01-01-2013, 07:14 PM
#1
  • matloffm
  • Senior Member
  • Culver City, CA
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I have read hear and on other forums that a shaver will claim to have just had a BBS shave. I was especially interested when the claim was made by a new DE or straight shaver.

When it comes to terms like DFS or BBS or even "a good shave", I feel there is quite a bit of wiggle room in what these terms can mean. Therefore, I thought I would try and find out what the consensus is (if one exists) as to the meaning of the term BBS.

Now, my definition of a BBS is that for at least 1 hour after the shave no beard can be felt in any direction on your face or neck. I will admit that I cannot get a BBS shave (as defined above) with my face and beard without inflicting a lot more damage than I am willing to do to my face.

But what do you think? Is my definition to severe? I suppose that depends on your face and beard. Anyway, just want to see what other shavers think. Hmm

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 01-01-2013, 07:37 PM
#2
  • xRussox
  • Teach me masters !!!
  • Medellin - Colombia
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I agree with your definition but I would add a few extra hour to that.

If so, I can say that I am getting consistently BBS's on my last 4 or 5 shaves with my DE ... with the SE I get DFS's but i'm working the technique down.

Hope to read what others have to add to this cuz it is a great question.

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 01-01-2013, 07:37 PM
#3
  • Shaun
  • Senior Member
  • St Peters, NSW, Australia
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Hair grows back, innit? A BBS is cool, but I prefer to shave WTG. I don't get a rash or burn, but I dislike the feeling of ATG on the neck especially. Close enough is good enough for me and I really can't be bothered going for three and a half passes. Two passes is usually enough and then a bit of a touch up here and there. Anyway, the faster it comes back, the better, so I can shave all over again Wink

I am a man with a man's face. My face is not a baby's bottom Smile

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 01-01-2013, 07:40 PM
#4
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Marc, well, since i have never experienced it and probably never will with my coarse beard and sensitive skin, i am not really sure how to describe it, but i would assume something similar to your definition; can not feel any whiskers while rubbing in any direction. i still think it might be over-rated, but YMMV.

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 01-01-2013, 07:40 PM
#5
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I always thought of BBS as absolutely no stubble, cut down to the level of the skin. A cotton ball drug against the grain would leave no fuzz. And I have also never had a BBS shave by these definitions without significant blood loss..

(01-01-2013, 07:40 PM)celestino Wrote: Marc, well, since i have never experienced it and probably never will with my coarse beard and sensitive skin, i am not really sure how to describe it, but i would assume something similar to your definition; can not feel any whiskers while rubbing in any direction. i still think it might be over-rated, but YMMV.

I can echo many thoughts from all these replies. Over-rated is a good term, I think. It's something a lot of people think you just have to have, that and the final ATG pass. I'll skip both in the name of comfort. I get a damn fine shave with two passes, WTG and XTG, and you don't really need any more than that. Now, recite Iain's (The Village Barber) mantra, "two passes is enough!"

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 01-01-2013, 07:56 PM
#6
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Seth got it right with the cotton ball test, but I accept the first definition as well. BTW, the cotton ball test, from what I've read, is a test that is conducted on the face of the person the student barber just gave a shave to.

I suspect the aggressiveness of the razor has a lot to do with the ease of getting a BBS. OK, the blade has to be up to it as well.

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 01-01-2013, 08:00 PM
#7
  • xRussox
  • Teach me masters !!!
  • Medellin - Colombia
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I have to agree with the Over-Rated part of the post and also with the "Two passes is enough" mantra.

I personally do 3 passes but nothing like textbook ... by this I mean not WTG, XTG, ATG ... I do it as I found out fits my face the best since I'm prone (if that's how is typed) to acne, but no sensitive skin that I know of (weird?)

I do the 3 passes cuz I feel better that way, not because I HAVE TO, but 2 are good enough.

Still think matloffm's call on the definition of BBS shave would be as good as it gets.

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 01-01-2013, 08:14 PM
#8
  • Arcadies
  • Senior Member
  • Greeneville, TN
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I consider BBS to be absolutely no stubble/rough spots left in any direction anywhere on my face or neck. It's what I go for and achieve 90% of the time with at least a moderately aggressive razor and 3 passes plus slight touch-up in 2 spots I have with tricky spiral growth patterns.
Once in a while if I'm not feeling the greatest or I'm in a rush I'll settle for a 2 pass DFS but that isn't very often.

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 01-01-2013, 08:54 PM
#9
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FWIW, it doesn't take a huge number of passes to achieve a BBS. It's razor, blade and technique. Part of technique is face mapping. I've simplified my passes to 2 1/3 and I get a BBS most every day. If the blade is on it's last legs I can get a DFS and then the blade is canned. Or if I was to take a mild razor out of mothballs I could get a DFS (that's why it's in storage and away from my hands in the first place). But the vast majority of shaves for me is a BBS. If they weren't I'd change what I needed to in order to achieve it, which I've done. I'm also retired and my morning shave is something I take my time with and enjoy to the fullest, but I don't do more than 2 1/3 passes. I enjoy my shave and I won't "work" to achieve a BBS- I'm retired- that means I'm done working. I do what I enjoy and if I don't enjoy it I don't do it... 2 1/3 passes. Biggrin

The additional 1/3 pass? Under the jaw line and adams apple area. I think everyone has trouble there.

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 01-01-2013, 09:30 PM
#10
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If there is pain, a sensation of burning or conscious irritation then it defies the purpose and hence turns a BBS into a non-BBS.

