Irritation - Need Help!!!

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Midnttokr1
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Irritation - Need Help!!!

Post by Midnttokr1 »

I am relatively new to the world of wet shaving. My first DE razor was one of the brand new inexpensive Parker DE's...I believe it was the 96R (I'm not 100% sure). I was experiencing a lot of razor bumps and irritation on my neck after a shave. After lots of research and stalking many many shaving forms (like this one) i decided to purchase an adjustable Gillette. I managed to snag a 66 Fatboy and had my first shave with it this morning, however I am still experiencing lots of razor bumps and ittiration. My usual routine for shaving is 1-wash face with Neutrogena for men pre shave face wash 2-Art of Shaving Lavender pre shave oil 3-AOS Lavender shave cream applied with cheap Tweezerman pure badger brush 4-shave with 66 Fatboy & Merkur blades (3 passes) 5-AOS aftershave mousturizer. Am I doing something wrong? I don't apply much pressure (if any other than the weight of the razor) and I go with the grain unitl my final pass which I go opposite in very few areas. I have read through the threads here and I noticed several people saying that the Gillette Superspeed's are the way to go in regards to a razor. I know that the "Blue Tip" SS or TTO's (i don't know which it is) are made for sensitive skin. Is this something that I should consider? Any help and or suggestions are welcome.

On a side note, I think I have caught the bug of wetshaving....I even taught my father how to wetshave as he had never done it before (and I'm 27 years old!)

Joe :D
notthesharpest
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Post by notthesharpest »

Welcome to SMF!

Your razor is great, don't change it. (What setting is it at?)

Your face wash might be too rough - I don't know that particular kind. A lot of face washes have scratchy stuff in them, which is a bad thing to use right before shaving. You can try washing with plain soap instead.

Oil is useless. Skip it. It's just another way for AOS to pad your bill.

Since you are getting irritated, three passes is too much. Stick with one pass until you get this problem fixed.

Do you get a smooth shave when you're finished, or is there still some stubble left? It sounds as if you might need to change the way you hold the razor. (And have you watched Mantic's videos? He gives some really good demonstrations.)
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Midnttokr1
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Post by Midnttokr1 »

:D Thank you for the suggestions Mr. Assistant Dean.

I have the setting at a 2 right now (again after reading on the SMF forums i saw it is better to start low and work up)

LOL @ the AOS padding the bill. I received the 3 pack started kit as a gift so waste not want not. :lol:

I have watched Mantic's videos (all of them i think) and now, after having "some" expierence I noticed that I am taking the shaving passes from the "Method" technique but all the prep of traditional wetshaving.

I am getting an exceptionally smooth shave (my wife LOVES it) and the razor bumps and irritation are immediate but only temporary (I wear a tie to work everyday and it doesn't hurt or ittitate me throughout the day).

Again, thanks for the suggestions...I will try dialing down the number of passes and nix the oil.
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Aztecface
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Post by Aztecface »

Also you might want to refer from going ATG for at least a few days until you have the technique down. Instead go XTG from your ears towards your nose but only as a third pass. This might even completely remove the need to go ATG.
Regards,
Jani
notthesharpest
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Post by notthesharpest »

If the razor shaves nice at 2, then keep it there. (Sometimes guys with the razor at a low setting compensate by pressing too hard. If you're able to keep the pressure off, then that's great. If you need to put it up one more notch so you can truly use zero pressure, then try that.)

If you have a beard that grows strictly by the book, then the method passes may work for you. However, study which direction the hair on your neck is pointing. On me, for instance, the hair on my cheeks points down, and the hair on my neck points up. I therefore make my first pass downwards on the cheeks, but upwards on the neck. I get less irritation when I shave "with the grain" first, and save other directions for later. (The method man says it doesn't matter, and to shave just like in the picture - I disagree.)
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Midnttokr1
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Post by Midnttokr1 »

Jani and Mr. Dean I do appriciate all the advise. this is a very friendly and informative forum.

I will say that my hair does indeed grow like yours Mr. Dean in that cheek hair grows down and neck hair grows up. I didn't follow the method technique to a T in that I went WTG on my neck ilo the method technique of "grain doesn't matter".

I tried using Mantic's suggested passes in one of his introduction videos, but I just couldn't get it. LOL. I guess i just need more practice.

I will take all of your advise (and anyone elses) to heart. Thanks again!
"I'm a joker, I'm a smoker, I'm a midnight toker....playing my music in the sun....."

Joe
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Squire
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Post by Squire »

Hey Joe, welcome aboard. The bumps may be a pressure issue, hard to say, but since they are temporary it should be a simple problem to overcome.
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Squire
Bob
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Post by Bob »

Greetings, Joe, and welcome to SMF. I have a couple of comments.

First, although I, too, believe in "waste not want not", I suggest you set aside the pre-shave oil for now. By reducing the variables involved, you'll be able to pinpoint your problem quicker. The oil obviously isn't preventing irritation, so I'd just skip it if I were you. Once you've mastered DE shaving, you can always come back to the oil and decide if it adds anything good for you.

Second, I'd skip the face wash, at least in the areas where you'll apply the shave cream. Basically, shave cream is a soft soap, and you'll be washing your face with the shave soap and brush. There's no need for a special pre-shave wash. Again, the wash may be an irritant for you. Your face will still get clean by shaving. (I believe a sharp razor on wet skin is an excellent exfoliant).

Third, reduce the number of passes to two, at the most, for now. Sure, you'll feel a little stubble, especially on your neck, but no one's going to notice. Red, irritated skin is more noticeable. Once you've gotten used to the DE shave, and have improved your technique, you can start adding passes slowly. Personally, I've settled on a two-pass shave. I think you'll find that many of the experienced shavers on this board do only two or three passes.

