Aiden Gill

Thoughts and input on anything related to wet shaving or men's grooming.
Pat_17
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Aiden Gill

Post by Pat_17 » Fri Mar 13, 2009 11:37 pm

I was watching a video with Aiden Gill, a barber in New Orleans, and in his opinion the 3 and 5 bladed razors are better then the single edge razors many of us use.

That got me thinking of trying a little experiment. For the past two weeks I have been very busy but I managed to pull it off. I used the same cream, Truefitt & Hill 1805 for the whole period. But for one week I tried a Mach 3 and the next I tried a Fusion, both manual versions.

Unless you use a decent amount of pressure neither will shave you that close. When you do get your technique down they work well, my problem is that they are boring and mundane. They aren't bad razors by any means, just boring. If they don't tear up your skin I can see my men gave up the DE.

Pat

divotmax
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Post by divotmax » Sat Mar 14, 2009 8:53 am

You used the magic word, "pressure." Unless you use adequate pressure you can't get all the blades to touch the skin to shave; true with any of the moveable cartridges. I also can get a decent to good shave with the Mach xxx and Sensors, but only for a few days before I start getting damage to the skin. A barber gets to see the customer for only the one shave, and probably does get a good result for that one experience. If he had to shave the same customer every day for a week, I wonder if he would feel the same. Whatever works for anyone of course, but over time I find using a DE gives equally good results as any cartridge with much less pain and suffering.
BobS

Life is too short not to use a sharp blade and a good brush.

GollyMrScience
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Post by GollyMrScience » Sat Mar 14, 2009 9:15 am

It has been my sorry experience to find out that not all barbers are the experts in shaving we hope/expect.
Nevertheless Gill may be finding he gets better single shaves with a cartridge but I bet he switches cartridges for each shave AND since the cartridge is more forgiving on angle etc is able to shave quickly and efficently with less care and attention.
The early barbers didn't use straights because they were better it was what they HAD. Modern Barbers have way more choices and many choose not to have to go through the learning curve to make a straight sing so they are satisfied to get a good shave from a cartridge with a happy customer. Some of the carved beard looks would be tricky with a straight so the easier to control aspect of a cartridge may appeal to barbers shaving those pencil thin jawline decorations.
The term "better shave" has a much larger meaning for many of us here.
-Tom-

What the heck - lets just keep mixin' stuff together till it blows up or smells REALLY bad!!

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JimDandy
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Post by JimDandy » Sat Mar 14, 2009 11:14 am

Some of the carved beard looks would be tricky with a straight so the easier to control aspect of a cartridge may appeal to barbers shaving those pencil thin jawline decorations.
I find the opposite, Tom. Nothing gives me better control than a straight. With a cartridge you never know exactly where your blade (referring to the leading blade) is. It's like the difference between drawing a line with a nice .5mm mechanical pencil and a not so sharp carpenter's pencil.

This thing with barbers and cartridges has been going on for a long time. Many years ago I read an article/interview with a barber titled something like "The Man Who Shaves The Prince." It was about an older barber from, I believe, Geo. Trumper's. He had shaved Prince Charles several times. He was touting the Mach III at the time. I didn't really know much about shaving in those days, but it struck me as odd that he didn't use a straight.

There are many younger men out there who don't know anything but cartridge razors. I suppose when you think those are your only options you'll try to find the best of the worst and settle for that. And hey, let's face it. For some people cartridges do work. Not much of a learning curve and a pretty consistant result. Running a straight or DE properly requires skill and some people aren't interested in investing the time it takes to master the art of shaving.

Regards,

Les
Perhaps one day we'll look back on this moment and crash into a parked car.

Pat_17
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Post by Pat_17 » Sat Mar 14, 2009 11:20 am

I found I could get an equal shave to a DE for what its worth with every cartridge, but the Fusion.

It is so large it is hard to maneuver. I think that the Mach 3 was an improvement from the Sensor, but the Fusion, ugh.

Pat

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Post by EverSharp » Sat Mar 14, 2009 12:17 pm

[quote]He had shaved Prince Charles several times. He was touting the Mach III at the time. I didn't really know much about shaving in those days, but it struck me as odd that he didn't use a straight.

[/quote]


In the barber's case a M3 was the safe option. His chance of nicking the prince was far greater with a straight than an M3. He did not need that kind of notoriety. The improved quality of the straight shave would probably go unnoticed by most.

JimDandy
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Post by JimDandy » Sat Mar 14, 2009 3:14 pm

In the barber's case a M3 was the safe option. His chance of nicking the prince was far greater with a straight than an M3. He did not need that kind of notoriety. The improved quality of the straight shave would probably go unnoticed by most.
Well, maybe. But it's hard to believe a senior, if not the senior barber at Trumper's wouldn't know his way around a straight. And the odds of a competent barber nicking a customer with a straight are pretty low.

