A Great Shave With A Classic Razor
Straight razor shaving or ‘cut throat shaving’ has been a time-honored tradition that’s practiced by more men every year. I say practice because that’s what you are doing. You practice shaving with a straight razor and the more you practice the better you get, however, even with lots of practice it’s still very easy to hurt yourself. I’m going to put a lot of emphasis on practice. A straight razor is very sharp and what’s so intimidating about them is the fact that they do not have a guard surrounding the sharp edge of the blade. The more practice the safer you get and better the shave will be. More men every year are ditching their cartridge and even their safety razors to practice the fine art of straight razor shaving. Making the switch to straight razor shaving can be very cost-effective in the long run but a little expensive in the beginning. Initially there is the cost of the razor itself. There are many options when it comes to buying a straight razor and it can be daunting when trying to decide which one to purchase. In my own opinion you should research straight razors for beginners and go from there. You could also read and watch reviews on social media. Visit multiple websites that sell straight razors and ask questions. Take your time and don’t rush into it. A good straight razor can last you a lifetime. There are some additional items you made need as well to get started. When buying your first straight razor you will also need a strop to help keep your razor clean and sharp. Usually websites that sell straight razors will also sell the strops. Sometimes you can buy them both together as a shaving kit.
A shaving bowl and brush may also be items you need to buy. Usually you can find these items on the same website along with the straight razor and strop. Once again do the research on these items before you buy or contact the company you are buying from and ask all the questions you want. Knowing what you want and what you are buying is very important, you also don’t need to spend a lot of money to get started. When I first made the switch to straight razor shaving I searched social media and asked as many questions as I could. I was lucky to have known some guys that had been shaving with a straight razor for years. It took me several years to finally make the switch and I don’t regret that decision for one moment. If you are reading this review wondering if you would be happier shaving with a straight razor there are a couple of questions to ask yourself before deciding. Do you want a more close and comfortable shave that’s better for your skin? do you want to save money? One of the more important questions to ask yourself is, are you willing to spend more time in the bathroom learning the art of straight razor shaving. If you answered yes to these questions then straight razor shaving could be right for you.
While I was researching straight razors I always came across a certain brand of razor that a lot of people liked. Dovo Solingen has been a name that stands for quality since the 1906. Dovo makes cutlery and shaving items. Their straight razors are loved by many including me. Before I made the switch to straight razor shaving I used a Colonel Conk #718 safety razor. I’ve used a lot of their products ranging from safety razors to shaving oil with everything in between. Their shaving soap and cream feel luxurious on your skin and provide a close and comfortable shave every time. Their natural after shave lotion keeps your skin soft, smooth and well hydrated. so when I was offered the chance to review their exclusive Dovo straight razor I jumped at the offer. I was also informed there would be some other goodies to compliment my future shave with their exclusive Dovo straight razor. I have reviewed a lot of shaving products, but I actually could not sleep while waiting for my new razor and assorted goodies. It felt like waiting for Christmas day to finally arrive and once my package from Colonel Conk showed up on my door step I knew I was in for a great shave.
I received one Dovo Solingen straight razor #504B with the Colonel Conk brand stamped right on the side of the blade. It came packaged in a nice case with a padded insert that firmly held the razor in place. The case itself fit inside a cardboard sleeve that prevented the case from opening. I also received a 6 fl. oz. bottle of aftershave lotion and a jar of shaving cream both in the ‘Rio Grande Lavender’ scent. I also received one 2 fl. oz. bottle of the original shave oil. This was not my first experience with these products but it was my first time trying the ‘Rio Grande Lavender’ scent. Before I started shaving I first had to prep the razor. The razor came shave ready right out of the box. I always strop my razor before use, even if it’s a new razor just to make it a habit. I stroped it 50 times with the mesh section of the strop, this section is used to realign and remove any oxidation build up on the blade. Next I stroped the razor 70 times on the leather section of the strop to help keep the blade nice and sharp. It’s important to remember to strop your razor before or after each use. I used 5-7 drops of the original shave oil to coat the skin on my dome and face before applying the shaving cream. The original shave oil from Colonel Conk adds extra glide to each stroke of my razor and provides my skin an extra layer of protection from the trauma that all razors cause during shaving. I let the shave oil soak into my skin before applying the shave cream.
