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After some research and uncovering my grandfathers adjustable Gillette safety razor, I am interested in trying wet shaving. A few questions though: 1) How do you use shave soaps vs creams? 2) Where to buy good blades (box of Schick all I could find locally)? 3) Where to buy good shave cream/soap? If it helps, Atlanta is only a short drive away. Is mail order/internet a better option? Will I need a mug or shave bowl?
Thanks in advance,
Jedidiah
 

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If you decide to use shaving soap, I would recommend a mug or bowl. You can hold the puck in your hand, but a mug is so much more convenient.

... and +1 to both Mantic and badgerandblade.com
 

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A few tips:

Classicshaving.com is a great place to get supplies. Emsplace is another.

Generally, the creams take less time. I often use a shaving cream and soap. A good quality badger brush is a good investment. They last a long time and can make a huge difference in the quality of the lather you get, especially on the third or fourth pass.

One key to wet shaving is multiple passes. One with and then two accross the grain. Some go against the grain, but this gives me irriation. Pre-shave oil can also help. You can get a very close shave with wetshaving.
 

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If you just want to give the safety razor a quick try, there's nothing wrong with using it with your usual Barbasol or whatever type of shaving cream you currently use. I used to do that when I was in a hurry. I have found blades at Walmart, but I have not tried them yet.

Lately, I've been shaving with my Merkur safety razor, water, and nothing else. It's part of my experiment to put nothing on my face except water and a clean soft wash cloth. Amazingly, my complexion has improved.
 

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I can warmly recommend that you try some quality glycerin-based shaving soaps or -cremes from Edwin&Jagger, Geo F. Trumper or Truefitt. Also, a shaving brush made out of badger hair is a extremely sound investment if you want to get the most out of shaving with a safety razor. Oh, and do remember to change razor blades every 5 shaves or so as they loose some of their razor sharp edge after a while (compared to Mach 3 razor blades for safety razors are extremely cheap - I can recommedn Gilette, Merkur and Feather (a Japanese brand, warning - these are ULTRASHARP!).... good luck!
 

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Hello Jedidiah,

1) Shave soaps/creams usage - Most of the traditional style shaving soaps and creams will work better with a badger brush. You don't need to spend a lot as the high prices can have a larger dependence on feel than performance. For soaps, you can lather directly on them in a bowl/mug, lather in a separate bowl/mug, or even lather directly on your face. It's just personal preference and experimentation on what works best for you. With creams, while some gents lather on their face, it can be quite messy and I find using a bowl/mug works better. Wet your brush sufficiently, flick out the excess, and work the soap or cream until you get a nice lather. For newbies, it's better to air on the dry side and add water as needed. Too much water makes it harder to fix. A tip: Rub the lather between your thumb and finger. It should be very slippery Too much water and it won't be slippery enough. Not enough water and it will feel gummy.

For 2 and 3, there are actually a lot of fine vendors, both online and brick & mortar stores. It's been a number of years since I've lived in Atlanta, but I'd bet you can find a store there, be it a L'Occitane or Art of Shaving.

John
 

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I had my first wet shaving experience quite recently. Started with Neutrogena face scrub, then applied some Proraso pre/post shave cream, Proraso shave soap applied with a Rooney brush and shaved with a Merkur 34G and an Astra blade. Topped it off with a little more Proraso pre/post. Very happy with results.

Ooh, Mr. West Coast Shaving, I've got you on my radar.
 

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^^As a recent, new customer of West Coast Shaving, I will tell you...I am very pleased. Received my first order in yesterdays mail. Thanks John!

John: Do you have any impressions of the Old Post Road Oil shaving soap? I combined it with the Futur razor this morning...very impressive and surprisingly comfortable shaving results!
 

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I had my first wet shaving experience quite recently. Started with Neutrogena face scrub, then applied some Proraso pre/post shave cream, Proraso shave soap applied with a Rooney brush and shaved with a Merkur 34G and an Astra blade. Topped it off with a little more Proraso pre/post. Very happy with results.

Ooh, Mr. West Coast Shaving, I've got you on my radar.
:icon_smile_big: Sounds like you have a great setup already!

