Safety Razor Questions

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pipenscotch

Member
Jul 19, 2012
116
0
Hey all, so I finally got tired of using my shitty Gillete razor, not to mention spending $26 on a four pack of razors about every two weeks!!!
So, I did what many of you respectable gentleman have done on this forum and bought myself a Safety Razor, a Parker to be exact.
I just have a few questions to get me going on the art of fine shaving:
1. Are you supposed to reuse a blade after each shave, or do you load a new one every time?

2. If you do reuse a blade, are there any special cleaning instructions that you like to follow?

3. And finally, how do you like to shave? Do you go with the grain on the first pass, and go against for the second? Or do you not go against the grain at all?
My first time using the razor I actually acquired a couple spots on my face with quite nasty razor burn. I'm gonna attribute that to my face being so sensitive due to a lifetime of shitty razors. What would you guys suggest doing to combat razor burns? I do have a pretty sensitive face (but say nothing about my manliness :lol: )
Happy puffin,

pipenscotch

 

igloo

Preferred Member
Jan 17, 2010
4,086
0
woodlands tx
You can reuse the blade as long as it is sharp . I like Feather and Astra blades the best ,but every one is different . I like to clean my razor under scalding hot water then I pour a little alcohol over the blade to help dry the blade and sterilize it .Wet shaving is like pipe smoking you have to slow down . Let the weight of the razor do the work as you are now shaving instead of scraping your face .Do not visit web sites such as Bader and Blade or you will spend money on razors ,soaps and blades .RAD,SAD@BAD is a triple disease that affects wet shavers and there is no known cure .

 

jp12

Junior Member
Apr 10, 2012
56
0
Hi pipenscotch,

I switched to a safety razor a few years ago and I have loved every shave since then. Hopefully I can answer a few of your questions.

1. You can reuse a razor blade multiple times. Depending on the thickness of your beard and the hair itself this can be 3-8 times (roughly). With my beard I've found about 4-5 shaves, depending on the razor blade, works for me. I would recommend checking out multiple brands of razors as some will work better for your beard/razor combination. Many online stores have sampler packs or you can create your own based on reviews.

2. The only cleaning I do is to run the razor under very hot water after the shave to ensure I've cleared off any loose hairs. When you change razors you'll notice a slight buildup of soap just under the head of the razor but I have never noticed this to affect the blade.

3. I personally recommend taking a few passes to shave *(see footnote). The most important thing to remember when shaving with a razor is to not apply pressure. Simply allow it to pass over your skin. You will definitely require 2 or even 3 passes to get a clean shave but the reduction of irritation is well worth the extra time required. I tend to shave with the grain as I have sensitive skin, however when I'm taking my wife out and I want a supremely smooth shave I will make the 3rd pass against the grain to achieve the smoothest shave.
As for combatting razor burn I would simply say to make a really good lather with your brush (you got a brush, right? It creates a wonderful lather and helps stand the hairs up) and make multiple passes when shaving ensuring you do not apply pressure. Let the razor do the work. It's an odd comparison but think of it like using a chainsaw. You let the tool do the work. If you are applying pressure you need to sharpen your blade (i.e.- change the razor).
Hopefully this helps you a bit. There's a little bit of a learning curve but I think it's mostly changing muscle memory. I know that I will never go back to a standard disposable razor after experiencing a wet shave.
Cheers,

JP
* - When I refer to a "pass" I mean to fully shave and then re-lather completely. It's almost like you are shaving 2 or 3 times, not simply passing the razor over skin that no longer has lather. As I said earlier, it takes more time but it is well worth it for the results you get.

 

buster

Preferred Member
Sep 1, 2011
1,305
0
1. I get a few good shaves out of one blade. Then a few mediocre shaves.
2. I some times take out the blade and wipe it off on a towel. Most of the time I just open the razor and rinse it off.
3. I shave in the shower if I am in a hurry. Or after the shower if I can take my time.
Avoiding razor burn? Every one is different but try different blades, slow way down, rinse in cold water. Buy some witch hazel and an alum block and most of all, slow down. Pre shave oil is some thing to try for razor burn. Some see no benefit, some do not. You can try the expensive ones but I use Burt's Bees mama bee body oil. Same ingredients as the oils sold for shaving but a lot cheaper!
Link,

https://m.burtsbees.com/Mama-Bee-Nourishing-Body-Oil/76199-00,default,pd.html?cgid=&start=3&q=Mama%20bee&navid=search

 

shutterbug

Senior Member
Apr 12, 2013
306
0
If you want answers, you need to PM @msandoval858.

