02-11-2014, 09:13 AM
#1
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Hey guys,

I've been a fellow headshaver now for several years and picked up the traditional way of doing things about a year ago. My face shaves are outstanding. I can use any razor or soap and it just works... fantastically. However, shaving my head is a whole different ball game. Oddly enough, I feel that my head is more sensitive than my face and that getting it properly prepped for a shave is a struggle. I can't get the same glide and well, working out of line of sight isn't a piece of cake when it comes to proper angles. Anyhow, after a string of poor head shaves, I am looking for advice.

I know skipping around from product to product is the cause of some of my issues, but I believe that at the core of my routine, there is a problem.

I've adapted the normal 3 pass + touch up routine to my headshaves and I'm not sure it's working out. When I first started off, I used to use ATG passes only and got great results. I'm tempted to revert back to this.

For some reason, I feel I can't get the same slickness on my head as I do my face. I know the skin on your head is different than your face and I am wondering if there are any extra techniques you can recommend to improve my overall process.

Thanks!
Bryan

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 02-11-2014, 09:37 AM
#2
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Hey Bryan,
I've been a head shaver for about 10 years, but only using a DE for the past month or so. I try to shave the dome every 2-4 days and that is primarily dependent upon time.

However, it seems like maintaining shaving angles is easier on the parts of my head I can't see than on my face. I guess I primarily go by feel and sound. I started out with a couple of WTG passes and thought that was pretty good. I then added an ATG pass and spent some time cleaning up blood.

I switched over to fully building my lather on my scalp instead of starting in a bowl. I do this after a shower. I then make a single pass from front to back (the front of my hairline starts pretty high. I really take my time. After pass one, I rinse with warm water and identify the spots I missed. I lather back up, again taking my time. The second pass starts in the middle of the top and work toward my ears. I spend a lot of time feeling around with my left hand as I guide the razor with my right hand. I add a partial 3rd, primarily for touch ups.

I am using a 1963 Gillette Ball End Tech as my primary head shaving razor. The short handle and relatively light weight seem to really fit my hand. I hold the razor with the head toward my pinkie finger and my palm over it and my thumb under the ball end. I realized that I rest my pinkie and ring finger up against the bottom of the head plate. I don't know if that is right or not, but it seems to work for me.

The only place that I really concentrate on "stretching" the skin is on the lower part of my scalp on top of my neck. I seem to have a couple of folds there that hide some hair. I stretch simply by tilting my head forward by tilting my chin toward my chest. I also fold my ears forward and pull the skin tight behind the ears.

I have nicked myself a few times, but its really not that bad. My last one stopped bleeding with the cold water rinse and Proraso Green AS. I don't achieve a full BBS head shave but I get pretty close and that's good enough for me.

I would be interested in hearing what you try and what the results might be.

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 02-11-2014, 09:51 AM
#3
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Mr. Dirt,

I do essentially the same as you and my shaves have become increasingly less comfortable. Front to back, middle of the dome -> outwards, and back to front. I have crazy cowlicks so my growth pattern is outrageous. I rest my chin on my chest for my neck, and stretch my ears as well.

Lately, I've skipped the pre-shave shower but substituted it by washing my head in the sink with warm water/bar soap. I plan on going back to the shower prep tonight.

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 02-11-2014, 10:29 AM
#4
  • warhawk
  • Active Member
  • Beautiful NorthWest Florida
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Hi Bryan: I would do a shower head shave. Also, to increase your glide put a few drops of shave cream to your shave soap and use some shave oil.

I remember you liking the 37C on your head shaves so you may want to go back to the slant head shaves. Hope this helps and you can PM me or text me anytime for any help on your head shaves.

Keep us posted and good luck my friend,

WARHAWK

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 02-11-2014, 10:37 AM
#5
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I forgot to add that I also use a homemade PSO made of 2 parts castor oil, 2 parts olive oil, 4 parts sunflower oil and a couple drops of almond extract. I rub about a nickel sized dollop into my wet scalp and let it marinate the stubble while I get the rest of the stuff ready. I don't know if it does anything, but I think it does, so I will continue to use it.

