02-13-2018, 04:41 PM
#61
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Slow and steady wins the race. Once you get up around 30 you’ll be able to start figuring out those trouble spots. Also I’ve shaved for years and never go ATG on my upper lip.

Part of that Is from my dad and grandad. Back in the day barbers never did. Cuts in that area are close to cranial and facial nerves and antibiotics weren’t around when straights were in their heyday. Cuts there could be serious. So when I was taught it was ingrained to never do that. Still don’t.

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 02-14-2018, 09:07 AM
#62
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(02-13-2018, 04:41 PM)SteelTown Wrote: Slow and steady wins the race. Once you get up around 30 you’ll be able to start figuring out those trouble spots. Also I’ve shaved for years and never go ATG on my upper lip.

Part of that Is from my dad and grandad. Back in the day barbers never did. Cuts in that area are close to cranial and facial nerves and antibiotics weren’t around when straights were in their heyday. Cuts there could be serious. So when I was taught it was ingrained to never do that. Still don’t.

Thanks for the encouragement.  Trust me when I tell you that I am never going to go ATG on the upper lip.  I don't even do that with DEs.  But I totally agree with the "slow and steady" line.  

Straight razor shave number 14 was this morning.  Razor tugged a bit more than yesterday, but it wasn't bad and the blade isn't dull; I may touch it up a little tonight.  

Anyway, shave went well.  Tried two new things, with mild success:  1) XTG on the mustache area, coming into it almost as part of my XTG on the cheeks.  It was a bit scary, but it went fine.  2) First pass WTG on the neck.  OK at first, but in a dense part where the grain is at a difficult angle, I had to abort and finish the first pass with the DE.  I did a second pass on the neck without any troubles.  

No nicks, no cuts, no weepers.  

Oh, and I noticed from watching videos that almost everybody who is good at straight shaving rotates the razor on the pin while shaving; in other words, makes it so that the toe of the razor covers slightly more ground than the heel (rather than just pulling the entire blade straight down exactly evenly at all times).  I think people do this without thinking about it, because it gives a more scything action to the stubble.  So I tried doing that a bit on the cheeks and had no troubles.  I have also already starting using a bit of a "slide" action in places, especially on the chin where the stubble is densest.  

Anyway, lots to learn but improving.

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 02-14-2018, 04:47 PM
#63
  • Steve56
  • Senior Member
  • Knoxville, TN
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Congrats on your progress, you're doing well! Key points are a good stretch, light pressure, razor at a low angle, and at least to begin with shorter strokes. Keep your lather well hydrated, it can dry out when you're learning because it takes longer to get to the other side!

Shaving with a straight is all about muscle memory, as is stropping and honing a straight. Just go slow until you learn, relax and enjoy the shave.

Like Will, I'm also happy to help out if you need honing or want to try put a jnat edge.

Cheers, Steve

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 02-14-2018, 09:59 PM
#64
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Steve,

Very nice offer !!!!

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 02-15-2018, 11:34 AM
#65
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That is a nice offer and just keep making progress. Don't expect a perfect shave every time. I still have days 15 minutes after the shave realize I missed a spot or feel a tiny bit of stubble rubbing ATG.  I still look socially acceptable and clean shaven. Don't chase perfection... It'll drive you crazy and lead to more mistakes

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 02-15-2018, 02:33 PM
#66
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Shave 15 this morning. Took two passes WTG and one XTG to get my cheeks to DFS.  Did the XTG nose to ear, which was scary but went well. 
Tried a first pass WTG on the neck without much success. Second pass on the neck was fine.
One tiny weeper along the jaw line on the left side.

Coming along ok, but right now I can't really see the light at the end of the tunnel when it comes to shaving the neck.

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 02-15-2018, 04:25 PM
#67
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How come your second pass on the neck works fine but not the first? Different directions?

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 02-15-2018, 04:56 PM
#68
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(02-15-2018, 04:25 PM)lloydrm Wrote: How come your second pass on the neck works fine but not the first? Different directions?

No.  Same direction.  It's that after the first pass, the stubble is shorter and therefore less resistant to the blade.  I should clarify that I finished the first pass on the neck with a Fatboy, and then went back and did a second WTG pass with the straight.

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 02-16-2018, 10:09 AM
#69
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Shave number 16 this morning.  Similar to yesterday's, except that on the XTG pass on the left cheek I made a little slice very close to my ear.  I could feel the razor going in.  Whoopsies.  Previously I had cut myself in a very similar spot, but it was because I didn't know where the tip was on the WTG pass.  Today I just got a little too cocky/comfortable on the XTG.  

