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Improving shave little red marks

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Improving shave little red marks

Postby mattyb240 » Sat Oct 15, 2011 10:39 am

Hi everyone, I am comfortable with my razor (R89) and get fantastic results, but no matter how much prep, wet, soft, or razor I always end up with what I can only describe as little red marks. Its as if when the hair is removed a little red mark is left. This goes away after a day or so and I use a good lather and post shave balm.

I have tried not shaving across, or against the grain but that doesn't seem to help. I'm putting none, if any pressure at all on the blade when shaving.

Is this just my face? Its not irritated to touch or feel.

Thanks in advance you shaving gurus :D
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Postby jww » Sat Oct 15, 2011 2:34 pm

Razor burn can be the result of any of the following - individually or in combination:
poor preparation
poor blade angle
too much pressure
too little patience

My biggest learning curve issues were blade angle and pressure -- understanding how to trust the razor's weight to do the work, and how to keep an optimum angle takes time and patience.
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Postby Squire » Sat Oct 15, 2011 3:03 pm

Hey matt, Wendell covered the bases and it occurs to me your spots may be due to shaving too fast.
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Postby churchilllafemme » Sat Oct 15, 2011 6:51 pm

I would agree with the above and add the observation that when I was learning to wet shave, I found that if I stroked really slowly with the razor then it also had a lighter touch and pressure and was less likely to cause skin irritation. This requires patience and a lot of focus, but it becomes habit pretty quickly.
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Postby ShadowsDad » Sat Oct 15, 2011 8:54 pm

In the meantime, have you tried Witch Hazel? It's been known to help. I like the real distillate with 14% alcohol. It's also dirt cheap. Just a few dollars for a pint. Some folks don't like the smell (I love the stuff) but it disappears in minutes.
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Postby brothers » Sun Oct 16, 2011 4:28 am

I agree with the advice to slow it down, while using no more pressure than absolutely necessary.
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Postby marsos52 » Sun Oct 16, 2011 4:34 am

totally agree with the others,,

slowdown and use shorter strokes of one inch

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Postby Squire » Sun Oct 16, 2011 7:38 am

marc's post underscores an overlooked point, using short strokes while shaving. When using long strokes one tends to accelerate toward the end which will result in shaving faster than intended.
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Postby Quarterstick » Sun Oct 16, 2011 7:47 am

The odd part is that he does not describe any irritation or pain, just visible dots. I wonder if it could be the blades being too dull, pulling the hair? Or too sharp, causing minor irritation that does not lead to pain?
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Postby Squire » Sun Oct 16, 2011 8:43 am

matt, if you could post a picture that would help with our comments.
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Postby jww » Sun Oct 16, 2011 11:40 am

Of course, none of us thought of the obvious way to deal with this ---- stop shaving ..... but then, who of us from this community don't want to shave?
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Postby Squire » Sun Oct 16, 2011 11:54 am

Wendell there are some unspeakable things that are simply unspeakable.
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Postby mikey » Sun Oct 16, 2011 8:46 pm

Quarterstick wrote:...I wonder if it could be the blades being too dull, pulling the hair?...


I agree.

I get red razor bumps only when I use a blade that is too dull to begin with (Topaz and Derby come to mind among others). The blade seems to pull the hair out instead of cutting it thus causing the red bumps.

Quarterstick wrote:...Or too sharp, causing minor irritation that does not lead to pain?


I disagree.

When using sharp blades, I tend to get weepers (Feathers) or irritation that I can only describe as mild stinging (Gillette 7 O'clock Yellows). However, neither of these cause red razor bumps.

FWIW, the only time I got redness all over my face was when I used Proraso cream in a tube (brushless). Ironically enough, one of my favorites is Proraso soap in a tub (with a brush).

Hope this helps.

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Postby jww » Mon Oct 17, 2011 12:54 pm

Squire wrote:Wendell there are some unspeakable things that are simply unspeakable.


:-$
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Postby mattyb240 » Tue Oct 18, 2011 12:18 pm

Quarterstick wrote:The odd part is that he does not describe any irritation or pain, just visible dots. I wonder if it could be the blades being too dull, pulling the hair? Or too sharp, causing minor irritation that does not lead to pain?


Thanks for all the responses guys, I definitely do short strokes, I thought I was doing them slow but I'm sure theres room to go slower. I definitely didn't associate the marks as razor burn, especially as google images show much worse versions.

I did wonder whether or not the hairs might be being pulled at rather than cut nicely? I will swap out the blade tonight, although it is only a few shaves old. How often do you guys swap out? I only usually do it every 6-10 shaves as my hair is fine and not coarse.

