10-28-2018, 12:29 PM
#1
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Since I recently started wet shaving using a double-edged safety razor, I've been experiencing issues with irritation and cuts. The areas that are causing the most problems are my chin and upper lip. I'm not sure if it is due to poor blade choice or if I just need to work on my technique.

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 10-28-2018, 01:06 PM
#2
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Can you help us understand a bit more? What gear are you using? How often do you shave? How many passes do you use? Have you mapped your beard? Did you get irritation in the same places when using cartridges or electric shavers?

Your first stop might be in the Shavenook University area of the forum. Lots of great advice on technique: http://shavenook.com/forumdisplay.php?fid=45

For someone who’s new I’d recommend shaving every-other-day if possible, as it allows your skin to heal while you work on building technique. You might also consider simplifying with a 1 or 2-pass shave, going with the grain and using a light touch. If you’re buffing any areas, I’d recommend avoiding the practice until you’ve gained more experience. When I first began I needed a lot of work on building a good, protective lather. Starting out, most gents don’t load enough soap - or add too much water too quickly. I’ll post a video of one of our members building lather on the puck. This particular method produces a slick, yogurty lather that is very protective. 




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 10-28-2018, 01:31 PM
#3
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As far as the gear that I'm currently using, I have several different safety razors, which include:

Qshave
Parker 99r
Parker Variant
Merkur Futur

As far as blades go, I have Astra SP as well as Gillette Silver Blue blades. I also have some Gillette 7 o'Clock Sharp Edge blades as well. Anyway, where should I begin?

Also, I recently started using Proraso shaving cream/soap to shave with. Before that, I was using a canned shaving gel.

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 10-28-2018, 03:28 PM
#4
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I agree with shaving every other day, If that's possible. But the short answer is to use coated blades and use light pressure. At first, buffing will get you into trouble until you can nail your technique down cold. How can you till when you've nailed the technique? Weepers will be less and less, especially in problem areas, until you have zero weepers, and that includes buffing. Use the same razor until you find the angle, but try different 'coated' blades. And remember, some shavers use shaving oil, mineral oil, or baby oil instead of soaps because they feel they get better protection and a slicker glide; you'll have to decide for yourself which is best for you, but it's a legitimate option. Give Polsliver blades a try, their sharp but forgiving. I use both Gillette Sliver Blue and 7 o'Clock, but at times I'll switch-up and use Perma Sharp blades. Good luck and stay with it!

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 10-29-2018, 12:17 PM
#5
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(10-28-2018, 03:28 PM)Sliver630 Wrote: I agree with shaving every other day, If that's possible. But the short answer is to use coated blades and use light pressure. At first, buffing will get you into trouble until you can nail your technique down cold. How can you till when you've nailed the technique? Weepers will be less and less, especially in problem areas, until you have zero weepers, and that includes buffing. Use the same razor until you find the angle, but try different 'coated' blades. And remember, some shavers use shaving oil, mineral oil, or baby oil instead of soaps because they feel they get better protection and a slicker glide; you'll have to decide for yourself which is best for you, but it's a legitimate option. Give Polsliver blades a try, their sharp but forgiving. I use both Gillette Sliver Blue and 7 o'Clock, but at times I'll switch-up and use Perma Sharp blades. Good luck and stay with it!
Which brands of blades are coated? I recently got a blade sampler, which included multiple brands, so I may have one.

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 10-29-2018, 03:13 PM
#6
  • chazt
  • Senior Member
  • Queens, NY
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Mike’s point about beard mapping is quite valid. If you understand the directions in which your beard grows you’ll be better prepared to shave with the grain. Don’t shave against the grain until you’re really confident in your technique. Two passes, one with and one across the grain, should be sufficient to get a DFS. Do only one pass WTG in your problem areas. Use “negative” pressure. Lighten up on your skin. Play with the angle at which you place the razor head/blade against your whiskers. It takes patience and time to hone your technique. You’ll get to where you want to be. Enjoy the experience!

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 10-29-2018, 05:40 PM
#7
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Just thought I would give an update on my latest shaving experience. I used a Voskhod DE blade in my Qshave razor on a setting of 1. I used the Proraso shaving soap and worked up a decent lather. Before applying the Proraso, I applied some shaving oil to my skin. I did a single pass and didn't have any nicks or cuts, not even in my problem spots. There was a spot or two on my neck where I could have gotten a closer shave, but I didn't want to press my luck, so I finished up without any problems.

