Poll: Do you stretch your skin while shaving?
Note: This is a public poll, other users will be able to see what you voted for.
 11-12-2012, 07:43 AM
#1
User Info
As a traditional shaver now for almost a year and half I love how I'm still learning and improving thanks to the interactions with the fine folks here at the Nook. In a recent conversation I suggested to someone that they might try stretching their skin to provide a flatter surface area for the balde to glide across. The funny thing was that as I was typing that to him I realized that I haven't really been stretching my skin much during my shaves. Last night I remedied that.

I actually searched youtube for some straight shaving videos that demonstrate how they stretch the skin. I didn't really learn anything new, but it was a very nice refresher. I did my normal prep, lathered up (a little differently as I was comparing a couple brushes), and then began to stretch.

In the beginning of my traditional shaving I was scared to stretch too much as I would read it could lead to increased irritation and ingrown hairs. I've never had an ingrown hair problem, but I did have a big problem with irritation so I avoided lots of stretching.

Last night, however, I was a stretching fool. Every stroke I took with my OCMM was on stretched skin. My first pass I couldn't tell much difference but I didn't let that discourage me. I stayed the course. When I hit my ATG pass next is when I could hear the trumpets sounding and harps playing in the background as the clouds rolled back. Oh my! I didn't need a full 3rd pass, just a jaw line touch-up to get those hairs that grow E-W instead of N-S. Final result was one of the best feeling BBS shaves with zero irritation that I've experienced. I will try this again tomorrow with a sold bar razor, the EverReady Streamline, as those don't usually shave as close for me as the open combs do. If that all goes well, then I'll try the same thing with my nemesis, the DE blade.

Do you stretch? Why or why not?

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 11-12-2012, 07:48 AM
#2
  • DoubleB
  • Active Member
  • Zeeland, The Netherlands
User Info
I do stretch.
I didn't when I first started out, but when I learned to shave with a straight I got used to skin stretching. I do it everytime now, no matter with what razor I shave.

To me, I think it helps getting a closer shave as the stretched skin functions as a flat and even surface for the blade the glide on.

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 11-12-2012, 08:45 AM
#3
  • Arcadies
  • Senior Member
  • Greeneville, TN
User Info
Other than facial expressions to achieve mild stretching (tongue in cheek, bullfrog, etc) I never really stretch as I've found I don't need it. If I am shaving with a mild razor (hardly ever) I'll need to stretch 1-2 spots but otherwise I never do.

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 11-12-2012, 09:02 AM
#4
User Info
More facial expression stretching for me with a few spots (like the corner of my jaw) stretched by hand.

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 11-12-2012, 09:20 AM
#5
  • Johnny
  • Super Moderator
  • Wausau, Wisconsin, USA
User Info
When I am visiting with my grandson son he always ask me why I make those funny faces when I shave. I too use facial expression stretching.

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 11-12-2012, 09:25 AM
#6
User Info
I don't stretch,I understand the concept but feel it's not necessary,there's always an angle or something subtle I can do to get the results I want.If that plus using the world's best razor,blades and shaving soap isn't enough,than might as well buy a Fusion 5 blade.

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 11-12-2012, 09:40 AM
#7
User Info
I've been blessed (or cursed) with teenager skin (it comes with other issues). Hasn't changed for the past decade or more. So, other than making funny faces and the occasional trouble area, not really. It's pretty stretched and taut naturally.

But if I had a normal face, I'd definitely be doing it.

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 11-12-2012, 09:56 AM
#8
  • gzp
  • Member
  • Queens, NY
User Info
I had just been thinking that stretching might be the solution to the problem I've been having getting a close shave in the area all the way back, just under my jawline. However, it's seems to be easier said then done. The lather seems to make it particularly tricky to stretch that area.

0 62
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 11-12-2012, 10:12 AM
#9
  • Arcadies
  • Senior Member
  • Greeneville, TN
User Info
(11-12-2012, 09:56 AM)gzp Wrote: I had just been thinking that stretching might be the solution to the problem I've been having getting a close shave in the area all the way back, just under my jawline. However, it's seems to be easier said then done. The lather seems to make it particularly tricky to stretch that area.

If you have a Alum block, wet and rub the fingers you're going to use to do the stretching on the block and then try stretching. The Alum will add a film to your fingers that gives amazing grip.

