Hi there from Dallas!

Discussion in 'Newbies' started by wquiles, Aug 19, 2012.

  1. wquiles

    wquiles Active Member

    Hi there!

    I am of course not new to shaving (I am in my late 40's), but in many ways I do feel like a newbie.

    As far as I can remember I have been using cartridge-style shavers, but always fighting with razor burn, cuts, and ingrown hairs, so for the last 10+ years I have been using electric shavers of various brands trying to find the "elusive" one (the one shaver to rule them all?). Second most recent brand was the Braun, and the most recent (for the last 3+ years, the high-end wet Panasonics (ES-LA63 and ES-LA93). These Panasonics I have been primarily been using in the shower, most specially since I started shaving my head 2 years ago.

    I have been getting tired of the high cost of the replacement blade/cutters/screens/cleaning kits for the Braun/Panasonic, and although I was getting a lot less razor burn with the electrics, the ingrown hair problem is still there. In fact, I started with the Panasonic ES-LA93, but the replacement blade/screen was so expensive that it was just a little bit more to buy the ES-LA63 on special, which is why I have both.

    So the cost and in-grown hairs got me started into "the next shaving option", which got me looking into the straight razors. I am however an engineer (my lovely wife says it is like a curse!), so I do a lot of reading/research before I dive-in into anything new. I loved the many potential benefits of the straight razor, but the more I read about the maintenance and the more I watched videos about them, I decided I am not willing to spend time with the honing/stropping, so I decided to focus on the DE safety razor instead. It seems that the preparation was key to both, but the simplicity of the DE blades won over.

    I found many posts/web sites over the last 2-4 weeks, and watched many videos on youtube as well. I then got "lucky" to run into the Leisureguy's Guide to Gourmet Shaving (Michael Ham), and bought the book on Amazon.

    Based on recommendations from the various sources, I ordered my first ever DE, a Edwin Jagger DE89L-BL, a local (Wally Word) "Premium" shaving kit, and ordered the "recommended" Omega 643167 Artificial Badger Shave brush (which has not arrived yet, so I am using the "cheap" brush that came with the premium kit). I also got a pack of Wilkinson blades at Wally World.

    Since I read the book before starting, I knew about the need to do the preparation routine, the importance of a light pressure, studied how the grain my face is oriented, etc., so I had some mental preparation - the videos from youtube helped a lot here. Of course I still need lots of experience in setting the right angle, but I understand the concept of the 3x passes to gradually cut the hair down.

    First shave, I took it really easy. It was weird to lather after each pass - something I never done before - no doubt a reason for my earlier problems with other shaving types/systems. I can tell how smoother the razor moves when there is a lubrication layer there. I know I don't know shi& about this stuff yet, and no reference point as to make a statement objectively, but I am "not" impressed with the cheap shaving brush that came with the "Premium" kit. Maybe it is also the cheap shaving soap - I don't know, but I am most definitely looking forward to the Omega brush!

    I did not try for a super smooth shave - just tried not to bleed to death!. And so I finished, without a single cut, nor razor burn. True, it was not as close as a shave as I can get from the Panasonic ES-LA93, but not bad. I felt good and relieved to survive with no blood/redness - I was very happy when I finished rinsing my face, and applying my alcohol-free after shave that I like.

    So the next morning (today, Sunday), I went for my second shave. This time I was a little bit more confident, and (mistakenly) tried to go for a closer shave. Yup, I got a small nick, and a small razor burn on my upper lip. Nothing bad, not too much blood at all, but it was a good wake-up call about needing to take it easier as I learn more and develop proper technique - I am sure my angle of not quite "there" yet. I need more practice.

    I don't know if it is just bad beguiner's technique, but so far (2 shaves) I don't like these Wilkinson blades - they don't seem to slice the hair as easily as I expected after watching the youtube videos. I will of course try a little longer, before trying the Dixie blades that came with the EJ-DE89. I went ahead and ordered a DE sample pack to later try to find a blade that works better, although I know I have to wait and be patient - it is way too early to be changing blades when I still don't know what the heck I am doing.

