yet another noob

Discussion in 'Newbies' started by VT420, Jul 28, 2012.

  1. VT420

    VT420 New Member

    I'm a relatively recent convert to the wet shaving world and it's been going fairly well so far. I have a fairly inexpensive Omega Boar brush (i forget the model number at the moment) D.R harris soap (Arlington scent, smells amazing), a '49 gillette SS (i think? maybe '50?... 47-54 style, with no date-code in a red and clear plastic case) and a '57 flare (C-4, silver, not a red or blue tip)..... so far i've tried both razors on astra platinum (green package) while keeping the soap, brush and pre-shave procedure the same and had success while finding little difference between the two... Occasional nicks and weepers, but no slices and a nice shave...

    Now I have one technique question, and one equipment question. The Technique Q is: How to avoid irritation and nicks at the transition points of hair grain direction? Especially when the transition zone isn't well defined and has individual hairs of different slants within the same area.(ie lower throat/neck area, the very bottom grows mostly up, the rest mostly down-ish, but the transition has hairs every which way)

    And the equipment Q: which blade to try next? I like the astra greens, but they're my first DE blade, I still have Derbys. Dorcos, Personnas, Gillette 7 o'clock(yellow), Feathers, and bic chrome platinum in my sampler... I really only want to change one thing at a time, and all else being equal i've found little if any difference between the '49 and the '57 so blades are next, mostly because i already have different blades to try. :)

    I'm already getting as good of results (actually, mostly better) than i was with the overpriced cartridge stuff, and blade costs are much lower, just trying to optimize my shave
  2. Smott

    Smott Chew your shave. Slowly.

    Welcome, VT420! You are cleared for landing!

    Technique A: I'll offer the more obvious tip in that you slow down and use short, smooth, light strokes in those transition areas. That usually works in just about every problem spot—a simple solution, but an effective one for me. If the direction truly is "every-which-way," then it might take some brief experimentation to see which initial direction (again, with short, smooth, light strokes) brings the least irritation for your first pass.

    Equipment A: If I had issues with my technique, I'd probably stick with the same blade for the time being (though that isn't quite as fun and exciting). It sounds to me, though, that you'll be out of Astras and moving on to another blade by necessity? If you can get some more Astras and they've been ok for you, that would be my ideal recommendation. However, if you're truly moving on, I will go against popular opinion and suggest trying the Feathers. Based solely on my own personal experience, I found that since I was being careful with any blade I used, the Feather blades weren't really a whole lot different in terms of "difficulty" for me to use in shaving. And my results were quite positive, so much so that Feathers have made it onto my short "preferred" list. I just don't think saving a blade like that til the bitter end is really necessary, so long as you feel like you're keeping your angle fairly steady. I think these blades consciously force you to be more "aware" of what you're doing rather than gradually allowing your attention to drift to something else, and allowing bad habits/sloppy technique to form. Just my opinion, mind you, and others will likely disagree.

    Again, welcome and keep the questions coming. And be grateful that I'm not the only one fielding questions, as you'll get exceptional responses from the rest of the group!
  3. Neolithium

    Neolithium I am Canadian, eh Staff Member

    Moderator
    Welcome to the Shave Den :)
  4. VT420

    VT420 New Member

    Thanks for the advice/answers... I'm not completely tearing my face up on the transition areas, just they're the more common areas of actually seeing a little red, nothing the alum wont dry up though... I was just looking for how to take it from 'good enough' to great

    with regards to blades, I have a couple more astras, but i've already burned through a couple trying them on both razors (what can i say, i wanted to play with my new toys :) ) and wanted to try something else before just buying more astras because if I liked something else better I'd rather that be what I bulk bought... I guess i'll just use probably 2 of everything from my sampler and then decide what to buy in quantity...

    I've got my technique down to only ever seeing red at the "up-down" transition on my neck and even that not every time and slight enough that my alum block stops it up nicely... just really trying to go from good to great :) (while resiting the urge to spend more money.... although i do keep looking at moving to a badger brush from the boar)
  5. jeraldgordon

    jeraldgordon TSD's Mascot

    :signs011: +1 Also, it is amazing what a difference the soap/cream can make in those areas. I have similar issues (who has cowlicks on their face? - I do...) Short strokes combined with certain soaps/creams that I have found provide truly excellent cushion and glide make a huge difference. The most protecting product I personally have tried in Mikes Natural soap. I've also had excellent results with The Body Shop Maca Root cream, Kiss My Face cream, etc.

