New DE user: Plan of attack

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L. Martino
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New DE user: Plan of attack

Post by L. Martino » Sat Aug 28, 2010 4:00 am

Hiya,

Making the transition from cartridge to DE shaving can be confusing for someone new. Not only does technique need to be learned, but they also have to find the right razor/blade combo. Having everything come together can take a while. I've tried to figure out a quick and relatively easy way to find that combo, since technique takes care of itself through experience. Heh, by 'quick' I mean it's gonna take a month or so to get things going.

First thing is to find the right razor to test the various blades. That means starting off with a relatively mild type such as a Tech or some sorta adjustable. Whatever razor is used should be the same one for a month. This one may not end up being the perfect fit, but you gotta start somewhere.

Pick a well respected mild blade like the Red Personna or Crystal and use that combo for two weeks. After that, feel free to try 2-3 other blades for the next couple weeks. By the time that's over with, two things will have happened. Your technique will have improved dramatically, and also a reference point for blades will have been acquired. That is the time to look for other razors.

I'd suggest purchasing some user grades and trying your favorite blade in em. Heh, buy a bunch of those things and sell the ones that don't fit. Most DE users feel that in the beginning, finding the right razor is more important that finding correct blades. That's the thing to concentrate on, rather than keep switching blades in a razor that may not work well with any blade tried.

Heh, sounds like a real pain, doesn't it? Having to wait a month before even trying another razor might be frustrating, but I can't see any other alternatives. Other members may have some other ideas on the subject.

Martin


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DesertRat
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Post by DesertRat » Sat Aug 28, 2010 4:29 am

The biggest hurdle for me when I started out was trying to make the correct lather. My advice would be, before you even pick up a DE, work on getting the lather correct. Even if that means shaving with your cartridge for a while, or better yet, transitioning with a BIC sensitive.

Buy a tube or tub of Taylor's cream, or one of the other 3 Ts, and work with that before you start venturing into other creams or soaps. Once you feel you've got the lather correct, then move to the DE. I say stick with the same cream for a while as you are working on your DE technique. That way, you remove incorrect lather as a factor.
Paul

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Post by marsos52 » Sat Aug 28, 2010 5:31 am

i always tell new guys that are starting to de shave.. to use a brushless cream so the lather is correct and protective..

but i also tell them they must make lather themselves each time they shave...for practice.. once they feel they making good lather themselves,,
them put the brushless cream a side..

or just start with a cream.. hard to screw-up with a cream

marc

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Odio Barbillas
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Post by Odio Barbillas » Sat Aug 28, 2010 6:26 am

Ehh, I started using VDH soap and boar brush, then went to Williams. I didn't realize one need not mash the brush into the soap; I learned from Mantic what to do. In any event, I got nice lather from my municipal, chlorinated, medium-hard water supply. Nothing like I have seen in the videos; they all sport a look as full as sprayed-on glop; but useful. No one will ever mistake me for an old rabbi with a face-covering such as I get.

After I succumbed to incipient AD, I bought a Feather Popular and my first DE shave was with the supplied Feather blade. Having had the hell scared out of me from all my reading, I accidentally got it right and had what was then the best shave of my life; no weepers, no nuthin'. I, er, gather that many people do not have this same experience. 8)

So, as I heard someone mention, somewhere, YMMV, no? Oh, and I've also become hooked on Indian shave creams in tubes. Same deal, but even more fun, I find!
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Post by gsgo » Sat Aug 28, 2010 6:38 am

marsos52 wrote:i always tell new guys that are starting to de shave.. to use a brushless cream so the lather is correct and protective..
marc
Marc - I would agree with this, once the novice learns the angles and strokes needed to use the DE safety razor he is well on his way. There are a ton of great creams to use brushless.
Good shaving,

Gary

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Post by brothers » Sat Aug 28, 2010 7:11 am

In my case, I would start the week off with one razor and a blade, and stay with that combo until I just got a "feel" that I wanted to try another razor and or blade, and eventually, I found a few razors, blades, and combos that I preferred. It's a continuous evolution. Forcing a daily or other arbitrarily picked stop/start point is counter-productive, I think. Just get something and use it until you just start to feel that a change would be good. Trust your guts, is what I always say, regarding everything, not just shaving.
Gary

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Blue As A Jewel
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Post by Blue As A Jewel » Sat Aug 28, 2010 9:53 am

Fidelity (my word for the day). Work on your technique and absolutely nail it. The rest is just degree's of difference. Yes, a PILS is different than an iKon is different than a Fat Boy, but the base technique is the same - I would argue that you don't know what to adjust amongst different razors unless you have the basics down.