    All in all, I think I am "hooked" into the DE word now. The preparation with the cleaning, warm water, and of course lather before every pass made a huge difference. But I travel a lot, and since the TSA does not allow safety blades in carry-on (90% of my trips are always carry-on only, so no chance to check-in extra stuff), so after researching again for a couple more hours, I ordered a Gillette Guard razor/cartridge, which I plan on using while traveling as I "do" want to stick with the single blade concept for my shaving needs.

    For my head, I will wait a little bit longer, and keep using the Panasonic, since it is relatively easy to shave my head in the shower with the Panasonic, but eventually, I would love to use a DE, or the Gillette Guard, or some other "low risk" option for my head.

    I am also "very" intrigued about using a comb-style DE razor, and/or eventually a slant head as my 2nd razor, but of course I first have to master the EJ-DE89 before I try anything else.

    Sorry for the long first post - lost of things I wanted to convey, all bottled up until now. I waited for over a week to post until I had the first hand experience with the EJ-DE89.

    Thanks for the great tutorials, guides, reviews, etc. I look forward to learning more :)

    Will
    KLF and MoAllen like this.
  2. swarden43

    swarden43 "It's your shave. Enjoy it your way."©

    Hi! Welcome to the Den.
    Glad you're here.

    Yeah, different blades for different folks. You were smart to order a sample pack. No doubt you'll find something in that you'll like.

    And hang in there! It'll only get better.
  3. Neolithium

    Neolithium I am Canadian, eh Staff Member

    Moderator
    Welcome to TSD :)
  4. GDCarrington

    GDCarrington Burma Shave

    Welcome to the Den.

    We know you'll fit right in.

    So grab yourself a comfy chair,

    and give our threads a spin!

    Burma Shave
  5. asleep2shave

    asleep2shave Well-Known Member

  6. Shawna

    Shawna 1000 Music Tag Bonus Points Awarded!

    Welcome to the Den! Enjoy your stay here and Happy Shaving! :signs046:
  7. Smott

    Smott Chew your shave. Slowly.

    Just when I thought The Shave Den couldn't get any better, you came along, Will! Welcome!
  8. IAmTheJody

    IAmTheJody Gillette-i Master

  9. Rene

    Rene Well-Known Member

    Welcome to The Shave Den :signs046:

    Enjoy your stay here :happy088:
  10. Queen of Blades

    Queen of Blades Mistress of Mischief Staff Member

    Moderator Supporting Vendor
    Welcome to The Shave Den, Will! :signs046:
  11. PLANofMAN

    PLANofMAN COTQ Instigator

    Article Team
    Welcome to The Shave Den, Will! Despite the few who shave their heads with straight razors or the slightly more numerous DE head shavers, most head shaving wet shavers use the headblade razor. Granted, they use a brush and lather, but they still use a headblade. I figured I'd let you know now, before you thought we were all Superman!
    Falcon43 likes this.
  12. PadreTex

    PadreTex Well-Known Member

    Welcome to the Shave Den Will! It's good to see another guy from the metroplex on the board (I'm originally from Fort Worth).

    You'll get this stuff down in no time, it really isn't rocket science. Just takes a little time and patience. The sample package will help a lot. The EJ DE89 is a fantastic first razor. That's what I bought and it's still a great razor. The ingrowns were part of the problem that I have had to fight too and I will say that the Merkur 1904 OC has become my favorite razor. It's a milder razor, like the EJ, and I have found the open comb has helped me (YMMV). I also have changed blades to a very sharp blade, the Personna blue, or Personna medical blades. That combination works great for my face. You'll find your combination I'm sure. The brush and soap will make a big difference too. But it is a lot of fun experimenting and trying new things.

    Glad to have you with us!
  13. lradke

    lradke and doggone it, people like me

    Hey Will!

