A Noob's first 3 day DE shave diary
Let me start by saying without the information within the B&B website Gillette would have made another profit off of the $18 cartridge refills I was about to purchase. I'm writing this post to inform others how I made the change to a DE this week.
It all started while I was shopping Ebay for cartridge refills for my Mach3. Wow what a deal (so I thought), I was seeing that I could pick up 16 of these for about $25. Not to get too excited on buying the first deal I found I visited a few other sellers. Within one of the sites I was led to a website that talks about the fake cartridge refills being sold on Ebay. Within that site I clicked on a link that led me to a newspaper report (I believe a Chicago paper) that gave a gentlemans experiance within a Truefitt & Hill shop and how he went in to buy a stand and razor for his Mach3. So off I went to their website. "Wow, how nice would it be to glide a Mach3 blade across my face using one of these", I thought to myself. I kept browsing and came across the Safety Razor section. I realize these are the same things my grandfather uses when he shaves. I browsed their fourm and found that the term DE is used for these types of razors. Off to Google, "DE Safety Razor" which brought me to another article about shaving with a DE. I was sold! I hit the back button and clicked a few lines below and found this website.
I Spent all of 5 hours reading (hind sight, I should have spent 15 before making any purchases). The very next morning off to my local grocery store to purchase a razor, blades, brush, oils, aftershave and soap. Hummm... I was dissapointed, there weren't any razors. However I did buy the store brand Pre-Electric and Aftershave (LOL... I'm such a Noob although I didn't realize how dumb I was till the next day). The next morning off the the local Rx store where I couldn't find a razor but I picked up some VDH soap and brush. Not to be discouraged, I went across the street to a local beauty supply shop to get a razor. The lady inside sadly told me that they didn't carry such a thing. Dissapointment settled in and I thought, I guess I'll have to buy one online. As I moved toward the door, the lady informed me of a barber shop supply store downtown. Ha, now I'm getting somewhere. I jump into the truck and go downtown. The lady inside has what I'm looking for, now the decision. Do I purchase the cheap $10 razor or $24 Merkur. I went with the Merkur 157 and a 10 pack of DORCO blades along with what I'll call a "pencil of pain" to stop bleeding.
I rushed home to start my shaving experiance. I laid all the tools in front of me, grabbed a coffee mug and stared at the new razor. I was puzzled, how do I get the blade into this thing? I pulled, pushed and eventually twisted. I put into place the Merkur blade (came with the razor). Grabbed my Pre-Electric (wait... this stuff isn't used as an oil base for blade shaving its for an electric shaver) LOL! So, I passed on that product. Soaked the bore brush in hot water and removed all the water I could by squeezing and shaking. I ran it a few times across the block of soap and into the cup for that thick lather build up process (I thought to myself, I can build a better lather while brushing my teeth). I placed the brush to my face, I started feeling sorry for my grill on the back porch at that moment. I looked at the wet, not covered in foam brush and ran my finger across it. I really believed that there were brass bristles within it. I continued... ah, finally an application of water and a few bubbles on my face. I gently let the razor fall down my face, I made the next stroke and next. When I moved for the 4th stroke, my face started to tighten as the soap was drying, back to the brush. This continued till I was satisfied I was shaved to the best of my ability, no need to abuse my face on the first time anymore. I took out the "pencil of pain" and touched a small knick on my neck. WOW!!! That is enough to make a person shead a tear. I'll never (hehehe) cut myself agian in order to stay away from this torture device.
Back to B&B I went, I need to know how to make a lather and why this $8.50 brush I just bought feels like a whisk brush. I continue to read till I felt confident I can make a good lather. Back to the mug for practice, better results this time but nothing like the pics or words I'm viewing. I find that the brush is as cheap as they come and I either need wait for it to break in or up grade to a better quality brush. The next day I tried to lather for my morning shave again, still poor results so I stopped. I ventured to Bath and Body and picked up a tube of C.O. Bigelow shave cream and rush back home. I scrub the brush across the soap, add a portion of cream to the mug (about as much as I would place on my tooth brush) and go to work. My eyes are watching in amazement, it reminds me of being at a county fair when I was a kid watching the guy make cotton candy. The mug is producing results and alot of results, so much lather is building I am forced to stop. I dab the lather across my face with a delicate touch trying to avoid the harsh brush from touching my face. I finish my second shave and take out the "pencil of pain", "We've got a bleeder" LOL. I rinse, apply aftershave and run the back side of my fingers across my face. Not since I was 16 has my face felt so soft.
In closing, I'm hooked on this method of shaving, it gives me a feeling of accomplishment and pride that I can produce such a great shave. Lessons learned: Read and study before going out and impulse buy (I'm sure that no one else has bought a product like pre-electric thinking it was a pre shave product for wet shaving, but there may have been other mistakes). PRACTICE first, don't just wet the face with a poor lather and scrape. Although I have nothing to compare my brush against, go for quality rather than the cheap. The inablity for me to lather (at first) and the gritty feeling of the brush almost made me resort to the can stuff (not that its bad, been using the stuff for 19 yrs), but I went into this thinking I'm going to do it right.
Thanks to all of you that have posted threads. Your knowledge and insite has brought excitement to my shave. A new brush is on my things to buy list, I'll keep researching before I make an investment on a $75-100 brush.