First post here but very excited to be part of the community!!
I have been wanting to make the switch to either straight blade or safety razor shaving for quite some time now and seeing how my first born child, a boy, is soon to be in this world, i wanted to teach him some manly art forms. I took the plunge and bought a vintage gillette travel razor from ebay and a sampler pack of razors from razor emporium. I decided to use the feather ultra (?) due to the fact that i read it is one of the sharper razors out there and after my first shave, i have some questions:
1. My shave isn't as close or smooth as i thought it should be. here's my process and tell me if i should change something
-Place hot towel on my face just before exiting
- Shaving cream (no mug lather yet. That's next!)
-short, downward strokes for the first pass and then did some short upward strokes.
2. I have some difficulty working with the neck area. Is there any special techniques?
3. How to keep the razor/blade when it's not in use, how to clean, how often to change blade?
4. Tips to get perfect angle?
I appreciate everyone's input!!
1. You are NOT going to achieve mastery of anything the first go-round. Blade shaving is a bit of an art, so it will take practice. You will only find your optimal shave through trial and error.
2. If you've been using cartridge or disposable razors, you DO need to learn a new technique to razor handling. I've used two types of electric shavers, and a plethora of cartridge, disposable, and safety razors over the years. Each one required a different handling technique to get the best possible shave.
3. Be careful around your lips (voice of experience from several decades back).
Well done, Jerry; welcome to the club. I, too, have recently started wet shaving and will never go back. Here are a few tips/tricks I've picked up along the way:
- For your neck, short, downward strokes aren't always best. Figure out which way your hair grows and go with the grain. You may have to do a couple passes before going against the grain, but this should help with your neck.
- You can soak your razor in vinegar to clean it. Also, when you're done with your shave, take your blade out and dry it; this will help keep it sharp.
Thanks for all the advice. The razor I bought is a "travel" razor and isn't very long and not much weight to it. I'm gonna try and get another one so that i can try some better form. Also picking up some lather and brush accessories this week as well. Fortunately, i ran out of shaving cream so i have no other option!! (at least that's what I'm saying. haha)
Practice will improve yoru shaves. Your products and methods look good. For the neck, as for all areas of the face, a light touch is necessary. Don't bear down with the razor at all. A tip for the right angle, hold the top of the razor against your skin. Slowly lower the handle until the blade is just touching your skin and maintain that angle. Also, there is a shaving group where we discuss all aspects of wetshaving. You can find the group here. http://community.artofmanliness.com/group/realshaving
Well, it's been a few weeks since i first started shaving and i think i'm getting my groove. Talked to my barber who suggest some techniques and also advised me to buy some pre shave oil (which has worked wonders for me). I took the dive and bought a nice, used Merkur safety razor but unfortunately it was missing the top piece when it shipped to me. Oh well. But, i am getting excited because I feel i have finally found things that work for me. However, i still have some things i need to get down but that's what time is for!!
1. The prep sounds fine. Short strokes are correct, but you're saying 'downward' and 'upward'. Forget those terms. Make the first pass with the grain (WTG) and the second against the grain (ATG). Now, find in what direction your hair actually grows, you may well find it does not go int he direction you think it did in certain areas.
2. Make sure you use your fingers to stretch the skin; you'll get a better shave that way. Or else simply raise the head to stretch the skin.
3. I only use my blades twice. After the shave I wipe it and place it back in the waxed paper wrapper and also int he outer paper wrapper with the outer paper wrapper turned inside out. I then put it back in the little box with the other razors. That way, when I shave with a safety razor (DE) again (normally i use a straight razor) I know I've already used that blade before and I'll throw it out after that next shave.
4. Experiment with the angle, that's the only way you'll work it out with a safety razor. Keep the angle low.