep things simple first (even after reading Kyle’s pre-shave routine which sounded fantastic) to see how things work out and adjust from there. So my routine is as follows:
- Shower (not towel drying my face)
- Splash hot water on beard area a few times
- Apply Proraso pre/post
- Shave (downwards only for now)
- Proraso pre/post
Overall, I did OK for my first time. There is a very Zen-like feeling to shaving this way and I enjoyed it. It was Zen in a sense that my concentration was 100% because I didn’t want to cut myself badly I came away unscathed, although I can still feel some rough patches along my face. There are a few issues I came across:
- I was able to build lather rather quickly and the foam was able to support itself when it made peaks and mountains on the brush, however when I started brushing my face it felt like the badger brush would remove it all. In other words, if I worked the brush around my face, the brush would absorb a lot of it and my face would be left with minimal lather.
- I get the feeling my hang/arm is too light, which I guess isn’t too bad as a beginner. I know that you shouldn’t be putting pressure on the blade into your skin, but you should be making a conscious effort to pull it in a certain direction yes? You shouldn’t be relying on the weight of the blade to pull itself down, correct? I may be going too slow, because it felt like in the more hair dense areas of my face the blade would just stop, and it felt like I was mowing down hairs one at a time very slowly.
I also want to thank everyone for their contributions on this forum Certainly if it wasn't for reading all of the stickies, my first shave would've been horrendous and I might've came out looking like leatherface.