I'm about a month into DE shaving and I thought I'd give a synopsis of my story so far..
Started off by buying an Edwin Jagger DE89 safety razor that came with 5 derby blades.
Using a cheap wilkinson sword brush, I made a lather using 'Taylor of Old Bond Street' sandalwood cream.
The result was messy and very very painful.
Rather than go back to electric shaving, I decided that this was a skill I WAS going to learn. I was determined to shave old school!
I bought, Proraso pre/post shave cream, and an alum bloc.
I trawled through these forums, trying to glean every bit of info I could, asked a few questions, but mostly read the excellent advice from you guys.
I learnt to map my hair growth, and figure out what WTG, ATG and XTG meant for me!
My technique got a little better, and I decided to try different blades. I decided on 'feathers', and whilst there was element of fear that these would completely slice my face off, I lathered up and began to shave.
These were a lot better than Derbys, but I was still getting a fairly bad shaving rash on my neck and jaw line. A few nicks here and there, but generally really good.
I bought Palmolive shaving cream and Nivea ASB.
It's worth noting, that I was shaving at night before bed becuase it gave me all night for my face to recover from any mistakes I was making. I learnt that when you guys say 'no pressure' you mean NO pressure!
I bought witchhazel solution and aloe vera gel.
I saw somewhere on here a recipe for homemade pre-shave oil, and decided to try that.
I bought almond oil, jojoba oil, grapeseed oil, tea tree oil and made up a brilliant pre-shave oil.
Although my shaves were getting better, I still knew I could get a less painful shave with my electric razor, but as I said - I was determined not to let this beat me, so I decided to change blades again.
I wasn't convinced about the difference blades made, but as you guys always say - YMMV.
I bought Astra Superior blades, and some Proraso sandalwood cream.
Aha! Now this is better!
The Astra blade, (although not as sharp as feather), seems to glide a lot better and didn't irrate my skin.
The proraso (sandalwod) cream is very good, and smells nice.
I'm still getting a slight red rash that goes away after a hour or so, along with some red spots.
I bought Tendskin solution.
This morning (yes, I shave in the morning now), was my third shave with the Astra blades.
here is my combo:
edwin jagger de89
Astra Superior blade
proraso sandalwood and shea butter cream
(homemade) pre-shave oil
cheapo wilkinsword brush
splash of witchhazel
small amount of aloe vera
either - a moisturiser or proraso pre/post shave cream
I'm actually quite chuffed with the shave I get now, and realised that I'm actually enjoying all of this!!
I still have some work to do on my technique, and I need to work on eliminating that rash I get, but I know I'll get it.
I suppose the next thing I need to buy is a decent badger hair brush, but for now the cheapo is doing a good job (I think). My reasoning to the wife about saving money is wearing a bit thin, seeing as I seem to be always buying something for my new 'hobby'.
Hopefully this can encourage anyone who is thinking about reverting back to the electric or mach3 - keep at it!! Don't let it beat you!
Also, I massive thankyou to all the contributers who give such excellent advice and information on these forums.