Straight Razor Beginner's Guide:

One of the questions that you see a lot in the wet shaving community, is and I quote: "How can I get started in straight razor shaving?" . At which point some answers are good, and some cause drama due to their own personal ego if it's in certain Face Book groups and certain .com styled forums which will remain nameless for sanity's sake. Here's what you will need. You will need a straight razor that's truly shave ready (more on that in a bit and who to contact), a starter strop and a jeweler's loupe which will also be needed as well and can also be used by DE and SE wet shavers alike:

The razor you see in the photo is a Gold Dollar 66 which I bought from a friend in the facebook groups for $23 dollars at the time which included shipping costs. The strop you see I also bought off another friend who took over and has now started honing straight razors for $15 dollars shipped. The jeweler's loupe I got off Maggard Razors for $4.95 minus the shipping because I ordered additional products. Don't worry about getting honing stones or barber hones just yet. The reason behind this is because of your initial learning curve which is not a short learning curve at all. It took me 90 to 100 shaves to get decent at it, and I made a lot of mistakes along the way. I also got extremely frustrated and took a pretty long 2 to 3 month hiatus from it. Once I started shaving with a straight razor again, I stuck with it and kept going. You have to stay committed. So buying a stone when you're first starting out is really a bad idea because you will roll edges by either stropping incorrectly or too much, and poor techniques will dull a straight razor in a heartbeat as well. We've all done it at one time or another so don't feel bad or get frustrated. That's why it's called a learning curve. So let's add up the costs $23 + $15 + $4.95 = $42.95. Now this razor will vary in costs because each person selling them will have different prices. I also don't recomend buying an expensive name brand razor just yet either mainly due to price and the initial learning curve. $100+ dollars is a lot of money to throw at a razor to just try and see if straight razor shaving is for you. It's the same deal with strops as well. My first strop was a modular paddle strop with interchangable pads and I thought it was awesome until I tried to use it. Not only did I roll the edge on the razor, but I dug into my strop. Then other problems occurred with this particular stropping system. The pads started coming apart and I ended up have to use a hot glue gun to get it back together which also damaged the razor because I was stropping too hard. Fatigue from stropping broke me of that. That's when I tossed the modular paddle stropping system in the garbage and bought the strop you see in the photo. It was a $90 dollar mistake on my part. So always start with a starter strop that can easily be replaced. The jeweler's loupe is easy to obtain and can be bought on Now be learly of the term "shave ready" and buy from someone you know that hones and has a good reputation. The one group that I would recomend joining on facebook would be Gold Dollar Shave Club. There you can find people who were properly taught how to hone and make a razor truely shave ready, and you can find a lot of information on strops, and stones and all kinds of resources. You can even take lessons on honing at the various meet ups being held by this group. The reason I say be leary of the term "shave ready" is because places like most of the .com stores and some people on ebay, abuse the term and call it "shave ready" mainly to just sell razors.

Asian Plum & The 430:

Today's soap and aftershave was phenomenal . Peter Charkalis if you are reading this, you hit a grand slam on this one. Wow what a soap...