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gary haywood (garyhaywood)
Advisor
From: United Kingdom
Posts: 1678
iconrtedwards:
Gary,

Fantastic video, thanks for posting this. Your technique is so smooth and fluid it sets a new standard. I notice that you have no hesitation about going repeatedly over a section that has no visible lather. I've seen posts, and have a friend who has been straight shaving for many years who agrees, that state that you should never go over a section more than once before relathering. Yet I have found that to get a smooth shave I need to do repeated strokes, preferably from different angles, and I don't bother to relather each time. It would take way too long. In the DE realm I think the technique is called "buffing". I have sensitive skin but I can't really tell a difference as far as irritation goes, my skin is still slippery from the remaining soap even after the visible bubbles are gone.

Any thoughts on why some guys think the razor should never touch unlathered skin and have you found a difference in irritation with you, or guys you shave, with repeated versus single strokes at a give location? A barbers manual I borrowed from my barber stated clearly that you should start in the bare area and stroke into the lathered section as a matter of routine technique. There is a big emphasis on making a rich, thick lather on some of the boards, but I have found it mostly pointless to build a lot of lather up above the zone immediately next to my skin, it is where the edge meets the skin that matters- and that seems to happen at a very small scale, at least with a straight where there is no safety bar or comb that needs to be lubricated to glide smoothly.



i'll go over the same area.even though the cream has vanished that area will still be moist, i would go over area that had realy dryed out. i think a lather that is slightly wet is the best.

gary
gary haywood
2011-11-01 20:28
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gary haywood (garyhaywood)
Advisor
From: United Kingdom
Posts: 1678
iconEmmanuel:
Gary and Joe Just now i saw as first time your video my friends. (When shared i was absent)Excellent,excellent,excellent. It reminds me my shaving strategy and motions. Low angle ,no pressure
no over stretch .The only different i noticed is ,when i like to stretch my cheeks i do it by inflating or in mustache area i stretch by my tongue. Maybe is greek mode.
Finally ,one more time, the shave is amazing.
Best regards
Emmanuel

thank you emanuel,

because i was being filmed, it may sound weird but i was'nt as relaxed, and shaved quiker than normal , at least its good to watch some one else, every one has there own way of doing things. I don't normaly shave against the grain btw. I did just for the video, it was a very close shave i must say.

thanxs gary


not sure how i replyed on your post?
gary haywood
2011-11-01 20:32
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Deckard
Posts: 156
iconrtedwards:
Gary,

Any thoughts on why some guys think the razor should never touch unlathered skin and have you found a difference in irritation with you, or guys you shave, with repeated versus single strokes at a give location?


My thoughts on this are that a good wet thick lather keeps the whiskers from drying out, when the lather is shaved away the skin and whiskers don't dry off straight away.
The moisture helps the edge to glide over and protects the acid mantle on the skin which protects from irritation. To much pressure not only removes the mantle cells but also causes the hairs to lie down if shaving against the grain, the idea is to just catch the whiskers.
I feel its better to do repeated no pressure strokes with a very keen edge than fewer pressured strokes, from an irritation aspect.

Just my 10 cents

Joe
2011-11-01 21:01
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Bart Torfs (Bart)
Associate
From: Belgium
Posts: 5001
I am more or less convinced that for shaving with a straight razor, the lather primarily serves the purpose of softening the beard.
Once that condition is met, it doesn't seem to matter much.
With a DE or cartridge razor, there is a part of the casing in contact with the skin. The "cushioning" effect of dense lather possibly makes a difference there, but with a straight razor only a very sharp edge touches the skin. The skin barrier effect will only be minimal.

I have witnessed quite a few straight razor shaves, during gatherings with traditional shavers. There is not one guy I know who does not make multiple strokes over skin that was already cleared of lather at the first stroke.
Personally, I sometimes make my second pass on water only. It does not make a difference for me.
That's why I believe that lather is about cleaning the beard of the natural oils that protects the hairs and about reducing the H-bridges that strengthens the proteins bonds within the hair shafts. (I'm explaining it a bit simplified for the purpose of this post). Reducing H-bridges requires the action of an alkaline, which is why we use soap (or an alkaline based cream).
Once the whiskers are softened, it does not seem to matter much.

In how much the lather also protects the skin at a moleculary level is far less clear, and the subject of much suggestion by manufacturers of shaving soap. But let us not forget that skin and hair have a lot of their biochemistry in common, and that a product that weakens hair and strengthens skin holds a bit of contradiction.

