A good shave.

Discussion in 'General Attire & Accoutrements' started by Phil, Apr 15, 2008.

  1. Phil

    Phil A-List Customer

    Messages:
    385
    Location:
    Iowa State University
    So, the other day I was getting a haircut, and I hadn't shaved for about a good month and a half. So, when he was cutting my hair, the barber offered a shave. Having never had a stirght razor shave, I accepted. Other than fleeting images of Sweeney Todd running thorugh my head, the shave was actually very good. Not a knick or trace of stubble on my face. It wasn't untill about a day later that I started to feel stubble. As I was shaving today, I was thinking about the stright razor shave, and I was wondering if anyone here uses a straight razor on a regular basis. If so, my general questions are:
    -How easy is it for someone to learn?
    -How much does it cost for a base set?
    -Can I use modern shaving creams?

    Also, if this has already been discussed, I would greatly appreciate a nudge in the right diretion.
    Many Thanks,
    -Phil
     
  2. Mr. Godfrey

    Mr. Godfrey Practically Family

  3. scotrace

    scotrace Head Bartender Staff Member

    Messages:
    14,324
    Location:
    Small Town Ohio, USA
  4. Roadrunner

    Roadrunner One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    140
    Location:
    NW PA
    www.straightrazorplace.com Great bunch of folks, they'll get you pointed in the right direction if you want to give straight shaving a try. Warning; it's just as addictive and potentially expensive as hats. The learning curve is pretty tough as well, your barber did a great job but you probably won't the first time out of the gate. It's worth the effort if you stick with it, just don't expect results like that right away.
     
  5. scotrace

    scotrace Head Bartender Staff Member

    Messages:
    14,324
    Location:
    Small Town Ohio, USA
    THAT'S the one. Thanks.
     
  6. Alex Oviatt

    Alex Oviatt Practically Family

    Messages:
    508
    Location:
    Pasadena, CA
    I love the fact that you happened to be getting your hair cut at a place that could offer you a shave--all too rare these days! Badger & Blade is a great resource but like this site, can be habit-forming.....
     
  7. cooncatbob

    cooncatbob Practically Family

    Messages:
    612
    Location:
    Carmichael, CA.
    If your going to learn to shave with a straight razor your probably going to end up getting a Badger brush and some luxury shaving creams and soaps.
    The are so much better them the canned stuff..
     
  8. DDibling

    DDibling New in Town

    Messages:
    17
    Location:
    Appling, GA
    I go to my barber for two reasons. 1) It's a small Mom and Pop...actually, it's just a Mom. An old fashioned one-seater. You become almost like family with the barber and she knows how I want my hair. 2) She shaves my neck with a straight razor and that warm shaving lather that smells soooo good.

    When I found this place, it had been over twenty years since I had my neck shaved like that. I had forgotten how nice that was. Ok, this is starting to sound a little strange to me.... Just put me on the list of those who are thinking about learning how to use a straight razor! :eek:

    Sweeney Dean
     
  9. PhilS

    PhilS One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    237
    Location:
    Upper West Side Gotham City
    Give me my badger brush and Proraso, but

    forget the safety razor. Today's razors can shave closely and cut-free in a matter of seconds. I love the idea of shaving the old fashioned way, but it takes too much time to do it right and not come away with a styptic overdose.
     
  10. Vardeman Sneed

    Vardeman Sneed Familiar Face

    Messages:
    78
    Location:
    Northern Kentucky
    Phil,

    I started shaving last March, after over thirty years of bad shaves from cartridge razors (Trac2, Mach3, Quattro...). I was tired of getting used to a certain brand of cartridge, only to see it discontinued (planned obsolescence?). Also, I was tired of hacking up my neck (major razor burn, cuts, and ingrown hair).

    I recommend that anyone interested in shaving with straight razor spend a lot of time lurking at the StraightRazorPlace site http://www.straightrazorplace.com/forums/, especially the 'newbie' forum. Learn as much as you can before purchasing your razor and other items. Your first purchase should be Lynn Abrams' DVD. It is a good overall introduction to straight razor shaving, and is well worth the price. http://www.classicshaving.com/catalog/item/522940/190302.htm

    Once I convinced myself to start shaving with a straight razor (after lurking at the SRP and purchasing the aforementioned DVD), I bought a 5/8" DOVO classic special from Classic Shaving, a fairly cheap Illinois strop from a local cutlery, and a cheap BurmaShave brush and Williams shave soap from Wal-Mart. After my second shave with a straight razor, I gave my cartridge razor and canned goo to my daughter. I've never looked back.

    Here was my 'shave den' back in December (slightly different today):
    [​IMG]

    Here is the URL for my razor: http://www.classicshaving.com/catalog/item/522940/190302.htm

    I highly recommend Classic Shaving, if you want to buy a new razor. If money is an issue, I recommend watching the Buy/Sell/Trade forum at SRP. The members there are very good at helping new straight shavers out.

    I STRONGLY recommend that you have the razor honed by a 'honemeister'. DO NOT let a knife shop hone it for you. You will save yourself a lot of frustration and physical pain.

    If you have any questions, feel free to PM me.
     
