05-18-2015, 12:46 PM
#1
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Question, do you truly know if it's the razor, technique with each razor, the blade, or just a lack of better prep?

Issue: Most times when i head shave, I am able to obtain a very good shave. Usually BBS. There are times though when i do not, and I'll struggle to know what the issue is. I have a bunch of different blades to try, that'll last me probably for the remainder of the year. I've come across a lot of the blades that are raved about and haven't truly settled on what works best for me. I know is a matter of opinion, but there has to be other factors as well,.

I like to know that a blade will be great in all of my razors, and so far, only the Super Max Titanium, and Perma Sharps have been the ones. Also, every now and then, i can notice a difference with soaps and creams and my grated sticks.

Equipment List:
Gillette: Slim, Redtip, Tech
Edwin Jagger ED3D14BL
Yuma
Schick Krona (soon to get, thanks to eengler)

With the prep, nothing changes. The soaps and creams, I'm able to get pretty good lather, but I'm not a pro yet. I have good cushioning, but know that I'm lacking slickness, 40 percent of the time, but certain blades, or my razors still provide smoothness.


I'm all eyes and ears!

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 05-18-2015, 12:52 PM
#2
  • celar36
  • Enjoying Life 1 shave at time
  • London, UK
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Not every blade for me works same in different razors. Furthermore, it's good to use same razor for couple shaves in row rather change every time unless you know that razor by heart( angle, pressure etc)

I like month with same stuff at time

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 05-18-2015, 03:00 PM
#3
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I know that for me, it causes problems to change too many variables at once or at least makes it more difficult for me to figure out what the problem is exactly.  I'm not real clear on what you mean here, I guess.

Lather definitely makes a big difference.  If my lather isn't right (especially slickness), it's going to be a bad shave.  Are you building your lather on your head or in a bowl?

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 05-18-2015, 03:24 PM
#4
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(05-18-2015, 12:52 PM)celar36 Wrote: Not every blade for me works same in different razors. Furthermore, it's good to use same razor for couple shaves in row rather change every time unless you know that razor by heart( angle, pressure etc)

I like month with same stuff at time

(05-18-2015, 03:00 PM)Blade4vor Wrote: I know that for me, it causes problems to change too many variables at once or at least makes it more difficult for me to figure out what the problem is exactly.  I'm not real clear on what you mean here, I guess.

Lather definitely makes a big difference.  If my lather isn't right (especially slickness), it's going to be a bad shave.  Are you building your lather on your head or in a bowl?

All of it! I start off every new blade with the slim or now the Redtip, because they are the best for me. But I'll change soaps/creams and I'll try my other razors once i feel like the blade I'm using at the time is good. So, my plight, as you can tell, is all over the place.

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 05-18-2015, 03:26 PM
#5
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I generally stick to one razor/blade combo for 4 or 5 days.  However, I change soaps and brushes daily with no problems encountered.  I know the consistency of the lather I am seeking so I get comfortable shaves.

Ed

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 05-18-2015, 04:32 PM
#6
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When I head shave my go to setup for smooth easy shaves is

Muhle R41 razor
Pol silver blades I really appreciate the smooth sharp balance with these, Gillette silver blues are also nice.
Soaps and creams I go for something slick. Xpec cream is beautiful and Barrister and Mann is my favorite soap.
Two passes with the grain quick easy light passes , followed by one against the grain is best for me in terms of clean irritation free results.

When lathering I like to load heavy especially for a head shave , I look at it like I can always add water as needed to thin things out or slicken things up. Another thing that might help out is zone lathering. I tend to in the dry months lather only the zone I'm shaving in and apply water on unshaved areas before lathering to keep things hydrated. Enjoy your day.

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 05-18-2015, 05:59 PM
#7
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(05-18-2015, 04:32 PM)ultra~nova Wrote: When I head shave my go to setup for smooth easy shaves is

Muhle R41 razor
Pol silver blades I really appreciate the smooth sharp balance with these, Gillette silver blues are also nice.
Soaps and creams I go for something slick. Xpec cream is beautiful and Barrister and Mann is my favorite soap.
Two passes with the grain quick easy light passes , followed by one against the grain is best for me in terms of clean irritation free results.

When lathering I like to load heavy especially for a head shave , I look at it like I can always add water as needed to thin things out or slicken things up. Another thing that might help out is zone lathering. I tend to in the dry months lather only the zone I'm shaving in and apply water on unshaved areas before lathering to keep things hydrated. Enjoy your day.

Wow, this is some great advice! I think i need to commit to zoning again myself. I'm thinking that certain soaps or creams are better for face shaving, than for head shaves. I definitely need more slickness. More cushioning without the clogging as well.

