Complete and Utter Newb

Joined
Monday December 3, 2018
As the title says I am a completely new to using a double edge safety razor, that from here on out I'm just going to say DE for convenience ;), I have always been a cartridge shaver, just for ease of finding product? I've been fed up with a few things about shaving:
First, who though the pulling thing of adding extra blades was a good thing? I thought adding more blades was supposed to make a shave more comfortable and closer??
Second, what is with the cost of those blades? how are they so expensive??

Ok maybe you guys already know about these things and will be laughing at the comments of a greenhorn but seriously what's up with that!

So I found my first shave with my new Parker 99R such a relieving experience, it's maybe?? not the greatest shaver around, but it beat my Mach3 and Fusion hands down I must say I really enjoyed it. I'm just using Standard Wilkinson Sword Blades they seem good, but I have no source of reference. I soon will though, I have a selection pack on the way!

So here are a few things I have noticed, Technique is key, I have so many bad habits from cartridge shaving, that I think I will need to unlearn, I did end up with a few nicks from my first try which was three passes, and I didn't shave evenly, but the areas I got right are perfectly smooth!

Ok another thing I'm used to shaving in the shower, I would definitely not advise doing that as a newb, I think you need a mirror (have one in the shower, but steams up of course) and you need patience, a shower just isn't the right shaving location?? but I'm gonna miss that.

Finally I had to use shave gel in a can, and I wonder does using a brush and shave soap make a lot of difference with DE shaving? I got the kit on the way, but couldn't wait to try it out.
 
Joined
Monday August 21, 2017
Location
England
Welcome to TSR, Steve. This was posted recently and should be of interest to you in terms of shaving cream vs gel / foam and why using stuff out of a pressurised can is not a good idea.

https://shavercheck.com/best-shaving-cream/

One of the main advantages I think with shaving brushes as opposed to squirting canned stuff into your palm then rubbing it in, is that as you apply the cream (or soap) lather with the brush, it lifts the stubble into the lather, thus preparing it for cutting. The lather from a good cream or soap will hydrate your face much better than a cheapo can gel will. Then your razor should glide through the lather with minimal effort if your skin is better prepared first. You may find that lathering cream / soap seems like a pain in the arse to begin with if you’re used to slapping gel on, but you’ll soon get used to do it and find it strangely satisfying doing so. Which is why after a while you may well end up with multiple brushes ! Good luck. Plenty of good articles & Youtube vids about.

Any questions please ask away, plenty of good products out there without breaking the bank. Be aware that many come into DE shaving to save money from buying rip off cartridges. It CAN be the case that you do, but once you encounter some of the great creams / soaps, brushes, razors etc, you can end up spending more. Still, taking the cost of blades alone, yes you most certainly will save money from cartridges. Whether you save on the other stuff is another matter. But if you’re enjoying your shave more, who cares ?!
 
Last edited:
OP
S
Joined
Monday December 3, 2018
Welcome to TSR, Steve. This was posted recently and should be of interest to you in terms of shaving cream vs gel / foam and why using stuff out of a pressurised can is not a good idea.

https://shavercheck.com/best-shaving-cream/

One of the main advantages I think with shaving brushes as opposed to squirting canned stuff into your palm then rubbing it in, is that as you apply the cream (or soap) lather with the brush, it lifts the stubble into the lather, thus preparing it for cutting. The lather from a good cream or soap will hydrate your face much better than a cheapo can gel will. Then your razor should glide through the lather with minimal effort if your skin is better prepared first. You may find that lathering cream / soap seems like a pain in the arse to begin with if you’re used to slapping gel on, but you’ll soon get used to do it and find it strangely satisfying doing so. Which is why after a while you may well end up with multiple brushes ! Good luck. Plenty of good articles & Youtube vids about.

Any questions please ask away, plenty of good products out there without breaking the bank. Be aware that many come into DE shaving to save money from buying rip off cartridges. It CAN be the case that you do, but once you encounter some of the great creams / soaps, brushes, razors etc, you can end up spending more. Still, taking the cost of blades alone, yes you most certainly will save money from cartridges. Whether you save on the other stuff is another matter. But if you’re enjoying your shave more, who cares ?!
I do enjoy shaving more, but I thats not hard I never enjoyed it before, with cartridges it just felt like a chore, I think I got some nice stuff on the way, nothing too elaborate or expensive yet, but I'm looking forward to the sandalwood shaving cream and after-shave I've got coming

I'm having some trouble getting in close under the nose so don't know if there are some tips on that? Also I'm sure people have already done this, but I'm curious, what qualities do you most seek in your razor and how much is influenced by blade choice
 
Joined
Monday August 21, 2017
Location
England
Different DE razors provide differing levels of efficiency / aggression (whatever term you prefer). A mild razor will take more passes, touch-ups, etc than a more efficient one. I don’t have experience with your Parker though I shaved with an Edwin Jagger DE89 for a good 6 months before trying anything else. A year in I still only have this and one other razor, though I’ve tried a few others too. Don’t be in a huge hurry to swap gear in and out, learn your technique and take your time. Conventional wisdom says to stick with the same type of blade for a month to begin with before trying others out. Good idea on the sampler blade pack though.
 
