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Traditional/Wet Shaving?

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dmmarck #1

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Posted Jul 17 '13 @ 5:59 AM

Anyone else here practice traditional methods of shaving?  Like straight razors, safety, lathering with a brush, etc.?  

 

I've been into it since last October and I find it to be a fairly awesome practice, if you don't get addicted and buy hundreds of dollars worth of stuff and/or cut yourself (I still have scars from my first straight shave back in March or so!).

 

Anywho, I usually use a double-edged safety razor, but dabble with straights (like today).

 

What say you?


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Cory Streater #2

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Posted Jul 17 '13 @ 10:34 AM

One of the best decisions I've made (which is kinda scary and pathetic all at once) was switching to wet shaving. The razors look freaking awesome, they provide a much better shave, and the blades are cheap as dirt.

I'm a history buff as well, and the history behind these Razors has led me to wanting to start a collection.

I can't for the life of me remember the soap I'm using, but it works really well. Totally unscented, and doesn't irritate my skin whatsoever.

Merkur Heavy Duty Double Edge Razor #34C
Merkur Heavy Duty Double Edge Razor #34C


Edwin Jagger De89lbl Double Edge Safety Razor
Edwin Jagger De89lbl Double Edge Safety Razor Chrome Plated Lined Detail


Derby Extra Razor Blades
Derby Extra Razor Blades


Colonel Conk Evernice Model 775 Chrome Safety Razor Stand
Colonel Conk Evernice Model 775 Chrome Safety Razor Stand


Art of Shaving Pure Black Badger Brush
Art of Shaving Pure Black Badger Brush



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Jerrod #3

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Posted Jul 17 '13 @ 12:32 PM

What is the advantage of these double edged razors?  I mean they look great but do they provide a better shave than say Gillette fusion?

 

I am currently using Lab Series shaving cream.  It's ok, unscented but the real Lab product I like is their after shave moisturizing gel.  This stuff feels so good on your face that if it weren't for the price I would be using this all over my body.



Cyber Warrior #4

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Posted Jul 17 '13 @ 2:36 PM

I'm a Gillette the best a man can get kind of guy :P but this double edged has me interested so I'll be looking into that. I use the Mach 5 and the blades are so damn expensive.. not only for my face but I also shave my entire head.. So the 30 something dollars I spend a month on blades I justify with it would cost me about the same if I were getting a haircut twice a month at $15 a pop. I once had a straight shave done in my lifetime by a professional barber but I'm kind of scared to try it myself :eek:

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Cory Streater #5

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Posted Jul 17 '13 @ 2:50 PM

The blades I linked to are .10 a piece and they are good for about 2-3 shaves. At that price you might as well toss them after each shave. It would cost about 3.00 a month if you're an everyday shaver. Plus, I just feel like I get a much better shave with them. The soap is cheaper as well, and the kind I use doesn't have any chemicals at all.

I used to do all this prep work to shave. Hot towel, beard massage, splashing water, etc... Now I just take the brush, get it warm, and massage it around in the soap. I then take the brush and massage my beard for about 30 seconds and shave. It turns out all that crap I used to do was the cause of all my skin irritation.

I also feel like more of a man when I use them LOL

I started out with the Merkur, but dmmarck turned me on to the Edwin Jagger. It made a huge difference.

FWIW, I was first turned on to this idea back in my early days as an Admin at AC. The community was really small at the time and there was a thread just like this one. They peaked my interest and I ended up buying one.

Cyber Warrior #6

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Posted Jul 17 '13 @ 2:59 PM

I'm on YouTube right now watching How to Wet Shave.. So what's the difference? From what I can see it looks the same as I shave now except I'm using disposal cartridges. That and I don't use a brush, I just smack the shaving cream on with my hand.

Why is it called wet shaving, and what makes it better? Is it just the blade? The way I shave know is in the shower, the steam and hot water have always made things so much better. I can never shave unless I were in the shower or just came out of the shower.

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Jessesmith888 #7

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Posted Jul 17 '13 @ 3:25 PM

I thought I was in the wrong forum!

This is kinda crazy, I saw lafehacker post a top 5 list of razors and saw some safety razors on there so I was looking into it. I just ordered one today from amazon.

I can't wait to get! I'm an avid beard grower.



