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First ever shave with a str8.

Discussion in 'Straight Razors' started by Kypros Christodoulides, Tuesday May 9, 2017.

  1. Hello all,
    I'm very proud to announce that last Sunday I shaved with a str8 for the first time in my life. I got it back from Billy honed to perfection and I must say I've accomplished the first pass without too much drama. I did the rest with the OneBlade as I felt that using the Solingen further would be somewhat more adventurous than sensibility calls for.
    What I discovered is that on my cheecksI can barely see the razor as it's obstructed by my hand however much I tried to change position in front of the mirror or hold of the razor.
    The most difficult to shave is the chin area YMMcertainlyV. And the razor felt a little tuggy. I think this is because the angle I used was somewhat more than the 15degrees recommended.
    I'll be shaving again tomorrow or the day after with 4 days stabble.
    Any advice from the more experienced ones will be appreciated.
  2. Do you change hands when you shave the left side of your face? That may sort out the obstruction problem, other than that the best advice I can offer is make sure the blade is moving before it touches your skin, you stand less chance of digging in if you do this. Relax and enjoy and before you know it you will be shaving without thinking too much about it. :) ps. You will Nick yourself from time to happens but don't let it set you back.
    Bodysuit, Dreadmus, SeanC and 3 others like this.
  3. I did change hands but there was still a problem.
    Thank you for the advice for moving the blade before it touches the face.
    I got some minor cuts, nothing serious and I'm prepared for them until I hone my technique.
    Dreadmus, Blademonkey and Fergiebilly like this.
  4. Aye..Have the Blade on the Move as it Touches the Face..The Chin & Mouth Area are Notoriously Hard to Master..That Solingen Took a Superb Shaving Edge So the Angle is the Culprit..It Can Take Months to Master that Area for Some..I Would Suggest WTG Passes to Begin with..o_O

    Once the Penny Drops You will Wonder what all the Fuss was About..Learning to Shave with an SR Can Take Time..It Took Me around 30 Shaves to Feel Kinda Competent & about a 100 Shaves for a Shave to Feel Natural..Time..Just Time..Shaving Time..The Learning is in the Practice..:D

    Last edited: Tuesday May 9, 2017
  5. matteob


    It's definitely a steep learning curve and yea the mouth and chin are a pain to learn. Have a DE razor handy to finish off with.
  6. I shaved with the str8 yesterday and I must say it was way more comfortable than the first time, I believe I got a better angle of attack. I did one pass and then cleaned up with the General. I wouldn't believe it though that I didn't cut myself with the straight, but I got cut on the chin with the General. Go figure.
  7. Benz3ne


    Usually, you can stretch the skin so areas around the chin and jawline lie on an otherwise flat part. I.e. along the jawline, pull the skin up and it rests more on the cheek, or down towards the neck. That makes the initial pass easier, or at least is what I've found!
  8. matteob


    I don't find cuts a problem with a straight. The biggest problem is severe razor burn by scraping away too much of the top layer of skin with the Whiskers :/
  9. I also got a blade just this week. Geneva Cutlery Co. And also got it from FergieBilly. Also an amazing blade, beautifully honed. Samurai sharp.

    Only managed about a quarter of my face so far... I was shaving around 10 at night in poor light but I was too excited to not give it a go. One thing I noticed is that the blade felt like it was almost flexing on my initial downstroke. I put this down to rushed prep and potentially that my hair grows somewhat sideways on that part of my face. I think my angle could do with being a bit steeper too. I started flat and only tilted a tiny bit. Regardless, I'm massively excited to finally be on this journey. Although, for now at least, I can only use my SR on the weekends when I have the time to give it the attention it needs.

    Kypros - do you hail from Cyprus by any chance? And can you recommend any Greek or Cypriot shaving products?

    Lastly, super massive thank you to Billy who has been an enormous helping hand over the past couple of weeks. True gent and a pleasure to do business with.
  10. Hello Dreadmus, welcome to the pleasures and perils of straight razor shaving.
    Yes I'm from Cyprus, the south part and unfortunately, we don't produce any shaving products, but I can get arko sticks from the other side.
    Billy is amazing in reviving old str8's and today I received my grandfathers' one shave ready.
    I might be using it later today. As far as I'm concerned this is going to be my third attempt with the straight and so far I have managed 1 pass with difficulty especially under the chin. I clean up with something I'm more accustomed to. I have been advised that one has to stretch the area one is shaving and I try to do it most of the time, but there are areas that can not be done.
    Let's keep comparing noted as we are in the same boat.
  11. :( That's a shame that we don't have anything south side. I guess my hope for a motherland soap will go unfulfilled. I have looked into Faena from Greece and may order some of the mastic tree scent - so this will have to do for now - have also got stacks of Arko and while I enjoy using it, I find that it burns my face a little on the 3rd or 4th shave of the week so tend to use it sparingly - but I love the smell and it reminds me of Cyprus. May have to dip into Derby and research more into this "soaps from the motherland" situation. I spent some years in Larnaca, as a child. Mum is Cypriot so I inherited very thick hair and was hoping (maybe dreaming a little) that soaps from this region, using local ingredients, might be more tailored for this hair type.

