First shave, stubble wins stretegic battle against blade

Discussion in 'Shave Clinic & Newbie Check-In' started by Noam Chomsky, Mar 30, 2011.

  1. So my first DE arrived today - what I thought was going to be a Gillette Tech Ball End turned out to be a Tech travel, but there you go. With it came a Gillette Blue Blade. Got it out of the envelope, gave it a quick wash, hopped in a hot shower and came back to face lather with some TOBS sandalwood cream (to which I added a squirt of Men-U Tea Tree) and a Simpson Beaufort B2 pure badger.

    First pass was very smooth, although slightly ineffective - not much beard came off. After the irritation-free first pass I thought I'd go for an ATG. Bit of tug here, but no real irritation. So I did an XTG - and here there was plenty of tug, and not much beard removal. It was like the blade just couldn't cut the stubble. Frustrated I did the XTG again and again. I know, that was a mistake. I now have some moderate to bad razor burn and some dark black and very sharp stubble! I look slightly threatening with this mixture of black spikes and indignant red blotches.

    Decided to forego the Nivea Post shave balm (replenishing edition) as that burns like agent orange when I have irritated skin.

    I have a sample pack coming in the post at some point - it might arrive tomorrow. I have a feeling a sharp blade would help, as it was the stubble vs metal battle (which my stubble won) that led to the irritation. Might try a Feather - your thoughts? Apart from the masochistic repetition of the XTG I think my technique was pretty good - no weepers (well, one utterly tiny cut on my moustache - where my stubble put up its fiercest fight) and absolutely no face pressing.

    I eagerly await your sage advice.
  2. maxman

    maxman Moderator Emeritus

    Did you shave with that old blue blade? :blink:
    That'll be your problem right there.
    They don't age well IMHO.

    Wait for your sampler.
  3. Thanks for the advice - I did use the blue, and it's quite reassuring to know that others have had similar experiences. As far as I can make out from the date code (G4) it was made in 1934. I probably should have left it in its wrapper, it's quite nice to have vintage things lying around intact. If you think the Blues aren't worth shaving with I'll start slow and put a Derby in the Tech when my blades arrive.

  4. Derby are what many start with, I did.

    If there's one thing you need to learn as a newbie... more than "no pressure", how to lather, prep...

    You need to learn when to put the razor down and step away.
    Probably 95% of the issues people have could be avoided.

    If you backed out of your garage with the door down would you keep trying to back out or would you fix the problem?
    Obviously you have to experiment a little but some of you guys are gluttons!
  5. Wisdom.
  6. Let's hope the new start with a good blade goes well! You already learned not to force a shave. Now the door is open (garage door?) for you to learn how to find those firm but gentle technics that will get you to great shaves.

    Have fun!

    Noam... Glad to see you here.
  7. Thanks, Eric. The shave burn has left me now. Almost tempted to nip down the road to the barbershop on the corner to buy a few blades from them (they sell something called the Bic Astor/Astor stainless) - maybe I'll have a pre-bed shave tonight. Or maybe it's best just to wait for the Derbys...
  8. I'd had decent luck with Wilkinson Sword blades (not sure about he walmart variety) and whatever Walmart used to sell... Personnas (not the "Reds"). They give decent shaves and they're very affordable, local options.

    I know it burns to use an aftershave but I find that a little alcohol based splash or witchhazel with some alcohol (like 14% usually) is very good for healing. You can always wait for that to dry/soak in and put a light moisturizer on over that if you have dry skin.
  9. I am new to DE shaving, but so far I have enjoyed the Bic Chrome blade I got in a sampler. I think I read somewhere the Astor is a step up. You could give it a try, I know I wanted to start as soon as I got my razor too.
  10. Pleased to say I've come back with a success story - went to the barber shop and came back with some Astors - like I say, I didn't plan on using them 'til tonight, but I couldn't quite resist giving them a go. They gave me a brilliant shave - no tug at all, just a WTG gave me a better shave than the Blue. I followed up with an ATG and XTG and it went brilliantly. Gave one half of my upper lip a few nicks in a confused moment, but that's the extent of my injuries. The shave burn I gave myself earlier has been re-inflamed slightly, but I've put some alcoholic after shave on as JW said to do, it should die down soon enough.

    So! After the stubble's initial victory, re-arming with an Astor proved to be a decision that paid off.
  11. Excellent news!
    Now you'd be wise to wait until your razor burn has sufficiently died down before the next shave. Shaving over razor burn is not a desirable practice. :)
  12. And try to avoid the ATG until everything else works great. I think that is also a matter of resisting that last pass (which should be after 2 XTGs) and be happy with an irritation free DFS rather than an irritated BBS.
  13. Get some Personnas from Wal-Mart!
  14. Thanks for the advice guys - I got ATG and XTG mixed up - I did go across the grain before I went against it! And I think it is a full sized ball-end tech after all - these things are surprisingly small. Very glad I didn't accuse the ebay seller of misrepresentation when I was leaving feedback. As for going to Walmart, I live in London, and there aren't any Walmarts in the UK. But the area of London I live in is probably the most multi-cultural around - lots of eccentric places like little barbershops dotted around, I'll see what kind of blades each of them sell. Also might pop into some of the more exotic looking chemists and corner shops - never know what you might find.
  15. Good deal! Glad you didn't get discouraged! As someone whos pretty new too, I've found that it only gets better :thumbup1:
  16. I use Derbys and have some Blue Birds and Lords laying around. Once you find your blade, it will be easier.
  17. franz

    franz Moderator Emeritus

    I'd say stick to a two-pass shave for now. If you can go ATG on the second pass without any problems, fine. Otherwise, I'd really suggest a WTG and XTG.

    Last edited: Mar 30, 2011
  18. Review your grain directions - there's no way you should go ATG at all right now, let alone BEFORE your XTG pass!

    And you may want to invest in a different razor - Travel Techs are notoriously hard to control, that little teeny handle makes it difficult.

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