Does DE shaving increase the coarsness of your hair?

Thoughts and input on anything related to wet shaving or men's grooming.
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Kazaam
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Does DE shaving increase the coarsness of your hair?

Post by Kazaam » Mon Dec 31, 2007 11:03 pm

Hey all,

Since I've started shaving with a DE razor, I have noticed that my (already really) coarse hair is getting even more coarse and tough. It feels like steel wool now. Am I just crazy or do other people notice this too? And is there any possible way to alleviate this?

Haha, thanks in advance!

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Occam
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Re: Does DE shaving increase the coarsness of your hair?

Post by Occam » Mon Dec 31, 2007 11:45 pm

Kazaam wrote:Hey all,

Since I've started shaving with a DE razor, I have noticed that my (already really) coarse hair is getting even more coarse and tough. It feels like steel wool now. Am I just crazy or do other people notice this too? And is there any possible way to alleviate this?

Haha, thanks in advance!
The hair itself will not change.

The angle you cut it at will affect its sharpness though.

Think of how natives sharpen stakes for making spears. If you cut the hair one way and then the other etc. you will end up with a sharper hair etc. I was noticing much sharper hairs for a while.

Since I've been using Proraso pre shave and Arko which contain Potassium and Sodium hydroxide which are alkaline agents that soften +/- dissolve hair I have noticed this much much less if at all.
Ben

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notthesharpest
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Post by notthesharpest » Tue Jan 01, 2008 12:51 am

Your hair's growth pattern cannot be changed by a blade or anything about the way you shave.

One possible theory: If you use a very sharp blade, the hair might be cut very cleanly, leaving sharp corners and a harsh feel. If you use a blade that isn't so sharp, it might fray the end of the whisker, leaving a softer tip.



Occam: The soap was made with lye, but it has all reacted with the fats in the soap-making process, it cannot dissolve anything, and there is in fact no lye in there. (The same way that your salt shaker doesn't contain deadly chlorine gas.)

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Occam
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Post by Occam » Tue Jan 01, 2008 1:48 am

notthesharpest wrote:Your hair's growth pattern cannot be changed by a blade or anything about the way you shave.

One possible theory: If you use a very sharp blade, the hair might be cut very cleanly, leaving sharp corners and a harsh feel. If you use a blade that isn't so sharp, it might fray the end of the whisker, leaving a softer tip.



Occam: The soap was made with lye, but it has all reacted with the fats in the soap-making process, it cannot dissolve anything, and there is in fact no lye in there. (The same way that your salt shaker doesn't contain deadly chlorine gas.)

Hi nts,

Thank you for the chemistry lesson :) But I am familiar with the process of saponification of fats.

No soap has potassium or sodium hydroxide listed on the ingredients. The KOH and NaOH I refer to are listed as separate constituents on the products themselves and do not therefore refer to reactants used to make up the other products.

Proraso pre-shave cream has Potassium Hydroxide listed in the ingredients and it is not a part of a soap recipe ;)

Arko also has the two listed on the ingredients and these are not reactants in the saponification process, but rather refer to contents of the tube (albeit in fairly low osmolality).

Cheers.
Ben

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Post by drumana » Tue Jan 01, 2008 7:31 am

Well, no, I don't think shaving changes the coarseness of the beard.

I do notice a difference of the feeling of my beard when shaving with a slant bar as opposed to a standard DE razor. Since the slant cuts the hairs at an angle, the result is a "sharper" stubble when it grows back. Like many little tiny spears shooting out of my face :lol:
-Andrew-

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Post by Kazaam » Tue Jan 01, 2008 9:39 am

drumana wrote:Well, no, I don't think shaving changes the coarseness of the beard.

I do notice a difference of the feeling of my beard when shaving with a slant bar as opposed to a standard DE razor. Since the slant cuts the hairs at an angle, the result is a "sharper" stubble when it grows back. Like many little tiny spears shooting out of my face :lol:
Yes! That's what it feels like, but im not using a slant bar. :D

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Post by notthesharpest » Tue Jan 01, 2008 10:08 am

Occam wrote:
notthesharpest wrote:Your hair's growth pattern cannot be changed by a blade or anything about the way you shave.

One possible theory: If you use a very sharp blade, the hair might be cut very cleanly, leaving sharp corners and a harsh feel. If you use a blade that isn't so sharp, it might fray the end of the whisker, leaving a softer tip.



Occam: The soap was made with lye, but it has all reacted with the fats in the soap-making process, it cannot dissolve anything, and there is in fact no lye in there. (The same way that your salt shaker doesn't contain deadly chlorine gas.)