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 05-18-2015, 08:46 PM
#8
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Personally, I think if a soap is good enough for a face-shave, then it will be good enough to use on any part of your body. As long as you load enough and add water as you need, you should have no issues with slickness if it is a good soap. 

With regards to which razors and blades work best for you, you'll have to finalize that. 
Regarding 'not-great' shaves, I think we all have one or two, once in a while; nothing is perfect. However, if they are occurring more than a few times, there is a problem. 
Good luck, Bryan. 

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 05-18-2015, 09:14 PM
#9
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Lathering your head in quadrants would make sense!  You're trying to cover a lot more area shaving your head instead of your face, so maybe the lather is drying out or dissipating before you get to certain parts of your head.

Something that I do with soaps is I test lather.  When I was bowl lathering, I would build the lather as normal and then keep slowly adding water until the lather starts to break down.  That way I know the consistency of the soap just before it breaks down and that is the sweet spot for hydration for that soap.

I mainly face lather now, so I still do test lathers, but now I lather on my palm to simulate a face lather.  It's the same thing as a test bowl lather, but I continue to slowly add water and lather on my hand until it starts to break down. 

It can be frustrating when you're not getting consistent results in your shaves.  Good luck!  I hope you find the answer.  

Enjoy your shaves!

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 05-18-2015, 09:37 PM
#10
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When I was head shaving I used a SE razor. The first one that I used was a GEM Featherweight. It would clog and because it wasn't super aggressive the angle could be "lost" fairly easily. Then I moved to a GEM OCMM. The clogging stopped with that razor and the angle was easy to get right. I thought of trying a DE razor, but just couldn't bring myself to do that since the OCMM worked so nicely and the angle was so easy to find time after time. If I was to head shave today I'd use a GEM Clog-Pruf Micromatic instead of the OCMM. It's a bit less aggressive and it's called the Clog-Pruf for a very good reason.

I would just lather my entire head using the largest brushes in my cabinet. Even with Maine's dry air I never had any problem with lather drying. But I also relathered and refreshed the lather with water as required. I don't remember it ever being a problem. Of course YMMV.

The more aggressive the razor the easier it is to get the angle correct. The scarier it is to apply to the head too. Cuts on the head bleed profusely though I never got one when head shaving. Aggressive razors will take thin slices of scar tissue though. Of the razors you mention, the most aggressive can be the Slim, though it can also be quite mild. If you're opening it up to the magic "9" setting it should be aggressive enough to give a great (and easy) head shave with an easily found angle. Other than that I'd go to a SE razor that I mentioned earlier; they aren't expensive and they are very easy to use.

:-) Head shaving with an aggressive razor definitely teaches one to use a very light touch. Or it can alternatively teach one how to set up an IV to make up for lost blood. :-)

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 05-20-2015, 07:46 AM
#11
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I don't head shave, but I agree that when trying out something new, be it gear, lather, blades, or even a new technique, I try to minimize the variables -- only change one feature at a time to more accurately judge the result. Also, sometimes for reasons unknown I will be unable to achieve the BBS shave I strive for. Maybe my mood, not enough sleep -- hell, maybe barometric pressure changes!

I don't know the answer, but I've discovered that somewhere about the halfway point in a shave (with all my customary elements  of soap, blade, & etc.), I will just get the feeling that today is not a good day to be a perfectionist about shaving. Usually, I will act accordingly, and accept a mediocre shave as good. When I don't heed this feeling, I usually find that that's when I'll get a nick or, more likely, razor burn.

Maybe this is simply accumulated wisdom from entering my sixth decade of life.
More likely it is just a limited surrender of stubbornness.
Euro

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 05-20-2015, 06:59 PM
#12
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(05-18-2015, 08:46 PM)celestino Wrote: Personally, I think if a soap is good enough for a face-shave, then it will be good enough to use on any part of your body. As long as you load enough and add water as you need, you should have no issues with slickness if it is a good soap. 

With regards to which razors and blades work best for you, you'll have to finalize that. 
Regarding 'not-great' shaves, I think we all have one or two, once in a while; nothing is perfect. However, if they are occurring more than a few times, there is a problem. 
Good luck, Bryan. 

Thanks Celestino. I agree.

(05-18-2015, 09:14 PM)Blade4vor Wrote: Lathering your head in quadrants would make sense!  You're trying to cover a lot more area shaving your head instead of your face, so maybe the lather is drying out or dissipating before you get to certain parts of your head.