I'm trying to go with the "less is more" approach. 3 passes went to 2 passes and touch up. My main touch up area is the crown where it all swirls around.

I also went from longer strokes to pretty short strokes with my left hand feeling around for stubble. Shorter strokes help me keep the angle of the razor more correct. I also am very aware of using no more pressure than the weight of the razor and even less than that.

I also have no shame in grabbing the little headblade ATX for a few areas that might give me a problem.

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 02-11-2014, 01:40 PM
#6
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Try a mild SE (single edge, not straight edge) razor. A G-bar or Feather weight has great audio feedback when the angle is right and the angle is easier because of that IMO.

When I was head shaving (I wish I still could, but I can't) I was using an OCMM and had no problems except that the razor was shaving scar tissue. It was unnerving but it never bled or anything. In contrast, a FW or G-Bar would be a piece of cake compared to the OCMM.

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 02-11-2014, 01:51 PM
#7
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I just shaved my head this weekend for the first time.

The razor I ended up using - something recommended by Joe @ IB a while ago - was the Gillette Guard, which is an open comb SE cartridge razor. It ended up doing a really great job since it is light, hard to clog/easy to rinse, and mild.

Also used KMF cream which did a nice job, and requires no lathering either.

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 02-11-2014, 10:18 PM
#8
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I find that if I put Nivea lotion, the blue bottle, on every night, just right before bed, my head is better prepared for the next shave. My skin is slightly slicker, softer and the stubble soft as well. I stopped using it for a week, and my skin was very different. I've also started putting just a squirt of it on sometime between four PM and eight helps as well.

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 02-12-2014, 12:01 AM
#9
  • Snuff
  • Senior Member
  • Belgium
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I'm a daily head shaver but don't know if I can offer you much advice as I find it easier to shave my head as my face.

I've used DE's and straights but found my best tool to be a Feather DX, all it takes is one pass to bbs. Not in the beginning mind you but after a little practice. I don't wash my head or anything, just lather directly on my head and start shaving. I go back to front on the middle part of the head, sideways to the ears and in a small sideways motion on the back of the head.

I use all kinds of soaps but a very good one is Headblade headslick shave cream (mentholated) as it gives a fantastic glide. Hope you find what works best for you.

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 02-12-2014, 04:10 AM
#10
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I shave every other day, WTG and ATG with the HeadBlade ATX razor with no problems. BBS head and no irritation. I have never had a nick or weeper using the HB.

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 02-12-2014, 06:19 AM
#11
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I'm thinking my recent troubles are also due to the cold weather.

This is the first full winter I've dealt with the brutally freezing winter while being a head wet shaver. What kind of Nivea lotion do you use on your head, Steve?

I keep hearing about unrefined shea butter and I think I gotta pick some up Smile

Any other tips?

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 02-12-2014, 12:50 PM
#12
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I realize I haven't been using the chin to chest method for the back of my head and I believe that to be the source of my trouble. For some reason, only when I go ATG, I forget to use it Biggrin

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 02-13-2014, 12:19 PM
#13
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(02-12-2014, 06:19 AM)bmilcs Wrote: I'm thinking my recent troubles are also due to the cold weather.

This is the first full winter I've dealt with the brutally freezing winter while being a head wet shaver. What kind of Nivea lotion do you use on your head, Steve?

I keep hearing about unrefined shea butter and I think I gotta pick some up Smile

Any other tips?

I just use the regular Nivea lotion in the blue squirt bottle. My skin up there has always been dry. Sometimes it gets scalely if I don't do anything for more than a day. But I keep the lotion in the bathroom, and whenever I'm in there I just rub a drop or two on my head.

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 02-20-2014, 10:23 PM
#14
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Updates: Things are slowly improving.

I've come to the realization that my Proraso metholated preshave has affected my technique. I've used it every shave since I began wetshaving my dome, and so I've been less sensitive to the warning signs of bad angles, etc. I believe I am on the right track and only using one product: a soap. Smile

Thanks again for all the input.

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