Hi nts,

Thank you for the chemistry lesson :) But I am familiar with the process of saponification of fats.

No soap has potassium or sodium hydroxide listed on the ingredients. The KOH and NaOH I refer to are listed as separate constituents on the products themselves and do not therefore refer to reactants used to make up the other products.

Proraso pre-shave cream has Potassium Hydroxide listed in the ingredients and it is not a part of a soap recipe ;)

Arko also has the two listed on the ingredients and these are not reactants in the saponification process, but rather refer to contents of the tube (albeit in fairly low osmolality).

Cheers.
All these products, despite their names, are in fact different types of soaps. If there was really lye in there, it would remove your face in short order. :shock:

Those potassium hydroxide /sodium hydroxide ingredients are reactants that make up other products, no exceptions. Some soap makers list it this way too, but as you have noticed, many don't.

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Post by Occam » Tue Jan 01, 2008 4:39 pm

notthesharpest wrote:All these products, despite their names, are in fact different types of soaps. If there was really lye in there, it would remove your face in short order. :shock:

Those potassium hydroxide /sodium hydroxide ingredients are reactants that make up other products, no exceptions. Some soap makers list it this way too, but as you have noticed, many don't.
With respect, I can't agree and can state with some force that you are quite wrong here. The ingredients on these products are usually listed in order of amount of content so that the first ingredient is the highest content and the last has the least content.

You have not explained why a reactant, that is no longer present in the product as you claim, is listed on the ingredient list. What is the rationale for that in your view?

You have also claimed that small amount of "lye" would remove your face. Depilatory creams which dissolve hair all contain strong alkali. Why don't those products remove your face (with proper use) ?

It's all about concentration or osmolality. Please understand that I am not belittling your knowledge on this, but rather explaining to you that the hydroxides listed on the ingredients are really there and serve a purpose. To show otherwise you will have to prove your statements, with more than just belief or hearsay.

Regards.
Ben

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Post by notthesharpest » Tue Jan 01, 2008 9:33 pm

Ben - I have no proof. However, for example, in ordinary Proraso shaving cream, the hydroxides are very high on the ingredient list, along with stearic acid and coconut oil. This would indicate to me, and to you I'm sure, that the Proraso ingredient list does not describe the finished product, but simply lists what went into it.

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Post by Lionhearted » Tue Jan 01, 2008 10:05 pm

notthesharpest wrote:Ben - I have no proof. However, for example, in ordinary Proraso shaving cream, the hydroxides are very high on the ingredient list, along with stearic acid and coconut oil. This would indicate to me, and to you I'm sure, that the Proraso ingredient list does not describe the finished product, but simply lists what went into it.
I think this is correct.

The handiest shaving product for me to reach was American Palmolive cream. Potassium hydroxide is the 4th ingredient ahead of coconut oil and sodium hydroxide is the 7th ingredient, both bases. The number one ingredient is stearic acid that would neutralize the two bases. While I'm not familiar with soap making my undergraduate major was chemistry and I taught biochemistry in medical school briefly before I got my M.D. degree. It's not entirely clear to me why these ingredients are listed as they are but it seems the end result would be soap with no caustic material left. I think this is a list of the ingredients used to make the product, not an analysis of the finished product.

Richard

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Post by Lionhearted » Tue Jan 01, 2008 10:15 pm

To answer the original poster's question shaving doesn't change the nature of the hair. The coarseness comes from the angle of the cut. A single pass shave with the grain will reduce the apparent coarseness. An electric shaver or a dull razor blade usually splits the ends of the hair and makes for a less coarse feel and appearence.

See http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/hair-removal/AN00638

Richard

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Post by Occam » Wed Jan 02, 2008 12:39 am

notthesharpest wrote:Ben - I have no proof. However, for example, in ordinary Proraso shaving cream, the hydroxides are very high on the ingredient list, along with stearic acid and coconut oil. This would indicate to me, and to you I'm sure, that the Proraso ingredient list does not describe the finished product, but simply lists what went into it.
I must admit that the manner of listing the ingredients is odd, as Richard has pointed to also, and have to concede that it is possible that the manufacturers are listing reactants that are no longer present in the final product. I've learned something :)
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Post by bleedingface » Wed Jan 02, 2008 5:30 am

Occam wrote:I must admit that the manner of listing the ingredients is odd, as Richard has pointed to also, and have to concede that it is possible that the manufacturers are listing reactants that are no longer present in the final product. I've learned something :)
That is a really strange standard by which to list ingredients, though!

I found this in 21 CFR Section 700:
(2) Processing aids, which are as follows:

(i) Substances that are added to a cosmetic during the processing of such cosmetic but are removed from the cosmetic in accordance with good manufacturing practices before it is packaged in its finished form.