Next it was time to get the shaving cream ready. I’ve had a lot of experiences with the shaving cream from Colonel Conk and they have all been good so I knew this experience would follow suite. I dipped my brush into the shaving cream coating the bristles with enough cream to build a nice lather. It didn’t take long to create a thick and creamy shave ready lather that clung to the bristles of my shave brush. The robust lather applied evenly feeling luxurious across my skin producing extra cushion for my razor during shaving. Once my face was fully lathered it was time to use my new Dovo straight razor for the first time. The Dovo straight razors blade is a carbon steel 5/8 full hollow ground with thick plastic scales. I like carbon steel blades, they are easier to sharpen and they stay sharper longer than other blades. If not used for a longer period of time they do have a tendency to rust, so if you are planning on storing your carbon steel razor you might want to add a thin coat of oil to help prevent rusting. The 5/8 refers to the depth of the blade. A 5/8 blade is thinner, you can see more of what you are doing as you are shaving. The grind measures how thin the blade is. The blade on a full hollow ground will be thinner and flex more during shaving since its carbon steel. The thick black plastic scales feel substantial while holding the razor in your hands.
I held the razor in my finger tips, with my first two fingers resting on top of the ‘Tang’ and my thumb on the bottom. My third and fourth finger are resting on top of the tail. The scales of the razor are positioned facing up between my second and third finger. I found out through trial and error that this is the best way for me to have more control over how the razor performs and navigates around the different areas of my face and neck. I started with shaving the left side of my face with the razor held in a 15-20 degree angle. You want your razor to glide across the surface of your skin with minimal pressure needed. The sides of my face were pretty easy to shave. My jaw line and back behind my jaw under my ears is a difficult place for me to shave and the Dovo tackled those areas with grace and ease at a 10-15 degree angle. I keep the razor at a 5-10 degree angle when shaving my neck from top to bottom and 5 degree angle with shaving around my adams apple. My chin and upper lip are the most sensitive and difficult parts to shave. On the chin I shave straight down with a 5 degree angle curving around my chin line. When I shave my upper lip I use the tip or ‘point’ of the razor at a 5-10 degree angle. The first pass with the Dovo went very well without a lot of effort. The blade felt good against my skin. Now it was time for the second pass. I used less lather the second time since this pass was more for touch ups. I followed suite with using the same angles on the different areas of my face. After the second pass was completed my face and neck felt baby butt smooth (BBS) with hardly any irritation at all.
I followed my nightly shave up with the ‘Rio Grande Lavender’ after shave lotion from the natural product line available at Colonel Conk. The ‘Rio Grande Lavender’ shave cream is also from the natural product line that do not contain Parabens, Synthetic Fragrances, Artificial Dyes or Colors, Formaldehyde, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Petrolateum or Cocamide Diethanolamine (DEA). These products are also Cruelty, Wheat, Nut and Gluten free with no animal testing, at more than 99% natural with just a fraction of preservatives to help increase their shelf life so you can enjoy them longer, and believe me once you try them you will definitely enjoy them. The ‘Rio Grande Lavender’ after shave lotion soaked into my skin quickly without any greasy residue left behind. The cool and calming sensation caused by this soothing after shave lotion was refreshing and felt very familiar since this was not my first time using the Colonel Conk after shave lotions. The Rio Grande Lavender’ shave cream and after shave lotion, Original shave oil and Colonel Conk exclusive Dovo straight razor was a great shave and combo that could very easily become a normal shaving routine. I enjoyed my week of shaving with theses Colonel Conk products. Colonel Conk is a brand that has offered premium shaving products at an affordable price for a long time. Their customer service is both prompt, quick and very friendly.
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