Hi all, I recently made the switch to a double-edged safety razor. It's going well so far, no nasty cuts or anything and I'm getting a pretty smooth shave. But I have a few questions that Google isn't answering for me, hopefully some ofthe more experienced shavers here can.
- What angle should the blade be at? Should I be trying to keep it as close to being parallel with my skin as possible, or what?
- I've heard that the most common method is to do three passes, with, across and against the grain, and that sometimes a fourth pass is necessary for extra smoothness. But which one should the fourth pass be? With, across or against?
- I'm using shaving soap with a brush, and sometimes when I lather up my face I find that after a few minutes, the lather has faded or even apparently disappeared. Should I relather in such circumstances? Or is the lather still there and I'm good to go?
- I'm having particular trouble getting a smooth shave on my neck. It seems the grain there goes in weird directions. Also, the skin there seems particularly sensitive, so after a couple of extra passes it starts to get quite irritated. Is there a standard method for cleanly and thoroughly shaving the neck?
- I'm currently shaving with this, a low-end double edge safety razor I bought in Boots in Jervis Shopping Centre. It was dirt cheap (€5); normally I wouldn't even bother with something so cheap, but it seems to have surprisingly good reviews online, here for example. I'm also using a shaving soap and a Wilkinson Sword brush. The latter two were gifts so I don't know how much they cost. I've read some articles and posts that talk about sinking up to €100 into a "starter kit" that contains all the items needed for shaving. What's the deal with that? It's not so much that I'd have a problem paying €100 if it really was an investment which would last me a long time, but it seems that by shopping cheap (like going for Boots brand stuff) I could get everything I need for much, much less. But would this leave me with woefully inadequate tools? In particular, I'm finding it hard to justify buying a more up-market razor when my Boots one seems to have decent reviews (of course, not having use a safety razor before, I cannot compare its actual performance). So how much do you guys spend on your shaving stuff, and do you think it's worth my while to put a little extra money into finding quality goods?
Thanks for all your help!