Shaving Is Not Smooth

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sbacher
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Shaving Is Not Smooth

Post by sbacher » Sun Jan 14, 2007 9:00 am

I have been wet shaving since the day after Christmas and have been getting the best shaves of my life. However, the last few days I have been having a problem. I have been following my same routine of showering, creating lather, rewetting, shave WTG, rewet and lather, shave XTG, rewet and lather, shave ATG, rinse, apply Witch Hazel and ASB. The problem is, when I shave the razor seems to pull rather than glide and the lather and my face seem dry.

I did start using some KMF Patchouli as well as some KMF Lavender a few days ago (had been using Proraso). The first shave with the KMF was as smooth and easy as my previous shaves but the last three have been rough and dry. I tried adding a few drops of Glycerin to the cream yesterday and have been getting the same consistency with my lather as always. I also tried putting a new blade in my razor, but it was no help. I am currently using a Merkur Futur with Feather blades.

Any suggestions?

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dasein_geist
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Post by dasein_geist » Sun Jan 14, 2007 9:18 am

sbacher,

"pulling" is typically the result of either a dull blade (it is certainly possible you got a dull/bad blade, even if it is new), or not enough water in your lather.

Since you just changed your cream, I would suspect the latter; however, blades are so cheap, you could try changing that. On the other hand, you may want to try adding a little more water to you lather.

Finally, though I'm not familiar with Kentucky winters, you may want to try using a moisturizer either before bed, or post shave.
- Sean -

"What am I afraid of? I'll tell you: a feather. that's right, a feather...did I say it was a poison feather?"
-- Jack Handey [Deep Thoughts]

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sbacher
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Post by sbacher » Sun Jan 14, 2007 9:28 am

dasein_geist wrote:sbacher,

"pulling" is typically the result of either a dull blade (it is certainly possible you got a dull/bad blade, even if it is new), or not enough water in your lather.

Since you just changed your cream, I would suspect the latter; however, blades are so cheap, you could try changing that. On the other hand, you may want to try adding a little more water to you lather.

Finally, though I'm not familiar with Kentucky winters, you may want to try using a moisturizer either before bed, or post shave.
I will try changing the blade later today as I shave in the evenings. I thought it was the blade at first since the one I had in the razor at the time had 4 shaves on it. I guess maybe it was getting dull and the replacement was bad.

I think I have the water to cream ratio correct. I have been getting the same consistency as always. Although last night I did try adding a little extra water, but it was no help.

The winters here in Kentucky are strange. Temperature was in the 20's a few days ago and this morning is 60 degrees. I do use the Nivea Sensitive Skin ASB at night and their moisturizer in the mornings.

Perhaps the new blade will solve the problem. If not I think I will try reverting to the Proraso or trying some of the TOM I bought.

Thanks for the suggestions.

Leisureguy

Post by Leisureguy » Sun Jan 14, 2007 10:12 am

You might want to try a shaving soap as well, as a change of pace. You might try lathering on your face, for the same reason.

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L. Martino
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Post by L. Martino » Sun Jan 14, 2007 10:22 am

Hi sbacher,
Reading your post made me chuckle at the coincidence...I used some KMF just this morning. I've only used it three times, but have had great shaves after I got the right way for me to set it up. Same is true of the Lucky Tiger liquid shave cream...same consistancy and application. ( Nice product, btw).
Maybe, because these are designed to be rubbed in the face to produce lather, they MAY lend themselves to lathering with a brush right on your beard.....no major lather building in a bowl to speak of. Here's what works for me regarding these two liquid soaps. Basically, you're just gonna be "mixing", leaving the "building" to be done on your face.. So, before you give up on the KMF stuff, try this once:
First, I like using a little more liquid than a usual cream amount, so plan on droozling a bit more in that heated bowl to start with. Take your brush and let it drip till it stops, then maybe a small shake after. Spend maybe 20-30 seconds just working that mix into the brush........should have some lather going by then, but no where near set up. Paint some of that on your face.....neck first and then work your way up. Gently is the key....just want a thin layer of that concentrate on your beard. Then, splash a tablespoon or so of hot water in the bowl, and start to mixing. Give it about another 20-30 seconds, then work some of that still unfinished lather into your face once again. See how that works for you. You should have more lather than needed after a short while, with some soap still left in the bowl as well. Add a little more water to your bowl after a pass or two if needed. It's worth trying once more before blowing the product off............good stuff and the price is right.
Martin (fellow new person)

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Squire
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Post by Squire » Sun Jan 14, 2007 11:54 am

From the way you describe the problem its possible you are exfoliating your face too much during the shower. Prehaps a little less scrubbing on the beard section will produce a better shave result.

Regards,
squire

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rtaylor61
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Post by rtaylor61 » Sun Jan 14, 2007 12:36 pm

sbacher,

Welcome to SMF. Sounds like you sort of "derailed" in your progress. First, let's not start changing everything. The new blade, good. Go back to the Proraso and re-trace your steps to success. Do what you were doing when the shaves were fine. See if things return to normal. If not, I suggest that technique and razor angle may be the issue. Two things can happen once you have started achieving great shaves. You get over confident, or you get lazy with the angle. Okay, three things. Or you have sped up your process. It happens to the best. There are numerous threads at Straight Razor Place about new guys who were getting great shaves for one week, two weeks, then their post about the "bloodletting" surfaces.

