30 DAY RULE meet the 30 DAY FOCUS (Greater Flexibility)

Discussion in 'General Shaving Talk' started by GDCarrington, Jan 17, 2015.

  1. GDCarrington

    GDCarrington Burma Shave

    For some time I have been discussing and promoting what I have called THE 30 DAY RULE which goes as follows:

    A critical item is to remember what the three Ts stand for: "Technique Trumps Tools." Now I mention defective products, no amount of technique can overcome a defective product. The products must be ones that can work correctly. No out of alignment razors, or poorly manufactured blades that have bad edges, can be overcome by technique.

    Here is the advice I received when I started with a DE and so I freely give it to new users. The most important things in shaving are, your skin and technique. All other things fall in line behind those two things and to support them. Since the skin is a given fixed item, the next major item is technique. THE 30 DAY RULE is the advice I give to you.

    THE 30 DAY RULE is as follows: Find a razor, then a blade that will not cause issues with your skin. That may take a few different blades in a sampler pack to find a suitable choice or it maybe the first out of the gate. Select a soap or cream that is easy to generate good lather. Once you find that combination, and it may take a couple of weeks to find it, order a quantity of that blade enough for 30 days. Spend 30 days using nothing else until you build up your technique. (Note that only one brand blade is used for 30 days after each blade in the sampler pack is tested to make the decision on the blade brand to use for 30 days.) The 30 day clock starts when you have the right blade for you.

    After 30 days, change one and only one variable and work for another week then change another after another week. At that point you should be able to make better decisions because your technique is now in place.

    This will help you to avoid buying too much gear and stuff too soon without having the technique available to enjoy all the gear.
    After completing THE 30 DAY RULE many users have asked, can this be varied to apply to a single product or single step in the process? I also realize that many long term users are not intrigued by the concept of THE 30 DAY RULE, but don't want to totally commit to a lock-down of all products. With this in mind, I feel it is time to come up with a codification for a second method which has similarities to THE 30 DAY RULE. So 30 DAY RULE meet, THE 30 DAY FOCUS.

    THE 30 DAY FOCUS, still falls in line with the three Ts: "Technique Trumps Tools." THE 30 DAY FOCUS allows the user to focus in on a particular aspect of Traditional Shaving for 30 days just like the THE 30 DAY RULE, but with variability based on product or process. This is more along the lines of skills development versus basic training.

    One user may choose a 30 DAY FOCUS on a specific single product, or process, in order to develop technique with that specific area of focus without requiring a total lock-down as a true 30 DAY RULE would entail.

    Examples of this would be:

    • Using a specific razor for 30 days while using different blades.
    • Using a specific brush for 30 days while using different soaps and creams.
    • Using a several brushes from a specific brush class for 30 days (boars only, synthetics only, etc.).
    • Using a specific process such as face lathering for 30 days.
    • Using a specific blade for 30 days while using different razors.
    • Using two or more specific fixed products or processes, while allowing freedom in one or more other products or process.
    The idea is to allow the membership to be able to have a flexible method of communicating that they are on a FOCUS pattern rather than the RULE pattern.
    It is my hope that THE 30 DAY FOCUS will become as popular for members who have long term traditional shaving experience and also to serve as an avenue for those who have mastered THE 30 DAY RULE and wish to continue with a more flexible path forward in the learning process.

    THE 30 DAY RULE : Complete lock-down for technique development.
    THE 30 DAY FOCUS: Skills development and growth.

    It is my intent that both these methods serve as avenues for growth and are not considered to be "restrictions" since the issue in these areas are to develop the user to their fullest abilities.

    May both methods serve the user well.

    Last edited: Mar 4, 2015
  2. CyanideMetal

    CyanideMetal Wild and crazy guy

    What Gary is advocating here with his "30 Day" rule/focus is actually scientific in nature. There are published studies that detail how the brain "learns" neuro patterns. We often hear that described as "muscle memory" but we all know that muscle has no memory, it's the brain that teaches the muscles. Repetition and knowledge of the action being applied leads to greater chance for success.
  3. Bama Samurai

    Bama Samurai with Laser-like Focus Staff Member

    Totally concur! This is what I had in mind when doing BSG vs HSBG. Once again, Gary sews it up! Nice work. Could you link to this on the January group link? I think these are great thoughts worth sharing.