I haven't tried whitchazel? Perhaps its something for me to look for in the future!

I will report back after my shave!
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Postby marsos52 » Tue Oct 18, 2011 4:30 pm

we all change blades when its needed.. that helps im sure.

evey blad and every beard are so different that there is no standard when to change

generally you can judge when it is time when the blade does shave as well
and or can feel the blade not shaving smoothly

for some that is 2 oe 3 or 4 shaves..others get much longer.. in the old days when de blades where at there best i could use a blade for a week of more..

these days im happy with 3 shaves from the average blade..

i do admit to be a merkur blade fan i have been using them since the 1970's and i do get 7 shaves from a blade..

3 passes a shave with a pretty heavy beard.. of course that is what i get from a blade and you may or may not

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Postby kronos9 » Tue Oct 18, 2011 5:32 pm

My beard, such as it is, is sufficiently managed with weekly blade changes.

As to stroke speed, I suspect there is a lower speed limit where the benefits of cushioning, lubrication, etc., are eliminated and the edge simply falls through the protective layers and starts to work on the epidermis. A loss of the molecular hydroplaning effect, as it were.
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Postby ShadowsDad » Tue Oct 18, 2011 8:41 pm

Matty, I change blades when it needs to be changed or after 7 shaves.

Some excellent blades I only get 2 great shaves from, Feather comes to mind, some aren't good for even 1/2 a shave, and others can go for more than 7 shaves. There is no rule. You'll know when you get some experience, in the meantime, get a styptic pencil. Cuts/weepers are just part of learning, and I guarantee that if you keep with it it'll get better and you'll need the pencil less frequently.

When the blade begins "dragging" or "tugging" that's what I look for. Or, if I'm not enjoying the shave. Some blades have an unknown quality and I have no idea what it is... One of the last blades I tested would give me lots of weepers for some unknown reason. OK, my skin is creased from age, but I don't think that was the problem, heck, I love Feathers and 7:00 Yellows. Technique wasn't the problem either. I gave it all sorts of time (shaves) to straighten out, but it wouldn't. I changed the blade to one I like and the problem disappeared. Yup, some blades aren't good for even one shave.

I'm trying to answer your question about when to change blades. It all depends is the best answer I can give.

Another thing to try for the spots might be an alum block. It won't prevent the spots, but it might help after the fact. This isn't a styptic pencil, it's another item that you'll rub on your face after the shave. If you don't want to mail order it you can probably find it in the deodorant section. It's other name is "crystal" deodorant. It's priced all over the board. It's just a chemical in crystal form, so go for price. I find the best bang for the buck is at West Coast Shaving, they have a no brand block for a few bucks, it comes in a clear plastic box. Yup, it can be used as an underarm stench preventer too. One block lasts a VERY long time with even heavy use.
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Postby Quarterstick » Wed Oct 19, 2011 10:33 am

+1 on the number of shaves varying. Typically I average 3 to 4, but I have even read some that say they can get over 20 shaves out of one blade.

Have you noticed the problem occuring every time you shave or only on the last couple of shaves with a given blade? If it happens every time, then it is not the number of shaves on your blade.

Besides technique, I would recommend some experimentation. Change one thing (say try a different soap/cream or try a different aftershave), then give it a number of shaves and see what happens. Just remember to only change one thing and be patient to see the actual effects.

Once you figure out the issue, you may want to consider the witchhazel or alum block as part of your post shave routine. I used to get small breakouts if I left too much shaving cream residue on my face post shave. Using witchhazel as an aftershave helps clean off my face and solved the problem. Also, it reduces irritation in general for those times I rush or try pushing the number of passes and make technique mistakes. I have not used an alum block myself, but I have read enough to support ShadowsDad recommendation.

Hope this helps.
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Postby mattyb240 » Wed Oct 19, 2011 1:10 pm

Well……

Thanks for the replies, I already experimented with different creams to see if it was the lather and or my lathering. But I am happy with all of them, I believed I was comfortable in my technique, but upon everyones advice I swapped out the blade for a new gillette yellow and slowed right down (and I thought I was slow already).

The results, whilst I didn't think I was feeling tugging before (old blade) I could feel a difference straight away with a new blade. Slowing down has definitely reduced the marks significantly, I still have a couple but not as bad. I can only assume I needed to swap those two things! I found a slight bit of pulling when going a bit to slow.

The remaining red marks like the last are always on the line following my chin to my adam's apple. Perhaps thats just my skin, but I will try and post a picture at some point soon to illustrate.
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