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Hello all, so tired of electric, need to change!

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Hello all, so tired of electric, need to change!

Postby mustang_john » Sat Aug 17, 2013 6:27 am

Hi everyone,

This is my first post on this forum and I am here out of desperation.

I have shaved all my life (45 years old) with electric shavers, either Philips rotary of currently Braun foil shave. I have tried wet shaving quite a few time and always given up as I just end up bleeding all around my neck with my face feeling like it is on fire.

I've tried various wet razors, ranging from cheap disposable ones, up to high end brands like the Mach3 etc. No matter which I try, the above results ensue.

My beard is like 80's grit wet & dry and even with new cutters, my Braun struggles. Then there are the areas on my face that no matter how many passes, it wont shave the hair off. My beard is very strong, I must shave each day or I look like a tramp, yet within 6 hours, the stubble is showing! I have just so had enough of scrapping my face like this. I hate shaving electric with a passion, yet feel constrained to do so due to the excessive cuts and bleeding from my neck. I am not a diabetic or anything, I just seem to cut so easily on my neck. My cheeks hardly ever cut.

This last week or so since coming here to this forum, I have been showering, then drying my face and electric shaving, then using a toner on my face followed by a sensitive skin moisturiser. I do not use aftershave except on special occasions. My face is a lot better, but the problem of stubborn areas remains, having to nib off those bits with a blade, but that irritates my face again. Catch 22?

So seeing as places like this forum now exist I thought I would try and get some advice on were to go with this. I have often wondered if using a straight razor would give me better feel and control than a DE, or would it be better to go the DE route.

This is an open question guy, I have not bought any wet shave stuff yet as I want it to be the right gear for my face when I do.

So as much input as I can get will be very much appreciated. I though maybe I was the only guy that had these problems, Thankfully after reading some posts on here, I see I am not on my own.

Thanks in advance gentlemen, I look forward to your input.

John.
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Re: Hello all, so tired of electric, need to change!

Postby Squire » Sat Aug 17, 2013 7:42 am

Hey John, welcome aboard, you've found the right place. Traditional wet shaving is a learned physical process but if you are dexterous enough to tie your shoes you can get a good shave without irritation, discomfort or mishap. Think of an overhand tennis serve, we don't get it perfect the first time but with practice, some muscle memory and attention to detail, the process will fall into place.

Redness is usually caused by applying too much pressure which is a natural instinct when trying to get the whiskers off in the stubborn spots. It's counter intuitive but using little or no pressure actually does a better job. Another impulse is to grip the razor handle tightly but we learn the weight of the razor is enough and we only need hold it sufficiently that we don't drop it. The hand is just there to guide the tool.

Nicks and cuts seem to be related to razor angle but the real culprit is shaving too fast. We all want to move the process along but speed is the enemy here and we can no more push it than we can will a manual transmission to act like an automatic.

A good shave brush will last decades, shaving soap or cream is relatively inexpensive (the best cost less than one fast food meal) any large cup or small bowl can be used for building lather and disposable razors will do for a start. I like the Gillette Good News razor which is a disposable copy of the old Tract 11 and has the correct razor angle already set. The disposables are not ideal (not heavy enough) but will work for a start. I believe you would be better off with a traditional DE razor and blades (check out our vendor's sites) but you can start with disposables and canned shaving foam/gel while you wait for your first package of supplies to arrive. If you're like the rest of us it will be the first of many.

So jump in, get started, keep us posted on every step (we like to talk about this stuff), just be mindful of the first and oldest rule of shaving . . . which is take your time.
Regards,
Squire
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Re: Hello all, so tired of electric, need to change!

Postby JRTASTER » Sat Aug 17, 2013 9:56 am

Welcome to SMF!
Your situation is not really uncommon and Squire summarized some key issues.
Stick around and try to read up on the various components of a good shave!
jr/John
Enjoying wet shaving, again.
jr/John
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Re: Hello all, so tired of electric, need to change!

Postby JarmoP » Sat Aug 17, 2013 5:32 pm

You can also start traditional wet shaving in baby steps by a fixed head disposable like Bic Sensitive and and canned gel, as Squire told. You mentioned having used disposables before, and my advice is not to use the pivoting head ones.

