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Not really a fan but I can see myself doing it in the heat and humidity of the summer but no way am I doing it now in the balmy -27c weather we're having. I need as much heat as I can with those temps.
I'm not a fan of it but had to do it for years in the military. Retired just recently and now it's nice hot water everyday in combination with a new scuttle from Angar btw Just started with straights, used DE razors before that.
I have tried it both ways and can't see any difference in my shaves either way... but I find warm water to be more comfortable and pleasant (just like I prefer warm showers to a cold one) so I use warm water.
Jean-Francois, I can feel the difference in the beard when it is properly prepped, however it gets there. I like it HOT, but even after a shower, I think my beard is just about as prepped as it is going to get. I don't know if there are distinct levels of beard softening, but it just might take a little longer with cold water than with hot water/steam. I don't seem to have the patience to leave a hot towel dripping into the sink for two or three minutes, but imagine it could make a difference. I am sure this is one of the reasons every shave is a new experience.
As far as edge retention is concerned, I don't think I have ever come close to really dulling an edge without taking it back to the hone. Honers and shavers, again. I only grow a beard to check my last sharpening, but love the shave when it is done.
Cold water? You don't beat your back with whips during Easter or anything, do you? D
Lol! I just find that it gives me a closer more comfortable shave. It does not necessarily feel more comfortable as I'm shaving, but the post-shave sensation is much better with cold water. It leaves my skin feeling untouched.
If hot lather gives you skin trouble where the same lather in cold condition doesn't, you have probably a contact allergy for one of the products. If your skin can't cope with a particular substance, 2 factors will have a big influence on the adverse effect: contact time and temperature.
I wonder if hot water as such would make the skin more tender. Perhaps it would keep the the hairs a bit more retracted, to prevent a shave so close that it causes ingrown hairs with people who have such trouble.
There is of course nothing wrong with cold lather, if that's what you find pleasurable. But for solving a skin reaction to shaving, it would be my last sollutions to try. I like hot lather too much.
I've been trying hot water shaving lately, but always preferred cold water for my skin and my gut reaction is that the heat which is supposed to soften the whiskers for the blade also softens the skin in the same way. Also the way the pores are open under hot conditions suggest to me that the whiskers under pressure from the blade passing over would rip in to the side of the pore rather than if they were held tightly by the pore under cold conditions.
Just conjecture of course. But my experience is definitely of less irritation with cold conditions for shaving regardless of which product is used.
That sounds reasonable to me. I have found that the longer I go into a shave, the more the beard "opens up". What was once smooth, then is stubble again. Cold water might change that. Don't know if I will ever find out, though, being a hedonist and all.
There was a popular thread about this elsewhere and it got me curious back when I read it. I think the main point of a hot shave is to soften the hair to help cutting but on the downside hairs may lay down easier when moistened with hot water. Hair tends to stand upright and firmly at that when cold water is used.
I would think cold water would effect your edge endurance more since the blade is facing a tougher opponent?
I didn't like it but what works for you is the key.
I actually enjoy a cool water shave. Basically, whatever the temperature is straight from the tap. I find it refreshing. Similarly, I occasionally enjoy a cool shower (literally no warm water from the tap).