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#1

That Bald Guy with the Big Beard
Bishop, CA
So...stealing this idea from another place and time. It's a good thread idea, and I apologize if it already exists here, somewhere, and I never found it...

What products or techniques have you found to be highly touted by the community at large that just don't work for you? As a guideline, this would be something that you read about as being mandatory, or necessary for a good shave, by a large percentage of this forum(or any other), yet you yourself find to be unnecessary or simply overrated.

Products and techniques both are welcome here.

I'll start:
Lengthy pre-shave rituals. Oils, hot towels, hot showers, pre-washes, glycerin soaps, beard prep, etc, etc, etc... I have yet to feel a significant difference in shave quality or comfort with any of the prescribed pre-shave rituals so highly touted by the community at large. Wash, oil and hot towel produces a shave no better or smoother than simply splashing hot water on my scalp and lathering.

Alum. It does nothing for me. I admit that when I was getting a lot of irritation starting out, the sting of the alum block did seem to reduce the post shave irritation, but I honestly haven't used it in months, and I have noticed no difference in my post-shave feel. The best thing I use it for these days is to stop a weeper and provide some necessary grip to my soapy fingers for stretching the scalp. As a styptic, it works well. As a post-shave skin toner, I find it useless.

Open Combs. I love my Old Type, and I really appreciate the look of an open comb razor. They just look like they will scalp you. But I don;t find them to perform any better than my safety bar razors, either in terms of closeness of shave or in ease of cleaning. I rinse my razors every couple of strokes, and never have an issue with clogging. Now...I shave every night, so perhaps if I let my hair grow in a couple days, it would make a difference in terms of clogging, but for a daily head shave, I find it to be unnecessary and overrated...

Your turn!

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-Chris~Head Shaver~
#2

Member
San Francisco
Pre-shave products, for the most part. My impression is that pre-shave oils are making up for sub-par lather (in the same way duller blades can make up for sub-par technique). A good lather from a good soap or cream is plenty slick. The exception I'll make for pre-shave is something like Proraso pre-/post- which to me isn't about slickness so much as beard prep and softening — like a substitute for a hot shower, in a pinch. I also just like how it feels.

Aggressive razors. Granted some guys get on well with them, but I think we fetishize the notion of "aggression" in the wet shaving community, fantasizing about mowing down to a BBS in one pass. Yes, some razors are more efficient than others, but often what "aggressive" means is that the razor allows for more cutting angles, most of which are damaging to the skin and rougher on the blade. My (very preliminary) theory is that guys who master an aggressive razor have simply learned to hold it at the same effective-comfortable angle as a milder razor would enforce. Same result, but with more trouble.

DE razors. Yep, gonna leave the most provocative one for last. Not that DE razors are bad, but consider that the thinness of DE blades is usually a liability, leading to chatter and undue irritation, which only a few DE razors overcome by adding some rigidity. SE razor blades are thicker, thus more rigid, chatter-resistant, and providing smoother shaves, while usually keeping a good edge much longer. A good argument can be made that SE blades and razors are just better for the task of shaving, but despite that, DE razors dominate, even in our specialized hobby. (BTW, I'm counting these as "overrated" in comparison to SE designs, not that they don't work; they certainly can and do!)

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David : DE shaving since Nov 2014. Nowadays giving in to the single-edge siren call.
#3

That Bald Guy with the Big Beard
Bishop, CA
(This post was last modified: 03-15-2016, 08:01 PM by BadDad.)
Interesting that I get more chatter from my SE than any of my DEs. Clearly a technique issue, in this instance...
-Chris~Head Shaver~
#4

Chazz Reinhold HOF
(03-15-2016, 07:28 PM)onethinline Wrote: Pre-shave products, for the most part. My impression is that pre-shave oils are making up for sub-par lather (in the same way duller blades can make up for sub-par technique). A good lather from a good soap or cream is plenty slick. The exception I'll make for pre-shave is something like Proraso pre-/post- which to me isn't about slickness so much as beard prep and softening — like a substitute for a hot shower, in a pinch. I also just like how it feels.

Aggressive razors. Granted some guys get on well with them, but I think we fetishize the notion of "aggression" in the wet shaving community, fantasizing about mowing down to a BBS in one pass. Yes, some razors are more efficient than others, but often what "aggressive" means is that the razor allows for more cutting angles, most of which are damaging to the skin and rougher on the blade. My (very preliminary) theory is that guys who master an aggressive razor have simply learned to hold it at the same effective-comfortable angle as a milder razor would enforce. Same result, but with more trouble.

DE razors. Yep, gonna leave the most provocative one for last. Not that DE razors are bad, but consider that the thinness of DE blades is usually a liability, leading to chatter and undue irritation, which only a few DE razors overcome by adding some rigidity. SE razor blades are thicker, thus more rigid, chatter-resistant, and providing smoother shaves, while usually keeping a good edge much longer. A good argument can be made that SE blades and razors are just better for the task of shaving, but despite that, DE razors dominate, even in our specialized hobby. (BTW, I'm counting these as "overrated" in comparison to SE designs, not that they don't work; they certainly can and do!)

