• Beginnersí Tips: April 2015



    Learn From My Mistakes

    For my contribution to the beginners tips I thought I would go over some of my bad choices and some of the things I wish that I would have done differently. Maybe hearing of my mistakes and missteps will help you in your wet shaving.

    I used a straight razor for a few years in the early 80s then stopped using it when I could not get it sharp and performing well again. I came back to wet shaving about 2005 with a vengeance, very prideful and determined. I decided to go both feet first, full gonzo, into using straight razors.

    One of the first times my pride and stubborn nature got in my way was with honing. I was determined to hone myself. I scraped a half sharp razor all over my face with excess pressure determined to get a smooth shave. Afterwards I looked like I had a tomato resting on my shoulders, full blown razor burn. After all, I had worked with hand woodworking and knives most of my life, paying somebody to hone my razor was for chumps. I could not have been more wrong. When I finally laid my grubby mitts on a professionally sharpened razor, it was if the clouds parted and the rays of sun shined through. Finally I got comfortable shaves with less pressure. I then had a baseline to know what sharp was. Lesson learned: start with a sharp razor.

    Another thing I regret and wish I would have figured out sooner was enjoyment of different soaps and scents. I was a manly man; after all, I am from Texas. I was going to use Barbasol and Skin Bracer. Why you ask? Because that is the way that it is done, umhfff. Once I broke down and tried some better smelling and performing soaps and creams, shaving was a much more enjoyable task. I wish I would have tried lavender, sandalwood or vetiver scents earlier. Don't get me started on aftershaves, let's just say I need more shelving in the bathroom nowadays.

    One more thing then I will quit recanting my woes. When I started back using a straight I was determined to use nothing but a straight; it is the only way to go. The whole kit and caboodle every shave. I wish I would have relaxed more and used a safety razor every now and then. Nowadays when time is rushed, I will use a safety razor. When I am traveling I will bring my shavette. Shaving with a straight is a very relaxing ritual for me, but sometimes I just want to get hairs off of my face and move on. I am no longer an it-has-to-be-a-straight-razor-or-nothing type of guy.

    Wet shaving is now an enjoyable task to me, a way to relax. Not some form of misguided macho straight razor dogma. I hope my tales can help you avoid some of the pitfalls that I had when starting out.
    Jimbo, JBHoren, RonnieNC and 49 others like this.
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Beginnersí Tips: April 2015 started by spazola View original post