I used the Feather SS on the neck for the first pass, because I wanted to figure out why I was able to do the neck with the Feather but I can't do it with the straight.  I think the main thing is that the blade length is shorter on the Feather, although there is more to it than just this.  One of my problems is that I am very thin:  6'3" tall and I weigh 167 lbs at best.  My neck has hollows in it between the neck muscles where there is just little to no subcutaneous tissue.  No matter what I do I cannot flatten these spots in a wide-enough area to allow the straight razor blade to fit.  I can get a wide enough area flat enough for the Feather SS.  

This may be the thing that leads me away from straight razor shaving.  I just cannot imagine a world in which I'm able to figure out how to fix this problem.  All the guys on YouTube who make straight razor shaving videos have large flat areas there; some of them don't really even have much of a jawline!  Mine is angular and harsh.  

If I hadn't told myself that I would stick with this until I could master it, I might have thrown in the towel after this morning.  Anybody out there who is skinny like me who has been able to make this work?  I really wish the blade itself weren't so darned wide!

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 02-16-2018, 10:16 AM
#70
  • TN4
  • Member
  • Ohio
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(02-16-2018, 10:09 AM)kingfisher Wrote: Shave number 16 this morning.  Similar to yesterday's, except that on the XTG pass on the left cheek I made a little slice very close to my ear.  I could feel the razor going in.  Whoopsies.  Previously I had cut myself in a very similar spot, but it was because I didn't know where the tip was on the WTG pass.  Today I just got a little too cocky/comfortable on the XTG.  

I used the Feather SS on the neck for the first pass, because I wanted to figure out why I was able to do the neck with the Feather but I can't do it with the straight.  I think the main thing is that the blade length is shorter on the Feather, although there is more to it than just this.  One of my problems is that I am very thin:  6'3" tall and I weigh 167 lbs at best.  My neck has hollows in it between the neck muscles where there is just little to no subcutaneous tissue.  No matter what I do I cannot flatten these spots in a wide-enough area to allow the straight razor blade to fit.  I can get a wide enough area flat enough for the Feather SS.  

This may be the thing that leads me away from straight razor shaving.  I just cannot imagine a world in which I'm able to figure out how to fix this problem.  All the guys on YouTube who make straight razor shaving videos have large flat areas there; some of them don't really even have much of a jawline!  Mine is angular and harsh.  

If I hadn't told myself that I would stick with this until I could master it, I might have thrown in the towel after this morning.  Anybody out there who is skinny like me who has been able to make this work?  I really wish the blade itself weren't so darned wide!

I'm having similar issues to you on the neck. Granted, I only have 8 straight razor shaves under my belt, but I too have a very angular face with a very defined jawline. It is frustrating, but I'm very certain that there have been plenty of guys like us in the past that had this issue, but were able to figure out how to make it work. I've actually found that for me, its easier to go against the grain on my neck. I don't know if you've tried this yet but it may be worth a shot. Good luck!

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 02-16-2018, 10:41 AM
#71
  • iamsms
  • The Patient Disciple
  • New Jersey
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(02-16-2018, 10:09 AM)kingfisher Wrote: I think the main thing is that the blade length is shorter on the Feather, although there is more to it than just this.  One of my problems is that I am very thin:  6'3" tall and I weigh 167 lbs at best.  My neck has hollows in it between the neck muscles where there is just little to no subcutaneous tissue.  No matter what I do I cannot flatten these spots in a wide-enough area to allow the straight razor blade to fit.  I can get a wide enough area flat enough for the Feather SS.  

This may be the thing that leads me away from straight razor shaving.  I just cannot imagine a world in which I'm able to figure out how to fix this problem.  All the guys on YouTube who make straight razor shaving videos have large flat areas there; some of them don't really even have much of a jawline!  Mine is angular and harsh.  

I am not not as slender as you are, but I also have similar problems while shaving my neck with a SR. And I have shaved more than 200 times, so not a complete newbie.

I have found some careful scything strokes with a round point razor works to some extent to get all the stubble - especially ones in highly contoured areas beside my adam's apple. But I don't recommend you trying those so early in SR shaving.

I have seen others mentioning the use of a shortened blade (like something Portland Razor Co sells) to tackle those areas.

Funny thing that you mentioned YouTube Shavers not having jawline Biggrin. I always thought about most youtubers but never said that out loud.

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 02-16-2018, 02:49 PM
#72
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Dot give up those are some tough areas that take time to get a handle on. Learning to use part of the blade like the heel or point help get those areas. It’s just a matter of practice and developing the muscle memory.

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 02-16-2018, 03:27 PM
#73
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Have you seen azhawk516? 
Use parts of the razor. You don't have to use the entire blade all the time. Risky/scary at first but the tip does most of the work around the difficult areas on the neck from me.

