Mark! I did it! My first DE shave!
NO NICKS OR CUTS!
I have come to the conclusion that it is impossible to get good lather from Trumpers with the VDH brush and the water in Los Angeles, so I scrapped it and used the TOBS. No problems. I wasn’t about to do my first DE shave with inferior later.
I ended up trying the Iridium blade. Very smooth. No dragging. Perhaps I was just being ginger, but it didn’t feel like much hair was being cut off.
My 3 passes were: WTG (2x) and XTG. Overall, a nice shave with no irritation so far. I used the sandalwood Skin Food and Ogalalla bay rum/sandalwood AS.
Do I need to let the razor lie heavier on my skin? Maybe my razor isn’t aggressive enough? First thing I’m going to try is a different blade, after a few practice runs.
By that I mean do not try to do anything else or change anything for the next two weeks (except changing blades when necessary and getting a better brush) . You’re learning a new skill, like golfing or driving a car with a manual transmission, so its important to develop your technique. “It didn’t feel like much hair was being cut off” is exactly where you want to be. That’s the beauty of traditional shaving, especially with a DE: its so damned smooth and comfortable compared to a cartridge razor that you may think you’re not cutting off as much hair as you really are.
So, like a golfer, shoot for par instead of hole-in-one for the whole course. If your three passes are not giving you nicks, cuts, or irritation, and leaving you looking presentable, stick with it. Don’t try to go for that “baby’s butt smooth” feeling just yet.