Is improving the technique a myth?

#1
Dear all

As a beginner, i started by intensively searching on YouTube on how to wet shave, and I believe I have captured all plus some tricks from each of those shaving channels. I suppose that now it’s just a question of finding the best material and products that provides best results for me.

But

I am confused with your references to “technique growth / improvement”. What is this ? What can I be missing that isn’t in all those youtube lessons? How do I know if my technique is not correct, how can I perfect it and how can I see that I am improving?

Technique improvement makes sense to me for straight razors because it requires more time and adaptability, But with DE I don’t see room for improving the technique

sorry for the dumb question

Cheers
Eduardo



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#3
I judge my technique by the number of cuts/weepers I get.

I can go days without a hint of the red stuff but yesterday I nicked my Adam’s apple and this morning I had a like nick on my top lip on the second pass???? Both were healed up after my shower though with no further intervention needed.
 
#6
Tsk, so the angle part I accept it since I only started shaving for 1 month. But that’s it. I don’t see what else can be improved besides finding the right equipment / products

As for the straight razor is another thing since I am still in the butcher phase.


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#8
Tsk, so the angle part I accept it since I only started shaving for 1 month. But that’s it. I don’t see what else can be improved besides finding the right equipment / products

As for the straight razor is another thing since I am still in the butcher phase.


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Angle, pressure, tricks (Gillette slide, J-hooking, polishing etc), lather building...and whatever else; you'll learn or you won't.
 
#11
Tsk, so the angle part I accept it since I only started shaving for 1 month. But that’s it. I don’t see what else can be improved besides finding the right equipment / products
Without sounding condescending, come back in a year and tell us you haven't refined your skills :)

You'll master your skills in a way that when you look back you'll ask yourself what you were thinking back then.. haha.

I should know, I've been there. I was a master after a short while. Now, years on I had to realize I'm still learning as of today...
 
#13
Improving the technique is not a myth, but it is proper to each one; some tricks that work for some do not work for others, beside the many parameters to take into account (type of skin/beard, soap, blade, etc, etc)

In my experience, I think it took me about three years with the same gear (Merkur HD, Wilkinson brush and white Proraso) to achieve the perfect level of mastery...
 
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#16
For me it is about being able to "read the play" with multiple permutations on razor, blade, soap, cream, brush etc. I picked a triple milled soap out of the stack yesterday, opened it up, thought "mmh, looking a little dry", just a dab more moisture in the brush this morning, work it a touch harder, quick glance halfway through the load, not quite there, touch more. All of this happens in a matter of seconds without needing much thought. It's the result of using heaps of different soaps, croaps and creams and knowing what adjustments to make.

Same with razors. It's not just familiarity with the razors I use a lot, but even with a new razor, in just a stroke or two I will note the feedback and adjust within a single pass, rather than needing weeks to get used to it. It's the accumulation of experience, which is more than just learning the basics.

Overall, I can get from start to finish in a fraction of the time I could 18 months ago. 1 month into DE shaving, I took 20 mins+ to get lathered and do 3 passes. Now if I need to, I can reach for a tube of palmolive cream, be lathered in 1 min, and be knocking off 3 passes in about 5 mins without looking like Sweeny Todd has been involved. I don't always shave that fast, but I can do it now. That's technique.

What is not technique but does improve your shaving is learning what doesn't work for you. I've been into witch's hazel, but now don't bother. I went through a phase of using Alum blocks after every shave. Barely ever now. Specialised after shave balms? Well, Nivea soft is as good as anything I've tried at a fraction of the price. So, not only have a dropped some products all together, I have also become less influenced by high price, overly hyped products as I have found common, cheap alternatives that do a good or better job.

You're starting to mature as a shaver when you happily admit that a stick of palmolive, a £20 synthetic brush and a bit of supermarket moisturiser will give you as good a shaving experience as anything.
 
#19
Shaving is probably something that most men just "do". It's when you start to think "well, what if I do this ..." then you really start to learn.

Forget learning to shave through videos or even through well-meaning posts by Internet strangers. It's a "feel" thing and you can't teach that.

Analogy.

Golf. There are dozens and dozens of teaching pros on YouTube, all promising to lower your scores with about a million different tweaks to your swing. The only way to play golf is to do, make mistakes, do differently, learn.

Fair dues, the fundamentals need to be solid (sharp enough blade, well lubricated mush) but the stokes, the act, are all on you.

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