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Terrible first straight razor shave (Toronto)

Recoil

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I've wanted to go for a straight razor shave for over a year now so I finally decided to go for it. I always get my hair cut at Truefitt and Hill so I tried to make an appointment there for Saturday, however, they were booked solid. So I decided to try another barber shop in town that seems to have quite a history, the Terminal Barber Shop at Dundas and Bay (http://terminalbarbershop.com). It was about half the price of a shave at Truefitt and Hill, but based on their site they seemed to be competent.

They wouldn't take a reservation, only walk-ins. I went in and they put me in the shave chair and all was fine, they did the whole hot towel and shave balm thing that I expected. The shave seemed half decent, but the blade didn't seem to flow very smoothly against the skin, and he was making a lot of sharp quick cuts with the razor around my chin. It seemed strange to me because my understanding was to make as few cuts as possible. This got worse when he did the shave a second time against the grain. When he was done (about 20 minutes), he put me up in the chair and I saw in the mirror that my skin was a little red which I expected because I have extremely sensitive skin and very thin hair. He said I was all done. So I got up and put on my coat, and paid, and then my fiancee looks at me and says I'm bleeding, so I put my hand under the chin and there were like 10-15 specs of blood on my hand. So I go to the barber and ask for a kleenex because I'm bleeding, he says, "oh, yes, sit here", so he rubs this compound all over where I'm bleeding. Basically, if my fiancee wasn't there I would have been bleeding down Bay street and he wouldn't have said anything.

My question is is this common? Is having lots of little cuts after a straight razor shave common? I got the shave yesterday and it doesn't seem much different than when I shave myself with a MachV, and I don't cut myself.
 

robin

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There are some people in the world who should not get straight razor shaves - you might be one. Weird situation and barber though, and he does not sound very professional.
 

dl20

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Unfortunately it happens. Some places offer shaves but do them very infrequently and are poorly skilled. I don't know about some people not having the skin for barber shop shaves but I've gotten great shaves from Art of Shaving in NYC that lasted 2-3 days and I've been cut up like a virginia ham asking for a shave at local shops that rarely do them.

I think you should stick with dedicated shave shops and just shave yourself the rest of the time.

DL
 

Thomas

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Yeah, quality varies among barbers. The quick, short cuts are normal, though, as they're constantly adjusting the blade angle. The against the grain cuts are a matter of preference, and better barbers will ask before starting, since ATG passes are hardly a requirement for a good shave, and at their worst they invite disaster.

The bit about bleeding - that's not a good sign. You shouldn't be that badly cut up after a shave - you should be presentable the moment you leave the barber shop.
 

Recoil

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Originally Posted by Thomas
You shouldn't be that badly cut up after a shave - you should be presentable the moment you leave the barber shop.

This is what I was most concerned about. I was planning on doing this before work on Monday but I glad I didn't because of the bleeding and skin irritation.
 

Thomas

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The funny thing about this (not your situation in particular) is that straight users are split into two camps - one side believes that barbers should give the ne plus ultra of shaves, that being their living. The other side (mostly barbers) feel that the best possible shave comes from the person to whom the face belongs, since the shavee knows their beard's growing patterns, chemical sensitivities, and personal comfort levels.

Still, a practiced barber should at least be competent to avoid irritation and use the tools at hand to cover up any mistakes and stop any patron's bleeding before he leaves the shop.
 

LabelKing

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Also, note that the razors that commercial places use are disposable razors, which likely do not offer the quality of say, a vintage Puma.
 

Recoil

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I think I will give Truefitt and Hill a try before I totally abandon the idea. I think my going to my regular barber will at T&H will give me a better idea of whether or not it really is for me.
 

Matt

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As with anything in Vietnam, I have had a mixed bag of experiences. Being white, I am basically going to be the hairiest dude most barbers have ever been let near, and I have walked away a bleeding mess on more than one occassion. Not-funny-at-the-time but now-I-look-back-on-it story was at a streetside barber (literally, barber chair on the side of the road) near my old house. Stopped for a shave, a big of tugging and discomfort, which is normal if I am particularly stubbly. BANG. Motorbike accident right behind me. Barber jumps. Bloodspurt. Dude nicked the point of my nose like....off....with his razor. Hurt like hell. And how does he manage this? Puts out his cigarette. Chops the end of it off with the razor he was using to shave me. Pulls out some tobacco leaves and delicately patches me up with tobacco. Then...still using the same blade...attempts to continue the shave. I object, wrestle myself out of the reclined chair, and walk home, confused barber in my wake, amused spectators all around, half my face clean shaven, the other half still creamed up, my nose patched up with tobacco but a blood trickle still leaking out the side, and back home to lick my wounds, clean my face, and yelp when I put the iodine on. Until that happens to you, stop your whining
 

FidelCashflow

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Originally Posted by [email protected]
As with anything in Vietnam, I have had a mixed bag of experiences.

