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Thread: Cold water shave is the best & worst ever

  1. #21
    Senior Moderator JimmyHAD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mvcrash View Post
    I'm new to St8's but not shaving so I'll ask this question: If you use cold water it tightens the skin makes it less pliable. Less Pliable skin is less forgiving skin. I would think this would make the skin cut easier. Don't we do all this prep and honing etc..etc.. to get the best possible shave without injury?
    I'll stick with hot water.
    The experiment began because of the pamphlet said hot water softening the whiskers makes them more difficult to cut. Cold water OTOH makes them stiff and they cut more easily. Seems to be something to it IME. Not that I didn't get fine shaves with hot water. Just trying something different.
    Be careful how you treat people on your way up, you may meet them again on your way back down.

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    Senior Member kevint's Avatar
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    My first shaves were with cold water no prep. The results were less than stellar, but again, I did not know whether my razor was sharp enough or not.

    As I read the book this caught my eye as well Jimmy, and I have been using the instructions for the last few days,
    mostly.

    I did find a brief soak for the soap after the initial lather gave a better lather second time, but I did not use the fingering. I figure the brush is doing plenty.

    lather and strop, rinse and dry, lather and shave; results: beautiful.

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    The Electrochemist PhatMan's Avatar
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    Hi,

    Living in an old Victorian house with a sash window in the bathroom & no central heating, I don't have any other choice than a cold water/lather shave

    Have fun !

    Best regards

    Russ

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    Predictably Unpredictiable Mvcrash's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JimmyHAD View Post
    The experiment began because of the pamphlet said hot water softening the whiskers makes them more difficult to cut. Cold water OTOH makes them stiff and they cut more easily. Seems to be something to it IME. Not that I didn't get fine shaves with hot water. Just trying something different.
    Actually seems to make sense. Now I am confused.....
    “Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe.”
    Albert Einstein

  6. #25
    Wee Whisker Whacker BingoBango's Avatar
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    So I gave the cold water shave a shot today, and I think there are some merits to it for sure, but I've got a few squabbles with the idea that I'll lay out, too.

    Problems:
    1. The book doesn't actually say "Use cold water." It says that hot water makes the hair more pliable and that soap makes it stiffer. I read this as, Don't just use hot water, use a good soap for shaving as well.
    2. Since the writing of this book (or maybe before the writing, I don't know) someone figured out that a hair has "scales" that are opened up by warm water, allowing the edge of the razor to get between the scales and cut through the center of the hair shaft cleanly. It would seem keeping the scales "closed" would only make it more difficult to cut the hair since you'd have to cut through both the scales and inner shaft.
    3. I have to rethink my whole routine. When do I use the hot water? Do I soak the brush in cold water? I used to know to switch to cold for the alum block and AS routine - do I switch and use hot water now? Can I still wear my skivvies under my jeans?
    4. Who wrote this book anyway? Some correspondence school? This could be the informercial gimmick of the early 20th Century, for all we know.


    Pluses:
    1. I did feel like I got at least an equally close shave, if not closer, to using hot water. I had used cold water for my touch ups with success before, but this made for a pretty good shave and I think I spent a little less time doing touch ups.
    2. The cold water is pretty refreshing, and I actually like the feeling of cold water more than hot water. That's just me though...
    3. I know I can get a good shave where hot water is not readily available, such as the woods or third world countries or middle America. (Zing! ) Even in my own home, just crank the knob to the right and I'm good to go.
    4. No scuttles, pot warmers or hot towels necessary. If the phone rings I can grab it in between passes and not worry about the lather getting cold. Sorta puts me in charge, which is a nice change of pace. (Please don't tell my wife.)
    5. My skin didn't dry out nearly as much as when I shave with hot water. Probably the biggest difference and plus for me.


    Overall, there are a few reasons I might shave with cold water, and I feel better knowing it's a feasible way to shave in a pinch. The summers might be a better time to use this method, but I'd do it in the winter, too. I would recommend trying this method, although it seems like more of another personal preference to bicker over.

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  8. #26
    Member GoingPostal's Avatar
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    Interesting thread. I remember a discussion at another shaving forum a while back about using Lectric Shave to stand the whiskers up to meet their demise. Is this basically the same principle as the cold water method?

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    Senior Moderator JimmyHAD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GoingPostal View Post
    Interesting thread. I remember a discussion at another shaving forum a while back about using Lectric Shave to stand the whiskers up to meet their demise. Is this basically the same principle as the cold water method?
    I don't know about that but a couple of weeks ago there was a thread suggesting, IIRC, washing the face, rinse and dry, apply Bay Rum and then lather. I did this and it was very nice.
    Be careful how you treat people on your way up, you may meet them again on your way back down.

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    Wee Whisker Whacker BingoBango's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JimmyHAD View Post
    I don't know about that but a couple of weeks ago there was a thread suggesting, IIRC, washing the face, rinse and dry, apply Bay Rum and then lather. I did this and it was very nice.
    Yeah, it's called the Robeson method and was taken out of a pamphlet Robeson made to go with their razors. Check it out here. Read through the pamphlet and then we can pick sides...

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  12. #29
    Member GoingPostal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JimmyHAD View Post
    I don't know about that but a couple of weeks ago there was a thread suggesting, IIRC, washing the face, rinse and dry, apply Bay Rum and then lather. I did this and it was very nice.
    I would say it's the same since I believe it's the alcohol that stands the whiskers up, right? If that's the case, then I imagine an inexpensive brand of witch hazel would work just as well.

    It sounds really logical, and that's part of why we use shaving brushes -- to stand the whiskers up.

  13. #30
    Senior Moderator JimmyHAD's Avatar
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    This is interesting. In re-reading the pamphlet (Robeson) the same emphasis (even moreso) on rubbing the lather in with the fingers and re-lathering for the shave. While he suggests hot water the bay rum would obviously be cold so I wonder if that would return the whiskers to some of the stiffness recommended by the author of the cold water shave ? More food for thought and experimentation.
    Be careful how you treat people on your way up, you may meet them again on your way back down.

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