Just dont think a straight is for me.

Discussion in 'Straight Razors' started by Tarheel1, Aug 7, 2009.

  1. Tarheel1

    Tarheel1 Member

    Well had a straight about 2 days. Tried to shave with it twice. It feels really awkward in my hand on my right side but get the left side well. Chis and neck are almost imposable for me to get. I have to start down and work up for the first pass or I get horrible cuts and razor burn even with a de. I cant figure how to hold the razor to shave my neck or chin. Think I might put the 2 straights and strop up for sale or trade.
  2. Gelf Lover

    Gelf Lover Member

    Have you looked on the wiki at straight razor place? It has a lot of information like how to hold the razor and what you should be trying to shave on your first shaves.
  3. MsBlackwolf

    MsBlackwolf Queen of Critters

    The learning time with a straight can be pretty long. They give a great shave once mastered though.
  4. Etoyoc

    Etoyoc Backwards

    Like Bram said, try the Wiki at straight razor place. There are also videos available. Try practicing holding the razor or maybe using a butterknife to practice with. It takes time, but it can be done.

    However, if you do decide that straight shaving isn't your thing, there is nothing wrong with that either. Best of luck!
  5. MsJoeD

    MsJoeD New Member

    Don't give up yet. Your first shaves should only be with the grain on your sideburn/cheek area down to your jaw line. It will take time like the others said, and the Wiki over at straight razor place is a great place to get more information on tip on how to migrate over to straight razor shaving.
  6. Gelf Lover

    Gelf Lover Member

    Also if it makes you feel any better I have been having a lot of trouble learning to use a straight myself. I have a very hard time getting my beard cut by the straight and have almost gotten to the point that I want to give up on using a straight as well. So I understand your frustration. Learning a straight, especially without a teacher, takes a lot of time, patience, and research. There are lots of people on the forums here that will help (myself included) if you want to continue with a straight. But if you don't no one will look down upon you for it either.

    That aside I would recommend that you stick with just shaving your checks until you are able to shave them very well. Since these are your first two shaves with a straight you are expecting to be able to do a bit too much at the start. The most common recommendations that I have seen is to have you start with one short pass under one of your sideburns until you are comfortable holding the razor and stretching and them moving on to that entire cheek. Once you are able to do that well then you move on to the other side and switching hands. The next I would recommend would be the neck then the mustache, and last would be your chin. Through out all of this though you will have your D/E or the razor that you are used to shaving with to touch up/finish your shave.

    The chin is a VERY difficult area to shave and most of the time you have to figure up the best way to shave it since there is really no standard way anyone has found. As for the neck, my beard growth is east to west, and I hold my straight in the normal way and use and angled path that is halfway between XTG and WTG for the first pass and then halfway between XTG and ATG.

    I hope I covered everything and wasn't confusing. I tend to ramble, ask Joanna, and can confuse myself at times. I just wanted to give you advice and encouragement if you needed or support if you don't really don't want to do it anymore.
  7. JimR

    JimR Active Member

    Don't get discouraged. Everything Bram just said is spot on, so I'll only add--two days is pretty short, if I were you I would give it at a good week. Then, if you don't see any progress, then put them down. No need to force yourself, only you can decide what's best for your face.

    Good luck, and remember--it's ok to take it slow and steady.
  8. Utopian

    Utopian New Member

    Where do you live, we can send somebody over to give you a beating for such heresy! Seriously, you need more patience. For now, just shave your sideburn area and just get more comfortable holding the razor. You didn't get perfection the first time you rode a bike either. It takes a while for your brain to re-wire to establish the proper muscle memory. It really will get easier.
  9. Leighton

    Leighton New Member

    I can guarantee you that the learning pains are well worth it. Unless your razor is dull (which we can fix) you will get the hang of it. The chin and moustache are the hardest parts, I agree with everyone above that you should just skip those and stick with your cheeks if your having a hard time holding the razor.

    Try shaving your arms so you get a better understanding of the angles, pressure, and technique.
  10. Lawrenceu

    Lawrenceu New Member

    Hang in there. The results are worth the effort. The advice given is good. Another tip is to try and find an older barber, even an retired one. Many of them love to teach shaving.
  11. MsBlackwolf

    MsBlackwolf Queen of Critters

    Legs are less noticable. Lather up and have at it. Use both hands and practice blade angle, comfortable ways to hold the razor, etc. I know I know, everyone says NOT to play with a razor, but that's EXACTLY what to do.
  12. Leighton

    Leighton New Member

    That may be true, but if anyone does notice patches of hair missing from our legs....... :ashamed001 :happy102:happy102:happy102

    Explaining patches of arm hair missing because you were testing out your new fangled manly shaving apparatus is probably less embarrassing.
  13. MsBlackwolf

    MsBlackwolf Queen of Critters

    Keep your pants on then ;) It's easier to skip those short shorts for a couple of weeks than it would be to have a bag over your head cuz you dinged up your face and made a bloody mess. Though " I have THE meanest cat in the world" does make a good excuse for shaving injuries.
  14. jbcohen

    jbcohen New Member

    I have been at it for three months and I stil ldon't have it totally learned. Don't give up just yet. Although to me my Inoxes are the greatest thing man ever invented.
  15. Jimbo

    Jimbo New Member

    I agree with everyone else - don't give up yet!

    Did Hannibal say "Elephants are too smelly - take them back!"? No!

    Did Attila say "Bugger this! It's too cold - off to Barbados!"? No!

    Did Captain Ahab say "I think I'll just have some kippers on toast instead."? No!

    All great accomplishments in life require dedication, perseverance, and, if necessary, blind pig-headed stubbornness.

    I would suggest getting your razor professionally honed if you have not already done so. You really would be amazed at the difference a well-honed razor makes.

    Also, check out the many straight shaving videos available through You-tube (I think there are one or two available in a sticky in the shaving section here).

    And remember, as JB alluded to in his post, mastery of straight shaving takes a long (long) time. Most of us are not there yet - I know I am not, and I have been at it a while now. It is unfortunate that modern shaving utensils engender a "plug and play" attitude in this regard, as I think this has put a few people off the straight path.

    Good luck!

  16. Tarheel1

    Tarheel1 Member

    well shaved again today and i have the sides pretty good but cut my upper lip and neck is still sensitive to straight shaves.
  17. freddy88

    freddy88 Member

    Don't give up! :rolleyes005 I couldn't get something as easy as using a shave stick correctly. Then, today, after numerous tries, with a lot of help from the wonderful people here at TSD, it all came together. I got fine lather and a great shave.

    I realize I didn't use a straight but just don't give up. Be tenacious; you can do this; you will do this. :happy088
  18. goshawk

    goshawk Well-Known Member

    To quote the late, great Kipling,

    "There are nine and fifty ways
    Of constructing tribal lays
    And every single one of them
    Is right."​

    Go on over to Badger and Blade and take a look at Joel's video. He shaves with two hands, while it sounds like you've started with one, but you will pick up some good pointers from there anyway. There is no right way to do it, but eventually there will be your way.

    Good luck

  19. selhov

    selhov New Member

    stick at it dont give up and you will notice with time and patience you will start to improve, and start to really enjoy you,r shave,s good luck:D
  20. Austin

    Austin Member

    Make sure the straight is properly honed. Straights may appear sharp but a dull blade will do damage. I have tried straights several times and got decent shaves from it. Nevertheless, I am too impatient for them. I prefer DE.

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