Being white, I am basically going to be the hairiest dude most barbers have ever been let near, and I have walked away a bleeding mess on more than one occassion.

Not-funny-at-the-time but now-I-look-back-on-it story was at a streetside barber (literally, barber chair on the side of the road) near my old house.

Stopped for a shave, a big of tugging and discomfort, which is normal if I am particularly stubbly. BANG. Motorbike accident right behind me. Barber jumps. Bloodspurt.

Dude nicked the point of my nose like....off....with his razor.

Hurt like hell.

And how does he manage this?

Puts out his cigarette. Chops the end of it off with the razor he was using to shave me. Pulls out some tobacco leaves and delicately patches me up with tobacco. Then...still using the same blade...attempts to continue the shave.

I object, wrestle myself out of the reclined chair, and walk home, confused barber in my wake, amused spectators all around, half my face clean shaven, the other half still creamed up, my nose patched up with tobacco but a blood trickle still leaking out the side, and back home to lick my wounds, clean my face, and yelp when I put the iodine on.

Until that happens to you, stop your whining


That sucks. Why would you go to a roadside barber in the first place? That's just begging to catcha blood-bourne disease.

As a random aside, if you're not vietnamese, what would incline you to move to vietnam?
 

Concordia

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The only thing I remember (and maybe was taught in 8th grade) about Roman Law was a case involving exactly this sort of incident. A slave goes to the market to buy something for the household, and decides to slip in a quick outdoor shave. Some kids are playing ball nearby. One throws too hard, the second kid misses, and the ball knocks the arm of the barber at an unfortunate moment. The slave dies from a slashed carotid artery. Query-- who's liable for the loss of life and property?

Turns out it was the slave, for being dumb enough to try to get a shave on company time.
 

Matt

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Originally Posted by FidelCashflow
That sucks. Why would you go to a roadside barber in the first place? That's just begging to catcha blood-bourne disease.

As a random aside, if you're not vietnamese, what would incline you to move to vietnam?

qn1 - guy was right on the walking path between where I had just had breakfast and my house, was feeling how scruffy I was and thought 'what the hell'. Made sure he used a new blade on me (and before he sliced open his cigarette with it, it was new
) qn 2 - economy booming, sense of adventure, crazy fun place to live, beautiful girls, great scenery, made great friends here who do crazy cool shit (like race vespas the length of the country), I have a great job in a company I set up that is growing out of control and is incredibly successful. Why wouldnt I live here? No desire to rejoin the real world any time soon.
 

FidelCashflow

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Originally Posted by [email protected]
qn 2 - economy booming, sense of adventure, crazy fun place to live, beautiful girls, great scenery, made great friends here who do crazy cool shit (like race vespas the length of the country), I have a great job in a company I set up that is growing out of control and is incredibly successful.

Why wouldnt I live here?

No desire to rejoin the real world any time soon.


I guess you have more of a sense of adventure than me.
 

matadorpoeta

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Originally Posted by LVoer
I think I will give Truefitt and Hill a try before I totally abandon the idea. I think my going to my regular barber will at T&H will give me a better idea of whether or not it really is for me.

just like getting a haircut, it depends more on the individual barber than on the shop you go to.

my first straight shave from a barber left me paler than a ghost with red welts all over my face, but since then, i've had several good ones from the same shop--different barber.
 

matadorpoeta

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Originally Posted by [email protected]
As with anything in Vietnam, I have had a mixed bag of experiences.

Being white, I am basically going to be the hairiest dude most barbers have ever been let near, and I have walked away a bleeding mess on more than one occassion.

Not-funny-at-the-time but now-I-look-back-on-it story was at a streetside barber (literally, barber chair on the side of the road) near my old house.

Stopped for a shave, a big of tugging and discomfort, which is normal if I am particularly stubbly. BANG. Motorbike accident right behind me. Barber jumps. Bloodspurt.

Dude nicked the point of my nose like....off....with his razor.

Hurt like hell.

And how does he manage this?

Puts out his cigarette. Chops the end of it off with the razor he was using to shave me. Pulls out some tobacco leaves and delicately patches me up with tobacco. Then...still using the same blade...attempts to continue the shave.

I object, wrestle myself out of the reclined chair, and walk home, confused barber in my wake, amused spectators all around, half my face clean shaven, the other half still creamed up, my nose patched up with tobacco but a blood trickle still leaking out the side, and back home to lick my wounds, clean my face, and yelp when I put the iodine on.

Until that happens to you, stop your whining


how did your nose end up?
 

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