Take it slow, reduce the number of possible issues, and you'll get to the root of your irritation problem.

Good luck and, again, welcome to SMF.
--Bob--
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Post by bernards66 »

Welcome. I can only concur with everything that Bob suggested and I hope you'll take it to heart. There is a tremendous amount of experiance with, and knowledge about, shaving on this forum; a few of us have been DE shaving for 40 years and more, and many of us have seen and supported many newcomers when they've arrived here. So, hopefully, you're stay will be both enjoyable and helpful.
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Gordon
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fish
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Post by fish »

Welcome to SMF, Joe.

I suggest reducing your shaves to two passes (that's what I do).

The oil protects your skin! :o
---fish--- Image
bernards66
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Post by bernards66 »

Fish, It also makes your whiskers harder to cut.
Regards,
Gordon
notthesharpest
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Post by notthesharpest »

fish wrote:The oil protects your skin!
You only get this protection if your lather is no good. Fix your lather and skip the oil - makes more sense.
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Midnttokr1
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Post by Midnttokr1 »

I am going to try a shave with no oil and at max 2 passes. I just ran out of the AOS Lavender cream and I picked up a tube of the C.O.Bigelow shave cream. I will give it a go and let you all know how it worked out. I do thank you all for your help and suggestions.
"I'm a joker, I'm a smoker, I'm a midnight toker....playing my music in the sun....."

Joe
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deshaveman
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Post by deshaveman »

Word of warning with the CO Bigelow (aka Proraso): The menthol may numb your face slightly resulting in the use of too much pressure. I love the cooling feel of Proraso on my face, but every time I have shaved with it I have irritated or cut my face more than any other cream I have tried.

The cooling/numbing sensation may be counterproductive to your attempt to reduce irritation.
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Midnttokr1
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Post by Midnttokr1 »

Thanks for the heads up. I will take caution and use only the weight of the razor. Any suggestion on some other good crems to check out? Or should I look in the shaving soaps/cream section of the forum?
"I'm a joker, I'm a smoker, I'm a midnight toker....playing my music in the sun....."

Joe
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King-D
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Post by King-D »

I just wanted to hop in and say that I'm in the same situation as Midnttokr1. I started DE shaving just last week with an old 1968 Gillette Tech (adjustable set on 2), Merkur blades, pre-shave facial scrub, preshave oil, and Taylor's lavender shave soap. I've also watched most of Mantic's videos. The end result: not a very close shave, razor burn, and it left my face feeling like I had used a cheap disposable.

I'll try ditching the pre-shave oil and pre-shave scrub, and, keeping it to two passes. I presume that after a while I'll naturally improve on technique. Is it worth trying a different brand of blade?
David

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deshaveman
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Post by deshaveman »

I'm into my fourth week of DE and what has helped me improve my shave over the last month the most have been the following:

1) Blade angle - play close attention
2) Pressure - or lack of
3) Beard mapping - My inaccurate beard map had me ripping through my neck. I get a lot less irritation now that I took a closer look.

After that you get to proper lathering technique, etc. But I believe that an accurate beard map and paying very close attention to technique during your shave will pay off handsomely. Now don't get me wrong, I am not getting perfect BBS shaves everyday. I get fairly smooth shaves but only go for par on my neck. I still get slight irritation that usually subsides within the hour after my shave. I believe going that last mile to BBS is just going to take time and practice.

As far as trying other blades, I am working my way through a pack of Merkurs as well and I think I am about ready to take the plunge into a sampler pack. Initially I was sticking with the Merkurs until my technique was somewhat steady and predictable. Now I just have to wait for Giovanni to get home from vacation :wink:

Best of luck from a fellow traveler on the road to DE shaving
tone
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Post by tone »

+1 on ditching all scrubs/oils/pre-post and whatever other nonsense is out there. I really regret wasting so much money on them and they are all totally useless for me and what seems like many others.

Tone
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Post by RJ »

deshaveman, you will be suprised how much the lather actually matters, once you create a great one. It really is a huge part of the process because it really helps to soften the whiskers and protect the skin. You guys may want to try a slightly dryer/thicker lather to really cushion the skin. Just don't make up for it by exerting more pressure to cut through it! Experiment a little with this.

King-D, your problem sounds like a blade angle issue. Start with the head of the razor on your face and slowly roll it forward (without exerting pressure) as you pull down with your arm until you hear the whiskers cut. The pressure should be so light it almost tickles.

One of my biggest problems is not paying attention and starting to exert more pressure without realizing it. Keeping a very light grip has helped me with this.

The pre-shave oil can help to coat/protect the skin, but for me it gunks up the blade. It also can cause you to use a little too much pressure as well. If you are going to use it, try rubbing it in, then putting a hot towel over it for a while and sort of wiping it off before you apply the lather. It gets into the skin, but doesn't gunk up as much. I will do this sometimes when I want to treat myself, but it really isn't a necessary step.

Finally, I would stick with one blade and razor combo for a while - at least a month (30 shaves). Once you get to a level where there is no improvement, try another blade to see if it can get you to the next level.

Good luck guys, stick with it and you will be very happy with your shaves before you know it.
notthesharpest
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Post by notthesharpest »

Midnttokr1 wrote:Thanks for the heads up. I will take caution and use only the weight of the razor. Any suggestion on some other good crems to check out? Or should I look in the shaving soaps/cream section of the forum?
Well, there are lots, and reading some reviews & comments is a great idea. However, if you're interested in creams, Taylor's is a very good cream at a better price than most.
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