He has a great blog on traditional shaving, and he will be able to give you some great advice if you are new to traditional shaving.

I am sure sooner or later he will see your post and will post a link to his blog.
Shutterbug

 

beefeater33

Preferred Member
Apr 14, 2014
2,535
2
Central Ohio
I like to smoke Balkan blends out of me double edge, pure english from me straights............

maybe a shaving forum for this?............

 

pipenscotch

Member
Jul 19, 2012
116
0
Many thanks to those that replied, I'll be sure to give msandoval a shout. On a different note, beefeater, why are you insisting this topic moves to another forum? There have been multiple posts about shaving in the past. As I recall, this forum is a pipe smokers haven, and pipe smokers generally appreciate the finer things in life, wet shaving being one of them. I sincerely doubt anyone would become offended if this topic made it's way into a pipe smoking forum.

 

beefeater33

Preferred Member
Apr 14, 2014
2,535
2
Central Ohio
Not offended, just seems a little off topic for a pipe smoker's forum. I guess if its anything goes we could talk about cross dressing, or kite flying-- hey! Got to please everybody in this new world we live in, right? Wouldn'nt want to keep anybody out. I Shave with a 1955 Gillette DE, Love it...............

 

beefeater33

Preferred Member
Apr 14, 2014
2,535
2
Central Ohio
And my FAVORITE SCOTCH is Laphroig, wait, is this the right forum? And me FAVORITE Cigar is a 1964 Annie Padron- oh no wrong forum? I like OLD SPICE deodorant, damn, this is a PIPE SMOKING FORUM! Silly,Silly, me..................

 

andrew

Preferred Member
Feb 13, 2013
2,883
2
http://pipesmagazine.com/forums/forum/general-discussion There is a general discussion forum for non-pipe related issues.....
My first time using the razor I actually acquired a couple spots on my face with quite nasty razor burn. I'm gonna attribute that to my face being so sensitive due to a lifetime of shitty razors.
I wouldn't call gilette's shitty razors, I'd take a gilette over a double edged safety razor anyday. I'd suggest you buy a sampler pack of razorblades to find which one suits you. Personally I'm starting to use a shavette, which i found out now is harder than using a straight razor but I figure if I can master that I'll have no problem with a straight. I also like the fact you don't have to hone it, you just change the blade. Watch a few video's on it, stretching your skin is very important, as well as a good hot soak before you shave. Alot of stuff like angles to use and don't use any pressure are things that you just don't chalk up to common sense. You're probably using too much pressure. I always go with the grain, and then a second pass against it, it's pretty standard, and then if you do a 3rd you go sideways I think. But I love my gilette mach 3 when I don't have the time, especially starting out with a shavette, they're very unforgiving. Also get a stylus pencil I think they're called, which cauterizes the bleeding from minor cuts. Always use the coldest water possible after you're done and then some aftershave or balm. But personally I've heard once you go with the straight razor there's no going back.

 

antbauers

Preferred Member
Jul 12, 2013
675
0
As shutterbug said msandoval858 is definitely the person to talk to or you can just check out his website Shaving101 for everything wet shaving related. I think this is the site shutterbug is talking about. You can find detailed and well thought out answers from him and his people. I'm sure you'll even find information to questions you might not have thought to ask, I did. Great site!

 

matchstickman

Preferred Member
Jul 15, 2011
2,363
0
Honestly, I would resist the temptation to go against the grain with a safety razor when you're first starting out. I usually do a pass with the grain, then two more passes, going 90 degrees across the grain in different directions. The bitch of the matter for me is that the hair on my neck grows sideways, so I had to find a method that helped me with this. Try shaving exclusively with the grain the first couple of times to get used to the feel of the handle and the blade, then try going across the grain once you feel more comfortable. My passes usually go: 1.)With the grain 2.) Across the grain, 90 degrees going one way. 3.) Across the grain the opposite way. Also, invest in a good quality cream or soap puck. There are many nice ones out there, Razorock and Proraso being among my favorites. Also might want to get a sampler pack of blades since different blades work differently with different faces. My face likes Astra and Personna blades, yours might like something different. Also, make sure your beard hair is clean and very moisturized before you shave as this will make a huge difference in how easily the razor glides across your skin and how cleanly it cuts the hair. Let us know how it all turns out!

