Five weeks ago today, I entered Gentleman's Best in CT looking for a starter DE razor kit to see if I could get a better shave and save money. After only a few days I was not expecting to achieve the types of shaves that I am performing now. I owe all of my shaving enjoyment to the members of this board who taught a 37 year old man how to shave.
Unfortunately, I'm the type of person who throws himself head first into activities when I feel a twinge of enjoyment. Having felt that spark on my first DE shave, the idea of saving money was completely tossed out of the window like a McDonald's double cheeseburger wrapper during the lunch rush hour. I've tried to remain frugal, and capitalize on good deals and quality items, but I have to face the fact that after a few hundred dollars, I just don't care about costs and want to enjoy myself.
So let me show you my journey as it unfolds.
Five weeks ago I picked up a starter kit which came with a Boar hair brush, Feather Portable, Dorco St301's and Gentleman's Best sampler of Soap, Creme and some witch hazel. Thank you Ray for the pointers and sending me off on my journey.
Boar Brush that I cut my teeth on, I thought it was doing the job but was in for an awakening when I upgraded.
The Feather Portable. I would recommend anyone use this as a learning tool. It performed excellent from the first time it touched my face and scalp. I very fond of this little guy. If it was longer I'd use it daily.
At this point I was looking to branch out. Originally I wanted a new manufacture TTO adjustable. I didn't want a vintage or used item thinking it was disgusting and beaten up. A lot of members here suggested to just try it and clean it up myself. After a little thought I realized that metal can be sterilized easily and other then not having a new shiny toy, it would fit the bill. So off I went looking for a fat boy.
This became an instant classic for me. It use it 3 times a week, and try one of my other (to follow) razors on the other 2-3 days so I can explore my options.
The Dirty guy just got used a few hours ago, the other is his back up.
So this is about 3 weeks in now, and I'm exploring things like blades, after shaves, and soaps. I'm not really a cream user having only tried it twice. I like the idea of soap, so in comes the idea of getting a better brush. I didn't want to spend a lot of money as So far I was getting old razors of ebay for dirt cheap, so the saving idea was still in line at this point. Low and behold GlobalDev was offering very inexpensive brushes as a favor to people in the BST. I jumped on that and found that Boar brushes, at least the one I had, were an inferior tool. I used the Shea brush and noticed an increase in the quality of my lather. It no longer turned to a clear see through layer on my face, the lather would stay white.
This is about the time I lost my cool. I wondered what else is out there. What is the difference with all these other Gillette razors. After all, I''m getting them for anything from 5 to 20 dollars, so I might as well try them all right? If the better brush made such a difference, maybe one of these other razors that people on the forums are always talking about will too. So here is the aftermath.
TV SS - This was a smooth shave. I'm looking forward to its next turn. I scored this from hypo_style in the BST.
Red tip - I scored this from Cpool222 in the BST
Early SS. This gave me 2 Really nice peaceful shaves. I like this razor a lot. The Adjustable Fat boy allows me to increase aggressiveness so I can get a hard to reach spot on the back of my head which this doesn't get as close, or this would probably be the daily user.
Super Adjustable, I like it but the handle is a bit light in heft.
My mother's uncle tossed me one of these Black SS's along with this brush in the middle of acquiring all these razors. I haven't used the brush, god knows the last time it was used or cleaned, but I haven't tossed it out. I love this old man and I just like having something a family member used.
It's about 4 weeks in and I'm trying AOS, Cella, Tabac and MWF that I scored from Xezmer. I found a sampler of Thayers from their website as well.
I got these next to for free and cleaned them. There brassed out but I plan to give them a run anyway. It wont hurt the shave, just the appearance.
At this point I was ready for another Brush upgrade. I also wanted some more Gentleman's Best signature soap. I like it's light baby powder like scent. So I went back to see Ray.
The Brush exceeded expectations. It's not a very expensive brush, but the difference in feel, lather and water retention is night and day over the Shea. I am truly enjoying this brush, and want to use it a bit before I try a more expensive one.
I do enjoy this scent.
Slim - Haven't used it yet but I like the way it feels, if it performs like the fat boy there may be a power struggle in the bathroom while I'm away.
Lady - I used this on my head only, and only once. I like the extended grip and its balance for head shaving. It allows me to smoothly come up my neck to the top of my head without applying pressure like I had to with the super adjustable. This is beckoning another turn as well.
So here I am in CT, relaxing on a Friday night and preparing for a trip to providence tomorrow. I'm already thinking about what to use tomorrow, which soap, which blade, which razor, which hazel, how many passes etc etc. I must sound like a fool to many of you, but I'm willing to bet the majority of you are thinking "yeah he got bit, I remember when that was me" or "DUDE! I do the same thing!"
I'm thoroughly enjoying myself, my girl's sweaters aren't being ruined by my whiskers and she's loving the scents that I have, not that I didn't smell good before, but there is a distinct difference between putting on some cologne, and building a scent from the soap/as/cologne.
I'm already anxious to receive my latest purchases, a all stainless feather and custom ordered Dirty bird 1.5. I'm especially looking forward to the Dirty bird as by the time I get to my second pass the lather is cooling, the third cold. The 6'th on my head, almost as if I never used hot water to begin with. I'm hoping that DB fixes this problem.
For the future, I'm going to try different soaps and blades, possible some different aftershaves for after my witch hazel and possible some matching cologne for that "building scent" that seems to really be making the women around here happy.
Thanks for reading, thanks for teaching, and thanks for allowing me to share my new found pleasure. Like mike72 said "no shame in my game" I'm addicted to shaving, and I'm not ashamed of it.