First of all, I'd like to say hi to everyone, since this is my first post. My name is Ed as you can probably tell from my screen name. I'm a junior at Clemson University studying Graphic Communications. The time I've spent lurking here, I've seen there is a Clemson Alum here. Go Tigers! I'm currently not at Clemson because I am doing a required internship with a printing company located near DC.
I guess while were doing this, I might as well give a little history of my shaving past. I've always been a fan of what I considered "wet shaving" over using an electric razor. As far as I knew, wet shaving consisted of a Mach 3 and "goop in a can". I was never really satisfied with my shave though, and once my facial hair started to grow faster so I had to shave every day, I quickly realized that something had to change. Funny enough, I was watching an episode of M*A*S*H one day and saw Hawkeye lathering up with a snazzy lookig brush. That got me thinking that there has got to be a better way to shave. At the very least there had to be some technique out there.
Finally, after searching about shaving, I stumbled across this forum via Wikipedia I think. Boy was I suprised. As soon as I started reading, I just couldnt stop. I decided to stop by Target today after work and pick up some of the Proraso products. After a little searching around, I finally found them and ended up buying the entire line: pre-shave, shaving cream (green tube), after shave cream, and a brush (boar hair I think). I also picked up a Gillette Sensor since that seemed like the most acceptable cartridge razor around here. I was going to wait until tomorrow morning to shave, since I take my showers in the morning, but I was so excited about my new stuff I decided to shave as soon as I got home from work.
I hopped in the shower for a quick rinse off and to get my beard wet. Since I had been growing it out for about a week, I took the advice I read and washed it with shampoo. The pre-shave felt very nice, cool and relaxing. It was also great fun whipping up the cream in a cappuchino mug I found around the apartament. After applying the cream, I shaved one pass N-S, re-applied cream and did another pass N-S, since my hair was thick in places. Since this sort of shaving was not wholly new to me, I also did a E-W pass after lathering up again. Needless to say, This was the best shave of my life. My face feels great, no irritation whatsoever. It is also a lot closer than I have ever been able to get it.
Originally, I was going to wait for a week or so and forage into the world of DE shaving, but after my positive experience today, I think I'll start much sooner. I plan to follow most of the advice I've seen around here for beginners and buy a Merkur HD. I've seen a lot about blades, and was really wondering what would be best to start out with.
Hope you can endure such a long post. Thanks for all of the great advice so far.