Kind regards,
Bart.
Then the light shone, trumpets sounded and I got to the other side, where men shave with smiles on their faces, razors pop hairs, and a continuous choir singing «~~Keen and Smooth~~» is heard everywhere. (Matt)
2011-11-01 21:11
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gary haywood (garyhaywood)
Advisor
From: United Kingdom
Posts: 1678
also don''t forget a straight razor is better on the skin . than a normal de blade, I can shave every day with a straight, never could shave every day with a de blade, just my skin could not take the de every day.so a good straight edge is more forgiving on the skin, causing less if any irritation.
gary
gary haywood
2011-11-01 21:19
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Matt
Associate
From: Poland
Posts: 1047
iconrtedwards:
Any thoughts on why some guys think the razor should never touch unlathered skin and have you found a difference in irritation with you, or guys you shave, with repeated versus single strokes at a give location?

I definitely feel the difference here. Mind you, my skin sensitivity is above normal, and I've been cursed with being a perfectionist. :D When I force myself to go over a given place again only when there's some lather on it, my skin is always thankful.

iconDeckard:
I feel its better to do repeated no pressure strokes with a very keen edge than fewer pressured strokes, from an irritation aspect.

+1 on that. Speaking of perfectionism, I was often trying to make it too close during the first pass, and of course that was giving a minor irritation, which was only getting worse during consecutive passes. Nowadays I only make use of blade keenness and I know that what's not covered during a first pass, will be executed during another one. :)

regards,
Matt
"Very interesting indeed :) I did something similar with cheese a while ago" - Dr Ralfson
2011-11-02 15:30
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Pieter Ketelings (Pithor)
From: Finland
Posts: 89
iconMatt:
iconrtedwards:
Any thoughts on why some guys think the razor should never touch unlathered skin and have you found a difference in irritation with you, or guys you shave, with repeated versus single strokes at a give location?

I definitely feel the difference here. Mind you, my skin sensitivity is above normal, and I've been cursed with being a perfectionist. :D When I force myself to go over a given place again only when there's some lather on it, my skin is always thankful.


I haven't made my mind up yet, although I am tending towards Bart, although I shave water only just for minor touch ups when I've already got rid of the lather, otherwise I use the lather. Because I usually have a bit too much anyway and it's more precise than splashing water. And because you get to sniff the lather up close once more. :)

Up the nose or not at all. :lol:
Loose, footloose!
Put on the Sunday roast!
2011-11-03 08:32
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Hendrik
Insider
Posts: 31
Although this thread and video have been posted more than one month and a half ago, I somehow missed it until now.

And I can only say...

All my respect to you Gary.
Not only for the way you shave and hone and share your experience here.
But foremost, for having the courage to post this video of yourself in action...

The internet often makes it way too easy to hide behind nicknames and declare oneself a world-reference in whatever art or skill.
But having the courage to post a video of oneself on the world wide web, under your real world name, and clearly visible face/identity to back up those skills is given to a vastly inferior number of people.

To be honest, I am not sure whether I would do this since my wife now already thinks this straight shaving hobby got out of hand and is a very weird activity when throw-away cartridges and electric razors are around :sleep: A tought shared by some of my firends as well, with whom I tend to discuss other things than shaving B)

I have again learned a few new tips and tricks from the video and following discussion, which is great.
But what is even better, is that this video for sure will greatly help some newcomers wanting to switch from a "modern" quick and dirty (and disposable) shave to a skill that requires time and patience to learn but gives such great satisfaction (and unrivaled results) once mastered...
2011-11-18 17:18
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gary haywood (garyhaywood)
Advisor
From: United Kingdom
Posts: 1678
thank you hendrik. if i remeber rightly did we meet at the coti.be weekend? was you the chap with the 200x 60 aprox lpb..

gary
gary haywood
2011-11-18 19:05
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Hendrik
Insider
Posts: 31
Hi Garry,
Yes indeed, we met at the Coticule weekend.
I still remember your shaving demonstration there very well, shaving others like only a professional barber with lots of practice is able to.

I do not own a 200 x 60 lpb but did buy a 200 x 60 La Veinette that weekend from Maurice, probably the stone you remember.

As said already during that weekend, the day I pass in London, I really would love to pay a visit to the place you work...
2011-11-18 20:39
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gary haywood (garyhaywood)
Advisor
From: United Kingdom
Posts: 1678
yes you pop in and i will give you a shave ad hair cut. yes i maybe got confused with stone, i got the size correct.

maybe somtime we can have another coticule.be week end , it was good weekend
gary haywood
2011-11-18 20:44
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Deckard
Posts: 156
That would be good:rolleyes:
I'd certainly be up for meeting other members and sharing knowledge:thumbup:
2011-11-18 23:36
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Hendrik
Insider
Posts: 31
icongaryhaywood:
yes you pop in and i will give you a shave ad hair cut. yes i maybe got confused with stone, i got the size correct.

maybe somtime we can have another coticule.be week end , it was good weekend


Whether in London or in Belgium, both would be great indeed :)

Another Coticule weekend certainly would be nice. In fact I think we need one, since Maurice has started mining in another location B)
2011-11-19 17:27
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MoreWhisky
Posts: 3
Wow you make it look so easy Gary, i have so far to go, Good Video thanks.
2011-11-20 21:44