It sounded more a like a sales pitch for the Mach III to me.

Regards,

Les
Perhaps one day we'll look back on this moment and crash into a parked car.

bernards66
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Post by bernards66 » Sat Mar 14, 2009 3:35 pm

Mr. Gill is just being lazy and then trying to rationalize it away. You can do the shave half asleep, and figure you can overawe any ignorant customer who brings up maybe using an 'old fashioned straight razor'. In addition to which, most of the shaves done in his shop aren't done by him personally ( which is no doubt the way he prefers it.....more time for golf or whatever ), but rather by assistants who don't know the first thing about razors and shaving really. Kind of like the sales help at the AOS stores. Disregard his remark, as it is self serving.

Regarding the various cartridges, all of them give me razor bumps and most did not shaving me nearly as well as a DE properly used. A couple of them came close....but still the bumps and the general skin irritation. I am convinced they were entirely a marketing gimmick/strategy from the very beginning, and nothing more.
Regards,
Gordon
Last edited by bernards66 on Sat Mar 14, 2009 3:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.

bernards66
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Post by bernards66 » Sat Mar 14, 2009 3:43 pm

Les, That was Ian Matthews, former manager at the Trumpers Curzon Street shop. He was touting the Sensor at that time. And he is now back at Trumpers, after a failed fling at owning his own shop, as their PR sort of chap, and is most likely responsible for the various negative tendencies at Trumpers over the last few years. As far as HRH is concerned, for his wedding, it was Trumper barber Monty Park, who showed up at the palace to shave the wedding party with his open razor.
Regards,
Gordon

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Trumperman
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Post by Trumperman » Sat Mar 14, 2009 5:37 pm

bernards66 wrote:Les, That was Ian Matthews, former manager at the Trumpers Curzon Street shop. He was touting the Sensor at that time. And he is now back at Trumpers, after a failed fling at owning his own shop, as their PR sort of chap, and is most likely responsible for the various negative tendencies at Trumpers over the last few years. As far as HRH is concerned, for his wedding, it was Trumper barber Monty Park, who showed up at the palace to shave the wedding party with his open razor.
Regards,
Gordon
You can take that to the bank. Monty retold the story to me personally. The Palace had him sent over in a taxi. It was then that he presented Charles with a bottle of "Royal" cologne. The original label touted that it was blended to mark the occasion of the Royal Wedding.

Regards,

Bill
Don't think......shave.

JimDandy
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Post by JimDandy » Sat Mar 14, 2009 11:12 pm

Les, That was Ian Matthews, former manager at the Trumpers Curzon Street shop. He was touting the Sensor at that time.
I rather suspected you'd know what I was referring to, Gordon. Thanks for the clarification.

The Sensor. Wow, time flies when you're in a coma. As I get older things from the past seem like they happened just last week. Annoys my children no end.

Bill, I'd give my eye teeth to have been a fly on the wall when you were conversing with Monty Park. No, I'm not terribly awed by Royalty, but Monty Park, yeah.

Regards,

Les
Perhaps one day we'll look back on this moment and crash into a parked car.

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Post by F.W. Fitch » Sat Mar 14, 2009 11:28 pm

Trumperman, I really wonder if the Prince chose to wear that scent for a late July wedding. It is very 'stout' and better suited for late Autumn/Winter seasons. It does have one of the nicest labels Trumpers had designed, if one goes in for that kind of thing. Not to meander too much, but I think it is quite a 'feather' to put in your own crown to have been shaved by the same 'senior' barber who shaved the reigning Prince of Wales, on the morn. of his wedding day! Really, the more I consider it, it is very fitting that a "Yank" named William who hails from Charlotte of the Carolinas be the teller of the tale. For myself, I would've been honored to have been served by the Chitown barber of Sam Giancana, but now I am meandering.

Best,
Fitch

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Trumperman
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Post by Trumperman » Sun Mar 15, 2009 6:59 am

Les & Fitch,

Where do I begin about Monty Park.....he was quite the character to say the least. Trumper had these beautiful leather bound portfolios on the table in the back of the shop that is the waiting area for clients. In there were scores of newspaper clippings about the shop and many articles relating to Monty. (I do hope he was presented with them upon his retirement) He was well loved by Ms. Paulette Bersch, the owner of Trumper. I did get to meet her once and it happened on the occasion of the introduction of the GFT cologne. It was in July on 1997. Monty introduce me to her as "me Governor". She got a kick out of that and gave him a hug. Anyway, Monty started out as a "latherboy" (this info courtesy of Gordon!) and worked his way up to Master Barber. Master Barber was an understatement. The man could give you a shave like nothing else. I say this because I experienced 14 of them under his hand. The last being when he was in his early 80's! His clients were a broad range of men. From The Prince, Tony Blair, and God knows who else all the way down to me. He treated me exactly the same as the others but I have the feeling that we were able to "talk" a bit more relaxed. He would never talk about other clients and I never asked him to do so. I knew his reputation from what I had read in the shop, being the discrete and discerning establishment that it is.

