27 years old and I still can't get a painless shave.

Thoughts and input on anything related to wet shaving or men's grooming.
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DEF
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Post by DEF » Wed Aug 09, 2006 4:44 pm

Rob_TN wrote:DEF and Leisureguy, I don't know what beard conditioner is or where to buy it. Could you recommend anything?
There's probably some magic product out there that I don't know about, but plain old hair conditioner is what I use -- when I do.
Doug

Leisureguy

Post by Leisureguy » Wed Aug 09, 2006 4:47 pm

And definitely turn down the Futur. I suggest you go to 1 and then see how that does. Work up from there. Especially go to 1 with the Feather.

Rob

Post by Rob » Wed Aug 09, 2006 4:49 pm

Roger that, DEF and Leisureguy. Don't worry, I won't be going for the Feathers anytime soon.

Leisureguy

Post by Leisureguy » Wed Aug 09, 2006 5:17 pm

Don't stay away from them: they are very nice and very gentle for some, depending (I think) on the razor and the shaving technique. Take a look at this thread. They're definitely worth a try.

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Scorpio
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Post by Scorpio » Wed Aug 09, 2006 5:31 pm

I use Proraso preshave cream in addition to the hot towel. You can get this preshave cream at you local Target store in the men's spa section located in the cosmetic section. There are other pre shave oils and creams available. I am sure some of the guys can share their expertise on the subject of preping your face.

Rafael
"A well lathered face is only half of a good shave"

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wenestvedt
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Post by wenestvedt » Wed Aug 09, 2006 5:53 pm

That's the spirit, Rob_TN, you can do it!

(That sounds dumb. What's you name, man? You're among friends here!)

With the Feathers, I only shave once with the grain, then wet and re-lather, then shave across the grain. Actually going against the grain would, I think, expose bone. :7(

I was a little more aggressive the the Merkur blades I bought from Charles at QED with my razor, but these Feather blades demand a little more respect. :7)

- Will

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MOSES
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Post by MOSES » Wed Aug 09, 2006 6:01 pm

Maybe I'm going way out on a limb here, but I'd venture to address him as Rob.

Even further out on a limb, I'm guessing Rob is from Tennessee....
Alrighty, stickim up and hand over the Coates real nice and slow like....

Rob

Post by Rob » Wed Aug 09, 2006 6:11 pm

Leisureguy, maybe after I get the hang of DE shaving I'll give the Feathers a try. I need to get a decent technique down pat first.

Scorpio, I just PMed Hugo here to buy some Proraso he's selling. Looks like I got a good deal from him.

Hehehe, as MOSES said while flexing his brainpower, I am from Tennessee and my name is Rob. Those were some very risky guesses MOSES! :P

Thanks for all your help. I really needed it.

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Joe Lerch
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Post by Joe Lerch » Wed Aug 09, 2006 6:54 pm

I think the barber idea is a good one. At least it will demonstrate to you that a comfortable shave is possible.

Let's think about what would maximize your chances of success. Forget a str8. If you're butchering yourself with a safety razor you don't want to use an open blade with no safety bar. Also, forget Feathers. They're the thinnest blades and will be the least stable. In fact, any DE blades are probably too flexible and will not control well.

That leaves the injector or the GEM. Both of these are great choices, not only because of the thicker blades, but because they both naturally seek a very flat blade angle. Because an injector has a smaller blade which is more closely held down, I'm leaning towards that. Put a fresh personna blade in it.

Soak you face in the shower for 5 minutes, wash it, and apply some conditioner. Use a shaving lather that has a strong cushion, like Nancy Boy.

Now here is the most important part. You must not shave aggressively. By this I mean minimum pressure with the blade as flat as possible. But you also must not try to shave off too much at one time. Use beard reduction. On the first pass with the grain do NOT try to cut down to skin and do not shave over any spot where you have shaved off the lather. On the second pass across the grain (after re-lathering), do not cut down to skin, but try to end up with a very fine stuble. Again, don't shave over any spot where you've shave off the lather. Up to this point you haven't touched skin, so the should be no nicks and no irritation. The only source of pain would be pulling hairs, and that shouldn't happen with a fresh blade.

The last pass will be across the grain in the opposite direction to the second pass. Re-lather. Now, you will try to cut down to skin for the first time, but you're working with a fine stubble, si use a very light touch. You can shave over a spot where you've removed lather- once, if you need to get some whiskers you missed. Since you're going to skin you might now cut yourself or cause irritation so keep it light and don't try for every last hair. It may not be perfect after this, but this is where to stop, for now.

Let the tap water run until it's cold and splash you face repeatedly to cool it down. Now applya gentle aftershave. Now, doesn't that feel good?
Joe

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wenestvedt
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Post by wenestvedt » Wed Aug 09, 2006 7:12 pm

Joe Lerch wrote:You must not shave aggressively. ... But you also must not try to shave off too much at one time.
There's a good point: don't go for the long, sure strokes of the samurai, but use short, gentle nibbling.

Using long strokes, you tend to hold the razor head at the same angle for the length of the stroke, but when using short strokes you can actually get the blade at the correct angle for just that little bit of neck real estate.

Just a thought.

- Will

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FiReSTaRT
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Post by FiReSTaRT » Wed Aug 09, 2006 11:26 pm

Eventually you will develop the knack for doing long strokes with angles changing to match your facial features. Actually I'm not sure how possible it is with a DE. I found a straight to be easier to control.
"The downfall of any system of government is that it is run by humans." -- Ilija Milicevic

JimT
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Post by JimT » Thu Aug 10, 2006 1:03 am

Rob,

You have gotten much help and advice from this thread and you have finally attracted the attention of one SMF member that has helped me enormously. Read the post from Joe Lerch several times and then study all his SMF posts. His advice on double edge razor technique was some of the most useful information I have obtained from this site. Thank you Joe. You have helped me more than you know.