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Jessesmith888 #8

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Posted Jul 17 '13 @ 3:30 PM

Benefits of the Classic Wet Shave

Reduce costs. An 8-pack of your typical 4-blade cartridge razors can set you back over $20. $20! That’s $2.50 per cartridge. The cost of a double-edged safety razor is no more than $.25. You can save some serious money switching over to a safety razor. Additionally, you can save money by using traditional shaving creams and soaps. A can of the chemically packed gel goop that most drug stores sell can cost you up to $5 a can and it doesn’t even last that long, and they don’t give you a quality shave. On the other hand, traditional shave creams and soaps are made out of natural materials. While their up-front cost may be a bit more than shaving gels, you require less product to get a proper lather. Thus, you end up saving more in the long run.

Reduce environmental impact. Traditional wet shaving with a double-edged safety razor uses less waste than shaving with cartridge razors. The only waste is a single metal razor blade and lather down the sink. Unlike today’s razor cartridges, a double-edged blade can easily be recycled. The tubes and bowls that most traditional shave creams and soaps are sold in produce less waste than those clunky non-biodegradable aerosol canisters that gels come in.

Better, more consistent shaves. Most men today walk around not knowing they have horrible shaves. Electric razors and the latest 5-blade contraptions irritate the skin more than needed, leaving razor burn, ingrown hairs, and redness. Shaving with a safety razor will eliminate the skin irritation and give your face a clean, healthy look because you’re just using one blade instead of several that chew up your face in order to cut your whiskers.

You’ll feel like a bad ass. It’s nice taking part in a ritual that great men like your grandfather, John F. Kennedy, and Teddy Roosevelt took part in.

The Tools

Safety Razor

gilletesafetyrazorvig.jpgSwitching from a cheap disposable razor to a double-edged safety razor is like upgrading from a Pinto to a Mercedes. A safety razor is a machine. It’s nice holding a piece of heavy, sturdy metal in your hand while you’re shaving as opposed to a piece of cheap-o plastic.

You can find safety razors in a variety of places. First, ask your grandpa if he still has his. Chances are he does. If gramps doesn’t have one, try checking antique stores. I found my 1966 Gillette Superspeed Safety Razor in an antique store in Vermont. I only paid $10 for it. If you don’t have any luck there, stop by eBay and do a search for safety razors. You’re bound to find a few there. Finally, if buying a used safety razor doesn’t fancy you, you can always buy a new one from the several companies that still make them. A highly recommended safety razor is from Merkur. They have several types to choose from at varying prices. Look to spend about $40 for a new safety razor.

Suggested Razors
Merkur Classic Safety Razor, Straight-#178- Made in Germany
Merkur Futur Adjustable Double Edge Safety Razor with Satin Finish- #700- Made in Germany
Merkur Classic Long Handled Safety Razor, Straight
Blades

You can choose from a variety of different blades. Each blade has a unique sharpness and cutting ability. Experiment with different kinds until you find the ones you like.

Suggested Razors
American Personna. You can find these in most drugstores. They’re usually marketed as generic brand blades. They’re pretty forgiving for the first-time user.
Merkur Double Edge Razor Blades- Pack of 10 Blades- Made in Germany
Shaving Brush

shave2.jpgIf you’ve never used a brush during shaving, you’re in for a treat. A brush helps hydrate the shaving cream in order to form a thick, rich shaving lather. Using a brush to lather up helps get the shaving cream up under each whisker which results in better, smoother shaves. Plus, it just feels nice on your face to lather up with a brush.

Brushes are made out of two types of animal hair: boar and badger. Boar bristles are stiffer than badger bristles and hold less water. Boar hair brushes are also cheaper. You can find a boar hair brush at Walmart for about $4. If you really want to have a nice shaving experience, splurge and buy a badger hair brush. Badger brushes create more lather and it feels a lot nicer on your face. You can pick up a nice badger brush at any Crabtree and Evelyn. If you don’t have a Crabtree in your area, try Amazon.

Suggested Brushes
Omega Creamy Curved Handle Pure Badger Shaving Brush – #13109
Porter’s Badger Shaving Brush
Omega Brownie Junior Badger Shaving Brush with Stand – #63184
Soaps and Creams

If you’re like the average guy, you’ve probably been getting your shaving cream from a can. This blue/green, chemically laced goop does nothing for your face and smells like a hospital. Traditional shave creams and soaps, on the other hand, are full of natural ingredients that nourish your face and leave you smelling absolutely manly. While these high-quality creams and soaps may cost more than the can stuff, just a dab will create enough lather for you to lather up twice.

