Fighting a shadow

Discussion in 'Shave Clinic & Newbie Check-In' started by Bald_and_Hairy, Oct 14, 2009.

  1. I'm a new guy checking in for the first time. After a few months of reading and research, I finally feel like I'm really learning how to shave and I wanted to extend my thanks to all the expert advice that I've seen. When I first started shaving I started with a multi-blade razor and since I had no clue what I was doing I was constantly fighting all kinds of skin issues. So I switched to an electric razor and for a while it helped but I was never happy with the results. So after 15+ years of struggle I've started on a new path.

    I've been shaving for a couple of months with a Merkur 34C using Derby or Personna blades. Working with C.O. Biglow and VDH. My main focus was to get my technique down and then go from there. I've had some DFS and even a couple of BBS since the start. Overall more good than bad shaves.

    I do have a question though, even when I'm BBS I still seem to have a shadow. Is this because of the blades or razor that I'm using? Do I need something more aggressive? Or is it just genetics? Don't get me wrong I'm so happy with my results since switching from an electric razor, but I guess I was expecting a little less of a shadow.
  2. Luc

    Luc Moderator Emeritus

    Welcome to B&B!

    To answer your question, I have a 'lighter' shadow if I get a BBS shave. Does it disappear? No, I always have one. It does feel smooth!
  3. from what i can understand, the shadow is a little more visible when DE shaving than cartridge because the cartridge pulls the hairs up and then cuts below the skins surface (which is what causes alot of the irritation) whats your routine? i know if i spend too long in the shower before my shave then my skin gets a little swollen (hard to describe, not visibly swollen but i guess just the heat and water causes the pores to expand etc) if i then shave with my skin like this as my skin returns to normal my shadow becomes marginally more prominent, which is why i favour shaving mid shower.
  4. I noticed the same when I started a couple of months ago.

    No matter how close I get, there is still a shadow of stubble showing. But part of this for me, is I rarely shave ATG anymore; I get far closer, smoother shaves without the need to do so.

    Some say the shadow is because carts lift and cut below the skins surface, but their ability to do this is contentious.
  5. I shower then prep my cream or soap. Apply warm water, then cream or soap to face. I do a WTG then XTG and finally ATG with rinses and re-lathers in between. Afterwards I splash some witchhazel and them some aftershave.
  6. DSB


    Welcome to B&B. If you're BBS, and still have a shadow, I'm not sure what you can do. Any smoother, and I think you would suffer irritation.
  7. Sorry, man. I have no idea what would be causing that. It looks like you have some informative posts above, so...Welcome to B&B!
  8. hmm you could give shaving before the shower a go, if you feel you need more prep than just warm water etc then you could try kyles prep, might help a little, if not my only other suggestions would be to try changing the order of wtg, xtg and atg (may help but unlikely to any sizeable degree) and to make sure you've mapped your growth correctly, but if youre getting bbs then chances are you just have very thick hair and so it shows your shadow more.
    im no expert btw these are just my opinions, ymmv and im sure others could advise you better.
  9. mdunn

    mdunn Moderator Emeritus


    de shaves right on skin level, whereas a cartridge cuts below the level, so this way is more shadow, but less irritation
  10. Welcome to B&B!
  11. My wife is delighted with the shaves I'm getting now; she says they're the smoothest I've ever achieved and they last into the early evening. However, she did notice that the shadow appears more pronounced even though she can't feel it. Lucky for me that she thinks shadow is sexy and add to the allure - just so long as she doesn't feel it!
  12. I get the shadow and much more than when i was using a cartridge, but de shaving is the way to go:smile:
  13. If a cartridge razor shaves below skin level,why does a D/E,S/E or straight shave last so much longer???
  14. Well I guess I'll learn to love the shadow since I am very smooth and irritation free. Plus I enjoy the zen of DE shaving!
  15. Welcome!
  16. If you have a fair complexion, just wait awhile. As you get older and your hair turns lighter and the shadow tends to disappear. :w00t:
  17. If your face feels smooth after the shave, and you have dark facial hair, you're just seeing the tips of the hairs at skin level. Some guys with dark, thick hair put up with this all their lives.
  18. This is why i only do 1-2 passes and dont care for BBS.. because im going to have at least a hint of a shadow anyway.

    Although i have noticed that it looks worst in the bathroom light, just after the shave. Later, presumably as the pores have closed up and when seen in natural light, it is not very noticeable.
  19. I find that if I use a moisturizing ASB it makes my face a little more "puffy" and helps hide the shadow. It can even make the shave feel smoother as I'm assuming the skin is slightly raised higher than when you finished shaving.

    However, using it everyday can really make your skin feel oily and cause some problems.
  20. I have a similar problem. My face feels smooth, looks rustic. I went to trumpers and the barber I spoke to had a similar look, you could tell he was clean shaven, yet you could see the beard. He did have very dark/black hair. He did say he uses a mach 3. So I guess it has to do with skin type and beard thickness. I must point out, that I'm still perfecting my technique and working my way through a sample pack of blades.

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