08-05-2014, 03:32 AM
#1
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So, a few weeks into DE shaving, I'm getting consistently good results: DFS with little or no irritation.

I used the five Derby blades that came with my EJ DE89. I didn't find them bad, but Astra SP has been an upgrade.

I know I should be happy where I am, but I'd like to request input on how to get from 90-95% BBS to 100%. I'm doing three passes plus a little touch-up.

I suspect it's either a more aggressive razor, a sharper blade, technique (such as blade buffing) -- or all of the above.

Thanks.

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 08-05-2014, 03:52 AM
#2
  • Johnny
  • Super Moderator
  • Wausau, Wisconsin, USA
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If you have not done so, map your beard growth. In other words, before you shave (and I usually do this to a fresh washed face) as the beard stands up more, rub your fingertips on your face and under your neck. I found by surprise that on my neck the hair grows in all different directions, and even on part of my upper cheek area and around the tips of my upper lip.

I always followed the standard WTG, XTG, and ATG passes and was just getting DFS. Once I mapped my face and realized that what I thought was against the grain in some areas was actually across the grain.

So when I want the real BBS shave, I take my time and carefully shave in the direction the hair tells me to.

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 08-05-2014, 03:57 AM
#3
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Thanks, Johnny. Your advice was one of the things I learned not too long after diving in, and it certainly helped reduce irritation -- notably on the neck, where I still don't want to push my luck with too many passes.

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 08-05-2014, 07:47 AM
#4
  • SRNewb
  • Senior Member
  • No. Va, USA
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Johnny's advice is spot on, as usual.
I would add that you want to have good prep. Your beard needs to be soft and well hydrated. A hot shower will usually do the trick, although I also tend to fill my sink with hot water, toss a towel in, and hold it over my face 3 or 4 times. Takes extra time, and not everyone can do that, but it feels great.
Also, use a good soap or cream, and use your brush to work it into your beard.
I bowl lather, and used to do that, but found myself just painting on the lather instead of really working it in. I make a conscious effort now to work that lather into my beard, at least on the first pass. I might finish with painting strokes to smooth everything out, but I start with swirling the brush on my face and really working the lather into my beard.
It does make a difference.

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 08-05-2014, 11:58 AM
#5
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Thanks, Mike. I believe good prep (hot shower, glycerine soap) is one of the factors in my pretty fair degree of success so far. I appreciate your tip on "working" -- it seems to happen more with face lathering, especially with my Semogue 620.

I just have to tell myself not to go OCD and be chasing marginal further results when things are going more than adequately.

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 08-05-2014, 12:18 PM
#6
  • SRNewb
  • Senior Member
  • No. Va, USA
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(08-05-2014, 11:58 AM)Rory1262 Wrote: I just have to tell myself not to go OCD and be chasing marginal further results when things are going more than adequately.

I think this is key, as well.
What I'm about to say is not too popular on most shave forums, but.....
chasing BBS is not something I do. Nor do I believe it is reasonable for the average shaver to achieve BBS every time we step up to the mirror.
Can it be done? Sure, sometimes, and with some people. Everyone's face, skin and beard are different. There are guys on the forums who swear they get BBS nearly every shave, and I have no reason to disbelieve them. But I cannot do that. If I try to do that, even with a straight, there'll be so much irritation that it is literally NOT in my best interest.
Can YOU do that? Don't know, but if you're getting really close, but can't quite get there, my advice is to stop where you are and just enjoy your shaves for what they are. Push yourself too much and you will find it very unpleasant.
Plus, I think a lot of guys ruin the enjoyment of their perfectly great shaves because they become so fixed on achieving BBS that they are never satisfied, and cannot enjoy the shave any more. MHO.
For me, BBS is something I really could care less about. I am not chasing the absolute closest shave I can get. I'm after a nice, smooth, close shave that does not irritate my face, and feels nice and smooth during the shave, with no tugging, pulling, or bloodletting.
I could get a very close shave with the Mach 3 I was using before traditional wet shaving. But it was decidedly NOT a comfortable one.
Nice brushes, soaps, creams, aftershaves. The experience and enjoyment. That's what wet shaving is all about for me.
Figure out what all the different aspects of wet shaving mean to you, and focus on what you enjoy. That's the secret, IMHO.

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 08-05-2014, 12:31 PM
#7
  • Johnny
  • Super Moderator
  • Wausau, Wisconsin, USA
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Well stated Mike.

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 08-05-2014, 01:57 PM
#8
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If you need that little tweak to get a closer shave, try gently pulling your skin in the opposite direction of the grain. I feel like it stands the hairs up so you can get a little closer ATG.

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 08-05-2014, 11:11 PM
#9
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Beard mapping always helps too.

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 08-06-2014, 03:51 AM
#10
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To add to the beard mapping suggestions, which you've already done, let me suggest the cotton ball.

I had written it off because I'd already grown my beard out for a few days and looked and felt it. I tried it with a cotton ball not too long ago, and it might surprise you the few spots the hair isn't actually growing the direction you think it is.

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 08-06-2014, 01:59 PM
#11
  • Gago
  • Active Member
  • Rio de Janeirto
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(08-05-2014, 03:32 AM)Rory1262 Wrote: So, a few weeks into DE shaving,

"Few weeks" and you want a 100% BBS?

Relax buddy, it wil come naturally as your technique evolves Smile

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 08-08-2014, 05:50 AM
#12
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Today featured some discipline enforced by SWMBO, who demanded after my first pass that I vacate the bathroom in five minutes. That meant I stopped after the second pass, and my face thanked me.

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 08-08-2014, 08:09 AM
#13
  • geezer
  • Senior Member
  • Menomonie, Western WI
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Johnny nailed it! Map your face and beard direction.
Nice post Mike! DFS is good enough for me. Time of day makes a big difference in my shaves. My skin at age is spongy and holds a lot of water and dries and shrinks over time after I am up and about. That means two hours after a DFS I have stubble. Or, if I shave the night before the next day is pretty much DFS all day.
A good interactive beard direction mapping program is available here: Just click on an arrow and click onto the section. You can also preplan shave directions.
Face map interactive.
I have seen it at other locations and this is the one I used.
~Richard

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 08-08-2014, 08:26 AM
#14
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(08-08-2014, 08:09 AM)geezer Wrote: Johnny nailed it! Map your face and beard direction.
Nice post Mike! DFS is good enough for me. Time of day makes a big difference in my shaves. My skin at age is spongy and holds a lot of water and dries and shrinks over time after I am up and about. That means two hours after a DFS I have stubble. Or, if I shave the night before the next day is pretty much DFS all day.
A good interactive beard direction mapping program is available here: Just click on an arrow and click onto the section. You can also preplan shave directions.
Face map interactive.
I have seen it at other locations and this is the one I used.
~Richard

Excellent Posts and Info all around.

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 08-08-2014, 01:28 PM
#15
  • Grumpy
  • Senior Member
  • DisneyLand
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Face Mapping and Practice, Practice and Practice.

I too always follow the standard WTG, XTG, Reverse-XTG and ATG passes and get BBS. (And I am glad that I mapped my face.)

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 08-12-2014, 03:36 AM
#16
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I'd call today a 98% effort...I'd almost pass the cotton ball test. A modest amount of touch-up, zero irritation.

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