Monday, December 8, 2014

Beginner's Double-Edge Razor?

I don't strongly advocate the concept of a beginner's or a starter DE razor.

The whole idea behind this concept is that one is likely to cut one's self unless starting DE shaving with an instrument of rather mild shaving character. I think this works fine if a new DE shaver is rather insular and reluctant to read or learn anything before diving in and trying his luck with "old-school" shaving.

However, if a new DE shaver is open to finding and heeding the most basic shaving advice, I would then recommend not simply a mild-shaving razor, but rather finding a razor well suited to his beard and skin. Once the ball-park razor is found, he can then apply the following basic advice:

  1. Don't press the DE razor against the face while shaving. Feel as though you are shaving with no pressure of razor against skin.
  2. Find a blade that is likely to be suitable for your beard and skin. This will involve some trial and error, but not as much as some seem to suggest. If your skin is sensitive, you will be wise to use coated blades. If your beard is tough, a sharper blade will be best. And actually, it makes sense for all new DE shavers to begin with coated blades for greater comfort. Just those with tougher beards will want sharper blades such as Astra, Gillette, Personna, et al; while those with less-dense, less-wiry beards can go with blades that are not quite as sharp like Derby Extras among others.
  3. Shave initially with the grain of your beard, and keep the razor handle pointed in the direction of your razor strokes. This will keep the blade edge perpendicular to your shaving-stroke direction, which will minimize your risk for nicks and cuts while you become accustomed to DE technique.
  4. As your skill improves, add a second, cross-grain pass (that is, re-lather and shave) to get a closer shave. Eventually add a third pass that can be against grain, or, in very sensitive areas such as the upper lip, cross grain in the direction opposite to the second pass.
Ah, but how to find the razor that is in the ball park for your beard and face? Great question! To answer it I will refer you to a two-part article I wrote a while ago on this very subject (click here).

Happy shaving!

No comments:

Post a Comment