First DE Shave

OP
R
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47
Sounds like a standard first attempt - trust me, my first couple of weeks were very much like this! The flaking is very easily solved though - use more water! If it's flaking off your skin your lather is going to be too dry, and when you're taking a while because of technique, it will begin to flake off - so just start with more water. Practicing making lathers when in the shower helped me, I'd just make a lather on my face and then shower it off, and try again.

I would start off with just using your face to lather on, it's far easier to get the consistency right when you can feel and see it, rather than in a bowl when you sort of have to guess a little. You know in the bowl when it's perfect if when you can get large peaks forming, kinda like a meringue.

Clogging will happen, although less with an open comb, maybe it's just a case of washing your razor out more regularly. Also, shave a little more often, it's far easier to cut 2/3/5 days of hair than 10, especially at the start!

Best of luck with shave two, give me or anybody on here a shout if you need some help/advice :)
very helpful advice Ben, thanks. I had my suspicions about not using enough water, on occasions when I went to put more on I used a bit more water and got better lather. trouble was by that time I couldn't be arsed to start all over again! that was one of the reasons I didn't want to be too harsh on the derby blade, as I need to get the later just right before I can judge.
 
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182
This brings back memories, thanks for sharing. I've only been DE shaving for a year but that initial shave was a bit scary.
The neck eh? There are lots of different directions that your hair can grow in and you will find, in time, that you can pretty much take that razor in any direction. I was convinced that I would never be able to get a good shave around my turkey neck but I was wrong, it just took a bit of time, around two months I reckon.
Recently my technique seems to have improved again, which surprised me and my shaving is better than ever.
The soap thing will potentially drive you mad but, for what it's worth, I found Taylor's of Bond Street, Arko (in a tub) and Tabac to be particularly easy soaps.
That red itchy neck thing is possibly technique, I got that a few times at first, due directly to the angle and the pressure that I was using. Try to keep that angle shallow and the pressure light.
Hope that helps.
 
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3,478
Location
Cumbria, England
Proraso's not the be-all end-all of software but it is a solid performer, it sounds like your lather was too dry which would account for the flaking, the clogging and it not feeling as smooth as it should. It would be worth practising, load your brush for about a minute and then try building the lather in a bowl or mug from the kitchen. Just keep adding water a bit at a time and test the lather between your fingers to see how it feels. It's probably worth testing it to destruction by keeping gradually adding water until it becomes unusable so that you get an idea of how far you can push it.
 
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5,194
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Sutton Coldfield
How heavy is your beard growth? Unless you have a very light beard, expecting to take off two weeks growth is asking for trouble - especially with a blade that is considered sub-standard by many. I suggest you try shaving just 2 or 3 days growth and, as already suggested go with the grain now that you've established which way it grows. A couple of WTG passes is probably easier than going across or against while you are still at an early stage.

Proraso is a perfectly good soap - take no notice of the likes of Billy - he's just here to scare you. Proraso is very easy to lather direct from the tub to your face - try experimenting with hand lathering and adding a little more water to see at what point the lather starts to break down rather than get thicker/creamier. If you can get to a stage where the lather has a sheen on it and is tight with no noticeable bubbles, you're there.

There's an old thread by @antdad that's been resurrected recently - take a look at that for tips on lathering. Bear in mind also, if you are face lathering and flinging stuff all over the bathroom, it's too wet, that's why playing around with your hand can be fun. Double entendre intentional.
 
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Dumbarton
Got to agree that you may well find it easier going face lathering to begin with. You could also try standing your brush in warm water in a mug for a few minutes whilst you wash your face/shower etc. This should get the brush nice and moist ready for its onslaught on the soap. Whilst Proraso wouldn't be a fave of mine I'd stick with the kit you've chosen for the next good few shaves. When you do start to experiment just try to change one item at a time so you have a chance to see what individual items are working well for you.

Joh
 
OP
R
Messages
47
How heavy is your beard growth? Unless you have a very light beard, expecting to take off two weeks growth is asking for trouble - especially with a blade that is considered sub-standard by many. I suggest you try shaving just 2 or 3 days growth and, as already suggested go with the grain now that you've established which way it grows. A couple of WTG passes is probably easier than going across or against while you are still at an early stage.

Proraso is a perfectly good soap - take no notice of the likes of Billy - he's just here to scare you. Proraso is very easy to lather direct from the tub to your face - try experimenting with hand lathering and adding a little more water to see at what point the lather starts to break down rather than get thicker/creamier. If you can get to a stage where the lather has a sheen on it and is tight with no noticeable bubbles, you're there.

There's an old thread by @antdad that's been resurrected recently - take a look at that for tips on lathering. Bear in mind also, if you are face lathering and flinging stuff all over the bathroom, it's too wet, that's why playing around with your hand can be fun. Double entendre intentional.
I realise that 2-3 days would be much easier than 1-2 weeks but that's just not me (and also why I elected for OC). I have quite large pores so hairs grow further apart than most guys, and apart from my chin is probably a bit softer than the average bloke so I'm hoping I can get away with it. here's a bit more on my general shaving: http://www.theshavingroom.co.uk/community/index.php?threads/new-to-de-merkur-futur-33c-or-ej-db89.36433/

thanks for the advice and reassurance on proraso. I realise that a lot of DE shaving is subjective, from razor to blades and also soap, so not everyone will agree. I think it's seems ok for a starter soap.

johnny, I did some basic research and soaked the brush in warm water for a few minutes before I started but thanks for the advice. quite simply I don't think I used enough water the first time round but no doubt that will come with practice and experience.

I agree rob, really good idea to push the soap as far as I can before it breaks down. finding the breaking point will help me find it's peak.
 
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431
If you find the lather is drying because you are slow while you focus on technique then you might consider applying the lather to only half your face at a time.
 
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5,532
Location
Rebublic of Scotland
As far as 2 or 3 weeks growth goes its six & half a Dozen to me..I have a growth like Barbed Wire..The longer I Go the easier it is to Whack them down because its Softer..Hell..I can knock Down a Years Bin Laden Growth with a Cart in 10 Min & Finish off with a Fresh Cartridge for an Irritation Free BBS with Gunk Out a Can..Hell I have even done it with Hand Soap.:eek:

Done it for Years..:D

Billy
 
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