A couple months back I bought myself a new shave brush (I've been using a brush and shave soap for years now) and a nice new Dovo straight razor. Bought myself a beautiful strop from The Well Shaved Gentleman (Best customer service ever. Hands down. Plus an absolutely gorgeous product). And sent my razor off to be honed by Chris Ellison about a week ago.
Well, I figured the time was right to man up and put that bare blade to good use. I'm happy to say that one fumbling pass with that freshly honed Dovo is hands-down one of the most comfortable, close, and smooth shaves I've ever had in my life.
I'm sure my angle wasn't ideal. I can guarantee that my lather wasn't perfect (my soap is cheap, and I think my mix was too damp). I gave myself a lovely slice on my neck beneath my ear because I wasn't paying close enough attention to the top end of my blade. But, despite all the problems, that razor cut the hell out of my thick, wiry, tough beard. I finished it off with some L'Oreal for men aftershave balm, and a spash of Old Spice.
I have learned several things as a result of this experience so far:
1. Straight Razors are freaking awesome. I want to beat my chest and light a fire, just to prove I can.
2. Tony Miller and Chris Ellison are helpful, kind, and immensely talented at what they do. My strop is gorgeous, and Chris managed to produce the sharpest piece of steel I've ever encountered in my life. Pay a visit to www.thewellshavedgentleman.com - they won't disappoint you.
3. Styptic pencils are also awesome. And handy. But even cutting the crap out of yourself with a razor that freaking sharp doesn't hurt enough to worry about it the way some people do.
4. This wetshaving business is wonderful, and I can't wait to get good enough at it that I can zip through three passes with a straight razor without peeling off the top layer of my face.
Thanks for a great community. Happy shaving!