I actually agree on two out of three Big Grin Not bad. Your first two are spot on and I share the same sentiments. Number 3? See below Smile

I get no shatter from my Wolfman razors, zero Happy2

drjenkins likes this post
#5

Super Moderator
San Diego, Cal., USA
Uber-lathers.  I use soaps and creams that work well for me (think Barrister & Mann, Stirling, Tim's, iColoniali, etc.; you get the idea) and just find uber-lathers an unnecessary step.  If an individual soap, cream, or croap doesn't work for me for any reason such as scent, glide, cushion, and so on, I find I simply don't use it rather than try to make it better.  I realize this is heresy for some of you but there it is.  Confused

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#6

That Bald Guy with the Big Beard
Bishop, CA
(03-15-2016, 08:17 PM)Freddy Wrote: Uber-lathers.  I use soaps and creams that work well for me (think Barrister & Mann, Stirling, Tim's, iColoniali, etc.; you get the idea) and just find uber-lathers an unnecessary step.  If an individual soap, cream, or croap doesn't work for me for any reason such as scent, glide, cushion, and so on, I find I simply don't use it rather than try to make it better.  I realize this is heresy for some of you but there it is.  Confused

We all have our own opinions...even though yours is wrong...Wink Just teasing.

I tend to make uber lathers and super lathers out of necessity. For the first 3-4 months of my wetshaving, I owned 2 soaps...Williams and Van der Hagen. I bought a couple of inepensive creams to improve the luxuriousness of both. The VDH doesnt "need" a cream mixed in. The Williams usually does. Now that I have a fully stocked den of quality soaps, I use the super/uber lather techniques less often, but I do still enjoy the "concoctions" at times...

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-Chris~Head Shaver~
#7

Super Moderator
San Diego, Cal., USA
(03-15-2016, 08:25 PM)BadDad Wrote:
(03-15-2016, 08:17 PM)Freddy Wrote: Uber-lathers.  I use soaps and creams that work well for me (think Barrister & Mann, Stirling, Tim's, iColoniali, etc.; you get the idea) and just find uber-lathers an unnecessary step.  If an individual soap, cream, or croap doesn't work for me for any reason such as scent, glide, cushion, and so on, I find I simply don't use it rather than try to make it better.  I realize this is heresy for some of you but there it is.  Confused

We all have our own opinions...even though yours is wrong...Wink Just teasing.

I tend to make uber lathers and super lathers out of necessity. For the first 3-4 months of my wetshaving, I owned 2 soaps...Williams and Van der Hagen. I bought a couple of inepensive creams to improve the luxuriousness of both. The VDH doesnt "need" a cream mixed in. The Williams usually does. Now that I have a fully stocked den of quality soaps, I use the super/uber lather techniques less often, but I do still enjoy the "concoctions" at times...

Chris, in my most mature manner, the only thing I have to say to you about this is Tongue

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#8

Member
San Francisco
(03-15-2016, 08:05 PM)hrfdez Wrote: I actually agree on two out of three Big Grin  Not bad.  Your first two are spot on and I share the same sentiments.  Number 3?  See below Smile

I get no shatter from my Wolfman razors, zero Happy2

Ah, but the Wolfman is one of the DE razors I'm alluding to when I say that a few DE designs do add good rigidity to the blade! Wink I'd also include the Gillette NEW, and most slant designs (the torque adds extra rigidity). I do love my Wolfman. If you look at the head, you'll see it has this big flat clamping bits on either end pretty close to the cutting edge. It's really clamping down on that thin DE blade, and I think this is a big reason why it shaves so smoothly. (As a contrasting example, the R41 leaves a lot of blade "wagging in the breeze" as it were, and at least for me, is a real chatterbox.)

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David : DE shaving since Nov 2014. Nowadays giving in to the single-edge siren call.
#9

Chazz Reinhold HOF
(03-15-2016, 08:47 PM)onethinline Wrote:
(03-15-2016, 08:05 PM)hrfdez Wrote: I actually agree on two out of three Big Grin  Not bad.  Your first two are spot on and I share the same sentiments.  Number 3?  See below Smile

I get no shatter from my Wolfman razors, zero Happy2

Ah, but the Wolfman is one of the DE razors I'm alluding to when I say that a few DE designs do add good rigidity to the blade! Wink I'd also include the Gillette NEW, and most slant designs (the torque adds extra rigidity). I do love my Wolfman. If you look at the head, you'll see it has this big flat clamping bits on either end pretty close to the cutting edge. It's really clamping down on that thin DE blade, and I think this is a big reason why it shaves so smoothly. (As a contrasting example, the R41 leaves a lot of blade "wagging in the breeze" as it were, and at least for me, is a real chatterbox.)

I know, but I'm retired and bored, lol.........

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#10

Member
Ferndale, MI
I'm with BadDad and onethinline with the pre-shave stuff. Totally unnecessary for me. I also agree about alum. It just dries the heck out of my face and I already suffer from dry-ish skin, so that's a no-go. I do use it for grip or the odd weeper though. For overrated, I'm going to go with Feather blades. I know a lot of people like them, but they're just not for me. They are plenty sharp, but not smooth at all and only last about 2-3 shaves before what little smoothness was there goes bye-bye.

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- Jeff


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