Suggested Creams and Soaps
Proraso Eucalyptus & Menthol Shaving Cream 150 ml.
Kiss My Face Fragrance Free Moisture Shave, 11-Ounce Pumps (Pack of 4)
Taylor of Old Bond Street Sandalwood Shaving Cream Jar
Proraso Shave Cream Tube
Body Shop For Men Shave Cream

The Technique

Prep your beard. If you want a clean shave, you need to prep your beard adequately. The goal during beard prep is to soften your whiskers so shaving is easier and causes less irritation. The best way to soften your beard is to to shave right when you get out of the shower. The hot water from your shower should hydrate and soften your beard enough for shaving. If you haven’t showered, at least wet your beard with some hot water. A hot towel is a great way to soften the facial hair.

Lather up. Take a small dollop (about the size of nickel) of your shave cream and place it in a mug. Take your brush that you’ve pre-soaked with water and swirl the cream around until you get a nice thick lather. Apply the lather with your brush in swirling motions. When your face is nice and covered, take a few strokes to smooth everything out.
shave3.jpg
The shave. Unlike shaving with cartridge razors, shaving with a safety razor actually requires some skill and technique. Once mastered, though, you should be shaving effectively in no time. The four keys to a successful shave with a safety razor are: 1) use as little pressure as possible, 2) angle the blade as far away from your face as possible, 3) shave with the grain, and 4) go for beard reduction, not beard removal. This will take some getting used to if you have used cartridges your entire life.

You don’t need to use pressure because the weight of the safety razor is sufficient to cut your beard. If you press down, you’ll end up hacking up your face. To help counter the tendency to apply pressure, try holding the razor by the tip of the handle.

Angling your razor is probably the trickiest part. The proper angle is somewhere between 30 and 45 degrees. To get the proper razor angle, put the top of the razor head directly on your cheek, with the handle parallel with the floor. Now slowly lower the handle until the blade can cut your whisker. Practice on your arm if you’re not comfortable practicing on your face.

While shaving against the grain can get you that smooth feel, you risk slicing up your face and causing ingrown hairs. When you’re first starting out, shave with the grain of your beard. If you lather up and pass the razor more than once over your face, you’re guaranteed to get a smooth finish.

The goal with shaving should be gradual beard reduction, not beard removal in one deft swoop. Most men try to get rid of their beard in one pass of the razor. This hack-and-go technique is what causes the majority of skin irritations. If you want to avoid skin irritation, lather up and pass your razor over your face several times. Your face will thank you.

Post-shave. Rinse your face off with some cold water to close your pores. Treat your face to a nice aftershave. There are several to choose from, so pick the one you like best. Aftershave helps reduce any irritation that may have occurred and will leave your skin looking healthy.

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Jessesmith888 #9

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Posted Jul 17 '13 @ 3:34 PM

http://www.artofmanl...e-your-grandpa/

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Cyber Warrior #10

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Posted Jul 17 '13 @ 3:47 PM

Awesome thanks.

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Jessesmith888 #11

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Posted Jul 17 '13 @ 3:49 PM

No problem. I just copy-pasted from the site I just linked to.

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dmmarck #12

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Posted Jul 17 '13 @ 4:38 PM

Here are some thoughts:

 

Cartridge razors/electric razors use multiple blades to yank/pull hair to cut the follicle below the skin line.  This results in a "smooth" shave (for some) and razor burn/irritation for the large majority.  Traditional shaving avoids that; it cuts it as close as possible without yanking.

 

Generally, it's all about the weight of the razor, the angle of the blade, and techniques like skin stretching/pulling.  Since starting with a straight, my technique for both have improved immensely?  Why?  Because a straight will end your life, son (lol).

 

I'll post some pictures of my collection a bit later...


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dmmarck #13

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Posted Jul 17 '13 @ 5:59 PM

Posted Image

I believe the order is..

