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Reporting In

Posted: Tue Jan 23, 2007 7:13 pm
by rcymozart
Just reporting in as I progress with learning how to use my DE effectively.

I've switched to the Gillettes from LetterK's sampler pack. From what I've seen here, they seem to considered sharper than the Derby blades, but not as sharp as the Feather blades. Given that a move to the Merkur blades resulted in a lot of nicks and razor burn, it seemed that sharper may be a good move.

And it was. While I've had to pay extra attention to using very light pressure (I got a nick or two with the very first pass), the shave has been closer still and feels great.

Two questions have come up for me, though.

1) Despite a closer shave, I notice hairs on my neck about 1/8th long even after three or four passes of varying directions to the grain. I'm sure I'm not alone in this, but are there any tips for areas of my beard that sutbbornly refuse to be cut?

2) I've noticed numbers on the corners of the blades themselves, but nothing to indicate what they signify. Any tips there? If they represent a particular way to put the blade in the razor, I'd be glad to know of it! :)

Thanks all!


Posted: Tue Jan 23, 2007 7:29 pm
by Rob
I'm glad you got a LetterK sampler pack. It truly is the best way to find the right blade for your face. Have you tried the Israeli blades yet? (Super+ Platinum)

I have found it nearly impossible to get a super close shave on my neck. I have the 1/8 in. hairs after a shave as well. Very frustrating. I have read that stretching the skin while shaving could help, though I haven't tried it myself. Be sure you don't shave your neck many, many times or else you'll end up with some razor burn.

I don't know what the numbers mean on the blade, either. I'd love to know.

Posted: Tue Jan 23, 2007 8:13 pm
by rustyblade

I second what Rob said about the neck. Some gents can get their neck perfectly smooth. I'm guessing they are blessed with cooperative stubble growth. A good portion of my lower neck stubble lays very flat and resists cutting from three different angles. The fourth angle, btw, would lead to ingrowns and nicks as it would be directly against the grain. It used to bother me, now I do my three passes, get as close as I can, and forget about it. Nobody notices but me anyway.

Posted: Tue Jan 23, 2007 9:15 pm
by CMur12
Hi Robert -

I have the same problem. I have a beard and I only shave my neck, so it makes the neck that much more of a challenge.

I have parts that I can go over and over, and I hear blade scraping stubble, but some always remains. When I stretch the skin around the Adam's apple, the offending stubble lies down and evades the blade.

I'm thinking that as I develop a delicate and very well controlled touch with the razor, I might wipe off the lather and quickly and delicately cut down some offending whiskers around the Adam's apple. This would be for the final pass. An alternative would be to get a stick of shaving soap and just rub a little bit on the offending stubble, without lathering it up per se, and applying the same delicate moves described above. This would allow me to see more exactly what I am doing where the topology of the throat is most complex.

I imagine that you and I will both get better at it, though we may never get our necks quite as baby-butt-smooth (BBS) as we would really like.

- Murray

Posted: Wed Jan 24, 2007 9:28 am
by Leisureguy
The numbers on the blade are of no significance to the shaver, and the blade is simply placed in the razor, either side up.

Read the post and the link below my signature for more info.

I suspect that the stubble the remains on the neck MIGHT be due to incorrect blade angle---it's difficult to maintain the right cutting angle on the neck. But practice and paying attention can improve things. It also might work better with a different razor. (Or might not...)

Posted: Wed Jan 24, 2007 6:38 pm
by rcymozart
I'm using an Israeli for the first time tomorrow. I'll let you know how that goes after a couple of shaves.

I definitely fall into the trap of more "mini" passes to get stubble that I'm clearly not going to get and wind up a neck full of razor burn for my trouble. I just have to remember not to do that every morning. :)

I've tried stretching my skin, but I find that I have a problem there. My fingers and neck are too wet or slick with shaving cream to get a good grip anywhere. Even my fingers alone are too wet to grip non-shaving cream areas of my face and neck. So stretching amounts to moving the skin slightly, but never enough to make an appreciable difference. Even if I do find I'm able to stretch the skin just enough, it's never flat enough on my neck to get a good angle with the blade. So not much luck there, but I like that my lather is as slick as it is now. It didn't use to be and it's made a difference for the better.

Thanks again for the tips!


Posted: Wed Jan 24, 2007 7:44 pm
by Leisureguy
You can use a washcloth to help you stretch your skin. Just put a layer of it across the fingertips you're using to make the stretch. I think this is mentioned in the post at the link (i.e., "My Blog").