Something that I do with soaps is I test lather.  When I was bowl lathering, I would build the lather as normal and then keep slowly adding water until the lather starts to break down.  That way I know the consistency of the soap just before it breaks down and that is the sweet spot for hydration for that soap.

I mainly face lather now, so I still do test lathers, but now I lather on my palm to simulate a face lather.  It's the same thing as a test bowl lather, but I continue to slowly add water and lather on my hand until it starts to break down. 

It can be frustrating when you're not getting consistent results in your shaves.  Good luck!  I hope you find the answer.  

Enjoy your shaves!

Good tip. I never really have test lather, so that's something to try out.

(05-18-2015, 09:37 PM)ShadowsDad Wrote: When I was head shaving I used a SE razor. The first one that I used was a GEM Featherweight. It would clog and because it wasn't super aggressive the angle could be "lost" fairly easily. Then I moved to a GEM OCMM. The clogging stopped with that razor and the angle was easy to get right. I thought of trying a DE razor, but just couldn't bring myself to do that since the OCMM worked so nicely and the angle was so easy to find time after time. If I was to head shave today I'd use a GEM Clog-Pruf Micromatic instead of the OCMM. It's a bit less aggressive and it's called the Clog-Pruf for a very good reason.

I would just lather my entire head using the largest brushes in my cabinet. Even with Maine's dry air I never had any problem with lather drying. But I also relathered and refreshed the lather with water as required. I don't remember it ever being a problem. Of course YMMV.

The more aggressive the razor the easier it is to get the angle correct. The scarier it is to apply to the head too. Cuts on the head bleed profusely though I never got one when head shaving. Aggressive razors will take thin slices of scar tissue though. Of the razors you mention, the most aggressive can be the Slim, though it can also be quite mild. If you're opening it up to the magic "9" setting it should be aggressive enough to give a great (and easy) head shave with an easily found angle. Other than that I'd go to a SE razor that I mentioned earlier; they aren't expensive and they are very easy to use.

:-) Head shaving with an aggressive razor definitely teaches one to use a very light touch. Or it can alternatively teach one how to set up an IV to make up for lost blood. :-)

I actually want a clog pruf. Between that and the bullet tip, those look the best and have been reviewed quite well. I'll have to search and shell out some money for them when i get some extra cash. I appreciate your response too, Brian. Always helpful.

(05-20-2015, 07:46 AM)opsimath Wrote: I don't head shave, but I agree that when trying out something new, be it gear, lather, blades, or even a new technique, I try to minimize the variables -- only change one feature at a time to more accurately judge the result. Also, sometimes for reasons unknown I will be unable to achieve the BBS shave I strive for. Maybe my mood, not enough sleep -- hell, maybe barometric pressure changes!

I don't know the answer, but I've discovered that somewhere about the halfway point in a shave (with all my customary elements  of soap, blade, & etc.), I will just get the feeling that today is not a good day to be a perfectionist about shaving. Usually, I will act accordingly, and accept a mediocre shave as good. When I don't heed this feeling, I usually find that that's when I'll get a nick or, more likely, razor burn.

Maybe this is simply accumulated wisdom from entering my sixth decade of life.
More likely it is just a limited surrender of stubbornness.
Euro

Very true. I feel everything you're saying. I too need to just not get so fixated on the perfection of it all. Just enjoy the manly ritual and my relaxation time.

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 05-20-2015, 11:35 PM
#13
  • josephd
  • Junior Member
  • San Dimas, CA
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I've only been head shaving for two months but this is what works for me.

1. Fresh Blade
2. Muhle R41 or another aggressive razor
3. Patience

The aggressiveness of the R41 gives me feedback, both audio and physical so I know where the blade is behind my head. It also allows for a wide effective angle 25-40 degrees. This is important as I go by feel and don't use a mirror. In my book an aggressive razor is a must.

I usually do two passes one with and then against the grain followed by several touch ups in the back of my crown where my hair parts in all directions. I tend to feel for rough spots and hit them lightly from a few directions.

I always aim for a two pass and minor touch up routine then repeat 2 to 3 times a week. Ideally every other day works best to keep everything short and easy to manage. If I miss a spot I tend to let it go until next time.

One warning,

Don't use a Weishi. It's too mild and light with a narrow angle of effectiveness. It can't get those tough spots no matter how hard you try and leave you with with a ton of nicks and burns.

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 05-21-2015, 04:27 AM
#14
  • chazt
  • Senior Member
  • Bayside, NY
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With me it's usually one of three things. I spend a fair bit of time lathering my face, but once in a while i just can't seem to dial in a good lather; so I'll say: 1) crappy lather, 2) didn't use preshave (swmbo doesn't like the scent) or 3) once in a while after getting nicked I get it in my head its a bad blade. It's probably my technique but I'm ok with blaming the blade as it can't argue with me as it goes in the bank.