  11. Phil

    Phil A-List Customer

    Messages:
    385
    Location:
    Iowa State University
    Thank you very much. All this information has been and is very helpful to me. From the sounds of it, I guess I'll have a new addiction aside from my hats now.:p
     
  12. rtaylor61

    rtaylor61 New in Town

    Messages:
    7
    Location:
    Southern Oregon
    Everybody needs a good shaving arsenal. Nothing like a good straight razor shave at home, or even with a good double edge razor. Today's plastic stuff is not for me. I enjoy every shave. And it is worth every minute. What you don't see in the photo is my huge collection of shaving soaps and creams, stored under the sink.

    [​IMG]

    Randy
     
  13. scotrace

    scotrace Head Bartender Staff Member

    Messages:
    14,324
    Location:
    Small Town Ohio, USA
    My gosh, that's wonderful (and welcome). I showed my Mrs. that pic and said "This is why daddy needs his own bathroom." :)
     
  14. David Conwill

    David Conwill Call Me a Cab

    Messages:
    2,853
    Location:
    Bennington, VT 05201
    If you find yourself financially unable to take the leap to straight razors, you might consider a vintage single-edge safety razor. They show up on eBay and at antique stores for pocket change all the time.

    The blade of a single edge is nice and rigid. According to the fellows over at www.badgerandblade.com a SE safety razor with a fresh blade is the next best thing to a straight razor.

    I got mine from a local antique store right after Christmas. It cost right around five bucks and the package of razor blades came from Walgreens and cost far less than a package of cartridges for my Mach III. I made the switch because I was tired of the aforementioned planned obsolescence in the cartridge razor industry.

    As it turned out, I got one of the tougher razors to master, but it really only took two weeks to stop cutting myself. If I could offer one piece of advice it's - don't rush. Oh, and make sure you've got the blade installed behind the guard. ;)

    Mine's a GEM Micromatic:

    [​IMG]

    But Gillettes are supposed to be more beginner-friendly. Of course, they're priced accordingly.

    -Dave
     
  15. univibe88

    univibe88 One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,146
    Location:
    Slidell4Life
    Do you shave every day? I'm usually out the door 20 minutes after I wake up. I could enjoy a good shave on the weekends, but I don't feel like I have time for anything but a modern razor during the week. Yes the shave sucks, but it's quick and safe.
     
  16. DerMann

    DerMann Practically Family

    Messages:
    608
    Location:
    Texas
    With my limited experience, safety razors are infinitely more enjoyable than cartrdige razors. The blades are usually of a higher quality and sharper than cartridge blades.

    The only thing I've noticed is that I can only get two really good shaves out of a blade before the quality of the shave start dropping noticeably. Oh well, good thing 10 blades are less than $3 at Wal Mart.

    I only shave once every two or three days (depending on my motivation). It takes me a good 20 or 30 minutes to shave using a badger brush and shave soap. I think a lot of the time is spent shaping my sideburns though (always turn out lop sided :( ). If I only shave my neck and cheeks, ten minutes tops.

    I've started shaving a lot more (used to only shave on Sundays before the school week started :x ) as of late as I've discovered that for whatever reason, shaving helps prevent acne and keeps my skin looking fresh (probably the soap).

    The razor I use is some modern manufacture reproduction (no brand as far as I can tell). I've never had any problems with it. Holds the blade tightly, doesn't rust or get caught on my face. Best $10 I've spent on shaving supplies. I also use a vintage badger hair brush, which is simply amazing. I started with several boar's hair brushes, and this one viciously thrashes others in terms of production of lather and softness - also a great investment.

    If you go to Wal-Mart, or pretty much any grocery store, they will have Williams Shaving soap for about a dollar a cake. It lathers quite well and has a very nice, subtle scent. A cake lasts about a month or so, but I usually throw it out as it loses its ability to lather well from the amount of soap scum it builds up.
     
  17. David Conwill

    David Conwill Call Me a Cab

    Messages:
    2,853
    Location:
    Bennington, VT 05201
    With regard to soaps, I've tried Burt's Bees and Burmashave and had that scum-build-up problem myself. It was frustrating, because I'd have a big cake left and couldn't get any more lather from it. Also, neither of them fit their respective cups very well, so it was hard to get a lather without holding the cake with one hand and the brush in the other.

    Now I've got a bar of Dove wedged in my Burt's Bees shaving cup and it works quite well. Of course, I make sure to rinse it off after every shave quite thoroughly.

    I have to confess, that I actually have a procedure of starting with Barbasol Beard Buster for the first pass, rinsing off, and then going to soap for a closer second pass.

    I'd like to try some of the more exotic soaps and lubricants I've read about, but I haven't had the time to research them properly and can't justify the expense right now.

    -Dave
     
  18. Rider

    Rider Familiar Face

    Messages:
    82
    Location:
    Indiana
    I particularly like Tabac shaving soap. You might give that a try.
     
  19. cooncatbob

    cooncatbob Practically Family

    Messages:
    612
    Location:
    Carmichael, CA.
    If your soap doesn't fit your mug. stick it in the microwave for about 20 seconds. The soap will melt an fit the mug perfectly.
    If you don't want soap scum on your soap cake, rinse the lather out of your mug after each use.
     
  20. freebird

    freebird Practically Family

    Messages:
    755
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    I'm a newbie here, and am glad to find shaving being discussed. I use both a straight razor and a vintage Gillette safety razor (diplomat from the mid 50's).
    The best soap I have found is from the gentlemens quarter. I use the black cavendish which smells like pipe tobacco. Their soap lathers far better than Williams is a little more expensive but worth it.
     

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