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 11-12-2012, 10:18 AM
#10
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(11-12-2012, 10:12 AM)Arcadies Wrote:
(11-12-2012, 09:56 AM)gzp Wrote: I had just been thinking that stretching might be the solution to the problem I've been having getting a close shave in the area all the way back, just under my jawline. However, it's seems to be easier said then done. The lather seems to make it particularly tricky to stretch that area.

If you have a Alum block, wet and rub the fingers you're going to use to do the stretching on the block and then try stretching. The Alum will add a film to your fingers that gives amazing grip.

+1, this is the best use of alum I've ever found!

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 11-12-2012, 10:34 AM
#11
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I don't stretch when I shave with a safety razor, otherwise with a straight I always do. For my skin, the DE shave it's just smooth and easy and doesn't need stretching.

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 11-12-2012, 12:36 PM
#12
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Very lightly and only on the coarse/trouble areas. i do make some sweet facial contortions, occasionally. Hee hee.

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 11-12-2012, 12:56 PM
#13
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I think a video is in order from at least one of our self-proclaimed face contortionists. I bet we could raise some money for the servers by submitting them to AFV!

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 11-12-2012, 01:41 PM
#14
User Info
I stretch a few areas.

I have creased skin and I find that whiskers will "hide" in the creases. Stretching helps them stand out for removal. I find it also helps other whiskers that would turn a BBS into a DFS to stand out further for removal. If I'm going to shave I want a BBS.

My entire face, no. But selected ares, absolutely.

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 11-12-2012, 02:28 PM
#15
  • gijames
  • Mile High Soldier
  • TN, USA
User Info
I stretch to get in my pock marks, and to help with my tougher curved/squared off areas of my jawline, and to pull the area right over my Adam's apple (sticks out a-plenty!)
Tongue

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 11-12-2012, 07:05 PM
#16
User Info
I stretch using a couple of techniques already mentioned. My first pass on my neck is always N->S, which is mostly XTG for me. I use a clown frown while pointing my chin up and get a DFS just doing that.

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 11-13-2012, 04:04 AM
#17
  • Striky
  • Senior Member
  • Reipå, Norway
User Info
I voted "Yes, but just a little bit". I use facial expression every time i shave. Other than that, I rarely stretch when shaving. Just when I feel the need to, because of a though spot, blade/razor combo, worn out blade etc.

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 11-13-2012, 05:41 AM
#18
  • gzp
  • Member
  • Queens, NY
User Info
(11-12-2012, 10:12 AM)Arcadies Wrote:
(11-12-2012, 09:56 AM)gzp Wrote: I had just been thinking that stretching might be the solution to the problem I've been having getting a close shave in the area all the way back, just under my jawline. However, it's seems to be easier said then done. The lather seems to make it particularly tricky to stretch that area.

If you have a Alum block, wet and rub the fingers you're going to use to do the stretching on the block and then try stretching. The Alum will add a film to your fingers that gives amazing grip.

Great advice! Thanks Byron and Brian! Just what I needed, now's it just a matter of refinement. Thanks.

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 11-13-2012, 11:09 AM
#19
  • Kavik79
  • Active Member
  • Albany, NY - USA
User Info
I go all out Biggrin
Facial expressions, looking at the ceiling, elbow pointing out like a chicken wing so I can grab the cheek on the same side, reaching my arm over my head to grab the opposite cheek and pull it up. If you want a perfectly smooth straight shave it's almost a requirement, for most people anyway.

When I was using mach3 and similar razors I never did more than facial contortions (but never got as nice of a shave, so maybe I should have been doing it then, but I didn't know any better...I didn't really ever get any help learning to shave when I was younger)

And I've only used a DE maybe a dozen times. Most of that was before I learned to stretch, never got great shaves. A couple times have been more recently and the stretching seemed to help there too....though somehow didn't seem quite as important as with the straight. Don't know if the guard around the blade has something to do with it, or the straight having a wider surface area....I could maybe figure it out if I tried again with this in mind at the time, but I never seem in the mood to grab the DE over a straight


Oh, and a big +1 to the alum block suggestion. It works wonders on grabbing wet skin!

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 11-15-2012, 07:01 AM
#20
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I gentle stretch kinda puts me in the right frame of mind for what I am about to do. Helps me with proper technique and focus.

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