If you take time and as advised gentle no pressure approach, the gentlest shaves can be had with non pivoting head razors. To know the direction of your beard growth and multiple pass approach. First pass with the grain and second and possible more passes across the grain or even against the grain.

If you can have access to a DE razor it could be better as to me the Bics are a bit of a sharp/rough side on my skin.

And nothing wrong with alternating between electric razor and wetshaving.

Wellcome to the forum.
Jarmo
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Re: Hello all, so tired of electric, need to change!

Postby CMur12 » Sat Aug 17, 2013 8:51 pm

Hi John -

Squire just gave you the advice you would need to get started with a double-edge razor. The added heft of a metal razor and a sharper blade, along with a light touch, might give you an advantage over what you have tried before. An Edwin Jagger or Muhle razor with some of the sharper blades, like any of the Gillette 7 O'Clock series, Perma-Sharp Supers, Polsilver, Personna Medical Preps ("For Hospital Use"), Treet Dura-Sharps, etc, should serve you well. A well prepped beard (soaked and softened) and a well prepared lather that provides glide as well as cushion would also help.

Feather blades are the sharpest of all, and they would undoubtedly slice right through your tough beard, for a couple of shaves at least, but they may be hard on your skin. They're probably worth trying, though.

I can't really speak to the straight razor, as I don't use one. My sense of it is that you can have more complete control of an open blade, but the learning curve is much steeper.

I wish you the best!

- Murray
Give me Soap or give me death!
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Re: Hello all, so tired of electric, need to change!

Postby ShadowsDad » Sat Aug 17, 2013 9:55 pm

Welcome to the forum!

Don't forget the option of a vintage single edge safety razor. There are not just DE razors, but today new safety razors are only made in DE (OK, I just stepped all over the Cobra, I know that!). :-) Lots of us use vintage razors.

Do a bunch of reading and when you have questions we're here.

BTW, it's not at all unusual, and you'll think I'm crazy, to move from thinking shaving as a despised chore to actually enjoying it and looking forward to it. Hence the existence of this forum where we help others learn the techniques and share what we like.
Brian

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Or find it here: Italian Barber, West Coast Shaving, Barclay Crocker, The Old Town Shaving Company at Stats, Maggard Razors; Leavitt & Peirce, Harvard Square
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Re: Hello all, so tired of electric, need to change!

Postby mustang_john » Sun Aug 18, 2013 6:40 am

Thanks everyone for your input, there's lots to go on there. Think I need to find a decent second hand DE on fleabay, just wish I hadn't thrown my dads razor away when he died all those years ago :roll:

Will keep you posted.

John.
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Re: Hello all, so tired of electric, need to change!

Postby Zot! » Sun Aug 18, 2013 8:45 am

My advice is to get a Edwin Jagger de. http://www.theenglishshavingcompany.com/cgi-bin/psProdSrch.cgi/@cTraditional%20DE%20Safety%20Razors@bEdwin%20Jagger. They make a quality razor. You could even get some shaving cream and/or soap and a decent brush all at one place.
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Re: Hello all, so tired of electric, need to change!

Postby mustang_john » Sun Aug 18, 2013 1:28 pm

Cool, thanks for that, will have a nosey at their site.

:)
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Re: Hello all, so tired of electric, need to change!

Postby CMur12 » Sun Aug 18, 2013 2:01 pm

John, here is another great vendor in the UK:

http://www.connaughtshaving.com/

The owner, Paul, is a real gentleman who is very knowledgeable about traditional wetshaving.

- Murray
Give me Soap or give me death!
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Re: Hello all, so tired of electric, need to change!

Postby brothers » Sun Aug 18, 2013 3:30 pm

CMur12 wrote:John, here is another great vendor in the UK:

http://www.connaughtshaving.com/

The owner, Paul, is a real gentleman who is very knowledgeable about traditional wetshaving.

- Murray


Yes, a UK vendor who's ready to help you out. His range of products and his prices are notable.
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Re: Hello all, so tired of electric, need to change!

Postby Squire » Sun Aug 18, 2013 7:51 pm

Here's another:

http://www.gentlemans-shop.com

Good folks.
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Re: Hello all, so tired of electric, need to change!

Postby jww » Mon Aug 19, 2013 7:20 am

When Squire posts - it's always worth reading -- more so when it's longer that his usually brief line or two. :wink:

Well said -- I have nothing further to add other than ....

