What do you use to shave?

Discussion in 'Skills and Smarts' started by Bebop, Nov 1, 2005.

  1. Slicksuit

    Slicksuit One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    239
    Location:
    Suburban Detroit, Michigan
    I took Johnnysan's advice and bought the Tweezerman badger brush online - what a difference from the Burma Shave boar brush! (Thank you, Johnnysan!)

    I use a Merkur Double Edge razor, and their brand of blades. I splurge a little on the good German blades, but I still save money over the Mach 3 blades (.50 each, compared to almost 2.25/blade for the Mach 3). The blade is changed on the razor weekly.

    I would wholeheartedly recommend wet-shaving over electric shaving. The former gives more superior results.

    Thanks for the recommendation, DanielJones, on the Body Shop shave cream. Will check it out.
     
  2. shamus

    shamus Suspended

    Messages:
    801
    Location:
    LA, CA
    what is the SRP forum?
     
  3. Phog Allen

    Phog Allen Familiar Face

    Messages:
    56
    Hi Shamus. It's the Straight Razor Place. The posts are pretty fast and furious but from what I've seen, the members are very helpful. I want a str8 razor and will likely buy a used one from some member there. They know how to sharpen them correctly and a good used one is likely going to have been properly honed and stropped for you. It will probably be a bit less money than a new razor as well. www.straightrazorplace.com

    Regards, Todd
     
  4. Hemingway Jones

    Hemingway Jones I'll Lock Up Bartender

    Messages:
    6,098
    Location:
    Acton, Massachusetts
    Shaving for me is very easy. I have such a baby face, I hardly have to do it. I do it each morning anyway. I start out by wetting my face with hot water and then with a hot soft cloth. Then, I wet my Badger hair shave brush and whisk it in the bowl of shave soap, then I use a circular motion to lather my face. While doing this, my razor is soaking in very hot water. I gently glide it across my face. I finish with a splash of Dominica Bay Rum.
     
  5. Johnnysan

    Johnnysan One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,170
    Location:
    Central Illinois
    You're welcome...and glad to be of service! That brush is a steal for $10! I'll probably buy a few more of them to keep around in case the company goes under or the price goes up.

    Happy shaving! :cheers1:
     
  6. Slicksuit

    Slicksuit One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    239
    Location:
    Suburban Detroit, Michigan
    My only concern is that the handle on the brush is wood, and the varnish on the wood seems to be chipping off. I don't have a stand to keep the brush upside-down while drying. Any suggestions?

    I read somewhere that machine-stamped wood handles are infenior to handmade ones. I may upgrade to a silvertip brush in the future. I'd be happy to get a few years out of the Tweezerman model.
     
  7. Bebop

    Bebop Practically Family

    Messages:
    941
    Location:
    Sausalito, California
    I have always had to shave "against the grain". If I don't, I can't get a close shave. I hear alot of people say that is not very good for your face and I am thinking that may be my problem. Any of you shave up, or against the growth of the hair?
     
  8. Johnnysan

    Johnnysan One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,170
    Location:
    Central Illinois
    I'm faced with the same problem...no stand and Tweezerman doesn't carry one. I have dried mine upside-down since I bought it with no apparent problems.

    I used to shave against the grain due to a very heavy beard, but it tore my face up and the shaving bumps came out in droves! Following sound advice, I started shaving with the grain and my shaving problems have virtually disappeared. Occassionally, I may need to shave later in the day if the occassion calls for it...say for an evening get-together or a dinner meeting.

    Even shaving twice in one day doesn't cause many problems if I follow my procedure...warm towel, soap & brush and shave with the grain. Hope that this helps!
     
  9. scotrace

    scotrace Head Bartender Staff Member

    Messages:
    14,311
    Location:
    Small Town Ohio, USA
    Yes

    Against the grain for around 20 years, no bumps, cuts, or other problems. Your mileage may vary. :)
     
  10. Braxton36

    Braxton36 One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    166
    Location:
    Deep South, USA
    Ditto

    Much closer shave.
     
  11. Slicksuit

    Slicksuit One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    239
    Location:
    Suburban Detroit, Michigan
    I tend to shave with the grain on the areas below my jawline, especially when I want the closest possible shave. Usually it's one pass with the grain, another against the grain.
     
  12. Rigby Reardon

    Rigby Reardon One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    270
    Location:
    Near the QM
    Ouch, ouch, ouch.

    I've been shaving LONG enough to know what does and doesn't work on this face. Close shaving and going against the grain DOES NOT work for me, unless I WANT razor burn and ingrown hairs. Aside from the occasional need to do penance, I skip this.

    I have a pair of old beatup Gilette Sensor (predecessor to the Mach line), and since they're still going (and I can still get blades), these are workhorses. But they only work if I've got less than a week's scruff. Otherwise it's too thick already and I have to go to a...what's it called? An old style short handled razor w/ the double-sided razor blades like the one on the cover of the Judas Priest album (er, forget I said that)...is this a safety razor? Anyway, that's the only thing strong, sharp, and agile enough to do the job.