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 01-01-2013, 10:07 PM
#11
  • matloffm
  • Senior Member
  • Culver City, CA
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(01-01-2013, 09:30 PM)hedonist222 Wrote: If there is pain, a sensation of burning or conscious irritation then it defies the purpose and hence turns a BBS into a non-BBS.

I like adding comfort to the definition. With that condition, I would guess very few have actually experienced a BBS shave. I think in order to get a BBS one needs a relatively smooth face and neck to begin with and having a light beard is a definite plus. I am happy with "a good shave", while occasionally I try for a DFS. Wink

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 01-01-2013, 10:35 PM
#12
  • Cobre
  • Member
  • Vancouver, Canada
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With a DE a BBS for me means not feeling any stubble in any direction in my face and neck.

With a straight, so far I am only achieving DFS, looks nice and clean but I can feel stubble particularly in my neck.

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 01-01-2013, 10:46 PM
#13
  • Johnny
  • Super Moderator
  • Wausau, Wisconsin, USA
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In over 50-years of shaving I can probably count on one hand how many times I've had what I would call a BBS shave. And those were given to me by my barber many, many years ago. I'm a 2-pass DFS man.

I do the cheek test. My wife's cheek next to mine. If she says I feel soft and smell nice, I've passed the test.

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 01-02-2013, 10:46 AM
#14
  • mikeperry
  • Senior Member
  • St Louis via the UK
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(01-01-2013, 10:46 PM)Johnny Wrote: In over 50-years of shaving I can probably count on one hand how many times I've had what I would call a BBS shave. And those were given to me by my barber many, many years ago. I'm a 2-pass DFS man.

Hi Johnny

Took me a while to get there, but since switching (about 5 weeks ago) from a 3-pass every 36 hours to a "2-pass DFS man" everyday scallywag, my skin has got even happier, plus I'm happier, as I'm now finally able to shave everyday without experiencing *major* skin problems...

Take care, Mike

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 01-02-2013, 11:41 AM
#15
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I too have switched from 3 passes to 2 passes with any touch-ups needed. I usually end up with 90- 95% coverage BBS, and usually have a very small spot or two that I just didn't get it all. If I get it 95+%, I consider it BBS.
Anything less is DFS.
The definition given above means I have far less BBS than I have given myself credit for Cool
but in my and my wife's book, they should certainly count as such.

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 01-02-2013, 12:24 PM
#16
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BBS is running our fingers against the grain you feel no stubble or roughness.

I usually get one in two passes and a touch-up. I think you just have to learn your face really well and have good lather. I also think it helps if you shave daily but no proof of that. The few times I have to chase it are when I have poor lather or the blade is on it's last gasp.

The only bummer is it lasts for about 4-6 hours before it just becomes a DFS.

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 01-02-2013, 01:49 PM
#17
  • Grumpy
  • Senior Member
  • DisneyLand
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BBS is running fingers against the grain and you feel no stubble or roughness.

DFS is running fingers against the grain and you feel some or very little stubble or roughness.

A Good Shave is running fingers against the grain and feeling short stubble or roughness but, when looking into the mirror it doesn't look too bad.

With a BBS it takes my beard several hours before it reverts to a DFS.

Now I am also able to do several passes (4 and 1/3rd Pass Shave) and touch-ups without messing up my face as I do not have sensitive skin. Most of the times I get BBS Shaves but, when the blade is getting dull or I am using a new/different razor then, I might get a DFS.

And if I am really lazy and the blade is really dull then, I get a Good Shave.

And then I can shave again the next morning.

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 01-02-2013, 02:19 PM
#18
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(01-01-2013, 10:46 PM)Johnny Wrote: In over 50-years of shaving I can probably count on one hand how many times I've had what I would call a BBS shave. And those were given to me by my barber many, many years ago. I'm a 2-pass DFS man.

I do the cheek test. My wife's cheek next to mine. If she says I feel soft and smell nice, I've passed the test.
That's the only test that matters. Biggrin

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 01-02-2013, 02:47 PM
#19
  • Grumpy
  • Senior Member
  • DisneyLand
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I agree that the Cheek Test would be the only Test That Matters.

However, if you have a Wife like mine then, who cares what she thinks.

While my Wife would agree that I look nice she is somewhat puzzled that I now spend so much time shaving (pre-shave, different soaps/creams, different brushes, different razors, different blades, shaving with multiple passes, touch-ups, post-shave steps, after-shave balms and after-shave/colognes.)

She has never once commented to me on how nice I look or how nice my face looks or feels or even commented on any of my shaving soaps or after-shaves.

Now the other day ... a woman at a Craft Store where I bought a couple of shaving soap pucks said that my face does look good from using good shaving products.

Now my wife was standing next to me and only mentioned that I do take a long time to shave. And even after the woman made the nice comment my wife didn't say a word agreeing or disagreeing.

While my wife is a very good person and has a Heart of Gold, she is a wee bit of a Feminist and usually says whatever is on her mind.

And that usually means she just likes to tell you what she doesn't like because in her mind if it ain't broke then don't fix it. So she wont tell you if she likes something but, she will let you know if she doesn't.

So if I happen to go to the barber and he cuts my hair too short, I will hear it from my wife but, if it is ok she won't say a word.

Now of course she wants me to notice what is new with her even if she just gets her nails done.

So my wife has taught me that if she doesn't like it she will let me know.

And I have learned that if she doesn't like it then, that's her problem and she can learn to live with it. (Sad to say but, it is true.)

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