Straight Shaving LogÖ. Entry #1.
I got the kit together. A kind B&Bíer, global_dev, honed it up and delivered it yesterday. He warned me not to strop it. He vouched that it was shave ready. I admired it. Itís not a beauty. Maybe Iíll restore it someday if my skills improve. But this 4/8 Torrey will be my starter kit while I build some skills and restore something beautiful. This morning I screwed up my courage and gave it a go. I tried two passes, shaving most of my face. This is how it wentÖ
I did my typical prep. Iíve been shaving with a DE for about a year. A DFS to near BBS has become fairly common. I typically do four passes, aiming for a high standard through gentle patience. Lately Iíve been face lathering Tabac.
First pass, WTG, dominant hand on same side. I was holding a very shallow blade angle, figuring that I could go steeper as my skills improve and the process requires it. I perceived a shallow angle as a risk adverse approach for shave #1. Right off, it didnít seem smooth. It wasnít jumpy, but I expected it to be smoother. I immediately questioned my prep. The drag reminded me of DE shaving with dry lather, only worse. It wasnít the delicate whipping away of whiskers I dreamt about. I kept at it, and then switched hands for the other side. Left side w/ left hand, WTG, wasnít as bad as I expected. It took a second to get started, but I was encouraged by my progress. I switched back for my lip and chin. Those werenít as difficult as I had anticipated.
My neckÖ. Ugh, okÖ I definitely need to explore pulling-stretching-contortions to flatten things out. That will help immensely as I build blade control. Iím a tall skinny guy, so my jaw line is a very pronounced edge, and my neck lacks any natural flat planes. With a DE, I shave my neck using a lot of Gillette-slide-ish diagonal action. With the straight, practice will tell.
I did a rinse, and felt lots of hair remaining on my face. I was only planning one pass with the straight today, but here I decided to give it another go. This time XTG, chin to ear. On my neck I tried S-N (thatís XTG for me. My neck grows primarily E-W with a few swirly bits.) I toughed through it. The XTG pass with my non-dominant hand was a challenge. I experienced considerable frustration there. I am not ambidextrous. I need to review some pictures of suggested ways to hold the blade, and practice them. I confused myself a few times. I never thought it would be so tricky to get the angle correct while still being able to see the action in a mirror.
I rinsed off. I had one minor weeper in the chin-meets-cheek area. No burns or irritated spots. I was disappointed with the quantity of hair that remained attached to my face. Admittedly, I was favoring a mild angle. Still, I was periodically pulling the blade across my finger, uber-gently, to inspect the spent lather for trimmings. I was cutting stuff. I was making progress. But the results are nothing near the one-pass-SAS-or-better Iíve heard so many times. Gotta practice, gotta get the angle right. I took a breath and remained myself that itís a process, and that I canít expect much from these first 20 shaves. Patience, and practice will be rewarded. Deep breathsÖ..
(I finished by shaving two easy passes with a mild DE, and called it a day. Itís not a perfect shave, but I didnít expected one. Iím learning. )