    I use the strict version because of the scientific thought behind it, but as I become more experienced, a shift toward 30 Day focus might suit my needs better!
    Troy M, clint64, Slow Joe and 2 others like this.
  4. Slow Joe

    Slow Joe Relishing his obsession

    I think this is a great idea. I will how to think how best to implement it. This month I have just been using 2 soaps MDC and soap commander courage, both of which are new to me. I have also been using just my Plisson brush this month and planning to do this for the rest of January.
    This kind of just happened, I never really sat down and planned this.
    Your teachings must be rubbing off on me.:D
    CyanideMetal and GDCarrington like this.
  5. GDCarrington

    GDCarrington Burma Shave

    Link made! Done and done!
    Bama Samurai likes this.
  6. clint64

    clint64 Blind Squirrel

    Gary, thanks for taking the time to write this up. While I followed the 30 day rule in the beginning, I moved away from it as many do as I aquired more hardware and software. Even though I had many good shaves in the interim, this January 30 day challenge Chris started has helped me further develop my skills. Going forward I plan on using your 30 focus to work on additional skills.
    Bama Samurai and GDCarrington like this.
  7. NCoxSTL


    As a relative newbie I really appreciate both the Rule and the Focus. Brilliant, in my opinion. Being a part of the Rule group this month has really gotten my technique in line. I have progressed incredibly faster in my skills development because of it as opposed to just "winging" it with different products looking for the right combination. Technique really is the foundation. Now I can see a Focus month coming for me with blades as the variable. So many to try and judge and using the Focus idea is perfect. Just have to figure out which razor to use and pick a soap. Thanks Gary for your leadership. It's a big part of what makes this place so great!
  8. Troy M

    Troy M Prep: Mephitis mephitis musk

    I really like this idea Gary.
    Bama Samurai and GDCarrington like this.
  9. feeltheburn

    feeltheburn Well-Known Member

    I like the 30 day focus Gary. I've been doing something pretty close for the past several months with a few aspects of my shaves. I've been trying to use up some creams and soaps and sticking with them until they're gone. That often takes a month or even more. I've found my shaves get a lot better after I spend some time with a product really getting to know it and get the most out of it.

    It also works with blades. After a couple shaves, I was tempted to order some Gillette 7 O'Clock Blacks in bulk. I got good shaves from them. But before buying a bunch, I decided to do a head to head with Personna Labs since they're my top blade so far. I loaded up my Muhle R89 with a Gillette and used it for a week. Then loaded a Personna and used it for a week. I liked the Personna better (but just by a little). Did the same the next two weeks in my Futur and got the same result. So focusing on this particular aspect gave me a better idea what really works best for me. A nice side benefit is the Labs are cheaper so it's a win for my face and my wallet :)
    Bama Samurai and GDCarrington like this.
  10. VedderLG

    VedderLG Well-Known Member

    Totally agree!
    GDCarrington likes this.
  11. ARGH

    ARGH Well-Known Member

    I think the focus is for me. I pick a razor or brush or soap for 5 to 7 days. That is about all I can do until one has to be swapped out for something new.

    I am still learning what makes my DEs tick but miss my straights after a week or so
    GDCarrington likes this.
  12. Kenny Ingram

    Kenny Ingram Well-Known Member

    Thank you very much for this, GDCarrington. After I receive my new brush, this is what I will be doing. Gillette Super Speed '74, Semogue 1520, Arko, Nivea Balm - all for 30 days...let's see how this goes. :)
    clint64 and GDCarrington like this.
  13. Bama Samurai

    Bama Samurai with Laser-like Focus Staff Member

    That is super! We currently have a thirty day group -January 2015 30 Day Rule/30 Day Focus Pic and Discussion Thread- All are Welcome. We are having a blast learning. I am hoping to start another thread for February. Come hang out with us! Master that setup and you will be a happy shaver!
  14. Kenny Ingram

    Kenny Ingram Well-Known Member

    GDCarrington likes this.
  15. Bama Samurai

    Bama Samurai with Laser-like Focus Staff Member

    My pleasure. I am planning on doing thirty days with my Dad's Schick Injector and Schick blades or a blade test on a sixties flare tip SS. I am dialing in my slim now (current rule). There are over 800 posts on technique and general fun stuff this month. It's a mix of newbies and vet shavers. I started up last summer.

    Another wildly popular and pix rich thread is "SOTD" or SoS: January 19, 2015 - January 25, 2015 it's a great way to just "jump in" to the goings on here at TSD. I hope you enjoy yourself on the forum!

    SHAVEWIZARD420 Well-Known Member

  17. ChrisAnd1950

    ChrisAnd1950 Active Member

    CG, Nice rule. Will do. I'm pretty set in my ways, but will use a few new items as you described.
    Douglas Carey and GDCarrington like this.
  18. mrchick

    mrchick Odd, Terrible Avatar

    Thank you! I am fairly new to wet shaving and will use this to help narrow down my favorites.
    Douglas Carey and GDCarrington like this.
  19. Rio Bravo

    Rio Bravo Well-Known Member

    Wow. I am going to try this. Scientific merged with therapeutic shaving. Bring it on
    Douglas Carey and GDCarrington like this.
  20. Virodoc

    Virodoc New Member

    Thank you for sharing this. Definitely a good strategy to learn and improve for all skill levels!
    Douglas Carey and GDCarrington like this.

Share This Page