^^As a recent, new customer of West Coast Shaving, I will tell you...I am very pleased. Received my first order in yesterdays mail. Thanks John!

John: Do you have any impressions of the Old Post Road Oil shaving soap? I combined it with the Futur razor this morning...very impressive and surprisingly comfortable shaving results!
I've never used the Old Post Road Oil shaving soap. It's a new one for me, but I'd be interested in trying it. I see there's some other discussion threads about it, so I'll check them out.
 

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I started after getting a razor, brush, and soap for Christmas. My advice, go slow. Start with the grain until you get the pressure (practically none) and angle correct.

My first session didn't go so well. I just assumed I could shave, relather, and just have a go against the grain. I was a bloody mess! It really takes time to learn the grain direction for your face. Knowing that and using a light touch really makes things a lot easier.
 

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I know this is a terrible question, but for you guys that have just started wet shaving what did you do before? Electric razor? I had an electric for emergencies but I always shaved with cream and a raor.
That being said, I just recently moved in to high quality creams and a brush. I use the C.O. Bigelow shave cream in the green tooth paste tube. Its the same stuff as Proraso and available at Bath and Body Works. I got a shave brush and Crabtree & Evlyn(they are giving 50% off 1 item if you sign up with your email) and use a Mach 5 power turbo thingy cause I don't trust myself with a DE safety razor. If you want a good quality cream thats readily availably for a good price give the Bath and Body works stuff a try, its great with or without a brush. But, a brush is a great idea, and its fun too!
 

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I used an electric from the time I started shaving until I got married. My wife couldn't stand the stuble and told me to try something new. After about 6 years of trying just about every kind of cartridge razor out there, I ran into a blog (about web development) where the author tried a DE and loved it. The rest, they say, is history.
 

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Since 1964 I've used every shaving device known to man. When I started I forst tried my grandfather's electric Remington. I couldn't stand it. I then moved to the then standard double edged safety razor and brush and lather. That was much better. The next year, 1965, I moved to straight razors. I was of course influenced by barbers and I felt if they use them as professionals they must be the best. That's where I've stayed to this day.

In 1965 Schick came out with a shaving lather in a can that I felt was quite good given the genre. Unlike today's heated lather in a can it had a device at the nozel that one would hold under running hot water. This would heat and transmit the heat to the dispensing lather. The lather itself was wetter than that of the normal canned lather and worked quite well.

It took me some time to get the hang of the once a year honing of my razor, and proper edge care. Safety blades of all makes have a microscopic jagged edge in order to make them pass through the different brands of gunk some guys use on their face. This strps off a layer of skin and produces razor burn. A straight razor has a tiny teeth, all aligned in the same direction. A properly prepare edge produces a smooth, close shave without the irritation. You won't slice your ear off as legend purports.

In using a shaving brush I've found that you should use it by keeping your index and middle finger along the side of the bristles while lathering in order to push the lather into the follicles of the whiskers. This is where you need the moisture and lubrication. This from an old standard barber's manual. You have to force the minute hairs of a whisker to unwrap.

In 1970 I bought a new Campbell's Latherking latherizer. It's been plugged in and running ever since...To this day. I mix the bottled lather with some good grade tube shaving cream into a gallon of distilled water. The mixture is placed in the latherdish of the machine. One gallon will last almost a year. So my lather cost for the year is about $10. Remember the trick in close shaving is to get, and keept the whiskers unwrapped and moist with a little lubricant. I've never found that more expensive creams and lathers work any better.

I use an inexpensive menthol cream from Lucky Tiger/ Sandahls. I learned this from barbers. After steaming my face with a hot, moist towel I lightly rub the cream onto my face. Just 2 finger tips full. Then I lather and palce another steaming towel on my face. Then lather and shave. After I've finished I put a little more of the menthol cream on my face and place a steam towel that has been satuarted with witch hazel on my face. Then after shave and talc. All barber supply stuff, and inexpensive.

It turned out hat when I started shaving I was developing an interest in "barberiana." that is having an interest in barbershops and the living legends.

My shaving routine is as much a hobby as it is a necessity. It's something I've grown into over the past 46 years.
 
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