Here is my (long-winded) story. I've been a wetshaver for most of my entire shaving life (about 18 years). For the most part I used Gillette sensor and sensor excel, with a Schick slim twin disposable thrown in here and there. I was too cheap to ever try the Mach 3 or Fusion. I almost never cut myself during the past 10 years (except for about 1 time a year when I just wasn't paying attention). I contribute this mostly to the years of practice with the same instruments rather than quality shaving instruments!
As for shaving cream I used Edge Gel, until recently when I decided to try the new Edge Active Care Shave Cream. I found that I liked this better than the gel but wanted to see if I could get a better deal than my local grocery store. Ultimately this change in shaving cream is what led me to B&B. I started out by Googling "edge active care" and then "brushless shave cream". As I continued to refine my keywords, my searches led me to new sites where I was introduced to a plethora of high quality products. Ultimately, I stumbled across a link to Corey Greenberg's article "The Perfect Shave". It was here that I found out that there were not just cheaper (assuming you don't develop one of the common disorders ) but potentially better shaving instruments than what Gillette mass markets as the ďend-allĒ in shaving. So I stepped up my internet searches and started looking for information on DE razors and that is what led me to this GREAT forum.
After about a week of absorbing all of the terrific advice and information here, I decided to place an order for a Merkur HD, SR208, and a tub of Taylor's Lavender shave cream, and some Derbys. In addition, I ran up to Target and got some Proraso green tube and pre-shave (took me 2 trips to find it). In a few days I had the razor, brush and cream but the razors were purchased separately on eBay and I was forced to use a disposable to carry me for another week. The thing is that I found that just using the brush and the Proraso was a tremendous improvement even with a disposable. This made me all the more excited to try the Merkur HD.
Well, the blades (all 100 of them) arrived last weekend. And since then Iíve used the Merkur 3 times with better results each time. The first shave was last Saturday and I think I got to aggressive and tried to show my beard who was boss. I did 4 passes, 2 N-S, 1 ear to Nose, and the final against the grain. While I had an extremely smooth face it was on fire for a few hours. In retrospect I should have stuck with 3 passes with none against the grain. The following shaves, while not quite as smooth as the first, have created much less irritation and I think that is due to only 3 passes (same as the first 3 passes on my first shave) and using a better angle.
Iím really looking forward to todayís shave (this afternoon) as I am going to try the Taylorís Lavender. Iíll also have the benefit of more time to complete my shave and to experiment with varying pressure and angles. Iíll be sure to report back with the results. At this point, I think I am making satisfactory progression with each shave and I realize that with more experience using a DE the better my shaves will become. While I donít have any questions/problems right now it is reassuring to know that I have the experience and expertise of the B&B members to assist me if things go southÖ
Thanks for listening!