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 11-01-2018, 03:38 PM
#8
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It took me awhile to get my technique down - still improving it, tbh.  Takes time so hang in there.  Don't press down, let the weight of the razor and the angle of the blade do the work.  Sometimes watering your face between passes and before resoaping can be very helpful - moisture really improves slickness.  Don't be afraid to do multiple (light!) passes to get those problem areas.  I've two problem areas - just below my chin and along my jaw lines.  Still takes some extra passes to address those.  But I'm a perfectionist too.  Smile

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 11-01-2018, 03:39 PM
#9
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(10-29-2018, 03:13 PM)chazt Wrote: Mike’s point about beard mapping is quite valid. If you understand the directions in which your beard grows you’ll be better prepared to shave with the grain. Don’t shave against the grain until you’re really confident in your technique. Two passes, one with and one across the grain, should be sufficient to get a DFS. Do only one pass WTG in your problem areas. Use “negative” pressure. Lighten up on your skin. Play with the angle at which you place the razor head/blade against your whiskers. It takes patience and time to hone your technique. You’ll get to where you want to be. Enjoy the experience!

Signs011

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 11-07-2018, 04:16 PM
#10
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My neck is a bit of a mess. Swirly, coarse, sensitive. It's getting worse it seems. Any tips to decrease the red bumps and clean up my skin?

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 11-08-2018, 05:11 PM
#11
  • matloffm
  • Senior Member
  • Culver City, CA
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(10-28-2018, 12:29 PM)koreysmith Wrote: Since I recently started wet shaving using a double-edged safety razor, I've been experiencing issues with irritation and cuts.  The areas that are causing the most problems are my chin and upper lip.   I'm not sure if it is due to poor blade choice or if I just need to work on my technique.  

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If you have to shave everyday, it is best to not try for a BBS shave.  I really don't think most men can get a BBS shave unless they have very smooth skin and peach fuzz.  I agree that a two pass shave should be sufficient for work.  As others have said, pay attention to your beard growth, use a very light touch (I am guessing you are still learning what this means), pay attention to prep and find the blade that will easily cut your beard around your mouth.  There should be no tugging or pulling at all.  I also think it is helpful while learning to use small strokes as it is easier to feel how much effort is required by the razor to cut a particular area.  I have only used Prorasso cream, but I would recommend you use cream to start as it is easier to get a good lather.  You should expect some "ah ha" moments as you learn the correct pressure and stroke for your face and beard.

Good luck.

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 11-08-2018, 05:18 PM
#12
  • matloffm
  • Senior Member
  • Culver City, CA
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(11-07-2018, 04:16 PM)Dadiswin Wrote: My neck is a bit of a mess. Swirly, coarse, sensitive. It's getting worse it seems. Any tips to decrease the red bumps and clean up my skin?

I would try to get away with one pass on your neck, and I would only go with a downward stroke.  If necessary do another pass the same way.  The problem you describe is very hard to deal with and I would suggest that you learn to accept and be happy with what you get with one or two downward passes.  The more you try to get every hair, the worse you neck will be when you finish.

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 11-08-2018, 05:27 PM
#13
  • Garb
  • Active Member
  • Oregon
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All great advice also you might want to use a balm for afterwards and alum before that if you go a little too close. I travel with an alum block just in case I scrape too close. Balms are awesome for curing the burn as well.

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 11-08-2018, 05:32 PM
#14
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the chin and upper lip have always been problem areas for me.  What has helped me the most is a pre shave oil.  I know a lot of people don't like it, but it really does help soak into my hairs and make the shave more enjoyable.

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 11-08-2018, 08:23 PM
#15
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Most beards grow in different directions, on different parts of the face. If the shaver maps his beard, he can avoid irritation by shaving with the grain and using appropriate strokes during each pass - dependent on the specific part of the face and the hair growth direction. Perhaps a picture would help: (this is not my beard, but it illustrates the point well) 

[Image: %5E54F8EEB9BFEB8F38275877A519DA9A6E05836...istr-1.jpg]

A great first-pass/1-pass shave for this person would be: down on the mustache and chin, ear-to-nose on the cheeks, and up on the neck.

Mapping your beard allows you to make adjustments in order to reduce/eliminate irritation. If this person simply shaved straight down for the first pass, they’d be going against the grain in the center of the neck, and against/across the grain in the hollows and on the cheeks. Shaving UP on the neck for the first pass would be a much better option because that would be largely with the grain and thus less irritating.

It’s also worth noting that some parts of your face can be more sensitive than others. E.G., I cannot go ATG on my chin & upper lip, even though that is not a problem on my cheeks.

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