Cheap shaving tools guide for a newbie.

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joe11002
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Post by joe11002 »

Great Job Rob :D
Was it 5 shots or 6? Do you feel lucky, PUNK!
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fozzibear
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Newbie question about Basic Tweezerman Badger Brush

Post by fozzibear »

Hi everyone!

First of all, let me start off by saying that I've thoroughly enjoyed reading through many posts. I've only been surfing this board for about a week or so, but I'm very entertained. Thanks. :)

Second thing: I'm (slowly) converting from aerosol, multi-blade, cartridge shaving to the more traditional. Starting, of course, with the preparation part of the ritual, I just received my very first shaving brush from amazon.

I've checked out most of mantic's intro. videos, but still have a few questions ...

To prep the brush before the first use, I should soak in hot water/white vinegar (9:1) mix, right? For how long? Should I just rinse the brush off afterwards? Is there anything else I should do to prep or "season" the brush prior to my first use? I'll be using KMF Lavender (mixed in a cappuccino mug) for my inaugural lathering.

Also, the brush suggests I hang it (brush down) or leave it on its side to dry. I can't find a cheap stand (with cheap shipping) and want to add stuff gradually, anyway. What can I do for a make-shift brush-drying stand? Any thoughts on how to make one simply or how to convert something else into a brush stand?

Also, how can I minimize potential stray hairs that might fall out? I know that's a common problem with the Tweezerman. I got the brush because of very high reviews, it was inexpensive ($13.50 - free shipping) and Tweezerman's commitment to customer service and their warranty. I expect a few to fall out, initially. How many is too many? At what point should I be concerned?

I've been doing the multi-pass technique (2x-WTG, 1x-XTG) for about a month, now. I figure I'll keep using my cartridge razor until I'm more or less comfortable with adding the brush to my routine.

Finally, anything I missed? What else should I be aware/mindful of as I start this "next pass" on my quest to the better, healthier, more luxurious and less expensive (in the long run) shave?

Alas ... I shaved well enough this morning that I'll have to wait until tomorrow before really trying out my new toy. Sigh.

Thanks again for all of the help you've given me without even knowing it. ;)

Cheers,
Matthew
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John Rose
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Re: Newbie question about Basic Tweezerman Badger Brush

Post by John Rose »

I realize that this post is 10 years old, but what the heck.
fozzibear wrote: Wed Feb 18, 2009 1:44 pmTo prep the brush before the first use, I should soak in hot water/white vinegar (9:1) mix, right? For how long? Should I just rinse the brush off afterwards? Is there anything else I should do to prep or "season" the brush prior to my first use? I'll be using KMF Lavender (mixed in a cappuccino mug) for my inaugural lathering.
There is nothing bad that will happen to using a brush straight out of the box. Normal shaving use will break it in.
I won't be like you missed the only chance to "do it right", like breaking in a brand-new engine.
Also, the brush suggests I hang it (brush down) or leave it on its side to dry. I can't find a cheap stand (with cheap shipping) and want to add stuff gradually, anyway. What can I do for a make-shift brush-drying stand? Any thoughts on how to make one simply or how to convert something else into a brush stand?
The jury is still out on this.
I used to be in the "hang it handle up" camp, but then I realized that if it was so important, all the handles would have round ends.

As far as DIY stands go, coathanger wire works.
Image
I would probably use a plastic-coated wire.
It's even easier if you always use the same-sized brush handle.

I've also heard of gluing neodymium magnets to the handle end and hanging it up on the bottom of a metal medicine cabinet.
:-k
I'm sure it works well, but that just doesn't seem right to me. [-X
"If this isn't nice, then what is?" - Kurt Vonnegut's Uncle Alex
brothers
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Re: Cheap shaving tools guide for a newbie.

Post by brothers »

Synthetic brushes dry so fast it's a moot question. Badger and boar brushes I use get a vigorous shaking and a thorough towel-drying before I place them handle down for drying.
Gary

SOTD 99%: Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday, soaps & creams, synthetic / boar / badger brushes, Colonial General razor, Kai & Schick blades, straight razors any time, Superior 70 aftershave splash + menthol + 444
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John Rose
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Re: Cheap shaving tools guide for a newbie.

Post by John Rose »

Regarding alum blocks/sticks:

Typical sticks, like the Omega or RazoRock, are 60 g.
Blocks can be from 54 to 100 g or so, cost somewhat more, and are hard to hold (for some people).
For close to the price of a 60 g alum stick you can get a so-called "crystal deodorant" that is 120 g.
But beware - most crystal deodorant sticks are made of ammonium alum, not potassium alum, and they often do not say so on the packaging. Store staff don't know either. They do frantically let you know that there is no aluminum chlorohydrate. I'm surprised they don't also say "low carb" and "gluten-free".
You want potassium alum. As it happens, all of the deodorant sticks by Deodorant Stones of America, LLC are indeed potassium alum.
I found my stick of "Pure & Natural" at a local health food store. The drugstores only had the ammonium alum sticks.
Image
They're 120 g (bigger than most alum blocks), and the handle is real easy to grip. Practically a doorknob.
It goes on really nicely.

