Who taught you to shave?

Thoughts and input on anything related to wet shaving or men's grooming.
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jww
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Post by jww »

Dad taught me on a Schick injector. I didn't believe him about letting the razor do the work, so had lots of razor burn as a teen. Moved to electric later in my 20's thinking it would be easier somehow - and never felt clean shaven. Moved back to blade and then did my graduate work in DE shaving from the SMF Open University.

Thanks guys!!
Wendell

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Mike R
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Post by Mike R »

In the beginning, no one really taught me.

I remember my dad shaving with a brush, soap & DE, but when it was time to start shaving he didn't teach me anything. I recently tried to steal his razor, an Milord, and although the blade is almost completely rusted, he claims he still uses it, but I've never seen him.

When it was time for me to shave, my mom bought me some of those yellow & white bic disposables - "face-eaters," I call them. I think they were 19¢ each or 7 for $1.00. I got a can of something, I think it was "Foamy." I muddled through it. All in all, the foam & cartridge system doesn't take much to master.

It probably didn't matter if the setup worked or not, because I didn't have much to shave, anyway.

I suffered through all the disposable & cartridge razors to the Mach III. I avoided shaving and complained about it all that time. The more expensive M3 cartridges and worse performance led me to search out something better. I found the MSN article and made my way here.

So after 20 years of bumbling, the collective wisdom and tutelage of SMF has finally taught me.

Thanks!

Mike

- edited - My dad's razor is / was a Milord, not Aristocrat. I always get those 2 names mixed up.
Last edited by Mike R on Mon May 28, 2007 11:21 am, edited 1 time in total.
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koeos
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Post by koeos »

EL Alamein wrote:Here'show I got started.

Chris
Thanks for that link. After reading it I'm almost tempted to give it a go with a straight. The whole process of stropping and honeing was very well described. It's taken away some of the intimidation factor I had towards getting my feet wet using a straight.
- Mark
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paperpundit
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Post by paperpundit »

My dad...he handed me a can of shaving cream and a Good News razor. My first boss took one look at my hacked up visage and said "son, let me show you how to shave..."
Ed was an ex-Navy World War II vet. He swore by a Wilkinson Bonded and showed me how to let the cream sit on my face for a while, softening things up, then shaving. Ed was one hell of man, but he couldn't give up his smokes. It cost him.

That was pretty much my routine, minus a switch to electrics every now and then, until these boards.

All the best,
Jack

"All you need is love, love...love is all you need."
EL Alamein
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Post by EL Alamein »

koeos wrote:
EL Alamein wrote:Here'show I got started.

Chris
Thanks for that link. After reading it I'm almost tempted to give it a go with a straight. The whole process of stropping and honeing was very well described. It's taken away some of the intimidation factor I had towards getting my feet wet using a straight.
My pleasure. I wrote that article for people just like yourself. Those who might be curious but a tad hesitant. I tried to remove some of the mystery of straights. Glad you enjoyed.

Chris
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prism
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Post by prism »

My dad taught me. No ceremony to it, he just came in the room and said "Ok boy, time to shave that **** off your face!" I was thrilled, because I knew that this was a Rite of Passage. My dad and I were satnding in front of the bathroom mirror as he held up a TracII and recalled an old Gillette commercial that ran for a long time in the early seventies by intoning "This is a razor, it is sharp, it is very sharp, if not used carefully it will cut you in a variety of ways." He told me to just do what he did starting with the lathering (out of the can) right up to the razor. N-S on the cheeks, S-N on the neck, and E-W on the chin. He handed me a bottle of Mennen Skin Bracer and told me to slap it on. Burned my face to High-Hell, but I would'nt let him know it. I thanked him and pretended to go in my room. I made a bee-line back to the bathroom to rinse that hellfire off my face! Damn, it hurt! I could'nt believe anyone would voluntarily do that to themselves. Funny, because now I love the burn and look forward to it! I was 15 going on 16. Vic
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DavidB
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Post by DavidB »

My dad never took me aside and said "This is how you shave." But I did watch him in the mornings when I was a little boy and saw how he lathered up the soap in a mug, how he used his DE razor, etc. Over time, he gave me some tips... be sure to get your beard nice and soft... that sort of thing.

Dave
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styptic screams
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Post by styptic screams »

Mike R wrote:In the beginning, no one really taught me.....I muddled through it.....So after 20 years of bumbling, the collective wisdom and tutelage of SMF has finally taught me.....
Same here. No mentors.

There was a guy who was a year older that tried to explain the process -- more or less...

...but basically, it came down to:

• Buy a Super-Speed (1957? -or- 1958 TV Special?)
• Lather up
• Commence hack n' slashin'! :D
• Apply T.P. "dots" to the gushers :shock:
shavedhead
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Post by shavedhead »

My grandfather did with his old Gilletter DE razor. I remember cutting my finger on more than one occasion playing with his razor

:twisted:
Have a wonderful shaving day
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Nitrox
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Post by Nitrox »

I learned on my own at the age of 11. With DE razors to boot, before the multi blades came out.
Bruno

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shave every day and you'll always look keen."
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rustyblade
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Post by rustyblade »

My first razor was state of the art at the time...a sensor. I'm sure I also used the whiz-bang new Gillette Gel at the time. I wish it could be a more romantic story.