(ii) Substances that are added to a cosmetic during processing for their technical or functional effect in the processing, are converted to substances the same as constituents of declared ingredients, and do not significantly increase the concentration of those constituents.

(iii) Substances that are added to a cosmetic during the processing of such cosmetic for their technical and functional effect in the processing but are present in the finished cosmetic at insignificant levels and do not have any technical or functional effect in that cosmetic.
It looks like there is wiggle room here.

Also found this about reformulations:
4) Any labeling containing a declaration of ingredients which reflects a formulation change and not shipped accompanying a display unit or chart shall be dated. Whenever any formulation change is made, and the labeling containing the declaration of ingredients is thereby required to be used in conjunction with products of both the old and new formulations, the labeling shall declare the ingredients of both the old and new formulations separately in a way that is not misleading and in a way that permits the purchaser to identify the ingredient declaration applicable to each package, or which clearly advises the purchaser that the formulation has been changed and that either declaration may be applicable.
There is more about reformulations; enough to suggest the FDA has had discussions and debate about it at length...

Interestingly, this is also this:
(a) In its definition of the term cosmetic, the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act specifically excludes soap. The term soap is nowhere defined in the act. In administering the act, the Food and Drug Administration interprets the term “soap” to apply only to articles that meet the following conditions:

(1) The bulk of the nonvolatile matter in the product consists of an alkali salt of fatty acids and the detergent properties of the article are due to the alkali-fatty acid compounds; and

(2) The product is labeled, sold, and represented only as soap.
It looks like that for soap there are no requirements. So when asked the question, "What about soap?" This section specifically says, "Yeh, shaddup!"

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Post by notthesharpest » Wed Jan 02, 2008 12:45 pm

Proraso is Italian. Perhaps the Italian label already met the FDA standards, but met them in a different way than US companies usually do it. I have no idea.

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Post by drmoss_ca » Wed Jan 02, 2008 2:13 pm

In my experience, ingredient labels for soap products can either show the saponified salt (eg sodium tallowate) or the more basic ingredients used to make them (in the case aforementioned it would be sodium hydroxide and tallow). I wouldn't want any added alkali surplus to that required for saponification - ever seen cement burns? Many of us are aware that one classic brand of shaving soap causes irritation to many users because of XS alkali/insufficient aging.
Occam - I congratulate you on being able to change your mind when circumstances dictate it. One of the commonest errors in my line of work is to inherit someone else's theory of a situation and continue to look at it that way, even making the facts fit the theory, rather than being able to start afresh when the situation demands it.

Chris
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Pierre-Simon de Laplace

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Post by Pete_T » Wed Jan 02, 2008 10:01 pm

drmoss_ca wrote: Occam - I congratulate you on being able to change your mind when circumstances dictate it. One of the commonest errors in my line of work is to inherit someone else's theory of a situation and continue to look at it that way, even making the facts fit the theory, rather than being able to start afresh when the situation demands it.

Chris
I think thats one of the most common errors in the world, not just the medical profession.

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Post by Occam » Wed Jan 02, 2008 10:09 pm

drmoss_ca wrote: Occam - I congratulate you on being able to change your mind when circumstances dictate it. One of the commonest errors in my line of work is to inherit someone else's theory of a situation and continue to look at it that way, even making the facts fit the theory, rather than being able to start afresh when the situation demands it.

Chris
Hi Chris,

As a fellow medical professional it behooves us to always evaluate the situation as more information comes into play. To hold onto falsehood is more abhorrent to me than to admit that one was wrong. To hold onto falsehood amounts to being wrong all the time, to admit your error on the other hand is to be wrong once :)

Regards.
Ben

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Post by Kazaam » Thu Jan 03, 2008 9:07 am

Good discussion, at least chemistry proved useful in letting me know what you were discussing. :lol: So back to the point, there ISN'T anything you can do then, right?

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Post by sebell » Thu Jan 03, 2008 9:24 am

You could try shaving with a straight
razor, at least the stubble doesn't feel
as sharp as with a DE.

- Scott

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Post by notthesharpest » Thu Jan 03, 2008 5:00 pm

Kazaam wrote:Good discussion, at least chemistry proved useful in letting me know what you were discussing. :lol: So back to the point, there ISN'T anything you can do then, right?
You can try shaving with blades that are less sharp and/or have a rougher feel, or you can try a different model of razor. For example, the stubble left by a Feather blade is harsher than that left by a Merkur blade. The assumption is that the less-sharp or less-smooth blades fray the hair and make it feel softer, but I haven't put my face under a microscope lately to check. :)

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