My Learning Curve in the Shaving World

A Pro or a Beginner?

I have been wet shaving for the last couple of months. I am still at a learning curve. I learned a lot by reading forums and practicing the new information that I got. I have the best gear so far for my own setup. I know that shaving is a very YMMV experience. You just can’t blame me if my setup is not for you or if you think your setup is better than mine.

So I have this combination for my latest setup:

  • A 1920s Gillette Razor
  • A Dorco ST300 blade (2nd-time use)
  • The Body Shop For Men Maca Root Shave Cream
  • The Body Shop Shaving Brush
  • The Body Shop For Men Maca Root After Shave

An Addiction that Needs to be Satisfied

As I have mentioned in my last post that I have a new addiction, a shaving addiction. I just can’t wait for my mustache to grow again so I can have my shaving time. I was so happy when the time has come for it.

I took a hot shower. I compressed my face with a hot towel. I built my lather creamy and slick. Everything was in perfect order. I was so excited. “Here it comes, the moment you are waiting for”, I thought.

Oh, boy. I was so wrong. I did a marvelous job to give my face several cuts. Yup. You read that right. I nicked myself at various places. I thought I was already a good shaver but I was not. Stupid me.

Warning! Graphic Image!

I got cuts and nicks. Still at a learning curve.

As you can see in the picture, that there are some red dots on my face. Yes. They were drops of blood. I just couldn’t believe my eyes. This was the first time ever that I nicked my face that badly. Usually, only 1 or 2 drops of blood if I happen to cut myself. Not that many. Oh, my beautiful face.

After I clean up and put an aftershave, I found that I actually did a good job of shaving. (If you do not mention the bloodshed). I think because I was so aggressive that I aimed for a BBS shave. You still can see that those blood were trying to escape my blood vessel. This is a hard learning curve.

wounds are still noticeable

Here are some reasons why it went wrong.

  • I was too excited
  • I rushed the process
  • I took long passes
  • Because I was too excited, I used pressure
  • My blade was not sharp enough

I was too excited

Like I said, I developed a shaving addiction. I will not bore you to death telling the story again. Every time you are too excited, you will be too blind to see or do the right way.

I rushed the process

Yes, it was, actually, because of the addiction. I wanted to cut my mustache immediately. My hand moved as swiftly as it can without (or so I thought) injuring myself.

I took long passes

Why in the world I did that? I really have no answers. Maybe in my mind, I was a professional shaver. A professional barber that can wield a straight razor. Worthy of picking up that hammer! (hint: Thor’s).

When you are just learning, it is the safest choice if you do short passes.  The long passes were awkward. My hand wasn’t stable enough to give a steady gliding movement.

I used pressure

Rookie mistake that I kept repeating. I have not shaken off my bad habit. This is really annoying. A pressure with a single blade automatically means you are drawing blood. Why would I keep doing it? I don’t want to draw blood. I want to draw a magnificent dragon!!!


My blade was not sharp

People really warned me several times about Dorco ST300. They are not sharp. Ditch them. Do not try them. Find another brand.

I was a hard-headed person. Especially when people said that shaving is a very YMMV experience. So I insisted on using a Dorco blade. Bad move. It was really a bad move. I immediately threw the blade away.  Even after only using it for the second time. (usually, you can use it 3-4 times).

I am now hunting for blades. It is not easy to find blades in Indonesia. I really have to search every corner of the city to find blades. Strangely, my wife found them in a nearby store. What was I doing? But the quest of searching for blades still continues. The blades that my wife found was old and dirty. They have been collecting dust in the shop. Even the sales person was amazed that I asked for the blades. She asked whether I really use these kinds of blades.

Learning Curve

I really don’t know if I already learned my lesson. There are more shavings ahead of me. One thing for sure that I would love to change is the blade. Like I said, my wife found a store that sells a bunch of blades. Different brands. I will buy them and try them.

I still have several Dorco blades that I intend to try again in the future. Maybe my learning curve is not suitable to use a Dorco. For the mean time, I will use another brand. I will keep you posted on my progress.

It is also about muscle memory and experience. I need to do more and more shavings. (Yipee!!) I suspect that it will take me several months before I am comfortable using a DE safety razor.

You need to keep learning

If you want to try my settings, find them:

What is your learning curve so far from your shavings? Can you give me pointers on how to improve my shaving?


18 Replies to “My Learning Curve in the Shaving World”

  1. Hey Arief! I couldn’t contain my laughter to your failure story cuting your face, but like you say that could happen if you don’t have the proper gear to shave your face, I sometimes let my beard grow too much that I also need first to use an electric shaver then when it is short eneough I use the manual shaver, do you have a recomendation for an electri shaver? have a good night.

