I started shaving in 1967 using a Shick Injector for a few years. Then a Techmatic, TracII, various disposables finally ending up using a Sensor XL for many years. Tried shaving with a DE 10 to 15 years ago with very little success, no real resources to learn 15 years ago. I had developed such bad shaving habits it seemed impossible to learn to use the DE that I went back to the Sensor.
Since shaving was such a drag I grew my fair share of beards in my lifetime but I'm just one of those guys that does not like facial hair so it was always back to shaving. Hell, I don't even like a moustache. I like a clean shaven face but hated the only process I knew to get one. Tried electrics and was fairly impressed with the Panasonic Linear rechargeable but still hated shaving.
All that changed when I found this board. What? You mean I can really learn to use a DE? The prospect of getting a decent shave had eluded me so long I figured I had nothing to lose. I had picked up 3 or 4 de razors over the years whenever I found one in really good condition that only cost me a buck or two but I wanted to start with something really good so I ordered an EJ89, a sample pack of blades, a new brush (my old brush was whipped) and some Proraso in the tub. The whole set up was right around $100. I'd drop that in Sensor XL cartridges alone every 6 months. Turns out this was the best $100 I've spent in a long time!
I decided to start with the Merkur blades. I read somewhere in here they are a good place to start. They may not be rated very high by the reviews I've read, but again, a place to start.
First shave was Sunday night after a haircut and shower. Prep went fine, love the Proraso, but I was nervous so naturally I got a couple of nicks and the shave basically sucked.
Second shave I got up early Wednesday morning and shaved just out of the shower. Same prep but the shave went very well and to my delight I seemed to enjoy the time I was spending pampering myself. I was not using the pressure I had used for years and I started paying attention to the topography of my ugly mug! Not a single nick and easily as good a shave as I would get from the Sensor XL.
Third shave was Friday morning. Same prep just out of the shower. Felt the razor doing it's work with very little effort on my part. Not bbs but easily a much better shave than I've had in decades! I added a bit of the Proraso pre/post cream when I was done with the shave and all I can say is WOW! I'm hooked! I love this EJ89. This may well have been the best shave I've ever had in over 40 years of shaving! It certainly was the most enjoyable shave I've ever had!
I'm 3 weeks away from my 60th birthday and I've finally gotten a good shave and enjoyed the process. If this keeps up I may actually start shaving every morning. My wife thinks I'm nuts and she's right about that on so many levels, but let's see what she thinks when I finally achieve a bbs. She hates my usual stubble.
I will follow the advice I've read on this board and stick with the EJ89 and the Merkur blades until all 10 are gone. That should take me 2 to 3 months so I can concentrate on improving technique during those first months.
Then I'll try some of the different blades and some of the razors I already have. I seem unable to locate where I put the Super Adjustable I had bought new all those years ago. I did locate my '79 black handle super speed and the '52 steel super speed, along with the 1930 NEW President I had picked up in excellent condition. It came to me in a leather Regent Tech case and it took some research to identify, but thanks to Mr Razor's pictures I found it to be the 1930 New President, a nice open comb razor with the NEW style head. Can't wait to try that one!
Just wanted to pop in and tell the rest of the noob's like myself, stick with it. It's really not that difficult and it's worth the effort. I'm 3 shaves into wet shaving and I've just gotten the best shave of my life. The only advice you will get from this noob is TAKE YOUR TIME! It's not a race, it's your face! Oh my, I like that, I think I'll put that in my signature for a while...