    Cheap 'Edge' gel. It works. Soap if I don't have it, and just water if nothing else. As long as I'm shaving DOWN, no problem. Oh, and yes, I do grow a beard...and if I have to I'll start w/ the beard shears, although the safety razor (or whatever) can usually chop into that, too, but it's slower going.

    ...upshot of all of that is I prefer just to shave weekly when I can get away with it. Living in CA, I can afford to grow Indy scruff every week. When I worked on the east coast, fahgettaboutit, I shaved every day.

    Scruffy,
    J

    "Let's go out dancing! You put on your black dress, and I'll go shave my tongue." - Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid
     
  13. scotrace

    scotrace Head Bartender Staff Member

    Messages:
    14,311
    Location:
    Small Town Ohio, USA
    Rolls Razor

    Just got a Rolls Razor and tried it a little this morning on one side. Very close but man what a lot of trouble.
    BUT
    Since it is effectively a segment of straight razor attached to a handle, it looks like good training for a straight razor, which I'd like to learn to use.

    As for the Rolls, I read a quote something like "these are seldom found worn out as most chaps gave it up as a bad job after a few weeks and bought a proper Gillette."

    hahaha
     
  14. If you get a chance check out www.classicshaving.com on the side is a how and why section that can help. Also they have merkur shavers the safety AKA double edge razors if a straight doesn't work out.

    also in the Yahoo groups there are 2 pretty cool groups "straight razor" and "straight razor place" both are really great places to ask questions and get opinions from a crew of straight razor aficionados. Equiptment, technique and brands are all open for dicussion.

    JOHN IN COVINA
     
  15. android

    android One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    255
    Oh yes. So they could sell you the same thing over and over again whereas with the straight razor, you only bought it once and used it for the rest of your life.
     
  16. Biltmore Bob

    Biltmore Bob Suspended

    Messages:
    1,721
    Location:
    Spring, Texas... Y'all...
    Shaved off my Cowboy 'stache...

    ...the other day. My kids went into shock. "Mom, there's a strange man in the bathroom!"

    My upper lip is quite cold today...
     
  17. Lion

    Lion New in Town

    Messages:
    36
    Location:
    Lancaster County, PA
    Yep. Gillette was a very smart buisnessman. Safety razors had been around for a while when he entered the scene, but lagged behind straight razors. He changed that by selling the razor packaged with a few blades dirt cheap to get people hooked. He then stuck it to you with refills. Same basic plan the razor industry uses today

    Leo
     
  18. Bebop

    Bebop Practically Family

    Messages:
    941
    Location:
    Sausalito, California
    Stangely enough, last month I started shaving with the new Braun Activator electric razor and being very skeptical about electric razors, I thought it was not going to work. Well, it does work very well and shaves me like I have never been shaved before. I used to have to shave up and down and against and with the grain and would end up with a fairly close shave but not like I used to get in the military years ago. With this Braun, it takes me a few minutes to get the closest shave in years. Not very vintage, but it is quick and easy.
     
  19. scotrace

    scotrace Head Bartender Staff Member

    Messages:
    14,311
    Location:
    Small Town Ohio, USA
    WHITE too, I'm betting.
     
  20. On Straight razor shaving

    NEW Versus PRE-OWNED RAZOR:

    First, if you are looking for a NEW straight razor you must use some caution. Do not be taken in by cheap prices on the web or EBay, they are usually Pakistan razors which will not take or retain a shave sharp edge. The best thing for new is to select either a Dovo or Thiers Issard Brand from a reputable dealer such as www.classicshaving.com or the www.knifecenter.com. These will be about $50-$60 for the low end razors, but they are well made and will give a lifetime of good service. Currently there are three other razors that are relatively inexpensive but are worth buying if you can find them. Usually sold by barber supply houses is Fromm brand, on E-bay do a search for Timor straight razor which is made by Giesen &Forstoff or search for a Hen & Rooster brand razor, all are pretty good stuff. One note is that most new razors are NOT shave sharp, shave ready out of the box! Go to Classic Shaving web site and read the articles in their ?¢‚Ǩ?ìHow & Why?¢‚Ǩ? section they are very helpful.

    Vintage and ?¢‚Ǩ?ìPre-Owned?¢‚Ǩ? A good alternative for newbie that is a smart thing to save you a lot of money and much heartache is to ask if anyone on the straight razor groups in Yahoo groups has a good ?¢‚Ǩ?ìshave ready?¢‚Ǩ? razor for sale. If you can get a vintage shave sharp shave ready razor from the guys, it helps take all guess work out of what a shave sharp razor handles like, the feel, and what to shoot for when it comes time for you to be maintaining the edge. If you get a shave sharp razor, you can get by with only a strop for quite a while, it will give you time to select and purchase the appropriate hone or hones. Also on E-bay some sellers are putting shave ready razors up for sale. In the straight razor groups we have several enterprising individuals that have complete starter sets, or are selling fabulous NOS (new old stock) razors, hones and everything else, so ask by posting a message who has what available. Also those forums are the place to ask a question, the guys delight in giving you their hard won advice.

