pls help: bottom of neck trouble

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salbev
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pls help: bottom of neck trouble

Post by salbev » Mon Jan 22, 2007 9:09 pm

the last two weeks of DE shaving have gone well. i am moving through the sampler pack with a slant and i am happy where i am going as a newbie DE shaver. i learned i don't have sensitive skin but i was right in thinking i had a tough beard.

everything is fine except for the bottom of my neck. it gets red sometimes and today it bled on the right side. the left side grows up to the left ear and the right side grows up to the right ear. this is just on the very bottom as the rest doesn't grow upwards at all, but from adam's apple to each side.

i have tried just WTG but it isn't acceptable for closeness. XTG isn't either and ATG is where i get into irritation trouble.

any suggestion is very much appreciated as i have no idea how to fix this current road block on the path to totally smooth comfortable shaves... the bottom of my neck is my only problem i am finding out. should i just laser those two areas off? :shock:

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Post by jdavis54 » Mon Jan 22, 2007 9:26 pm

Hi Sal, you may want to try experimenting with various blade angles on that part of your neck. I used to use the same angle on my neck that I did for the rest of my face, which led to a lot of irritation around my adam's apple. After some experimenting, I found the correct angle for my neck, and didn't get irritation there anymore. Also, my neck won't tolerate ATG passes very well at all, so I'm left to choose between a less close shave or irritation. I choose a less close shave, because I'm the only one who will know and it's ok with me.
Jordan


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Post by furgy667 » Mon Jan 22, 2007 9:33 pm

What kind of razor are you using? I had similar problems with my mekur hd and switched to a slim adjustable and found it much better. What kind of blades are you using this could be a factor as well. The hair on the lower part of my neck grows the exact same way as yours. While my shaves are not always irritation free, they are getting better and better each shave. I shave my neck first just to pay closer attention to what I am doing down there . Its just hard to get the right angle. I shave one up pass with the grain then one up at an angle like a chevron form my adams apple out . Then one final pass in a revers chevron than the 2 pass. It seems to work for me so far but like I said my shaves are not entirely irritation free . I am determined to get there though.

Hang in there . Hope this helps some.

Brandon.

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Post by Leisureguy » Mon Jan 22, 2007 10:01 pm

The make of blade could be a factor. Have you tried various makes to find the best blade?

Also, it's hard to maintain light pressure and correct blade angle in that area. Be very conscious as you shave there.

Prep and practice can help. You're going to have to experiment to find things that work, though.

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Post by salbev » Tue Jan 23, 2007 12:18 am

thank you guys.

i will keep at it. i've been using a merkur slant and love it and i have gone through the blade sampler starting with merkur, israeli, derby and now euro gillette. the feathers are next but the gillettes are the first blade so far that has been sharp enough to give me a "aha!" feeling. i look forward to trying the feathers next and will probably just stay with feathers as they are easier to find... i think?

Jordan: i will definitely try to mess around with the angle, good idea.

Brandon: thanks for the encouragement; i'm determined to get there, too!

Mr. Leisureguy: i bought the sampler pack after reading your blog. also i think my lather is not as good as it can be. i'm going to give it a better go next time.

thanks guys for the time.

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Post by rtaylor61 » Tue Jan 23, 2007 12:34 am

Sal,

The neck is a tough area to keep the proper angle, and that sounds like it may be your problem. I have 3 slant razors, and love them, but it is the last razor I would recommend to start with. Hang in there and work on the angle. Try to keep in mind that when shaving, you don't want to bend your wrist. Keep it straight, as though you have a cast on your arm. This may help with the angle problem.

Randy
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Post by AACJ » Tue Jan 23, 2007 1:50 am

I get my best shave there going from the bottom of my neck up with my Feather RG.

When using a DE, I use my Merkur Classic (regular handle, not long) and a Feather DE blade and I shave from mid point of my neck DOWN, but lightly. Both provide great shaves, but the Feather RG is the best.

I also tackle that spot FIRST on my shaves so I can take the whole thing down on the first pass.
Art


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salbev
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Post by salbev » Tue Jan 23, 2007 5:51 am

thank you for the wise words, Randy and Art. i believe it is definitely all related and tied into my poor angle, sub-par lather and not leaving well enough alone! i'm not giving up.
thanks guys.

i am also going to try shaving that area first to really focus on it.
here goes!