 

mrenglish

Preferred Member
Dec 25, 2010
2,192
2
Columbus, Ohio
I usually smoke my pipe while shaving. There, now we are on topic. :)
It does take time to get technique down. I started with a safety razor to do my head since the blades are much cheaper than the cartridges and have not had any problems, plus its a better shave. Lately, I have taken to shaving my face having removed my beard for a goatee. I still get razor burn but its getting better. Technique also plays a big part in razor burn, keeping the razor at 30 degree angle is much harder. I seem to get more irritation on the right side than the left.
I would definitely recommend it though. It does take longer but with practice you will speed up.

 

plateauguy

Preferred Member
Mar 19, 2013
2,414
0
Go to www.shaving101.com - great site, lots of info, it will give you reviews on razors, brushes, and blades.
The Feather is an agressive blade, better to learn on something a little tamer, I started with a Derby and progressed up. Sample paks are available on ebay or Amazon quite reasonable.
Larry at WhippedDog.com does a very nice custom synthetic bush very reaonably. I like it better than my badger brush.

 

msandoval858

Preferred Member
Jun 11, 2012
954
0
Austin, TX
Sorry I'm late to the party on this one. Many thanks to those recommending my site. I'm glad to hear that you guys have found the information useful. Please feel free to PM me with any specific questions and I'll always do my best to help out.
As for the initial questions, I think jp12 summed it up very well. The number of shaves per blade is always going to vary from one individual to the next. For me, I can generally get about 3 good shaves out of a blade before I swap them out. I use a rotating variety of brands but the ones I find work best for me are Kai, Gillette Super Platinum (blue pack), and Bic. Feathers are a little too harsh for my tastes so I don't use them too often.
The key to the most comfortable shave is all technique. You want to allow the razor to do the work and don't press the head of the razor in to your skin like you would a Fusion or Mach 3. Think of the process as a step by step reduction, using each pass of the razor to reduce length of the stubble to it's lowest point. Most guys tend to use the three pass method, 1. with the grain 2. across the grain and 3. against the grain. Ultimately every face is different and you'll need to experiment to find what works best for you. Once you nail it though, the results are worth the time.

 

deleon

Preferred Member
Nov 7, 2011
582
0
Here's my opinion on your questions pipenscotch, this is from my own personal use.
1. Are you supposed to reuse a blade after each shave, or do you load a new one every time?

Depends on how many times you shave and the thickness of your beard. I shave only twice a week. My beard grows super sloooowwww. So my Astra blades last for a month or so.
2. If you do reuse a blade, are there any special cleaning instructions that you like to follow?

I use hot water and a clean towel to dry and sometimes I splash a little alcohol if I have it laying around.
3. And finally, how do you like to shave? Do you go with the grain on the first pass, and go against for the second? Or do you not go against the grain at all?

I do 4 passes when I shave. It usually takes me about 15 mins. First pass: shave down both face and neck. Second pass from ear to nose and shave down on my neck. 3rd pass from nose to ear and necj I shave down. 4th pass I shave upwards and the neck I shave upwards.
Visit this guy's youtube page. Tons of info on shaving and products

GeoFatBoy
My first time using the razor I actually acquired a couple spots on my face with quite nasty razor burn. I'm gonna attribute that to my face being so sensitive due to a lifetime of shitty razors. What would you guys suggest doing to combat razor burns? I do have a pretty sensitive face (but say nothing about my manliness.

For cuts and razor burns you should buy an Alum block. It protects and heals those cuts
Heres a sample of the Alum block
Hope this helps!

 

whiterabbit

New member
Jun 12, 2014
22
0
I use Stainless Steel "Shark" blades, in a Merkur 38c. Usually it's once with the grain, one (sometimes two) against the grain. The 30 degree angle was the hardest for me to get, I had to place the razor on my face and slowly move the handle up until I felt the blade, MUCH BETTER now. Buster, just out of curiousity, why do you suggest witch hazel?

 

mrsal

New member
Jun 2, 2014
15
0
I personally use Shark blades, and find I get around 10 shaves out of a blade. When done, I just rinse it under hot water. As for combating razor burn, wash your face thoroughly before you shave, and you should be fine.