    WHAT DO I NEED? A razor is only one part of the set of items you?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢ll need to make up your kit and the other parts of the kit are:

    STROPS: you will need a strop! A good start is a Jemico or Dovo brand strop; both work well, although other brands can fit the bill. Here you may want an inexpensive strop first since many people destroy their first strop trying to learn the Zen like art of stropping. (One caution on Illinois Brand is while they are good quality; they have many strops that first need a lot of work up to be usable.) I suggest you to look for the longer ones with a cloth side and a leather side. You will need a small tube of Strop Dressing (plain) for the leather side and there is a paste made for the cloth if you care to paste it too.

    An alternate or additional set up to consider is from www.handamerican.com to get their Flat Bed ?¢‚ǨÀúHone?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢ which is actually a two sided strop but on corrian. Get .5 micron chromium oxide paste for the pink side and plain for the red side. This will sharpen a slightly dull razor that ?¢‚Ǩ?ìpulls?¢‚Ǩ? very quickly. Similarly there are 4 sided paddle strops to use with a variety of pastes that can bring a razor back to shave ready quickly. Here you need to choose for your $ budget and needs.

    HONES: the problem is most new razors are NOT shave ready out of the box and need to be sharpened or honed by an expert, as razor sharpening is very unlike knife sharpening. When you use a razor, you need to maintain it and therefore there are other parts to the kit such as hones and strops. You will need a hone which is a sharpening stone. Most of us suggest at minimum to get a Norton 4000/8000 grit combination stone which is used wet with water. Others prefer barber hones but they can get confusing if you don?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢t know what brands to get. You?¢‚ǨÀúll be getting into big $ for the Belgians hones and some of the water stones are worth and arm & a leg, but they are of the highest quality and perform to the highest standards,

    SOAP: You?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢ll need shave soap or shaving cream for wet shaving, and that means NOT the canned aerosol stuff. For a low cost everyday shave soap I can recommend Burma Shave soap whole heartedly, it lathers very well even with our hard water and gives fine protection to your skin when shaving. I like all of the Col. Conk soaps which have glycerin and they are slick. Some shave soap I find is a bit too aggressive in fragrance or ingredients and will give a burning sensation on my sensitive skin unlike the creams. Shaving Creams can come in either Tubs or Tubes and are a great deal different than soap. They tend to lather up very quickly, they seem to have even more protection for your skin plus many have aromas and fragrances that are out of this world, and a little goes a long way. Usually a drop the size of a large pea is all you need. In the creams the cost can go from fairly inexpensive (but not as low a soaps) to some really high end stuff. Proraso and Musgo Real are two old time barber shop brands that are well liked. I also like Coates, Massey Caswell, Art of Shaving, La Occitan and E-Shave?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢s shave creams. Here personal likes and dislikes are key with the fragrance being a lead item.

    BRUSH: you need a shave brush to whip up and apply the lather. Again it is a personal like - dislike thing, some enjoy the boar bristle types, and others want only badger. In the badger there are grades pure, best, super and silver tip, it does make a difference but a pure badger brush from Vulfix or Col. Conk or others will fit the bill nicely. If Badger is too much money for right now? Get a Burma Shave brush and call it good for the time being.

    MUG: if you are lucky, you?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢ll have a hand me down or something that works, also note that the round soaps come in a small and a large size so it is good to get one that fits. The web sites have them and EBay has oodles of them so it is your choice. Scuttles are good too, just don?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢t confuse a moustache cup with a mug or scuttle, the soap doesn?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢t fit at all.

    HEAD SHAVING: there are two brands of specific head razors that are recommended over the straight razor. They have a form the helps you hold the razor and a guide / guard system to keep you from getting cut. Classic has them and I think Em?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢s Place also. Note: the problem with shaving the head with a straight is that there are areas you can?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢t see or see well and that leads to cuts, and a head cut is dangerous.

    FINAL ADVICE: Again at classicshaving.com there is a ?¢‚Ǩ?ìHow & Why?¢‚Ǩ? section please read those articles, also in the yahoo groups on straight razors they have files with tons of stuff to answer and help with these types of questions. My caution is, if you go too cheap with new stuff, you will almost certainly get poor quality, which will frustrate beyond belief. Eventually if you stick with this forum you?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢ll learn a lot and be able to pick and choose with confidence in either new or the old time stuff.

    ADD TO KIT: Don?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢t forget to pick up a good aftershave; it really helps condition the face. Many favor the Clubman ?¢‚Ǩ‚Äú Pinaud line, and Bay Rum is my personal favorite. If there is sensitive reaction, try an aftershave balm.
     

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