Welcome to SMF.

Don't forget the Woolfat. :D
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Re: Hello all, so tired of electric, need to change!

Postby Squire » Mon Aug 19, 2013 11:27 am

I've discovered verbosity and it suits.
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Re: Hello all, so tired of electric, need to change!

Postby mustang_john » Mon Aug 19, 2013 12:16 pm

love it, grins enthusiastically to myself.

This is all top stuff, guys, you are gentlemen, thanks very muchly :)
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Re: Hello all, so tired of electric, need to change!

Postby harper » Mon Aug 19, 2013 6:11 pm

You might want to try a combination ... use the electric to get the heavy stuff off and then finish with any of the razors and blades recommended (except Feathers which I think are too sharp for someone not experienced in wet shaving ... and even for a lot of people who are from what I read here) until you have your technique down. I have used most if not all (and a lot of others) the blades mentioned and am currently using Derby blades which I think are splendid. I got away from them for a year or so because various posters on the forum were saying how great some of the other blades were and when I went back to Derby blades I remembered why I like them so much ... they just do a splendid job for me.

I did work from Braun years ago and was extremely impressed with the research they did at their German headquarters in designing and producing their foils and the shapes they developed and I think their razors are better than any others on the market. However, in the end, an electric will not give me as close a shave as a DE or cartridge razor. I kept one in my office for years to use when I had to go out at some function at night and needed to shave before going out. And I still have a trusty Braun in drawer here at home for those times when I have to go out at night ... I won't wet shave twice in one day if I can possibly avoid it.

There is some good advice in the posts here and you will have to find out through trial and error what works best for you because wet shaving is in a way like whiskey: what is great for one person is like rotgut for someone else.

Good luck.

Bob
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Re: Hello all, so tired of electric, need to change!

Postby slackskin » Fri Aug 30, 2013 4:10 pm

Squire wrote:I've discovered verbosity and it suits.


Hmm - - Squire, an attorney, loves verbosity. Who would have guessed it?
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Re: Hello all, so tired of electric, need to change!

Postby Squire » Mon Sep 02, 2013 2:44 pm

Oh I don't love it just find it useful.
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Re: Hello all, so tired of electric, need to change!

Postby notthesharpest » Tue Sep 03, 2013 9:46 am

harper wrote:You might want to try a combination ... use the electric to get the heavy stuff off and then finish with any of the razors and blades recommended (except Feathers which I think are too sharp for someone not experienced in wet shaving ... and even for a lot of people who are from what I read here) until you have your technique down. I have used most if not all (and a lot of others) the blades mentioned and am currently using Derby blades which I think are splendid. I got away from them for a year or so because various posters on the forum were saying how great some of the other blades were and when I went back to Derby blades I remembered why I like them so much ... they just do a splendid job for me.

I did work from Braun years ago and was extremely impressed with the research they did at their German headquarters in designing and producing their foils and the shapes they developed and I think their razors are better than any others on the market. However, in the end, an electric will not give me as close a shave as a DE or cartridge razor. I kept one in my office for years to use when I had to go out at some function at night and needed to shave before going out. And I still have a trusty Braun in drawer here at home for those times when I have to go out at night ... I won't wet shave twice in one day if I can possibly avoid it.

There is some good advice in the posts here and you will have to find out through trial and error what works best for you because wet shaving is in a way like whiskey: what is great for one person is like rotgut for someone else.

Good points Bob.

Just for contrast: I didn't hit my wet-shaving "stride" until I tried Feather blades. The "excessive" sharpness worked better for me as a beginner than the other blades I had available.

I do think a person new to this may have to try some different blades till he finds what he likes. The main thing for a beginner would be to avoid anything that gets universally-terrible reviews. For those things like Feather blades that have both strong supporters and many detractors, they're generally worth a try, even just to confirm that you don't like them.

I remember that when I began reading this board and knew nothing about shaving, there were people whose posts I tended to agree with, and other people who I tended to disagree with. I began by following the equipment recommendations of the people who seemed to think like me. That worked out quite well.
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Re: Hello all, so tired of electric, need to change!

Postby brothers » Thu Sep 05, 2013 9:14 pm

It is so very true, the old saying that great minds do indeed think alike.
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