I have no idea how effective they are as deodorants, and I don't care.

[edited to fix broken image link.]
Last edited by John Rose on Fri Aug 07, 2020 7:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"If this isn't nice, then what is?" - Kurt Vonnegut's Uncle Alex
brothers
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Re: Cheap shaving tools guide for a newbie.

Post by brothers »

John, that's some good information. In my experience, the alum blocks are great post-shave products, good for the face. I haven't used the sticks, because I've got some cubes that I've had for many years, and those things seem to last forever!
Gary

SOTD 99%: Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday, soaps & creams, synthetic / boar / badger brushes, Colonial General razor, Kai & Schick blades, straight razors any time, Superior 70 aftershave splash + menthol + 444
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John Rose
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Re: Cheap shaving tools guide for a newbie.

Post by John Rose »

More opinions...

Razor: RazoRock SLOC Double-Edge Safety Razor from Italian Barber for USD$21.99 or CAN$27.69.
If you already have a handle from a standard 3-piece razor (with 5 mm or 10-32 thread) then you can get the head (chrome-plated zamak) by itself for USD$7.99/CAN$10.99
It is an excellent head. Mild but effective, and IMHO much better than their "Old Type" open comb head. I put it mine on one of their "Barber Pole" Stainless handles.
RazoRock SLOC on RR Barber Pole SS_2952.JPG
RazoRock SLOC on RR Barber Pole SS_2952.JPG (324.01 KiB) Viewed 1461 times
"SLOC" is abbreviation for "Self Lubricating Open Comb".
Bonus: Being an open-comb head, it will sail right through weeks of beard without any pre-trimming.

Aftershave: Mennen Skin Bracer. Cheap, and available pretty much everywhere in brick & mortar stores. It is said to have a variety of "fougere" scent. I find that the base note is a bit like vanilla.

Blades: Astra SP. Smooth and sharp enough, fairly inexpensive.
Also Shaverboy blades. Similar to Astra SP in performance and feel, but about half the price of Astras.

Synthetic brush: Stirling 2-Band Synthetic, USD$13.99. I love the tuxedo knot and the handle shape with its classic appearance like something out of the 20s or '30s.
Badger brush: Fendrihan Classic Pure Grey Badger, 22 mm knot, USD$22.00/CAN$27.00. It felt a wee bit prickly at first, but after a few shaves I didn't notice it anymore.
Boar brush: I haven't found one I really like, except for a few vintage ones and only because I like the handles.
"If this isn't nice, then what is?" - Kurt Vonnegut's Uncle Alex
CMur12
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Re: Cheap shaving tools guide for a newbie.

Post by CMur12 »

There are a lot of good boar brushes, but my favorite is the Semogue 1305.

The 1305 (wooden handle) and the denser 830 (acrylic handle) are made of a special quality of boar bristle that I have found nowhere else. I have often felt that boar bristle was a little like straw, but these don't feel that way, at all.

- Murray
Aty
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Re: Cheap shaving tools guide for a newbie.

Post by Aty »

John Rose wrote: Thu Jan 23, 2020 4:39 pm Regarding alum blocks/sticks:

Typical sticks, like the Omega or RazoRock, are 60 g.
Blocks can be from 54 to 100 g or so, cost somewhat more, and are hard to hold (for some people).
For close to the price of a 60 g alum stick you can get a so-called "crystal deodorant" that is 120 g.
But beware - most crystal deodorant sticks are made of ammonium alum, not potassium alum, and they often do not say so on the packaging. Store staff don't know either. They do frantically let you know that there is no aluminum chlorohydrate. I'm surprised they don't also say "low carb" and "gluten-free".
You want potassium alum. As it happens, all of the deodorant sticks by Deodorant Stones of America, LLC are indeed potassium alum.
I found my stick of "Pure & Natural" at a local health food store. The drugstores only had the ammonium alum sticks.
Image
They're 120 g (bigger than most alum blocks), and the handle is real easy to grip. Practically a doorknob.
It goes on really nicely.

I have no idea how effective they are as deodorants, and I don't care.

[edited to fix broken image link.]
What's yours experience with that stick, John? I got one exactly like that several years ago (in Toronto actually), and after about a month or so I had to give it up and stop using it as a deodorant applicator. I was allergic to it. Skin condition was a real problem. As soon as I stopped using it, change and back to normal was almost instant from one day to another. I've never figured out what was a problem. Later I used as deodorant sage by Veleda, excellent stuff, but now I will try again something else. (Just for fun.)

