Another person new to wet shaving. I have been using an electric shaver (sorry) for 25years and I now realise I have been missing out very much. Shaving has always been a huge chore which I disliked (but not so much that I grew a beard). Over the last year or so I started to get a lot of razor burn and my neck was always red, inflamed and felt like it was on fire. I started wet shaving about 10 weeks ago and I can honestly say I will never go back. I positively look forward to including it in the morning pre-work routine.
I found this forum by chance and the advice hidden in the many excellent pages helped me buy my shaving kit. Merkur 34C razor, cheap badger brush, Truefitt & Hill Ultimate Cream, Poraso aftershave cream and a sampler pack of blades (used all the Derby extras and now on the Red Personna's, which I think are slightly more suitable for me as they seem to give a smoother, less irritated shave).
My first shave was interesting. I counted no fewer than 13 bleeding nicks (which took 30 minutes to inflict) and to be honest the end result was as rough as sandpaper). My wife was quite concerned (my shaving towels are now all dark coloured). Still, I stuck with it and I can now shave nick free in about 15 minutes and achieve something way better than an electric has ever done for me. My neck also looks normal (not like raw beef). The best thing of all is I actually enjoy it.
Thank you all for helping me discover, what for me, is the perfect way to shave.