Joined
Friday April 14, 2017
Location
Amber Valley. East Midlands
Welcome to the asylum !

You may get lucky and not get lost down a rabbit hole - (there are many in traditional wet shaving)

You can, however, get yourself set up with some good products for very little outlay . . .

Body Shop Maca Root Shaving Cream around £6

(Even cheaper - Palmolive Shave Stick 49P !)

Body Shop Synthetic Shaving Brush around £6

Any Boots own brand aftershave less than £3
Nivea 2 Phase Aftershave is on offer at the moment - under £3

Try to stick to one pass (in the direction of your beard growth) at first - it's not a smoothness contest !
You'll likely find that the growth is in every direction in the neck area, so be more careful there.
Don't use the razor in an area where there is no lather - you WILL get irritation if you do

The shower is where you wash. . . The basin is where you shave . . .you have more control over your shaving gear at the basin

Whereas you could really push your cartridge razor into your face and get good results, doing this with your Parker razor will incur damage.
Learn to let the weight of the razor do the work and use your hand to guide it

As mentioned already, there are many good YouTube videos that can help you learn good technique.
Mantic59 makes some good tutorial videos.

Most importantly . . . Enjoy your shaves !
 
Joined
Wednesday April 19, 2017
Welcome to world of de shavers there are many factors to achieving a good shave technique finding the right setup suit you take time and enjoy the experience and above all don’t let the other half know what your spending lol
1 prep work prior to the shave there are many thoughts on this, try all find and find the one that suits you
2 Enjoy the shave allow time to enjoy the shave and it will change from been a choir to pleasureable experience
3 Razor there’s more choice than you can shake at stick at, and what suits one might not suit you
4 Brushes there all good just picking what you like
5 Soaps lots of good artisan soap makers UK it’s down to personal choice of scent you like
6 Don’t give up it’ll be well worth it when all comes together
 
Joined
Saturday February 3, 2018
The one thing above all others to remember is do not apply pressure, time and again i still do it, without thinking and its the cause of cuts, nicks and irritation.

Welcome to the start of a rewarding and enjoyable hobby.
 
Joined
Friday July 1, 2016
Location
North East.UK
Welcome to TSR @SteveD

The only humble advice I can give you is, don't worry too much about anyone else's opinion. Nobody is standing on the other side of the mirror making biased judgements. The face you're shaving is your own, and you don't have to satisfy anyone but yourself. The wonderful thing about traditional wet shaving for me is that there are so many good products out there and there literally is something for just about everyone..I don't scorn people who don't use a DE razor, or people who use budget SOTD set ups....the vast majority of my shave set ups are very humble & in-expensive,Each to their own..
Follow your own words. I quote: "I have noticed, Technique is key," Correct, along with good preparation & lots of practice, don't expect too much, too soon. The Parker 99R is a wonderful razor, which will give you sublime shaves with practice..I've trained my mind to 'Shave the lather from my face, rather than my stubble, this has help me to control adding pressure..Most of all enjoy your new shaving experience..PS Traditional wet shaving doesn't have to cost you a small fortune.

Regards. B :)
 
Last edited:
Joined
Thursday August 16, 2018
I went back to wet shaving last Spring and I've bought far too much kit as a result. Got carried away by different artisan soaps with interesting fragrances and amassed over 40. I have about a dozen razors and I change around the handles. A lot of blades too. 3 Yaqi synthetic brushes, of which the Mew Brown and timber Wolf knots are the best - just use synthetics, sold my posh badger.

My strongest advice is NOT to invest anything in "beginner's" equipment. If you see posts saying that Proraso or Cella or Tabac is "a safe start for a newbie" ignore them and run a mile. I wasted a lot of money in my ignorance by believing these posts. It took me several months to realise that what you really need is a few REALLY good artisan soaps, by which I mean something like Saponificio Varesino Dolomiti, Felce or Stella. Or Truefitt and Hill 1805, or Mitchell's Wool Fat or Pre de Provence 63.

My advice for razors is:
- Buy an Ever Ready 1912 off eBay for peanuts (like £5), then go to Connaught Shaving and buy some Personna PTFE blades. I bought 200 because I love ER and GEM razors. While you are on Connaught, look at handles and specifically the Bamboo under "Seconds" at £18. This will attach to the ER 1912 with a 2BA thread (cut the head off a screw is easy - need 1" thread). Then if you get hooked on Single Edge razors start looking for a Micromatic Open Comb or Clog-Pruf. You'll probably have to import from the USA but that comes later.

I really recommend the GEMs above because the PTFE rigid blade is about the best in shaving, but if you want to stick with DE then:
- Look at an early Open Comb Gillette razor like the Old Type. Search the Badger and Blade forum under "Old Type". B&B have a lot of good threads.
- Look at a Fatip Open Comb like the Grande.

All the above is easily affordable and these are seriously good razors - top level in all ways. Forget all the Merkurs and DE89s and watch out for the Rockwell 6C because good though it is, the threads can go on the handles, which are Zamak and made in China. The above recommended razors are all brass and will last a lifetime.
 
Top Bottom