Leisureguy

Post by Leisureguy » Tue Jan 23, 2007 10:05 am

That sub-par lather: what shaving soap or shaving cream are you using? Newbies report excellent results with Taylor of Old Bond Street Avocado, and I'm a big fan both of QED shaving sticks and Honeybee Sue's shea-butter shaving soaps.

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Post by notthesharpest » Tue Jan 23, 2007 10:15 am

Sal - the slant razor makes it hard for me to "balance" between closeness and irritation. I tend to get the same results as you do.

It seems to me that the slant takes the least skill and patience among all razors to get a "there, that's good enough" kind of shave. It is very efficient. On the other hand, to use it and get a really close shave without irritation takes more skill than most other razors.

Just my experience, YMMV and all that.

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Post by Joe Lerch » Tue Jan 23, 2007 10:24 am

The skin at the bottom of the neck is very sensitive, and we often don't stretch there enough.

I have sideways grain on my neck. Like yours, I need to shave forward on the neck to go ATG. Since the difficult area goes up, you'll need to be very careful before you shave down over there.

First concentrate on stretching the neck. It doesn't have to be tight, but it should be flat and as wide as possible. For most of it you can place a finger along the jawline and pull up. You can then shave down ward to get really close on the sideways grain (not the bottom). You need a separate stretch for the bottom. Do it up from the middle of the neck (almost like choking yourself) and shave up and across until you get good reduction (make sure that the bottom of the neck is down to a fine stubble, if it becomes necessary, only one you can feel).

For ATG at the bottom of the neck (where the grain goes up), stretch from below, to stand up the whiskers, and with the blade just grazing the skin, shave against the grain. You may have to do more than one pass, but don't increase the pressure. Basically, your gently whittling away at the stubble. If you increase the pressure, you may hang up under the whiskers and cur yourself.

BTW, switching off blades at this time is not a good idea. You want to get a consistent set up so you can figure out what's working and what isn't. It's impossible if the blades are constantly changing.
Joe

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Post by salbev » Tue Jan 23, 2007 5:27 pm

Leisureguy wrote:That sub-par lather: what shaving soap or shaving cream are you using?
i am using pre de provence soap in a twist open tin and i have a d.r. harris cologne soap in a wooden bowl. both were hand me downs. and although i am very excited about using creams and shaving sticks i decided, on some good advice, not to get anything more until i can make good lather with what i've got.

the day i cut my neck up pretty bad was when i attempted to face lather. it was a pretty lousy. but i have read your blog about face lathering and i have watched mantic's videos over and over on the same (he makes it look so easy!). so i will keep trying.

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Post by salbev » Tue Jan 23, 2007 5:33 pm

Joe Lerch wrote: If you increase the pressure, you may hang up under the whiskers and cur yourself.

BTW, switching off blades at this time is not a good idea. You want to get a consistent set up so you can figure out what's working and what isn't. It's impossible if the blades are constantly changing.
hello, Joe and thank you very much for the in-depth reply full of great information.

you hit the nail on the head there, that is exactly what happened, i hung up under my wiskers on the bottom of my neck by not going light enough and cut myself. i will try it your way next. and i agree about the blade musical chairs. i am settling on gillette euros because out of all them they are the sharpest so far with the exception of feathers as i have not tried them yet. the rest just did not cut without pressure. i'll stick with the gillettes for now. thank you again, Joe. this helps.

salbev
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Post by salbev » Tue Jan 23, 2007 5:37 pm

notthesharpest wrote:Sal - the slant razor makes it hard for me to "balance" between closeness and irritation. I tend to get the same results as you do.

It seems to me that the slant takes the least skill and patience among all razors to get a "there, that's good enough" kind of shave. It is very efficient. On the other hand, to use it and get a really close shave without irritation takes more skill than most other razors.

Just my experience, YMMV and all that.
in my limited experience i see what you mean. because i tried the HD as i have both and the slant is way easier to get a close shave with one or one and half passes. the HD takes more effort. but with the slant it is much easier to get irritation. i just love it around the bends of my jawline and since my bear grows sideways in places it makes it much easier to maneuver the razor. i think now that i have found the gillette euros as finally sharp enough i may take them to the HD and just learn how to shave once and for all.

thank you for the thoughts.

