as the son of a bearded father (damn those seventies!) my shaving path has been long and full of potholes. I started with a Braun my godmother gave me for christmas, but by the time I was 17 my beard was simply outgroing electric shaving. Since then my search for a better shave led me from cheap goo to more expensive goo to a boar brush and cheap shaving soap, all with a gilette mach 3. Last year I bought a badger brush at a market stall in Germany and started using D.R.Harris soap.
While my shaves got more enjoyable (espescially in the olfactory department), the ingrown hairs and irritation in my neck made me continue my search for a better shave and this is where I ended up.
First thing I learned was how to make a consistently good lather, rather than just scrub a wet brush across my soap and pray for a good day.
In keeping with the one-step-at-a-time philosophy I kept using my mach 3 while training my lathering technique and getting rid of bad habits like scraping over the same spot over and over without relathering.
Right now I do two passes (WTG then XTG) with as little pressure as possible. All is well, except for the lower third of my neck, where I don't get things smooth (mind you, I never did) and still get some irritation.
So now I have a Merkur HD on it's way (childish sense of anticipation: check!); let's see where it -and some practice- gets me.
Just one more thing I'm worried about:
I have some sharp cut sideburns, how should I proceed around those to keep them sharp without messing up the skin around it?
Thanks a lot for this great site and I'll keep you all posted on my progress.