Houston, Texas
So today was the day. I had aquired all of the basics, a razor, blades, soap and a brush. I woke up around 8:30 am and sat everything out, excited, but hopefully about my new path to a better shave..

I had purchased a mini gift set of White Birch and tobacco butter from Burlington Coat Factory. So, it wasn't a puck, nor really cream. It all ready had the yogurt consistency in the jar. It smelled more menthol than anything. No idea what white birch smells like, and the tobacco smell was faint. I then pulled out the synthetic brush that came with the gift set and wasn't impressed..

I picked up my Shave Factory (Derby) razor bought from Sally's Beauty Supply and dropped it onto the tile floor. Should have taken that as a sign, but I inspected it and saw nothing wrong (as if I could tell) and proceeded. I placed the razor and the brush in my mug filled with warm water and took a shower.

After the shower I began. I took a dime sized mount of the cream with water and placed it is the mug and tried to work up a lather .It only made the cream more milky. Another bad sign. No matter how much I tried no lather. I checked the directions. Which were of no help. I finally stuck the brush directly in the cream and applied. I then realized this was possibly a brushless soap. I remembered a few guys mentioning that slightly in the limited reviews I had found online, but never processed what that meant to actually applying it. It proceeded to lather my face and head with the shaving soap. The smell was very minimal. The brush was able to lather ok. But, sadly I could get the blade to catch on my skin. I was able to shave without incident. I didn't have any nicks or cuts, mostly because I followed all the advice of light pressure, but the blade never really came into contact to cut any facial hair (which I had a 3-4 day growth of). Then, it happened, the cream started to run down my head into my eyes. Which made me ask should I be doing my face and head at the same time, or should it be done separately? So, now looking like Carrie (minus the red color of blood) with milky white goo running down my head into my eyes, distracting my rhythm while applying a sharp blade to my face and head-Ah, living the dream! I decided to power through, but sadly had it running down my neck to my chest and stomach. It was a bloody mess, especially compounded by the fact I didn't see any hair in the sink after each rinse. Thus, I was not impressed with the.Personna.blade (a last minute substitute from the Astra). It seemed to sit to far in and not set out far enough. Will definitely consider upgrading to VDH, Astra and possibly Feather blades-hell anything else, maybe a rusty soup can lid.

I had planned to do 2 passes WTG only (remember it my first time). But after the 2nd pass left me with a goatee stubble (under the nose, mouth and chin) and virtually no hair removed from the back of my head. I finished and went to take a nap, but couldnt sleep, bexause I needed to address this. So, I got up and did one final pass against the grain and not duplicating the messy disaster of earlier got mostly all of the hair that remained. I still had some very light hair on my cheeks. But, I felt it was good enough as I concluded I would also need to refine my technique by much more practice. It was the closest shave I have had in a long time.

Immediate takeaways: I got over my anxiety of having the blade contact my skin (when it did) so that's gone. The knowledge that my face has many more subtle contours than I knew, but thankfully no cuts or nicks occured. .That I need to do more research on the selection and use of my tools and products. Next, it can only get better. Lastly, I've got to play the long game and the goal is to improve.

So all in all, not dissuaded, just a lot discouraged, because I thought I had prepared well for my first time-not even close: "Beware mileage may vary". I'll be doing it again, but I don't know if I'm suppose to shave everyday or when I have growth after a few days. I did feel manly, but the little girl in me died a messy death to achieve that.

Freddy likes this post
Look Ma, I'm wet shaving, I'm wet shaving...

Hang in there man, you'll get it right. At least you didn't cut yourself or get any major irritation.

It sounds like the "cream" you chose wasn't the best option. There are some good performing, inexpensive creams available at the drugstore such as Nivea, Kiss My Face or Creamo that would undoubtedly work better than the stuff you described. Heck, even a can of Barbasol might be an improvement. Also, the issue you talked about the razor not cutting may be related to your angle. Try adjusting the angle of the razor head against your skin to find the sweet spot where you can feel it's being most effective.