So no mucking about early on!
- Ravi -

You can mistrust me less than you can mistrust him. Trust me.

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GA Russell
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Post by GA Russell » Sat Aug 28, 2010 2:10 pm

I think you guys take the fun out of being a newbie. I say, try whatever soap or cream and blade that intrigues you from day to day!
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Blue As A Jewel
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Post by Blue As A Jewel » Sat Aug 28, 2010 2:18 pm

GA Russell wrote:I think you guys take the fun out of being a newbie. I say, try whatever soap or cream and blade that intrigues you from day to day!
When I was a newb I had one razor, one brush and a single blade... and dammit I learned how to use them... I also walked 5 miles to school, with my trusty mutt Sparky, in the middle of winter at -40C wearing nothing but a pair of canvas runners... kids these days hah!
- Ravi -

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Post by CMur12 » Sat Aug 28, 2010 2:50 pm

I think the fun is in getting a good shave. Keeping variables to a minimum by selecting a basic kit and sticking to it while you develop technique makes learning way faster. Once that is achieved, you have a basis for comparison when you change blades, razors, etc. Switching these around early on slows learning WAY down.

I believe that a little self-discipline and consistency in the early learning phase pays big dividends in terms of fruitful experimentation a little father down the road.

- Murray
Give me Soap or give me death!

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KAV
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Post by KAV » Sat Aug 28, 2010 3:14 pm

Making rusty run naked in only canvas sneakers was cruel.

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L. Martino
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Post by L. Martino » Sat Aug 28, 2010 3:31 pm

KAV wrote:Making rusty run naked in only canvas sneakers was cruel.
Hi there,

It actually wasn't as bad as it sounds. I heard something about Ravi choosing to dress like that.....can't remember where I saw that. I believe he'd use the rest of his clothes to dress Sparky. his 185 pound Saint Bernard/Mastiff mixed breed. Yeah, they'd run along the road together and get more than a few odd looks. The dog refused to wear the shoes though, so he was forced to wear em himself.

He would of course, undress the dog and put on the clothes himself when reaching the school. It would be goofy to leave the dog dressed up all day.

Martin

Oh, I apologize if I've spoken out of turn.
Last edited by L. Martino on Sat Aug 28, 2010 3:43 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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L. Martino
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Post by L. Martino » Sat Aug 28, 2010 3:39 pm

CMur12 wrote:I think the fun is in getting a good shave. Keeping variables to a minimum by selecting a basic kit and sticking to it while you develop technique makes learning way faster. Once that is achieved, you have a basis for comparison when you change blades, razors, etc. Switching these around early on slows learning WAY down.

I believe that a little self-discipline and consistency in the early learning phase pays big dividends in terms of fruitful experimentation a little father down the road.

- Murray
What's doin Murray,

Man, I totally agree with you about when the fun starts, and how to reach that point After the first month or so, the lather and technique should consistantly be pretty good. Things are learned a lot quicker after that period, and with much less frustration than before. Yeah, this DE thing becomes a lot more enjoyable after that happens.

Martin

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Post by CMur12 » Sat Aug 28, 2010 3:54 pm

L. Martino wrote:
CMur12 wrote:I think the fun is in getting a good shave. Keeping variables to a minimum by selecting a basic kit and sticking to it while you develop technique makes learning way faster. Once that is achieved, you have a basis for comparison when you change blades, razors, etc. Switching these around early on slows learning WAY down.

I believe that a little self-discipline and consistency in the early learning phase pays big dividends in terms of fruitful experimentation a little father down the road.

- Murray
What's doin Murray,

Man, I totally agree with you about when the fun starts, and how to reach that point After the first month or so, the lather and technique should consistantly be pretty good. Things are learned a lot quicker after that period, and with much less frustration than before. Yeah, this DE thing becomes a lot more enjoyable after that happens.

Martin
Hi Martin -

Yeah, I think we're on the same page. I also like your recommendation of razor and blade for starting out.

- Murray
Give me Soap or give me death!

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