First good shave!

Discussion in 'General Shaving Talk' started by LCBurt, Jun 11, 2021.

  1. LCBurt

    LCBurt Member

    Hello all,

    I have been shaving with a Van Der Hagen that I got as a gift in a kit a few years ago. The razor has been pretty good to learn on, I have only nicked myself a few times and managed to nock most of the fuzz off my face. The brush was terrible and shed more than my dog. I was gifted another brush which was never quite right from the get go. It had a large hard spot in the center so there was never much actual brush to it.

    I finally broke down and bought a Simpson Trafalgar T3 and had my first shave with it last night. I wanted a brush that wouldn't break the bank and was low maintenance, this one seemed to fit the bill. Lot's of good reviews on the performance as well.

    I broke out a fresh puck of Art of Shaving Sandlewood that I have been sitting on for quite some time figuring it was too nice of a soap to waste with my junk brush. I have been watching a few video's about how to get a good lather and figured out what I was doing wrong, which was considerable. I had a big milestone moment when I actually got my first really good face lather going.

    Trying to use the better technique that I had been researching, I concentrated on finding blade angle and using a light touch. I had been using way too much pressure as the VDH is such a mild razor and I didn't know that shaving three or four times before you were done was a thing. I did a real three pass shave with the grain, across the grain (this was tough for me as it was the first time I had tried it). I followed up against the grain and then a touch up.

    Wow what a world of difference. I wasn't just hacking at my face trying to get done with shaving. I took my time and really enjoyed the whole process. I came out with the best shave I have ever done and had a satisfaction that I didn't know I could get from a shave. I only got into wet shaving because I saw my father doing it as a kid and thought it looked cool. It seemed so sophisticated and mysterious to me. I think it was that feeling of wonder and nostalgia that made me persevere with this type of shaving.

    Now I have a problem. I can see that while it was a perfect razor to cut my teeth on, the Van Der Hagen is too mild to make me happy and I need a new razor. What a wonderful problem to have! I'm pretty sure one more is all I need. ;)

    Just wanted to share the story of my first "good shave" with y'all.

    CarlfromMO, Shaver X, brit and 12 others like this.
  2. swarden43

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

    Great to hear! And it only gets better.

    Don't toss that VdH razor, despite your opinion it's too mild. Once you get your technique perfected, come back to the VdH. It just might surprise you with a darn near BBS shave.

    Most people want to blame poor performance on the tools before they'll admit they are the problem.

    Ask any golfer - "if I only had better clubs..." ;)
    brit, Lancre, LCBurt and 6 others like this.
  3. LCBurt

    LCBurt Member

    Yeah that razor isn't going anywhere. There is some sentimental value and for an inexpensive razor I think its actually pretty nice. For final pass/cleanup with a light lather it works pretty good. I usually go a couple days between shaves and I don't think that is what its best at.

    I shaved with it again today so only 24 hours growth and it did a pretty nice job. Another three pass and then a touch up. No irritation or anything and my face is feeling nice. With this level of growth there was more feedback and it worked much better for me.

    I used the soap I have been using for a while. It is something I bought from Duluth Trading. I don't remember what it is but I don't like it near as much as the Art of Shaving soap. Its ok but I could tell a difference.
    brit, Lancre, Ksblazer and 3 others like this.
  4. wchnu

    wchnu Duck Season!

    Holy cow what a great reply!!!

    Don’t blame the clutch if you can not drive a standard!!
  5. wchnu

    wchnu Duck Season!

    Outstanding. Things are all up hill from there. I am mostly a SE guy. I happen to have a bunch of two sided thingies. If you decide what you want to try give a hollar. I would be glad to loan you a few to try out. De or SE( a real razor). The important now though is not to go crazy changing things. Stick to one setup and learn the process. Too many here will yell about getting a blade pack and such nonsense. Use a sharp blade in a non defective razor. Learn to shave. Then go find a favorite.
  6. IAmTheJody

    IAmTheJody Gillette-i Master Staff Member

    This. This is what it's about. Learning. Getting the feel for shaving. Try and try again. And then you reach that "Ah ha!" moment. It becomes not a chore but something you actually look forward to. I call it my moment of zen. Just me, my tools, the prep, the scents, taking the time for me. It may not turn out to be a grand shave today but I know I'll get another chance soon.

    Welcome to your "Ah ha!" :happy088:
    brit, LCBurt, Ksblazer and 3 others like this.
  7. Ksblazer

    Ksblazer Well-Known Member

    It's a good feeling when your starting out and get your first great shave.

    Trust me. Keep at it and there will be plenty more to come, as you get your technique down and try different products.
    Ijustmissedthe50s, brit and LCBurt like this.
  8. LCBurt

    LCBurt Member

    That is a very kind offer and much appreciated, I may take you up on that after when I get this a little more figured out. I never considered a Single Edge. What would you say are the main differences between the two?
    Ijustmissedthe50s and brit like this.
  9. Lancre

    Lancre Well-Known Member

    Welcome to TSD. It sounds like you're on the right track.
    You'll get a lot of good advice here, the most important being that your technique is more important the tools you use.
    Second to that is only change one thing at a time, so when you see a change you'll know its cause.
  10. Jayaruh

    Jayaruh The Cackalacky House Pet

    Supporting Vendor
    Yeah, you only need one more. Right...
    brit, LCBurt and Lancre like this.
  11. Lancre

    Lancre Well-Known Member

    Hmm...How many times have we heard that before?
    brit and LCBurt like this.
  12. LCBurt

    LCBurt Member

    Isn't that always the answer. How many do you need? One more than I have. :)

    I thought about one of the standards like the 34C or the DE89. Then I thought about an adjustable like the Parker Variant or the Rockwell 6C. they are very interesting especially to see what level of aggressiveness would work best for me. I'm a little unsure of a zinc alloy though and the problems that can arise if the plating is not perfect or if it gets dropped. Razorocks line is very tempting and seems to be a very good value. The 6S looks like it would give a great shave and double as a hammer in an emergency. The one that is really whispering in my ear though it the Karve as it has SB as well as open comb options and I think the brass looks stunning. I'm pretty sure the real decision will end up being not which one but which one first.
  13. brit

    brit in a box only gets better.i have many vintage gillettes,they all shave quite similar.the cheapest least rare one shaves as well as the prettiest ones.:)
    come check us out here and try a focus or rule.30 days with one set up should dial it in just fine.i am over 4 years in now with de shaves after 35 + years using cart razors..never looked back..enjoy..:cool:
  14. LCBurt

    LCBurt Member

    Thanks! the rule/focus thread looks very cool. I will be checking that out for sure.
    brit likes this.
  15. brit

    brit in a box

  16. Tedolph

    Tedolph Well-Known Member

    Whatever you do, don't start looking at straight razors!
    brit, Edison Carter and LCBurt like this.
  17. LCBurt

    LCBurt Member

    Man I get nervous just watching someone shave with one of those. Lol.
  18. Tedolph

    Tedolph Well-Known Member

    Careful, the danger will lure you in.......
    Edison Carter likes this.
  19. wchnu

    wchnu Duck Season!

    The blade is the big difference. It is thicker and stiffer. I just happen to be a SE junkey and think they are better and easier to use. Once your technique is good the type of razor will not matter really. Also they look cooler and were the original safety razors you know. Keep me in mind if you want to try one.
    brit, Ijustmissedthe50s and LCBurt like this.
  20. Tedolph

    Tedolph Well-Known Member

    If I may add, a single edge razor gives a shave that in some ways is more similar to a SR shave than a double edge razor gives.
    brit and LCBurt like this.

Share This Page