Straight, not Square! Beatnik's Journal (oh yes!)
This morning was my second straight razor shave!
So, I took the plunge ...I knew that I would be pursuing shaving with a straight razor around the beginning of the year. At that time, I thought that I would hold off until this summer with the idea of having 1 year of DE shaving under my belt. But I found my self drifting over to the straight razor forum here more and more as well as checking out the various YouTube vids, etc. What gave me the final push was reading the Journal entries of various "class of 2012" posters here in this forum. I have found these journals (esp. noahpictures, Grips, GW Shaveleo, cameraflier, & many more) very instructional and quite inspiring!
So, in my rational mind, I thought that I would start out by getting the "sight unseen" deal from Larry @ Whipped Dog. However, I spent too much time on e-bay looking at straights and lo-and-behold, I now have 4 straight razors, two of which are shave ready! I also grabbed a 3" strop from Star Shaving as well as their CrOx balsa, and yes, I have nicked my beautiful strop (it's not a bad nick, though)!
My first shave was on Monday morning. I had a two day beard and had planned to make my first pass WTG with a DE followed by WTG pass with the straight. Well, so much for plans! I was just too curious and wanted to see how this newly honed and stropped razor would perform. With this two day growth before me, I grabbed the straight and started under my right side burn. I started the first stroke with some momentum and gently added a little sideways motion(!) to help with not tugging on the dense beard growth. It was a long pass, and it worked well, no tugs and fairly close, much closer than I would have thought to achieve so soon. The razor felt comfortable in my hand and the next thing that I knew, I was finished with my cheek and was on to my chin. There I stopped. I just couldn't figure out the angle and just let it go for another time. I did shave the mustache area and a fair amount of my neck, which was much more than I thought I would accomplish for my first shave. Then, it was time to do the left side of may face. I switched over to holding the razor with my left hand, stretched the skin under the side-burn and I was off. I expected some awkwardness holding the razor in my non-dominate hand and I did, but it was manageable. I finished shaving my left cheek, mustache & a bit under my jaw line and called it good. Considering that I was shaving a two day growth, I felt very good about how it went. I think I was able to get an idea of what a shave ready razor feels like and was surprised how comfortable I felt shaving with a straight, all things considered. A very positive experience to build on! Then, it was a routine DE shave to finish it off near BBS.
I can be a bit long winded so I will just summarize this mornings shave. Had just normal stubble on my face this morning having shaved BBS 20 hours earlier. The straight razor felt comfortable in my hands and on my face, so I went to work with little pause. I tried to be aware of the spine of the razor through out the shave to help keep a ~20deg angle or flatter if I felt uncomfortable or had some grabbing. Also paid attention to stretching the skin where I was shaving. Long story short, I was able to shave the entire right side of my face and neck (and chin!) with all of the left side of my face and just about all of the neck -I was very pleased. The shave left quite a bit of stubble with more on the left side than the right, but I'm OK with that as I did reduce some beard! I finished up with a DE and had a DFS+ with a bit of burn from the straight, but really nothing to complain about.
So, my impressions for the first two shaves with a straight: 1) I did not cut myself -nice!. 2) Was surprised on how comfortable I felt using the straight (at least WTG). Last, 3) how much fun I had shaving with a straight! So, I'm off on another shaving adventure, -hold on 'cause here we go!
Proud member of Old Spice Mondays. Go ahead, smell like your Grandpa!