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 02-17-2018, 07:06 AM
#74
  • Steve56
  • Senior Member
  • Knoxville, TN
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You're still early in the learning, as you gain experience you'll learn how to manage the difficult areas. As lloydrm says, use the end of the razor, the last 1-2" to help get into the 'hollows'. BTW, it really helps to have a muted point when doing this, otherwise you must be extremely careful or you could give yourself a scratch.

A smiling razor can also help in the hollows, and you might also want to try a shorter razor - the Japanese made lots of them.

Cheers, Steve

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 02-17-2018, 07:29 AM
#75
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Thanks for the help, guys.  

This morning was shave number 17.  I switched up the software, but kept everything else the same.  The lather wasn't properly hydrated for the first pass but was good on pass number 2.  I think I will go back to the Stirling and maybe keep using the same soap daily until about shave 30 or so.

Everything went well on the cheeks, although I felt some tugging on the first pass.  I did two passes WTG and one XTG without incident.  Chin went well, too, and even the mustache area.  

On the neck it went a little bit better this time, although I couldn't do the whole thing and I gave myself a nick on the right neck in one of those hollows.  My razor definitely has a sharp point.  Second pass on the neck went OK, especially on the left side.  

I cleaned up with a British flat-bottom Tech and had a nice shave except for the nick and a bit of irritation near the corner of the mouth on the right.

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 02-17-2018, 09:44 AM
#76
  • Steve56
  • Senior Member
  • Knoxville, TN
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Here's a couple of images of a shortie and a shorter smiler, both of which can be easier to maneuver on the neck.

I have a weakness for those old swayback short English razors - Wostenholm and W&B made quite a few of them. You wouldn't think that a slight curvature of the edge would make a lot of difference, but it does; it effectively puts the toe a little further from your face than the edge that's more toward center. If you look for one, be sure that the edge mimics the spine shape, a lot of them have had the smile flattened out and that isn't what you want.

The King Pelican 14 is typical of Japanese shorties, it's a 1/4 hollow symmetrical Western (folding) kamisori. There are lots of similar Japanese razors around both symmetrical and asymmetrical.

Cheers, Steve

[Image: gDBWTil.jpg]

[Image: S3Kwsp9.jpg]

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 02-17-2018, 12:53 PM
#77
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That King Pelican is beautiful.

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 02-19-2018, 07:31 AM
#78
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Shave number 18 is now in the books.  Used CRSW Citron.  Short on time this morning, I did not even attempt a WTG on the neck or in the mustache area.  

Did two passes WTG on either cheek and on the chin, then a first pass WTG on the neck with a DE.  Then I did an XTG pass nose-to-ear on each cheek, holding the razor stretched out like a very long kamisori.  This pass scared me a little bit, but I didn't have any problems with it.  

Second pass WTG on the neck went pretty well, although I didn't have the time to fight that difficult area on the low right neck.  I cleaned up with a non-straight razor and applied my aftershave.  No sting. 

No cuts, no nicks, no weepers.  CCS-DFS with DE assistance.  

Overall, a win.  Tomorrow I'll have more time and I'll see what I can do on the neck and in the mustache area.

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 02-20-2018, 07:54 AM
#79
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Shave 19 was this morning.  CRSW Citron again (only about one or two more shaves left in this puck, sadly). 

I did WTG, WTG, and then a mixed XTG on the cheeks and got DFS on both sides.  By mixed XTG I mean than I went ear-to-nose using the contralateral hand from the middle of the cheek forward, then switched to nose-to-ear using the ipsilateral hand for the rest of the XTG.  I've been doing it this way with my DE for a few months; I seem to get a closer shave this way.  I think it would be easier to learn a complete nose-to-ear or ear-to-nose XTG with the straight, but this morning it worked fine to break it up.  I just extend the scales straight out for the nose-to-ear portion.  

The chin went well, too.  WTG, then XTG.  CCS.  

The neck is still a nightmare, but I think I'm making some progress.  Just couldn't do the first pass under the right chin.  The razor kept tugging and skipping.  It was quite uncomfortable.  I don't know whether the blade isn't sharp enough or whether I'm still not getting an optimal angle, or what.  I did a much better second WTG pass on the neck, though, going all the way to the base of the neck on both sides with only minimal hesitation/difficulty. 

It's going to be a long process, I guess.  I may touch up the edge tonight, or I may not.  Haven't decided yet.

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 02-20-2018, 10:23 AM
#80
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Just keep at it. The learning curve is a steeper than a DE. You have to learn better lathering, prep, razor maintenance and new techniques. DE's can get by with subpar lather, minimal prep, no stretching etc. and still get a fine shave. Straights are not that forgiving in ignoring the little things which will all come in time.

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