Most importantly, don't give up! We're all here to help guys like you get through the rough patches and on your way to great shaves!

hrfdez, Freddy and Austinoire like this post
- Jeff

Chazz Reinhold HOF
Austinoire Brother send me a pm and I'll hook you up with some good stuff. Got to get you started with the right goods :-)

BadDad, Austinoire, NeoXerxes and 3 others like this post

Great idea Hector! Very generous of you.

Freddy, Austinoire and hrfdez like this post
- Jeff

Chazz Reinhold HOF
(05-27-2016, 04:36 AM)wyze0ne Wrote: Great idea Hector! Very generous of you.

Trying to help a new wet shaving brother out.Big Grin

Austinoire, Freddy and wyze0ne like this post

Chazz Reinhold HOF
Also, find Nick Shaves on YouTube. I think he has the best beginner's tutorial video I have ever seen. Right to the point and easy to follow.

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Vintage Razor Fan
Southwestern NY
Bravo, Hector!

Austinoire, good luck and hang in there! Before you know it you'll be shaving away smoothly.

Austinoire, Freddy and NeoXerxes like this post

Atlanta, GA
Well at least you made it through the first shave without it being a blood bath. That is a huge positive.

From your description, it's most likely not a blade issue but the wrong angle. Turn off the water and the fan so you can hear. Start with the cap resting against the skin and start the shaving stroke. Drop the razor handle until you hear the stubble being cut. This is the basic angle and you can fine tune it.

My suggestion would be once you have a basic shaving kit that makes you happy just stick with it for several weeks. I would not waste endless amounts of time in the beginning testing blades etc. Until your technique improves you won't know how to fully evaluate the differences. At least I didn't. After 30 shaves or so, everything clicked for me. Just concentrate on the process not the results. The results will come but it takes time. Hang in there. We are pulling for you.

Blade4vor, Austinoire, wyze0ne and 2 others like this post

That Bald Guy with the Big Beard
Bishop, CA
Well done, Hector!

Stick with it. Nobody walks away with a BBS their first time. This is a skill set that requires development and refinement.

Your razor and blade are likely fine, its your technique that isnt working, and it isnt supposed to be working just yet. Youll develop it.

Turning off all the noise around you is a really goodbidea. Audible feedback is important, in my opinion. I would also suggest doing your face and head seperately, at least until you develop decent skill and stamina. 2-3 passes on each can take a long time...

Dont chase after a bbs shave. It only leads to frustration and irritation. Work on the process and the results will present themselves in due time.

Youre doing good. You made it through the first one. Nothing is brand new anymore, so every shave is more experience.

Me...I shave every day, and I have since my firat run-in with a safety razor. You can if your comfortable, but its ok to wait a day or two between shaves as well. Your akin should be able to tell you.

Maybe alternate head one day face the next. This will give you the opportunity ti become faniliar with thw tools theough daily usage, but limits thw irritation from daily shaving that some new wet shavera get.

Above all else...dont quit. It will come. It just takes a little time.

Sent from my LGL34C using Tapatalk

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-Chris~Head Shaver~

Super Moderator
San Diego, Cal., USA
Tom, you have received some excellent advice here.  Stick with it because, honestly, it's not rocket science.  Look at the thousands upon thousands of us who do this and at one point we were all where you are right now.

I agree with Chris (BadDad).  Don't attempt to do both your head and your face at the same time.  Alternate, perhaps doing each every other day.  That way, you can concentrate on the contours of your face or head and the angles each requires while giving each part (face and head) a day of rest.  Eventually, as you learn the ins and outs of what works for you, you'll be able to do both on the same day with no problem.

Also, your cream/soap doesn't sound as if it was the best.  As was mentioned before, a shaving cream like Kiss My Face might work for you. It can be used with a brush or brushless but, in my opinion, is definitely better when used with a brush.  When building your lather, start with less water and add more as you need it, a little at a time.  If you add too much water in the beginning, you will end up with a bubbly thin foam rather than a creamy consistency that will cover and coat your face.

Keep at it and keep us posted.  We are here to help. Happy2

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