I also taught myself, but then, what is to teach? Apply gel to face, shave with sensor.
Richard
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fireandicefuel
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Post by fireandicefuel »

I guess my brother taught me a little. But I started out on an electric so I really just figured that out myself. Then, as time passed by I evolved to the Mach 3, then the M3 Power, and this week the Merkur HD
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JohnSmith
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Post by JohnSmith »

mantic. 'Nuff said.
"Getting ideas is like shaving: if you don't do it everyday, you're a bum." -Alex Kroll
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Bargepole
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Post by Bargepole »

My grandpa. My father is an electric razor man (when I was a kid he had one of those old Remingtons that had to be started by flicking a little rubber wheel). My grandfather used Erasmic or Trumper violet, a Simpson brush, a Gillette Aristocrat, Eucris on his hair and Ajaccio Violet as an aftershave. Me, I decided to break the mould, rebel against my father, and exert my independence. So I used Trumper violet, a Simpson brush, Eucris on my hair, Ajaccio Violet as an aftershave, but a slim adjustable (and later a Techmatic) instead of the Aristo. But I still have his Aristocrat and now I use it most days.

Actually, he showed me how to shave. It was Mason at Trumper who *taught* me how to shave. Both dead now, of course, but I remember them each time I shave, just like every time I iron a shirt I remember the sub-editor at my first newspaper who taught me how to do that.
Michael

People say it's never too late. How wrong they are. --Felix Dennis
bernards66
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Post by bernards66 »

Well, I'm self-taught. Like Michael, my father was an electric shaver guy. Although he must have used a blade when he was young, he came of age when 'science' was all the thing, and he was an electrical and systems engineer, so he'd hooked into the electrics real early on. But, unlike Michael, my grandfather was in no state or mood to teach me anything, so, when I decided to go the blade and lather route, I was kind of on my own, although I had watched my barber shave numerous gents when I was a kid. I went out and bought the then new Gillette model; the long handled adjustable ( this was 1964 ), and some lemon/lime canned foam. Then I dug up a fairly long ariticle in a back issue of Playboy Magazine on men's grooming and shaving, and read it carefully. Back then, basic and sound shaving knowledge was pretty much the norm, and that article covered all the main bases, and spared me any serious mistakes or foolishness from the beginning. I never had any major shaving problems, but when I shifted to a brush and soap twenty years later, I did have to re-learn the blade angle business.
Regards,
Gordon
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Bargepole
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Post by Bargepole »

bernards66 wrote: [ . . . ] but when I shifted to a brush and soap twenty years later, I did have to re-learn the blade angle business.
Now why did you have to re-learn blade angle just because you changed the way you got water (lather) onto your face? To what do you attribute this rather [TURNS TO JURY] curious statement?
Michael

People say it's never too late. How wrong they are. --Felix Dennis
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tonyespo
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Post by tonyespo »

My grand father. He lived with us after my grand mother died. I watched him shave almost every day. When I was about 12 I started to get a light beard. He taught me to shave with olive oil pre-shave, Williams soap and old coffee cup, some sort of plastic boar brush, Gillette DE SS with Gillette blades, Old Spice after shave that burn the dickens out of you. Later I tried every razor that came out and today I use a Gillette Fat Boy with Feather blades.
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Trumperman
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Post by Trumperman »

Well, I started with my Dad's Rolls. (I know, I know...) I used to hone and strop it for him as I thought it was a pretty cool thing to do. He really gave me no directions other than to take my bloody time or pay the consequences. I paid a few dear consequences and he sympathetically purchased a Fat Boy for my enjoyment and longevity in life. I had a pretty good technique by the time I graduated to the Gillette. Over time fell prey to the Gillette hype and transcended on to the cartridges. About 23 or so years ago I stumbled onto an article on Trumper's while flying to London. I stopped in and was hooked on creams and brushes ever since. I went back to DE shaving after talking to Gavin at Trumper's. He told me about this strange and wondrous forum devoted to wet shaving. That was back in '04 if memory serves me right. The DE was the final link to my wet shaving enjoyment.

Regards,

Bill
Don't think......shave.
bernards66
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Post by bernards66 »

Michael, ( cough...clearing of throat ) Well, you see, back when I was using canned foam, I would make one pass with the grain, and that was that. Since that is all I was doing, and since foam is more forgiving in a way, and since I had a decent touch...I could get away with a less then optimal angle. The DE handle was pointing more toward the floor. But when I switched to a brush and C&E soap, with it's closer faster cut, and doing a second pass....well, it became clear that something wasn't quite right. So, I learned to use a different angle, with the handle more parallel to the floor. Everything takes considerably more time, when you're working it out by yourself, with no knowledgeable guidance. On the other hand, you do learn to pay attention and work with it, cause there's no one to run to to 'fix' it for you.
Regards,
Gordon
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Hawkeye5
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Post by Hawkeye5 »

Koeos, by all means, try the straight razor. There is a learning curve, but satisfaction awaits. It is really not as difficult, or dangerous, as it may seem.
I still remember my youngest uncle commenting to my father that my cheeks were so smooth that I could use an electric (around 1962). And I did for a while. Also all the cartridge razors.
But I'm old enough that I started with a DE, later moved to injectors in college, normally one pass WTG, heck, that is how Dad shaved.
Having escaped the marketing hype I now am quite happy with a straight razor.
My only regret is the lost decades in between when I was wandering the desolate wasteland of cartridges and goo in a can and didn't know any better.
As Gordon points out, we no longer have to work all this out by ourselves through trial and error. With forums such as this, we can learn quickly through others. Not an option when I started shaving.
John
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