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Post by notthesharpest » Wed Jan 24, 2007 1:18 am

If you have a soft or lightweight beard, you might be wasting your time wrestling with a slant bar. But if you have a hard or thick beard, then just keep on refining your technique, don't worry about changing razors. It works fine - it just takes a little mental effort to get everything to work together (good lather, stroke directions, no pressure). It will give you great shaves.

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Post by salbev » Wed Jan 24, 2007 1:44 am

notthesharpest wrote:If you have a soft or lightweight beard, you might be wasting your time wrestling with a slant bar. But if you have a hard or thick beard, then just keep on refining your technique, don't worry about changing razors. It works fine - it just takes a little mental effort to get everything to work together (good lather, stroke directions, no pressure). It will give you great shaves.
good to know and good news. i do have a tough beard. thick stubble like sand paper. i'll stick with it. i do appreciate your advice.

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Post by mantic » Wed Jan 24, 2007 6:18 am

salbev wrote:...i have watched mantic's videos over and over on the same (he makes it look so easy!). so i will keep trying.
If its any consolation, it took me a LONG time to finally figure out lathering (months, in fact). Its one of those things you just need to practice and get familiar with, including being prepared to just dump a batch and start over again. Trust me, I felt your pain (literally).

--Mark

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Post by Joe Lerch » Wed Jan 24, 2007 7:47 am

salbev wrote:
Joe Lerch wrote: If you increase the pressure, you may hang up under the whiskers and cur yourself.

BTW, switching off blades at this time is not a good idea. You want to get a consistent set up so you can figure out what's working and what isn't. It's impossible if the blades are constantly changing.
hello, Joe and thank you very much for the in-depth reply full of great information.

you hit the nail on the head there, that is exactly what happened, i hung up under my wiskers on the bottom of my neck by not going light enough and cut myself. i will try it your way next. and i agree about the blade musical chairs. i am settling on gillette euros because out of all them they are the sharpest so far with the exception of feathers as i have not tried them yet. the rest just did not cut without pressure. i'll stick with the gillettes for now. thank you again, Joe. this helps.
Glad to have helped.

The Gillette Euros are a great choice. If you learn to shave gently with them, you should have no further issues.

For the time being, I would put the slant aside. Once your technique is grooved, you'll find the slant one of the closest shaving razors available.
Joe

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Post by Joe Lerch » Wed Jan 24, 2007 7:56 am

salbev wrote:
Joe Lerch wrote: If you increase the pressure, you may hang up under the whiskers and cur yourself.

BTW, switching off blades at this time is not a good idea. You want to get a consistent set up so you can figure out what's working and what isn't. It's impossible if the blades are constantly changing.
i hung up under my wiskers on the bottom of my neck by not going light enough and cut myself.
BTW, if you hung up on the whiskers, they probably should be shorter before you go ATG. Try additional, light cross grain passes until you can't see the whiskers anymore but can feel them.

I have a tough area like that in the moustache area. Only the sharpest blades will cut it smoothly ATG. Others, including str8s, get hung up and cause havoc if I try to push my way through. Your difficult area may be like that. If gentle cross grain passes can't get it to the point where you can cut comfortably ATG, you may have to settle for the time being (it should be OK, just not BBS). When your consistently getting close, comfortable shaves, you can try Feather blades, and they should be able to take care of it. Or the slant may be able to do it with the Euro Gillettes.
Joe

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Post by Joe Lerch » Wed Jan 24, 2007 8:00 am

notthesharpest wrote:If you have a soft or lightweight beard, you might be wasting your time wrestling with a slant bar. But if you have a hard or thick beard, then just keep on refining your technique, don't worry about changing razors. It works fine - it just takes a little mental effort to get everything to work together (good lather, stroke directions, no pressure). It will give you great shaves.
I think you're right, but the slant may interfere with his grooving his technique. Unfortunately, it can be harsh and unfriendly until you master reduction. Good reduction is essential to tame this razor.
Joe

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