I've been wet shaving since I was 12, thanks to my Dad buying me a Wilkinson Sword cartridge razor when I started. Since then, I've mostly used Gillette (M3, then Fusion) with a minor dabble in electric. I've always had to be careful when shaving, as I don't have a tough growth of beard, and I'm prone to razor rash under my chin. It was only a couple of years ago that I started shaving every day (I'm 39), as before then, you didn't really notice. The only time I've not shaved for a week (on a 5 day mountain walk) I came back looking like the bottom half of my face was slightly out-of-focus, rather than a member of ZZ Top!
Anyhow, a couple of weeks back, having moved back to the M3 razor (It gives me a better shave than the fusion), I was looking for a cheaper supply of cartridges, and saw an article on DE shaving. The economy of it really did appeal, plus the fact that I'd end up with better quality skin was a plus.
So to cut a long story short (think - new shiny things - do research - evaluate soaps and razors, you know what I mean ) I shelled out £21 and received a Parker 89R, Derby blades and TOBS Sandlewood soap. I already have a bristle brush, but that might be relegated to my travel bag!
So last Saturday evening, I went for my first DE shave, and came out very impressed!
First off, I did a good ex-foliating in the shower, cleaning out my day old beard ready for the shave. Whilst showering, the new razor and my brush were sitting in a bowl of hot water.
Out the shower, and I start on making a lather up. Shook out the brush, and swirled it around on top of the soap, until it picked up what looked like enough soap. Moved to the now empty hot bowl, and started swirling, to build up a lather. Worked on this for a while, but I think I need more practise (hard water area) to get it peaky. Worked the lather into my beard for a good minute or so, noticing that none ran off my face, so good on that part.
Righty oh, then! I picked up the razor, held it as described in the articles, and trying to overcome the feeling I was about to lop my head off, I placed it gently to my face and started under my sideburns. The first thing I noticed is that you can really hear the stubble being cut and secondly, that there is no tugging on your facial hair! That is very nice!
The first pass was really about getting used to how the blade feels in my hand, and how it feels on my face. I had a feel after I finished, and noticed that the most prominent stubble was on my chin, and under it. But, I decided to do a second full pass, so went ahead on that. Feeling a little more confident (still had my head connected to my body, so all good so far!) I was a little more bold in using the razor. It was I was shaving under my chin that I got First Blood. A very small nick, with no pain at all. I should have stretched a bit better there.
I had a good feel around, and really should have stopped there, but spurred on by how smooth my cheeks and mouth were, I decided to try and get the same under my chin. I did achieve that, but at the expense of getting razor rash later on. I also got a few bumps to the side of my chin, which died down after a few hours.
Anyhow, when I finished, I cleaned my face with cold water, and applied a moisturiser. My face had never felt so smooth, clean, and apart from the mentioned rash and bumps, comfortable. My wife was really impressed, and thought it was well worth the effort, over normal cartridge.
So, I've learnt a lot from my first DE shave, and will carry on. I've found loads of tips since then, and will be doing more reading, and welcome any advice and suggestions you may have.
The one thing that I would say to anyone contemplating DE shaving is stop thinking and start doing!