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Shave-Case: The official HC hair removal thread.


Knuckledragger
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I've been meaning to make a thread about this for over a year at this point.  Last July I bought a Lord dual edge razor.  It was like $12 and worth about as much as I paid for it. I also bought a 100 pack of Astra Platinum blades.  Astras are made by Gillette in Russia.  They offer a decent, but not amazing shave.  The quality control is about as good as one might expect.  After a few tentative weeks, I stopped using spray shaving cream and bought a Van Der Hagen brush, soap and bowl set.  Unsurprisingly, shaving soap offers a much better experience than canned foam.  I also invested in some pre-shave glycerine soap as well as some post-shave products (an alum block and bottle of witch hazel).  A couple months after my initial purpose, I bought a pair of vintage Gillette razors off eBay.  One is a 3-piece and the other is a 1-piece.  1 piece DEs are almost universally "too clever by half."  Mechanically they're amusing, but the shave they offer is usually inferior to a 3-piece.  The head on the Gillette 1 piece I bought was quite nice, but the handle was too small and my carpal tunnel howled every time I used it.  In short order, I determined that I could mount the Gillette head on the (substantially larger) Lord handle.  I used that combo until quite recently.  
 
About a month after I bought the two Gillettes, I ordered a blade and soap sampler set.  I tried out the Sharks (good for like 3 shaves, then they turn to crap in short order) and Feathers (just about the best) first.  Full disclosure: I still haven't bothered to try any of the others.  Unsurprisingly, I bought a box of 100 Feathers a month after the sampler pack arrived.  Blade-wise, I haven't looked back since.  Feathers are comparatively expensive per blade ($25-ish for a 100 pack vs $10 for Astras), but they are so much better the point is moot.  I get 5 good shaves out of each blade, and the quality control is exceptional.
 
My right wrist has continued to ache, and even the Lord handle has become a challenge.  I've toyed with the idea of getting a Merkur "Blue Barrel" 
 
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...but it's maybe TOO big.  I've heard reports that it's only good for certain angles.  I ended up buying the Merk pictured in the photo at the top.  It's a heavy piece of German steel.  The grip has thusfar been pretty comfortable.  The head is significantly more aggressive than the vintage Gillette I had been using and I have had to re-learn shaving with a dual edge.  I've nicked myself with it a number of times, but it is clearly capable of offering a very close shave.
 
I've had to shave since I was about 14.  I've hated it for nearly a quarter century.  I'd put it off as long as possible.  I had to use 2 electrics and a disposable razor to go from 3 day's growth to clean shaven.  By investing in WWII-era technology, shaving has gone from being a hated chore to a nice hour-long ritual I do in the evening.  I've likened shaving with soap and a DE to driving a manual transmission.  It's not for everyone, but for some of us it's the only acceptable option.
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I have a couple of classic gilettes I use and like. I have a travel adjustable and an older comb safety razor. I still haven't decided on blades, so I'm switching each time I shave. Right now it's between Gilette Silver, Astra, and Feather.

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Edwin Jager razor. Am still trying a variety of blades, most recently the Feathers that you recommended (I like them!).

 

Not sure if you saw my post on the other thread, but I LOVE the Geo Trumper Almond cream. My favorite among many I tried. Haven't tried their soap, but I'll bet it's good!

 

Unfortunately, my skin tends to break out, and all these high end soaps and creams caused problems. So I've been using Cremo which isn't nearly as good, but not bad, and very inexpensive. (Though probably not good with a bowl/brush). I'm still on the hunt for something I love that doesn't make me break out.

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Dan, that looks terrific, but I'm pretty sure coconut oil is one of the offending agents in some of the others nice soaps I've used. It's weird, because I've read both that it helps acne, and that it worsens acne. So I'm not sure what to make of that, maybe it's an individual thing.  I know that several of the nicer shaving soaps I used  were great to shave with, but after several weeks, I felt like a teenage school boy breaking out like I did. So I've been avoiding coconut oil and it seems much better. Which is unfortunate, because I really liked some of the stuff that list it as an ingredient. :(

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I'm a big fan of Feather blades as most of the others seem to dull  out fast. I use the feathers for shaving my face as well as head. I tried the Merkur Ikon and Lee's Safety Razor modded Megress but come back to the first one I bough the Merkur the 33c. I really like the dreadnought/bluebeard cream, the tribute cream and Tabula Rasa creams. 

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One of these vintage Gillette adjustable safety razors has been my daily shave for years:

 

Gillette-Fat-Boy-safety-razor-1958.jpg

 

I have the same Merkel as above, and find the Gillette to give the better shave.

 

My favourite brush for using soaps (rather than creams) is this:

 

http://vintagescent.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=5&products_id=99

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  • 1 month later...

As usual I'm a late adopter, but just acquired an Edwin Jagger de89 barley razor, brush & chose the wool fat soap.  Working through a sample pack of blades and feathers are on my list of those I want to try.  I really like this soap.

 

Weird, started on an electric, used disposables for awhile, have used a Gillette Sensor off and on through the years (perhaps one of the best shaves a multi balde razor ever produced) and back to electrics.  I actually find using the brush/soap/safery razor both relaxing and enjoyable.

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I hate shaving, which was probably why I had a beard for 20+ years. I occasionally use an electric, but normally just a Gillette Mach 3 Turbo and Nivea shaving cream. I used my Dad's single blade Gillette something or other (probably '60s vintage) and tended to cut the shit out of myself, so no thanks...

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I've cut myself with electrics, disposables and multi blade razors.  Hasn't happened yet with the safety razor (it will).  I'm no expert on technique, but I learned quickly that a rigid wrist, short strokes and taking your time matter.  I have not tried with shaving cream (canned) but the wool fat soap seems to provide superior protection for the face.  The razor glides.  It does not pull.

 

I'm sure part of the allure is the nostalgia of watching my father shave this way.

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  • 2 months later...
  • 4 weeks later...

I thought I posted here... 
 
I use:

  • Merkur Model 180 Long Handled
  • Feather platinum blades -- used several this has been my fav
  • Taylor of Old Bond Street Shaving Cream -- big fan of cream vs bars
  • My grandfathers Opal Badger Hair Brush

I have started to use Pre-Shave oil from Maggard Razors - found it helps more than I would have thought.
 
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  • 1 month later...

One of my friends from the Math dept at my last school was visiting home in Italy and brought back a tube of Proraso shaving cream. Best shave I have ever had. The lather felt different and the hair cut smoother. There was still some tugging but no razor burn after I was done. Feels nice and cool now but was a bit warm when I applied it first. 

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  • 9 months later...

Secret admirer of this thread for at least a year now. Put some stuff on my list for the holidays and basically ended up with a rig identical to Mikey's. Merkur, Feather, Taylor of Old Bond, and a Parker badger-fur in Ebony.

 

Shaved with it this morning. First time ever using a safety razor... with the help of solid YouTube instructions I stayed cut free. I think with a few months' experience I'll get my neck shave down. Cheeks are perfect though, no way to improve on this.

 

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Edited by Aura
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