    Have you tried cold water shaves? I found that this really helped to reduce irritation and get a clean first pass when using the shavette. Helped to keep the stubble nice and stiff and the hairs cut far easier than with a hot shave - also great in hot weather :D. I have found that pulling the skin does help but am still trying to get used to the stretching on the left side of my face. Have been trying to shave left handed but feels very comfortable and almost natural, shaving with the right - just very difficult to see what I am doing once I start stretching.

    Most definitely! I'm a musician and find that recording the practice, helps with the performance - I try to expand that into other areas of my life too, so, if you're up for it we can maybe exchange videos too and see if we can pick anything up?
  12. Come to think of it, there is a tube of shaving cream called kaloderma, not anything to write home about, but I think I can still get it for you if you like.
    Cold water shaving doesn't agree with my face. I even use a shaving bowl that keeps lather warm and I also use pre-shave.
    I've just completed an almost full pass with my late grandfathers' str8 after not having being used for upwards of 70 years, since my father never used it. It was a thrilling experience and got the job done even if the lather was a little too dry.
    I really don't video any of my sessions, but I watch more experienced people do it and learn from them.
    Fergiebilly, Dreadmus and Benz3ne like this.
  13. Kaloderma - gotcha - There are a few Cypriot shops in London that may stock this so will check with them first - but I may have to take you up on that offer and ;)

    I can only imagine that shaving with a family heirloom must be too awesome for words - which blade is it?
    Fergiebilly likes this.
  14. If you don't find it, I'll be glad to send you a tube.
    It is an occasion using the granfathersI never knew (he died three months before I was born).
    Back in those days, everything came from the England, so it's Sheffield. Nice steel, fells a bit better than my Solingen, but it could be down to technique.
    Fergiebilly, captain_hx and Dreadmus like this.
  15. Thank you for the offer, I will keep it in mind :)

    I have heard that the old Sheffield blades are top notch, though I've not yet had the pleasure test this out. Do you have any pictures?

    Tried my second shave this morning. Did not go well. Cut myself a couple of time trying to come in at a different angle that follows the direction of growth a bit better and ended up cutting myself with the heel of the blade then almost immediately after with the toe :cool:

    Put it down and finished up the SRX again. I seriously think it's gonna take a few weeks before I get a decent stroke in lol. Gonna be switching up and starting with left side next time. The direction of growth its more downwards so hopefully it'll make my life a little easier o_O
  16. I don't know if Sheffield steel makes for a better blade, but it does feel a bit better than the Solingen. I'll try to post a pic. later today.
    Sorry to hear about the cuts. I try to see where I put the razor on the sideburns which is not always attainable, but I hear the blade has to be moving before it touches the skin.
    Don't get discouraged as it takes a lot of attempts to get it right.
    I had my third shave with the str8 a couple of days ago and it went without any major disasters, but I still don't feel confident enough to go for the chin all the way. I do 1 pass and finish up with a DE.
    Last edited: Sunday May 14, 2017
  17. captain_hx


    I am also new to this and by no means an expert on SRs but I'll try to help by listing a few things that worked for me.

    1. Get the angles right
    2. Good stretching
    3. No pressure
    4. Short strokes

    Its a steep learning curve that takes time so don't try to force anything.

    Here is a video of me shaving with a AC where you can see my technique. I only do 2 passes btw.

    Happy SR shaving!

    Bodysuit, McGoo, Fergiebilly and 3 others like this.
  18. Yesterday was my shave number 46 out of 100 of my learning journey and I remember the very first shave too :) maybe I will never forget it.

    It takes time figuring out angles and how to hold the razor so you can see yourself in the mirror. You can get ideas from YouTube but ultimately you need to develop your own style, what works for you.

    The chin and under the nose areas are the hardest but with practice it gets easier.

    I think the time you put into it will determine what you get out of it. Also, overcoming the fear of cutting yourselve determines the progress you make, in other words, as confidence grows you are able to tackle more difficult tasks. It took me over 60 hours or 40 shaves to get my chin and under the nose areas BBS in all directions. I have never started a SR shave when I don't have at least a couple of hours to spare. Taking the time to learn pays off handsomely as you achieve your own milestones :) and having enough lather too ;)
  19. Glad You Like You're Grandfather's Sheffield..It will Feel Different that Razor on the Face as its a Near Wedge or 1/4 Hollow..The Solingen is a Full Hollow Grind..I Love Sheffield Steel as Well..:)


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