JimT
The Riehle Axiom - "One test is worth a thousand expert opinions"

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Joe Lerch
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Post by Joe Lerch » Thu Aug 10, 2006 7:21 am

Thanks so much for your kind words JimT. It's nice to know I've helped someone. That's what my posting is all about for me. I get a lot out of the sitte and I'm just paying back in kind.

Rob, I forgot to mention that I have 2 articles in my Gallery that might help you. One is a wet shaving primer and the other deals with neck irritation.
Joe

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FiReSTaRT
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Post by FiReSTaRT » Thu Aug 10, 2006 7:26 am

And you should also listen to Joe if you're planning on going straight. If you put a blade in my hand, you can have reasonable expectations that I'll get it shave ready, but there's still A LOT that I could pick Joe's brains for.
"The downfall of any system of government is that it is run by humans." -- Ilija Milicevic

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Joe Lerch
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Post by Joe Lerch » Tue Aug 15, 2006 7:16 am

Rob_TN, how's it going? Have you seen any improvement?
Joe

Rob

Post by Rob » Tue Aug 15, 2006 7:55 pm

Sorry for the late reply guys. Since my last reply in this thread I was hammered with finals in summer school and moving to another house. Whew. Glad that's all over now.

Ok, so here's what I've done since my last post. I have shaved only twice...yes, twice! I didn't shave at all for about 4-5 days while I was doing finals and moving...just not enough time. I first shaved two days ago (Sunday night) and tonight. Neither times were after a shower, yet neither time did I have a painful shave at all!

For the first shave two days ago I splashed warm water on my face and applied some Flex hair conditioner to my beard. I also used a hot and very moist washcloth and laid it upon my face. After two minutes or so the washcloth lost its heat and I used it to wipe the conditioner off. I worked up some lather with some Col. Conk Bayrum soap and put it on my face.

I followed the advice of many here and did beard reduction...not total beard elimination in one or two swipes (as I had been doing previously). Also, I turned my Merkur Futur down from 3 to 1. I had to rinse my face a few times to remove cut hairs and then reapply shaving soap. I performed only with-the-grain movements. After I finished I cleaned my face off and applied some CVS Witch Hazel to my face. I had some very, very tiny spots that experienced some burn by the Witch Hazel....but no bleeding! That was the first shave that I can ever remember where I had no bleeding! Wow. No pain, no bleeding, no razor burn.

Tonight I did it a little differently. I didn't use Flex conditioner but kept everything else the same. Again, no pain, no bleeding, no razorburn. Amazing.

The only thing I want to achieve is a closer shave. Both shaves left some scruff that just bug me. I am a perfectionist and it will take some time for me to achieve a closer shave...so I will just have to relax on this one issue. :P Hey, I got what I wanted: A painless, bleedless, razor burn-free shave. Not once, but twice. Hubba hubba.

Thanks guys. You all have been a tremendous help. I just wish I found you guys years ago.

-Rob

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FiReSTaRT
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Post by FiReSTaRT » Tue Aug 15, 2006 9:07 pm

Glad to hear it! Once you start getting even better results, you may want to consider adding to the experience, by going straight. That's something I never got by shaving with a DE, because those blades were factory made. My blades have all been honed and maintained by me, so they fill me with a sense of pride, every time they leave my face clean and hair-free.
"The downfall of any system of government is that it is run by humans." -- Ilija Milicevic

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ScottS
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Post by ScottS » Wed Aug 16, 2006 5:34 am

Rob_TN wrote: The only thing I want to achieve is a closer shave. Both shaves left some scruff that just bug me. I am a perfectionist and it will take some time for me to achieve a closer shave...so I will just have to relax on this one issue. :P Hey, I got what I wanted: A painless, bleedless, razor burn-free shave. Not once, but twice. Hubba hubba.
-Rob
Great! Now you seem to have a pain-free base from which to launch. Give it a few more days, if you can keep patient, just to help you stabilize a little more, and replace your second with the grain pass with an across the grain pass, and remember to stretch your skin to stand up the whiskers properly for their execution. Just be sure to NOT ADD PRESSURE.

The good thing is if you change something and get irritated, now you'll know what caused the irritation. You'll be getting close shaves in no time. Keep in mind that not everyone is going to manage baby-butt smooth and stay comfortable.

Rob

Post by Rob » Wed Aug 16, 2006 7:27 am

I might just give straight razoring a try one of these days. Now that I have finally achieved what I thought to be unreachable (a painless shave) I think I'll stick with DE for a while. I'm going to try some different creams, soaps, blades, and techniques.

I'll definitely progress to an across-the-grain pass soon. I wasn't aware of stretching the skin, I'll have to give it a try, too. Yeah, I don't expect to get a baby-butt shave anytime soon. No worries, I'm in heaven with my pain-free shave at the moment.

-Rob

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Joe Lerch
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Post by Joe Lerch » Wed Aug 16, 2006 7:40 am

Rob_TN wrote:I didn't shave at all for about 4-5 days
THis had a lot to do with your success. You need to give your face a chance to recover from irritation and cuts. Otherwise you're constantly causing the same injuries re-flare up.

Congratulations! Keep up the good work, but PATIENCE.
Joe

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