Hello guys...(figured I'd post the same hello I did over at SMF)
Wanted to introduce myself..My name is Justin. (crowd replies...hiiii jussttiinnn) I'm in my mid 20s and am just getting BACK into wet shaving, although my first go-around was rather short lived & immature.
A little history..
I remember stumbling onto the whole wet shaving idea when I was probably 18-19 years old when I saw a barber give a guy a shave with a straight razor. I think it was a combination of the "bad ass" factor of the blade and the antiquity and masculinity of the process, not to mention the barbershop being an icon of manhood of years gone by. Unfortunately, true barbershops with a very well fed gentleman sweeping the floors before the next customer comes in has given way to "fantastic sam's" haircuttery chains and modern GQ-type Salons who could honestly care less about anything other than making a quick buck and keeping the chair warm. The times of simplicity, integrity and pride have given way to our "Federal Express Overnight" mentality of "I want everything right now." So I guess I viewed the wet shave as a throwback to better times and something that most modern men just can't or won't do. I also recall that my grandfather, to this day, always used a brush and a double edged razor and got a baby-butt smooth face. So I thought, you know, I'll do that too.
So, when I was 20, I bought a Silvertip XL from Bernd at Shavemac and a Merkur Vision razor about 3 years ago and some Haslinger Shave Soap. My first shave looked like I had got into a fight with a pissed off cat in a tiny room. I was bleeding like a stuck pig and I could never really get that Haslinger Soap to lather up like I had heard people saying their soaps & creams would. After a few shaves, I decided that this wasn't for me and it was back to the old edge shave gel & disposable bic blue razors. I sold my Vision Razor on ebay and I was done with that nightmare. I moved on to using Zirh products (gel, soothe, prepare, clean) until about a month ago when the shave gel started to nauseate me and I stopped using it, but still use Clean & their Prepare Shave oil. I think for the money, Clean is one of the best products on the market and last a LONG time.
Fastforward to about three weeks ago. I am totally fed up with paying $12 for 4 Mach 3 blades that last maybe 3 weeks. This fool isn't going to play that game anymore. I finally started doing some research and found out that it was me all along screwing the whole thing up and not giving enough chance to figure out how to properly use all the necessary "tools" of the trade. Patience is indeed the last virtue learned. Being so accustomed to the Mach 3 mentality, I will have to unlearn all of my bad shaving habits that the Mach 3 has allowed me to form. I talked to Ray at Classic Shaving and he told me, emphatically, "DO NOT ADD ANY PRESSURE TO THAT VISION! It'll take a layer of skin with it. And start it off on the least aggressive setting. Relax, let it do it's job." Soooo...I ordered another Vision from Classic Shaving, along with a mug and a tub of Taylor of Old Bond Street "Mr. Taylor" shaving cream. The mug also came with Classic Brand sandalwood soap. The box arrived today, I opened the package up and just sat back and smiled at it. So nice. I had forgotten how beefy that Vision Razor is. Man, that's a slab of meat. Then I opened the Mr. Taylor Cream..WHOA...Intoxicating aroma! Unreal. I still have my brush from Bernd at Shavemac. (which always was a beauty..his products are awesome.)
I might order another kind of Taylor's Cream. (I guess it's ok to have more than 1 cream laying around?)
I just really hope that I can get this whole thing down & have success with my new razor and not slice myself to pieces. I'm going to take it slow, but I just hope that I can get some success that others seem to get with the Vision. Any suggestions will be gladly accepted.