I've been an advocate of cold water shaving since maybe my 3rd week of using a DE back in January and haven't really looked back since. It simply lead to far, far less irritation from shaving and what felt like a much closer shave - despite their being additional resistance when cutting the ol' whiskers.
Anyhow, I soon switched to a shavette and the same applied - the colder the water = the greater the comfort! I finally got sick of that vicious little git about a month ago and decided to invest in a shave ready straight razor, poor man's strop kit et al and I've been getting damned good shaves.
However, my problem is that I was just spending too long in the bathroom when shaving so I've been aiming to cut everything unnecessary about my routine out of my routine (let's face it, I'm sure 90% of us are doing something that's unnecessary whether it be soaking the brush before a shower or applying a gazillion different types of wizard-approved magic oils before the lather).
What I've been doing that I feel is unnecessary:
1. Soaking the brush whilst I shower. Having stopped this I've not noticed any difference to my lathering at all
2. Lathering in a bowl - I get better results with face lathering and I don't have to clean a bowl afterwards
3. Applying alum after every shave regardless of whether I'd nicked myself or not and then having to wait and rinse it off
Then today it hit me - a cold water splash before I shave, that'll save me 30 seconds or so (it doesn't seem like much, but when you're in a rush in the morning these things add up, right?). So I thought, why not give hot water a go again? It can't hurt, right?
Wow. I can shave with hot water and it DOESN'T irritate me when I'm using a straight razor. Not only that but I got a better shave
My thinking is simply this - that DE blades are generally much harsher on your skin than a straight razor. The cold water certainly helped to calm that irritation. But a real straight isn't as sharp as a double edge blade; and warm lather does seem to help soften the hair which aids in cutting and giving a smoother shave when using a straight. My skin also looked better after the shave with warm lather and a straight than with cold lather and a straight. If it'd been a DE my face would be on fire.
It really, really surprised me. I'm going to try this again tomorrow to see if I can duplicate the results, as it'll be nice to use a warm lather during winter. I just thought I'd share my little epiphany!
Has anyone else noticed anything similar?
Hot vs cold - straight vs DE. DISCUSS!