(left to right, beginning with the back or top row)

Gillette Fatboy
Gillette Slim Aristocrat Jr. (I think)
Edwin Jagger DE89

Dubl Duck Special No. 1
Wade & Butcher 5/8 hollow (I think full)
Joseph Rodgers 4/8 wedge (unsure of how aggressive the wedge is)
Random Czech thing

Right now, the Dubl and Fatboy are my favorites.

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Cory Streater #14

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Posted Jul 19 '13 @ 5:13 PM

I just ordered one today from amazon.


That's crazy! When does it show up? Keep us posted on your first shave :)

dmmarck #15

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Posted Jul 19 '13 @ 6:48 PM

@Jessesmith888, be sure to get a blade variety pack!  Those Derby's disagree with my skin, particularly my neck.

 

Just had a fantastic shave with the Dubl Duck and Truefitt & Hill Rose shaving cream. 

 

OH and get a styptic pencil or alum block.  Trust me.  Nothing feels as good as that sweet sting from stopping blood loss. lol


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Cory Streater #16

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Posted Jul 20 '13 @ 2:54 AM

I forgot about that piece of advice. Definitely get the variety pack and find out which is best for you.

Never once cut myself though. dmmarck must have the skin of a delicate flower lol.

dmmarck #17

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Posted Jul 20 '13 @ 3:46 AM

I forgot about that piece of advice. Definitely get the variety pack and find out which is best for you.

Never once cut myself though. dmmarck must have the skin of a delicate flower lol.


I use a man's blade!

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Cory Streater #18

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Posted Aug 16 '13 @ 5:42 PM

I just ordered one today from amazon

How did this work out? 



dmmarck #19

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Posted Aug 16 '13 @ 5:46 PM

I just ordered one today from amazon

How did this work out?


Also interested in progress!

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wyndslash #20

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Posted Aug 20 '13 @ 7:08 PM

Hmmm...a girl can learn from this thread :P



dmmarck #21

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Posted Aug 20 '13 @ 7:09 PM

Hmmm...a girl can learn from this thread :P


Indeed. Many a lady have posted in the shaving subreddit, /r/wicked_edge

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dmmarck #22

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Posted Aug 20 '13 @ 7:10 PM

Although I do not recommend using a straight razor on anything other than easy surfaces. Quite a pain that is.

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wyndslash #23

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Posted Aug 20 '13 @ 7:11 PM

 

Hmmm...a girl can learn from this thread :P


Indeed. Many a lady have posted in the shaving subreddit, /r/wicked_edge

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I went the easy way eventually :P



dmmarck #24

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Posted Aug 20 '13 @ 7:17 PM

Hmmm...a girl can learn from this thread :P

Indeed. Many a lady have posted in the shaving subreddit, /r/wicked_edge

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I went the easy way eventually :P


Lol. I haven't used a cartridge or electric razor in almost a year. Well, other than touch ups and a random public appearance. It's awesome.

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wyndslash #25

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Posted Aug 20 '13 @ 7:18 PM

For guys, maybe. For girls, it's a big PITA. Plus it damages your skin. Well, my skin anyway. 



dmmarck #26

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Posted Aug 20 '13 @ 7:19 PM

For guys, maybe. For girls, it's a big PITA. Plus it damages your skin. Well, my skin anyway.


Yup. One of the posts in here describes how they work. It's quite barbaric lol

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wyndslash #27

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Posted Aug 20 '13 @ 7:20 PM

I suppose it could make guys feel manly. :P



dmmarck #28

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Posted Aug 20 '13 @ 7:24 PM

I suppose it could make guys feel manly. :P


Straight shaving? Yes. I'll shave with anything so long as it's honed properly lol

My barbaric comment was re: cartridges. They pull hair and then cut underneath and into layers of skin.

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wyndslash #29

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Posted Aug 20 '13 @ 7:26 PM

 

I suppose it could make guys feel manly. :P


Straight shaving? Yes. I'll shave with anything so long as it's honed properly lol

My barbaric comment was re: cartridges. They pull hair and then cut underneath and into layers of skin.

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Just get it lasered off. :P



dmmarck #30

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Posted Aug 20 '13 @ 7:27 PM

I suppose it could make guys feel manly. :P

Straight shaving? Yes. I'll shave with anything so long as it's honed properly lol

My barbaric comment was re: cartridges. They pull hair and then cut underneath and into layers of skin.

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Just get it lasered off. :P


That sounds terribly painful.

I also like varying my appearance to elude the Man.

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