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Had my first DE shave today!!

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Had my first DE shave today!!

Postby biggunks » Mon Nov 20, 2006 5:25 pm

Alright guys, today was my first DE shave. I had previously been shaving in the shower with a Gillete Fusion and Aveeno shaving gel. I got all my goodies in the mail today and promptly lathered up.

A list of what I used:
Merkur Futur 4-Piece set, Polished
Feather "Hi Stainless Platinum" Double-Edge Blades, 10-Pak
Geo F. Trumper's Violet shaving cream
Geo F. Trumper's Coral Skin Food

I took a shower to soften my beard. After I got out, I put a pea sized drop of the shaving cream and a drop of water in my bowl. I used my brush, which I had let soak for a few minutes, to work up the lather. I put the razor on 2 and let it glide down my face. When I was done, I washed my face with cold water and put on some skin food.

It wasn't a bad experience. In fact, my face felt pretty good afterwards, but the shave isn't that close. I'm sure most of you will say just give it time. I'm not sure I'm working up a very good lather. I saw mantic's clips on youtube and my lather seems a lot thinner than his even though I didn't use a lot of water. Was I doing something wrong and is my brush good enough? Also, while I was shaving, my face was tender and my lower neck was bleeding in several places, but I think I wasn't working at 30 degrees at that point. But it did a bang up job on my side burns!

Any tips or suggestions are very welcome.

Thanks
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Postby ScottS » Mon Nov 20, 2006 5:46 pm

Good going!! The shave will certainly get closer with time. For now, just be happy enough without hurting yourself.

As for the lather, I think a pea-size dollop of Trumpers cream is too small. The rule of thumb people use with an average sized brush is "almond size", and then work your way up or down as you think you need it. I'd start with something at least 3/4" long out of the tube, maybe an inch, if your using Trumper's in the tube.

I find it easier to start with a well-soaked brush that's been shaken fairly dry. Start lathering, then add water with your fingertips, if the lather is too thick, until its nice and creamy, and leaves "soft peaks" when you lift your brush up out of it. If the peaks look sharp, keep adding water, a little at a time. If you think you should stop, stop. Better a little too thick than too thin, and you can always shoot for a thinner lather next shave.
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Postby 2clfrwrds » Mon Nov 20, 2006 5:55 pm

A fine first shave, sir!

That's an excellent equipment set, but I'd suggest getting one of letterk's blade samplers. The Feather blade, as Mantic says in one of his videos, is very challenging to start out with. Many shavers like the Isreali Personas as a first blade, and quite a few just stick with it.

A more forgiving blade, a little practice, and you're there! (By "there" of course, I mean SCAD, RAD, SBAD... :) )

Cheers,
Glenn
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Postby Rob » Mon Nov 20, 2006 8:44 pm

Congrats on your first shave! I hope it's just one of many more...don't give up! I do have one suggestion: turn the razor down to 1. That should reduce any chance of razor burn and bleeding that you experienced. Don't worry about closeness just yet. First you need to work on getting a painless, bleedless shave. Once you accomplish that, then you should begin to work on closeness.

I'll agree with the others, your lather seems a bit lacking. Next time try an almond size of cream. Your brush should be moist throughout, yet not dripping water. I usually soak my brush completely submerged in water, then give it 2-3 weak shakes over the sink to get rid of excess water. Then I use what's left to whip up some lather.
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Postby Chaps » Mon Nov 20, 2006 9:01 pm

HUAH!!! on your first DE shave. You are gonna love it! Welcome to the Brotherhood!

Chaps
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Postby timc » Mon Nov 20, 2006 9:20 pm

Good grief! What a great set to begin with!

The Feather blades can be a bit difficult to start with. I didn't use mine until I already had a couple of weeks under my belt. Don't worry, with a bit of practice in your technique you should be having great shaves in no time. Just remember not to use pressure, just a "Feather touch". :D

Welcome aboard!
- Tim -
"You throw the ball, you catch the ball, you hit the ball. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, sometimes it rains."
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Postby vespergo » Mon Nov 20, 2006 11:52 pm

you might need to work your lather for a bit longer. i've noticed that it does get thicker if you work it for a while, so make sure it's achieved the maximum stirring before you give up and decide that there isn't enough water or cream... this just takes time to know if it's all stirred in.

before long you'll be getting all your face as good as you're getting your sideburns.
Josh
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Postby biggunks » Tue Nov 21, 2006 11:39 am

Ah, much better. I used an almond sized amount and the lather was a lot richer. I also put the razor on 1 and tried to keep it at 30 degrees. My face wasn't as tender. The shave is a little closer. I actually looked like I shaved today. I'll keep at it until it gets exceptionally close.

One question though. Do you lather your whole face at once? By the time I shave my cheeks, under nose, and chin, the lather on my neck doesn't seem as moist. So, for my second round I lathered the portion just before I shave it.
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Postby ScottS » Tue Nov 21, 2006 12:12 pm

biggunks wrote:Ah, much better. I used an almond sized amount and the lather was a lot richer. I also put the razor on 1 and tried to keep it at 30 degrees. My face wasn't as tender. The shave is a little closer. I actually looked like I shaved today. I'll keep at it until it gets exceptionally close.

One question though. Do you lather your whole face at once? By the time I shave my cheeks, under nose, and chin, the lather on my neck doesn't seem as moist. So, for my second round I lathered the portion just before I shave it.