    1. A bad setup gear is a disaster. But mostly I have to remind myself that my technique is not quite perfect yet.

      I still have no recommendations on electric shavers, Mario. I am too deep indulging myself with traditional wet shaving at the moment. Maybe in a couple of months when I am awaken from this beautiful dream.

  2. Hey Arief,

    Ouch man! That looks real painful. I really wanted to see the picture before you shaved. I must say that shaving is truly a learning curve. I remember when I used to have to shave everyday for work, I used a Wahl shaver and I must say that it did a good job for me. I personally do not like shaving at all, I love the freedom to grow my mustache and my beard. 🙂

    I may want to get a good shave sometime again in the future so I will be getting some pointers from you while you keep getting your shaving on.

    Thanks for sharing Arief.


    1. At first, I did not notice the bleeding. But yeah, it hurt. I have to press each wound one by one to stop the bleeding.

      Right, I should’ve taken a before picture. To show you that I have small hairy area but still managed to get cuts. 🙁
      Yeah… I will do before pictures from now on.

      Just stay tuned to this website and keep reading my posts. I will always share what works and what wouldn’t.

  3. Hi Arief,
    I can feel your pain! Blood! Ouch! Not for me! I’m glad I am a woman and don’t have to shave. I see you are on the cutting edge of technology. lol


    1. I love your pun, Julie. Indeed, I am on the cutting edge of technology.
      I am glad that you don’t have to shave, but some women do shave. I am about to bring this subject in the near future.

  4. I had so much fun reading your post. Your techniques of shaving is interesting, and I’m sure you will have more journey with shaving. I wonder if you are going to write post about women shaving, and they adventure. Make sure you post pictures.

  5. I’m starting to be your follower already. I’ve read some of your posts before and also this one is very interesting.
    I used the hot towel trick yesterday and it worked! Yes!!!


  6. For pretty much my entire adult life I have had to shave for work so I find this post is interesting. Have you ever used a cut throat razor? I’ve often been tempted to get one but worried I’d do some serious damage to my self. Also what does YMMV mean.

    1. YMMV = Your Mileage May Vary. Basically, your experience may differ from mine.

      I am too afraid to try a cut throat razor for now. It will be my next expertise, though. Right after I master safety razors, which can take years. LOL. You can get into a shaving forum to learn from masters there. I recommend for a start.

  7. I think I understand why you go with the long passes. I found it fresh to finish the whole shaving process in just one pass. I mean with normal 3 blades razor it’s not that hard unless you didn’t shave for a long time but with those sharp razor I guess you shouldn’t. I mean you should know all the curve on your face well and even so you still need to have a proper control of your hands pressure when the curve changes or you change the direction of cutting.
    It comes with experience, so keep going and be excited about what you love to do. Just moderate it during the action;)

    1. You are right about I have to know my face’s curve. Where to go with the grain or across the grain or against the grain. My hand still retains its memory from using a multi blades razor. It takes time to unlearn a habit.

  8. Hi Arief,

    I’m brand new to wet shaving so I guess I’m got a bleeding face to look forward to as well! You got any particularly good tricks to stop the bleeding?

    Some of the acronyms threw me off as well, it would be good to know what they stand for.

    1. I hope you don’t have to cut yourself. The trick is not using any pressure at all. Let the weight of the razor be the only pressure you use when gliding the razor over your face.

      What acronyms that you want to know?

  9. Hi There,

    I stumbled across this article while searching for razor or what best for shaving…my head!

    I am interested to know what you advise for that. Currently, I use the Gillette protector for both face and head.

    What is your thoughts on some old school “cut throat” razor for use on my head (and face) vs modern razors?

    I, for face wise, happen to be like Barney Rubble from the Flintstones..shave in the morning and stubble by midday! any way I can get past this? apart for shaving twice daily!

    1. I have no experience in cut throat razor (or straight razor). That is the next step for me. My friends from shaving forums really recommend straights. But it will need another set of skill using it. And the maintenance of it.

      I don’t have a professional honer in my area. This is the main reason why I chose to study traditional wet shaving with a DE safety razor.

      For you to get a clean-shaven face, you need to get a closer shave. I doubt that a multiple blades razor like Protector can give you that without razor burns. I will recommend you to get a safety razor.

      There will be a learning curve, but when you master it, you will abandon your multiple blades razors. And it is way cheaper to buy safety razor blades comparing to cartridge razors.

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