Question I have - Allu block - is it actually good stuff to put on your face? For last several years I am using balm almost exclusively after shave, and once in a week I give my face splash with mixture of water & apple cider vinegar.
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John Rose
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Re: Cheap shaving tools guide for a newbie.

Post by John Rose »

Aty wrote: Fri Jul 30, 2021 10:48 amWhat's yours experience with that stick, John? I got one exactly like that several years ago (in Toronto actually), and after about a month or so I had to give it up and stop using it as a deodorant applicator.
I have never used it as a deodorant, only for post-shave.
I'm still using that same stick almost two years after I got it. Not bad for something that costs way less than a smaller alum block intended for post-shave use.
Question I have - Allu block - is it actually good stuff to put on your face?
Not a clue. I'm just yielding to peer pressure. :wink:
It is said to have antibacterial and antiseptic properties, and they've been around for decades.

It's one more step in the shaving ritual (which I like) and it does give informative feedback. I must be learning something in my technique because it rarely stings as much as it used to, yet I'm getting closer shaves than before.
It only stays on for as long as it takes to rinse out the sink and lather bowl, then I rinse it off with a hand-held shower nozzle, towel dry, and apply and aftershave splash or balm.

Also, from wikipedia:
Alum is used in pickling to promote crisp texture and is approved as a food additive by the United States Food and Drug Administration.
Good to know. :D
"If this isn't nice, then what is?" - Kurt Vonnegut's Uncle Alex
Aty
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Re: Cheap shaving tools guide for a newbie.

Post by Aty »

John Rose wrote: Fri Jul 30, 2021 11:47 pm
Aty wrote: Fri Jul 30, 2021 10:48 amWhat's yours experience with that stick, John? I got one exactly like that several years ago (in Toronto actually), and after about a month or so I had to give it up and stop using it as a deodorant applicator.
I have never used it as a deodorant, only for post-shave.
I'm still using that same stick almost two years after I got it. Not bad for something that costs way less than a smaller alum block intended for post-shave use.
Question I have - Allu block - is it actually good stuff to put on your face?
Not a clue. I'm just yielding to peer pressure. :wink:
It is said to have antibacterial and antiseptic properties, and they've been around for decades.

It's one more step in the shaving ritual (which I like) and it does give informative feedback. I must be learning something in my technique because it rarely stings as much as it used to, yet I'm getting closer shaves than before.
It only stays on for as long as it takes to rinse out the sink and lather bowl, then I rinse it off with a hand-held shower nozzle, towel dry, and apply and aftershave splash or balm.

Also, from wikipedia:
Alum is used in pickling to promote crisp texture and is approved as a food additive by the United States Food and Drug Administration.
Good to know. :D
Thanks John. I am by no means expert on such subjects, however as much as good things are said about Allu block, skin in addition needs probably some other stuff to sustain its elasticity and whatever else. I am also expecting sooner or later someone in corridors of power will tell me what I have been doing so far, that I got it all wrong. :D
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John Rose
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Re: Cheap shaving tools guide for a newbie.

Post by John Rose »

Aty wrote: Sat Jul 31, 2021 12:19 am I am also expecting sooner or later someone in corridors of power will tell me what I have been doing so far, that I got it all wrong. :D
Do not worry. There is no "power" here. Just opinions and preferences.
For example, many say "Let the weight of the razor do the work". I say that it's nonsense. Press harder if it works better for you in some circumstances.
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Aty
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Re: Cheap shaving tools guide for a newbie.

Post by Aty »

John Rose wrote: Thu Aug 05, 2021 1:48 pm
Aty wrote: Sat Jul 31, 2021 12:19 am I am also expecting sooner or later someone in corridors of power will tell me what I have been doing so far, that I got it all wrong. :D
Do not worry. There is no "power" here. Just opinions and preferences.
For example, many say "Let the weight of the razor do the work". I say that it's nonsense. Press harder if it works better for you in some circumstances.
I think I do agree with you John. I've never spend any time thinking about it, but now when you mentioned razor stability is important. I admit to insane spending on plastic and expensive razors for many years (one blade, then two, then three, then four...), then I said - enough!

I got several metal types (per suggestions of experts on the internet), and ending up with Feather (the first model), which I still use today. It's pretty heavy in comparison to several others in my inventory, but not so heavy, it would feel uncomfortable. Razor is doing its work, it is stable, but it is my hand which is in control. I cannot imagine having it otherwise. Japanese Feather is probably not better than German ones I was using in the past, but it feels "just right" in my hand, which is all what I can ask for. There is a lot of subjectivity in those judgements, but is is fun.
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