    Welcome to the Den! Good move in getting the sampler. There'll be something there you should like. Your first shaves were better than mine...I didn't study before and didn't know the concept of no pressure. You should like the Omega, they're great brushes. I have owned a few, but now stick to badger.

    Anyway! I hope you stick around, and let us know how the new brush and blades work out!

    Cheers! :)
  14. macaronus

    macaronus Sir Nice-a-Lot Staff Member

    Moderator
    Hi there Will! Welcome to The shave Den!
  15. wquiles

    wquiles Active Member

    OK, so an update, after shave #6. Things have not improved much. Varying the angle (which I though was the main culprit) is not helping - my face is still red in a few places, I am still getting a couple of nicks, and overall not too happy.

    I watched a couple more videos, and my razor does not "glide" as smoothly over my face as the folks show in the various videos on youtube. I am guessing that perhaps my lathering soap and/or technique is not that good. I am still using the same Wilkinson blades, but I am going to try changing to a different soap: I bought a Palmolive euro formula shaving stick and an Arko shaving stick to try (so far I am using the inexpensive soap that came with the Wally World "Premium" shaving kit).

    So I am not giving up yet. Any more tips/suggestions?

    Will
  16. 178-bplatoon

    178-bplatoon Well-Known Member

    Hi Will and :signs046: to TSD!
    DON'T GIVE UP!! You'd be surprised what a little time and practice can accomplish. Work on your lather making and shaving technique(no preassure). Once you get those down pat you could shave with a sharp rock and survive. YMMV but I feel those are the two most important things in the beginning. If the Wally World shave soap is VanderHagen Delux it's actually not a bad soap of course neither are the Palmolive or Arko. Do you face or bowl lather? I use the EJ89 also Great shave head! Handle not so good! I found the handle way too slick with wet soapy hands for my taste. If your having the same issues with the handle you can wrap it with leather thread or rubber o-rings to give you more grip. After you get things under control with lather and technique a nicely knurled handle will make it feel like you have a new and better razor with the EJ. Lots of knowledge around here and lots of people willing to help you out. Enjoy your time here.
  17. wquiles

    wquiles Active Member

    Thanks man!

    I have tried both face lather and bowl lather (with the bowl in the kit, which is actually very nice as it is fairly shallow), but so far (still a total newbie) I find it easier to make the lather in the small bowl than on my face. It is just that the lather does not seem slick/slippery enough. The kit is the VanderHagen kit, so I guess the soap was the Delux one (don't know for sure). So it might be more technique, more than the actual soap - good to know.

    Yes, I also find the handle of the EJ89 way too slippery - in fact makes it hard to concentrate as I try to keep/maintain proper angle. I like the rubber o-rings idea - I have to give it a try, otherwise I will have to find a different shaver that is not as slippery in the handle as this one.

    Will
  18. 178-bplatoon

    178-bplatoon Well-Known Member

    I prefer to bowl lather also. Try adjusting your water, more water slicker, but not as protective. It just takes a little practice to find the correct combo. Practice lathers help out alot. The absolute BEST handle I've used is(my current one) the Weber BullDog 2.4 oz., 3" long and fantastic knurling, but it'll make you EJ like a whole new razor, the only problem is it costs about $43 shipped for just the andle and around $74 if you get handle and head. I've heard good things about the Weber shave head however and plan to get one as soon as they are back in stock. It's actually the best deal out there for a completely stainless steel razor, the next step up is double in price. Some other options Gillete fat handle tech, Sabi T2,Parker 97 and Durham Duplex DE of course you have to buy the whole razor(handle and head) just to get the handle, but any of those should be cheaper than the Weber and give you much better control than the stock EJ handle gives. The EJ89 shave head is Fantastic IMO just the handle sucks!
  19. DLP

    DLP Well-Known Member

    :signs046: to the DEN
  20. Slipperyjoe

    Slipperyjoe Rusty Metal Tetanus

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