To each his own, but I suspect that this problem will go away when you get a tad faster. Till then, do whatever you need to do, but remember to revisit this when you have a little more experience.
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Postby biggunks » Wed Jan 10, 2007 6:52 pm

I've mainly been using the feather blades, since I had bought a pack. My razor came with a few Merkur blades and I think I might like them better. I'm at the stage now where I'm getting a great shave, but there's still some blood at the base of my neck sometimes when I'm going for ultra smooth. That's a difficult spot. It's interesting how with a DE, when you do cut yourself, it's so fine that a splash of cold water usually stops the bleeding. With the Fusion, it seemed like I'd bleed for hours sometimes.

I'm still not sure I'm working up the greatest of lathers and I still have difficulty getting close shave around the mustache area.

The skin food is great. I'm thinking about buying one of the razor variety packs on here to try out more brands.

Thanks for your help guys.
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Postby brothers » Sat Dec 24, 2011 8:47 pm

ScottS wrote:Good going!! The shave will certainly get closer with time. For now, just be happy enough without hurting yourself.

As for the lather, I think a pea-size dollop of Trumpers cream is too small. The rule of thumb people use with an average sized brush is "almond size", and then work your way up or down as you think you need it. I'd start with something at least 3/4" long out of the tube, maybe an inch, if your using Trumper's in the tube.

I find it easier to start with a well-soaked brush that's been shaken fairly dry. Start lathering, then add water with your fingertips, if the lather is too thick, until its nice and creamy, and leaves "soft peaks" when you lift your brush up out of it. If the peaks look sharp, keep adding water, a little at a time. If you think you should stop, stop. Better a little too thick than too thin, and you can always shoot for a thinner lather next shave.


Good advice, for sure. I'd use a bit more cream to start off with. a pea-size is pretty doggone small, when you think about it. An inch and a bit more for good measure, then see how it goes.
Gary
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Postby ShadowsDad » Sat Dec 24, 2011 10:31 pm

That was a great first shave!

Dittos the blade sampler. You need to determine what blade(s) work best for you: Eventually. Right now you have a lot on your plate so find a blade and stick to it to get everything else working right. Sounds like you decided on the Feather. That's not a bad thing. By using that blade you'll learn rapidly. It beats using a junk blade. Feather makes a fine blade- it's definitely sharp enough so that won't be an issue. If it starts to drag or pull the skin, change it.

Lather is one of the keys to a great shave, so concentrate on that, and forego, for the moment only, a close shave. Lather needs to provide lubrication and cushion. Make a few test lathers so that you can see how the soap lathers. Don't plan on shaving with these, just make them and waste them down the drain. Bring the lather to the point you think is right for use. Lather your arm and see how long the lather remains useable. Add more water and test along the way. Continue doing this until the lather breaks and starts to become foamy. That'd be no good to shave with, but you need to know what that sort of unuseable lather is and where the lather is best. OK, so you're lathering your arm... you need to know how long it lasts so that you know how to proceed with your face; applying it, and how long you have to shave before it becomes unuseable. Does that make sense?

Remember, if you have lather problems there are few problems that can't be cured by not using more product.

It sounds like your doing OK though.

FWIW, the 30 degrees is just an approximation. Razors work differently and eventually you'll forget the 30 degrees and just use the angle where the razor works. You'll figure it out.

The other key is "no pressure". I taught my buddy to blade shave and told him as we all tell every newbie, to use "no pressure". A few months after beginning he called me one Saturday and told me, "When you say 'no pressure' you really mean no pressure don't you!?". It finally sank in and he used just the weight of the razor and got his best shave ever, no irritation, no blood, just a great shave. OK, so "no pressure" is an oversimplification, you must have some, but it's infinitesimal pressure. Just enough to keep the razor from chattering. I use the light grip as the shock absorber to remove the chattering and that pretty much does it for pressure for me. If your skin deforms as the razor passes over it, that's too much pressure.

Eventually you're going to want to change things. Resist that for now. Keep all potential variables static and learn the basics. Get them down. Then when you have it down pat, change one variable at a time. If you change more than one you'll have no idea what variable had what effect. Eventually you'll know what variable did what, but as a beginner keep it simple, learn the basics and you'll get up to speed much quicker than if you just start to change things at random.

Oh, and keep notes. Especially when you're to the point of trying the different blades in a blade sampler. If the sampler is large, and I suggest the largest sampler you can find, you may not remember the nuances of each blade. Keep exhaustive notes. I'm in my 10th month of my foray into blade shaving (this time, first time was in '69/'70) and I'm still testing blades. I have very high standards for what I'll accept and I have exactly 3 best blades (double edge) out of close to 30 tested. If you have a small sampler you may miss your best blades.

Don't get rid of your sampler either. If you get a different razor you may need it to find a best blade for that razor. BTW, that's one reason why I have so few best blades. I want to simplify things by buying blades that work great in all my razors. That takes time and raises the bar for all the blades.

I didn't intend to write a book, but it happens when I get to the keyboard. You'll do fine and we're here when you need us.
Brian

Maker of Kramperts Finest Bay Rum and Frostbite http://www.krampertsfinest.com/
Or find it online at Italian Barber, West Coast Shaving, and Barclay Crocker.
Brick and Mortar: The Old Town Shaving Company at Stats, in Pasadena, California
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Postby Sargon » Fri Dec 30, 2011 4:23 pm

Glad that using more product helped (it almost always does, even for people who, like me, make lather out of high iron well water). My one suggestion is that, since it sounds like you are going for some pretty close shaves from more or less day one (and with some pretty aggressive hardware, to boot), that you might try an alum block after your shave (moisten it, run it over your face, wait a little while, then rinse it off), but before the skin food balm. The rest is practice, really.
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