    Secondly, blade experimentation is in order. You don't mention what type of beard you have. I have the unfortunate tough beard/sensitive face thing going on. I need a sharp but smoooooth blade anyway, and that really helps in those transition areas as well. My go-to blade is the Personna Lab - but your mileage really will vary, and the only way to figure out what works for you is to experiment - and just deal with any resulting burn/nicks/weepers along the way. I sooo envy those guys who can get a great shave with just about anything, so long as they use good technique! But hang in there - it will come together! :happy108:
  6. InfernoOrangeSS

    InfernoOrangeSS New Member

    Welcome to the forum! Lots of great advice here and good helpful people!
  7. IAmTheJody

    IAmTheJody Gillette-i Master

  8. DLP

    DLP Well-Known Member

    :signs046: to the DEN
  9. xCarbonSteelx

    xCarbonSteelx Well-Known Member

  10. swarden43

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

    Moderator
    Hi! Welcome to the Den.
    Glad to have ya here!

    VT? Are you from Vermont? Or a Virginia Tech fan? Initials, maybe? Vince T....?

    Just wonderin'.
  11. VT420

    VT420 New Member

    Nah, just computer geekery: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/VT420
  12. 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
  13. swarden43

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

    Moderator
  14. VT420

    VT420 New Member

    i have a TI99-4A somewhere, never actually had a VIC20 myself :) C64 though, yeah.....

    so I just shaved my head with the 49 and an astra... damn smooth, but i did have a mishap... evidently a coupe times when I flipped from one edge to the other I bumped the tto loose... loose barn doors == bad things.... nothing that'll scar or anything but enough to remind me to pay more attention to what i'm doing.... :ashamed001:
  15. PLANofMAN

    PLANofMAN COTQ Instigator

    Article Team
    As you become more sensitive to the peculiarities of different razors you will find that the early model Super Speed is the milder of the the two razors, with better build quality. I personally prefer the slightly more aggressive flare tips. Both razors fall into the "this is what I recommend for new wet shavers" category.
    I have similar issues with my neck. From my jawline down to my neck, my hair grows downward. From my throat down, the hair grows upwards, with the exception of two patches on either side of my Adam's apple.
    My technique is this, I shave down to the jawline when I shave my face and leave my neck for last. Being new at this, you may want to lather your neck only when you are ready to shave it. This will give you the slickest, freshest lather. lift your head up to stretch your skin. Shave downwards until you feel the razor start to tug on the transition point. Once you have completed shaving the downward growth, place your hand just above your collar bones and pull downwards gently. Shave upwards until again you start to feel the razor tug on the transition point. Rinse off the lather and re-apply lather to the transition point. Tilt your head back again to stretch your skin. You may want to place your hand at the side of your neck to assist in this. Shave across the grain in a cut throat motion. You will soon learn if it is more comfortable to shave from the center of the neck outwards or from the sides inwards. At this point you should probably settle for a one pass shave on the neck. Time will tell if your neck can endure a two or more pass shave. If you have heavy growth and sensitive skin, you may benefit from using a mild razor with a sharp blade.
    Feathers are what I recommend to new shavers. Many disagree with me on this for various reasons. Feathers are unforgiving of errors and will help you to learn proper technique and the no pressure shaving technique that wet shaving requires. Properly used, feathers should give you a smooth comfortable shave. That being said, while anyone can shave with any blade, you will learn which blades work for you and which don't.
    Please bear in mind that my advice is only advice, not gospel writ. For more generalized advice that I give all newbies please click on the link in my signature. Welcome to the Den, we're all glad you decided to join us and get a better shave!
  16. Smott

    Smott Chew your shave. Slowly.

    Still have my TI99-4A as well, with Munchman, Parsec, Chisolm's Trail, A-Maze-Ing, Blasto, etc. Ahh, good times.
  17. macaronus

    macaronus Sir Nice-a-Lot Staff Member

    Moderator
    Welcome to The Den, VT420. Happy shavings!
  18. fishcrow

    fishcrow Birdman of TSD

    Welcome to the Den family and a big hello.
  19. Dridecker

    Dridecker Sherlock Staff Member

    Moderator
    Welcome to The Shave Den, a great community of guys and gals that enjoy wet shaving, I hope you enjoy your stay!

    Be sure to sign up for the July Newbie Give-Away for a chance to win some great shave gear!
  20. Queen of Blades

    Queen of Blades Mistress of Mischief Staff Member

    Moderator Supporting Vendor
    Welcome to The Shave Den! :signs046:

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