As far as if the Prince wore the cologne we may never know. He did tell me that it was quite fun to despacthed to the Palace by taxi. What happened after that is purely confidential. I do know that he was extremely honored to be chosen.

Fitch, this Yank from Carolina grew up in Chicago so I am familiar woth what you are saying. My father's second wife lived behind Tony Accardo and she told me that he had his own barber chair in his basement!

I do have a bit of video of Monty that I have transfered to DVD. If one of you could help me get this on the site it may provide some nice entertainment. Let me know.

Below is a picture of Me, my friend, and Monty. If Monty doesn't look like the epitome of an English barber then I don't know who does! The picture was taken on the morning of the GFT inaugural launch. You can see the GFT sign just behind Monty.




Image

Geez, don't get me started on Monty! I could go on for quite a while.

Regards,

Bill
Don't think......shave.

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Post by Rufus » Sun Mar 15, 2009 8:26 am

I still use a Mach3 when I travel, but in no way does it give as satisfying a shave as a DE. In fact I find the first pass with the Mach3 to be rather uncomfortable as it noticably pulls at my whiskers, and I don't have a heavy beard at all. Also, I find that my beard grows back more quickly when I've shaved with a Mach3.

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Post by Squire » Sun Mar 15, 2009 10:34 am

Great story and photo Bill.
Regards,
Squire

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Post by Sam » Sun Mar 15, 2009 3:35 pm

Bill, quite a figure you cut!!! Great story and I am glad that Monty kept the story of the Prince's shave confidential, though inquiring minds do want to know.

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Post by fallingwickets » Sun Mar 15, 2009 3:49 pm

Awesome stuff. As always, you gents are the beez neez :lol:

Clive
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Post by F.W. Fitch » Sun Mar 15, 2009 5:44 pm

Yes, great memories...thank you for sharing Bill. Now then Mach III?...*cough*...carry on as it were...

Best,
Fitch

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Post by brothers » Sun Mar 15, 2009 6:24 pm

Well now, first I think we need to get our facts straight about barbers. I've been going to a barbers for a really long time, just like all of you guys. In my case, barbers do one thing and one thing only, and that is cutting hair, not shaving. I can speak for myself, and from personal observations of my own father and his father, and my mom's father. Those guys shaved themselves, I shave myself. The thought of having to go to a barber for shaving or heaven forbid, asking for advice on shaving is about as foreign as asking a dog how to fly an airplane, or expecting him to know. Do surgeons go find a barber when they need to ask a medical question? No! Barbers used to treat injuries a few centuries ago, but no more. In this strange world we live in, I will grant you that there are probably one or more people alive who think barbers are still the source of practicing medicine, and shaving. But not anybody who really is in control of their mental facilities. How many barbers have a forum here or over at one of the other shaving websites, where us uneducated and untrained non-barbers can turn, when we get stuck with a real hard question about shaving. Zero, zip, nada, 0, none. Go ask a barber how to cut somebody's hair, then your're on the right track, but please sir, don't tell me that some barber is a source of authority on shaving, because he is a barber.
Gary

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bernards66
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Post by bernards66 » Sun Mar 15, 2009 8:29 pm

Gary, Well, going to the barber for a shave faded out gradually. It was still not that uncommon when I was a kid in the 1950s. Granted, my father didn't, but I'd sit around the shop waiting for my turn and see men come in for a shave pretty much every time I was there. In US barber's schools shaving and stropping and honing straight razors was still a major part of the coarse of study at that time, and continued to be for awhile even after that. But by the 1980s, of course, it was all over. However, in Britain and Europe, as you can see from Bill's post, the tradition and skills continued on until very recently, and are still in existance in some places. Talk with Chris Fisher about his experiances getting barber's shaves in Italy, for example. The senior barber at the original AOS shop in NYC had years of experiance in shaving several men daily, because he worked most of his career in Russia. Even Mr. Gill knows a thing or two ( even if, in certain regards, he pretends he doesn't ), because he's older and came up in the barbering tradition in Britain. So, it depends, WHICH barbers you're talking about....and to.
Regards,
Gordon

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