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 05-21-2015, 06:14 AM
#15
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my best shaves always follow a thorough face wash with a dedicated item for that purpose;  or even  better the occasional clay mask.  a bbs is a given for me after that but it is usually reserved for the grail Sunday shaves.

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 05-21-2015, 12:28 PM
#16
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I've been trying to figure out how some days I just get bad shaves, I may be using the same setup I've used 100 times before with perfect results then one day it just happens, I'm bleeding burnt and have spots of stubble in random places it happens and who knows why. I know one thing that helped me is I found a blade I trust and keep it as my go to. Now I try a lot of blades, but on days I need to look nice I pull out my old standby and get to business. 

I have a slim, a few superspeeds and tech and a de89 and I'll be honest I couldn't get that good of shaves with them. I had to go over the same areas too much that irritation came before smoothness. I have very thick hair and it's kind of curly and sensitive skin on my neck. My answer was a more aggressive razor went from a slant to a fatip and cadet to an r41 and got better shaves the more aggressive I went. I recently got a futur and I'm liking it,when turned say if the r41 is a 10 the futur is IMO an 8 maybe 8 1/2. Dial it down and it's barely more aggressive than a de89,but in a good way. 

OP if there are any blades you haven't tried but want to give a shot please list them and if I have them I'll send a few your way.

OH btw from the sounds of your lather try adding some more water to it.

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 05-21-2015, 03:05 PM
#17
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(05-21-2015, 12:28 PM)Otis375 Wrote: I've been trying to figure out how some days I just get bad shaves, I may be using the same setup I've used 100 times before with perfect results then one day it just happens, I'm bleeding burnt and have spots of stubble in random places it happens and who knows why. I know one thing that helped me is I found a blade I trust and keep it as my go to. Now I try a lot of blades, but on days I need to look nice I pull out my old standby and get to business. 

I have a slim, a few superspeeds and tech and a de89 and I'll be honest I couldn't get that good of shaves with them. I had to go over the same areas too much that irritation came before smoothness. I have very thick hair and it's kind of curly and sensitive skin on my neck. My answer was a more aggressive razor went from a slant to a fatip and cadet to an r41 and got better shaves the more aggressive I went. I recently got a futur and I'm liking it,when turned say if the r41 is a 10 the futur is IMO an 8 maybe 8 1/2. Dial it down and it's barely more aggressive than a de89,but in a good way. 

OP if there are any blades you haven't tried but want to give a shot please list them and if I have them I'll send a few your way.

OH btw from the sounds of your lather try adding some more water to it.
Thank you Otis for your response. There's so many blades out there that i all don't even know about or don't have in my arsenal, i almost don't know where to begin. I hear nice things about the Super Iriadiums. I used the regular Pol Iriadiums, but they didn't hold up for me very well.

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 05-21-2015, 03:11 PM
#18
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The best think you can do is stick with a soap or cream and use it from start to finish. No rotating no swapping, get it dialed in and you'll be on cruise control.

For me, Astra SP work in every razor I put them in, so lucky that way

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 05-21-2015, 03:13 PM
#19
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(05-21-2015, 03:11 PM)Bruce Wrote: The best think you can do is stick with a soap or cream and use it from start to finish. No rotating no swapping, get it dialed in and you'll be on cruise control.

For me, Astra SP work in every razor I put them in, so lucky that way
This is good Bruce! I've been using Mitchell's this past week, so I'll just keep it going for awhile.

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 05-21-2015, 03:19 PM
#20
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(05-21-2015, 03:13 PM)C-NoEviL Wrote:
(05-21-2015, 03:11 PM)Bruce Wrote: The best think you can do is stick with a soap or cream and use it from start to finish. No rotating no swapping, get it dialed in and you'll be on cruise control.

For me, Astra SP work in every razor I put them in, so lucky that way
This is good Bruce! I've been using Mitchell's this past week, so I'll just keep it going for awhile.
Once I switched to the 3017 (use from start to finish) method, my lather and shave quality increased dramatically. If a soap is not working our for me after a week or two, it gets tossed, PIFd, shower duty or sold.

No more finicky lather or larger variables. I use soaps that last me about 30 days, so it is a quick turnaround for me.

This method isn't for everyone but I enjoy it. I still rotate brushes and throw in the odd blade or razor change to keep myself in check. But ultimately, I want a good, trouble free shave, day in and day out, so this works for me.

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