Posted: Thu Jan 25, 2007 9:45 pm
by tonyespo
Here is how I get the final stubble off my neck. After I finish my shave with my DE razor. (I only use Feather blades), I rinse with cold water. Then I put on my aftershave balm and rub it in. Now I take a Mach 3 razor and lightly remove the stubble on my neck. You must be careful if you cut too closely you may get in grown hairs. I don't do this everyday. If I have an important meeting and they will be taking photo's or doing a TV spot I will shave my neck with the Mach 3. 90% of the time you can feel the stubble but it can't be seen by someone just looking at you. Most wetshavers continue to chase the Holy Grail of shaves and they cause themselves irritation and in growns for nothing.

Posted: Fri Jan 26, 2007 4:53 am
by Sam
Tony is right, that when I chase the stubble, that is when I get the irritation or ingrowns. What I do is use hair conditioner from my head and then apply lather over that. I will blade buff briskly at a 45 degree angle to my adam's apple in all directions. The slickest concoction for me is hair conditioner and using a QED shave stick and that stuff I can blade buff until the cows come home.


Posted: Fri Jan 26, 2007 5:42 am
by tonyespo
Hair Conditioner? I wonder why I never thought of that. :lol: :lol: :lol:

Maybe my wife will lend me some of hers.

Agree with Leisure guy with one additional step

Posted: Fri Jan 26, 2007 8:53 am
by jbc
Personally think that the number of blades is a disadvantage to the user. More blades on your face means more of an opportunity to cut yourself and more of an opportunity to irritate. IMHO I generally preferr the least number of blades as possible.

Proctor and Gamble (Gilette) and Phizer (Shick) want you to think that more blades the better becuase: 1) additional blades don't really cost them more per razor, a three bladed and a five bladed cost P&G or Phizer more to make and they can charge more for the more blades;
2) Second this gives them an opportunity to change the design and force you to throw out your old blades so they can up the price on the new blades. P&G and Phizer are committed to empyting your bank account.

Posted: Fri Jan 26, 2007 10:37 am
by rahul325
tonyespo wrote: If I will be doing a TV spot I will shave my neck with the Mach 3.

so this is the secret of TV stars huh :wink:

Posted: Fri Jan 26, 2007 11:28 am
by tonyespo
A few times a year I get on TV for 15 seconds talking to a customer about their purchase of a Porsche they bought from my display on the Internet. I haven't been nominated for an Emmy yet. I'm always the best shaved guy in the commercial.

Posted: Sat Jan 27, 2007 10:48 pm
by rcymozart
Thanks for the tip on my neck. Using the hand towel or wash cloth definitely help stretch the skin more.

However, I think I've found my main problem. Once my skin was more flat and easier to shave, I actually suffered the worst razor burn since starting using a DE. The blade was a fresh Israeli and I made a point to use less pressure. Still, my neck burned most of the day. It was bad enough that I took a day off from shaving to let myself heal up a bit.

I shaved again today, this time concentrating on my blade angle more so than anything else (though keeping pressure in mind). I intentionally exaggerated how shallow the angle was. So much that I think the blade didn't even touch my skin much at all for one pass (not sure if I removed stubble on that one, but I doubt it).

In the end, it was a good shave. Still stragglers on my neck that I think I'll only get with an against-the-grain pass that I'm not willing to do until my with-the-grain consistently doesn't cause razor burn. Still, for about thirty minutes after the shave, my neck was burning. I applied a second helping of Neutrogena Razor Defense and that seemed to help, but it still burned for a while after that. Once the burning stopped, though, it didn't return and I feel great with no irritation or visible signs of burning (the difference was marked enough that many people commented that my neck looked better, which I appreciated and didn't appreciate at the same time ;)).

Any tips on relieving that immediate post shave burning? I can live with it if it goes away, I guess, but it seems to me that pain isn't a good thing in this endeavour and shows that something is being done wrong or something should be done to eliminate it somehow.

Reading around here, it looks like alum blocks may be the ticket as well as a more astringent aftershave (i.e. witch hazel). Am I on the right track there?

On another note, I'm enjoying the Israeli blades. They're nice a sharp for me, but somehow feel softer on my skin, if that makes any sense to anyone here. I'm going to have to go back to a Derby and Gillette a few times to see which of those three I like best. I'm saving the Feather for after I feel like I've got this better mastered. :lol:

Thanks again!



Posted: Mon Jan 29, 2007 1:54 pm
by jbc
I have also tried Wilkerson and Persona's which are not included as a part of the product. My favorite is probably the Wilkersons. Perhaps you want to give them a try as well. Here is another forum if you want to join a second.