Start over. And if you start making changes, change one thing at a time.

Randy
"I won't be wronged. I won't be insulted. I won't be laid a-hand on. I don't do these things to other people, and I require the same from them." J. B. Books

EmJay
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Post by EmJay » Sun Jan 14, 2007 3:14 pm

Hey guys, certainly not new to the forum or to wetshaving, but looks like this'll be my first post under my new username. Quite appropriate as well, I might add, as I had the same problems recently.

Over the past several weeks, I've gone through getting great shaves some days, and then sometimes mediocre shaves while still keeping the entire setup exactly the same (except for the blades, which I always make sure are fresh and sharp).

I was baffled by my lack of success, but then quickly discovered that my problem had nothing to do with my technique, but rather everything to do with the weather. The last couple of months have been kind of nutty in the Northeast, with some days being unseasonably warm and others being quite cold and windy. The cold days dried out my skin quite a bit (from spending time outside and from keeping the heating on all night), and as a result, my shaves were rather poor because the razor wouldn't glide as smoothly across my face. I was able to correct the problem simply by using a stronger moisturizer at night, which allowed me to wake up early in the morning with a moisturized face - one that was already well prepped for proper glide. I know this may sound odd, but the skin has a natural moisture barrier, that when stripped, not only makes the skin dry but also makes it far more difficult for the skin to retain moisture no matter what shaving creams are used. Keeping this barrier in tact was crucial to fixing my shaves.

In sum, I would suggest properly moisturizing at night to see if that helps alleviate the problem, especially if you've been battling crazy weather like myself. Using a fresh blade always helps as well.

Cheers,

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Coche_y_bondhu
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Post by Coche_y_bondhu » Sun Jan 14, 2007 4:46 pm

Hello Emjay,

Welocme to SMF! Pull up a comfy chair, kick off your boots and stay a while, pardner :)!

I agree on the moisturizer. I think Neutrogena for Men advertises their Face Lotion as aiding in the morning shave if applied in the evening before bed.

One's skin does dry out a bit during the night, especially if there is no humidifier running to replenish the moisture.

Worth a try.

Good tip, Thanks :)!

Cheers,
Richard in Texas
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"Keep Your Backcast High and Out of the Trees!"

EmJay
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Post by EmJay » Sun Jan 14, 2007 7:40 pm

Thanks for the welcome :D . Looking forward to advancing my already bad acquisition disorders!

As for the moisturizer, I have certainly found it to help quite a bit in my case as I do not have a humidifier in my NYC apartment. On those particularly dry and cold nights, I use Cetaphil - it has not failed me yet and I swear that it helps the morning shave. Certainly worth giving a shot.

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Chaps
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Re: Shaving Is Not Smooth

Post by Chaps » Sun Jan 14, 2007 8:51 pm

sbacher wrote:I have been wet shaving since the day after Christmas and have been getting the best shaves of my life. However, the last few days I have been having a problem. I have been following my same routine of showering, creating lather, rewetting, shave WTG, rewet and lather, shave XTG, rewet and lather, shave ATG, rinse, apply Witch Hazel and ASB. The problem is, when I shave the razor seems to pull rather than glide and the lather and my face seem dry.

I did start using some KMF Patchouli as well as some KMF Lavender a few days ago (had been using Proraso). The first shave with the KMF was as smooth and easy as my previous shaves but the last three have been rough and dry. I tried adding a few drops of Glycerin to the cream yesterday and have been getting the same consistency with my lather as always. I also tried putting a new blade in my razor, but it was no help. I am currently using a Merkur Futur with Feather blades.

Any suggestions?
If you have been using the same technique everyday and have been getting great shaves, my first thought is that the blade is either dull or bad out of the box.

Danny
Danny

"Because I prefer the cool, clean sweep of the tempered steel as it glides smoothly--" Cary Grant as he is shaving in a scene from "Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House"

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sbacher
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Post by sbacher » Sun Jan 14, 2007 8:53 pm

Thanks for all of the suggestions guys. I tried my shave tonight with a new Feather and the KMF again. I was careful to build lather that was properly hydrated and had the correct consistency. I took my time, used short strokes, no pressure, and paid careful attention to blade angle. However, the shave was still dry and rough.

I doubt it is the blade since this is the second new blade in just a few days time. I am going to take several suggestions from here though and see if it helps the situation. I will be moisturizing before bed and will try going back to the Proraso tomorrow. I am also not going to exfoliate so heavily in the shower. If this corrects the problem then I will try the KMF again the following day. I really like the scents of the KMF that I have and the lather comes out very nicely. Plus like someone has pointed out, the price is right. I will try building the lather on my face (something I have yet to try) and may even try using it as a brushless.

Thanks for all of the suggestions. I am new to this and have much to learn. It is nice to have a place to come where I can learn from the experiences of others.

-Steve

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