Hi all! I've been lurking around this Forum for probably around a month now or a little longer and I truly have learned a lot. I want to thank this Forum and everyone who participates for giving me all the information that I needed to get the very best shaves of my life. For years I have exclusively used a top of the line Braun electric shaver. I honestly got tired of using an electric and also wasn't totally satisfied with the shave. I then began experimenting with Gillette Fusion blades and the cans of goo as shaving cream. One day at the mall I came across The Art of Shaving store and was intrigued by all of the products that they had to offer. Once I began using their products (i.e. the shave oil, the shaving cream, after shave balm and the brush) I was addicted to how much better everything smelled than the can of goo that I had been using for $3 at the local drug store. After reading further on this forum and having a very difficult time absorbing the completely ridiculous prices of the Fusion cartridges, I decided to try double-edge shaving. I bought a Merkur HD razor and also picked up some DE blades sampler packs. At first it was very difficult and I wasn't getting very good shaves at all. This lasted about 2 weeks and I almost gave up. But, thanks to all of you on this forum, as well as Mantic59's videos on YouTube, I hung in there. I can now say that I have been having the closest, most enjoyable, most comfortable shaves I've ever had in my life!! This is all with many thanks to this forum as well as the products that the AOS introduced me to.
As a newbie with a few weeks of experience and having came a long way in the world of wet shaving, I am ready to give a few tips that helped me achieve the closest shaves. Firstly, it is all about beard reduction. You can not expect to have a clean shave after the 1st pass with a DE razor. Go for par (as Mantic says) and remember that it is all about blade reduction. I always do three separate passes with lathering in between. Secondly, remember not to beard down and let the weight of the razor do the job. When I first started, I tried to go for a home run on the first pass and this resulted in pretty significant razor burn. I then began to go with light passes and accept that it is all about beard reduction. Lastly, it is all about the blade angle, BUT this is one of the 3 aspects that I think is the hardest to learn on paper, but the easiest to learn by trial and error. I will admit that DE shaving has a pretty steep learning curve, but it's worth it.
Thanks again to this Forum and all that have participated in great discussions. I can attribute the best shaves that I have had in my life to you guys. I actually look forward to shaving and my skin and complexion are just as happy. I am amazed at how much smoother and more comfortable the DE blades are and also how much less expensive they are than the dark side of those terrible cartridge razors. Thanks!