Help! I don't know how to shave my upper lip! Fusion Razor, I'm an Idiot!

Discussion in 'Shave Clinic & Newbie Check-In' started by SamP2045, Mar 23, 2009.

  1. Hey everyone

    I am 17 years old and I have a lot of trouble shaving my upper lip. Since I was raised by my grandmother, nobody ever taught me to shave, so for the past few years I've kind of been doing it my own way which is not working very well.

    I use a regular Gillette Fusion razor. When I shave my upper lip, I first shave down, but for some stupid reason I'm scared of cutting my lip so I barely get any hair off. Then, I usually push on the inside of my mouth with my tongue to elevate the skin above my lip and shave from my nose to the corner of my mouth. But I can never get a close shave that way either. When I try to go from the corner of my mouth to my nose I start bleeding like crazy. The technique is a problem for me but I also don't know how much pressure to put on the razor. Since it's so frustrating I usually just don't shave my face for a few days and keep the stubble until it's absolutely necessary for me to shave again.

    I was wondering if there are any videos on how to simply shave the upper lip area with a regular cartridge razor. There are some videos on Youtube about shaving in general but the part of shaving the upper lip is really short and the videos assume that you basically know how to shave, which I basically don't.

    I've been thinking of switching to a safety razor but I keep telling myself if I can't master a cartridge then there's no point in switching to a razor that requires better technique.

    Anyway, this is a bit embarrassing for me, I can't believe I still don't know how to shave. Any help would be appreciated.

    Thank you.

  2. Sam, welcome to B&B! You seem really worked up about this and the first thing about getting a good shave is to relax and do not be scared of shaving. From what you have written it looks like you have the basics right, the problem might be something as simple as too much pressure. Use very light strokes and multiple passes.
  3. Take your time man...dont rush or you will be sorry!
  4. I use the tongue-stuffing trick (which sounds really bad out of context) for my lower lip, but I think a better stretching technique for your upper lip is to wrap your upper lip around your teeth. This stretches the skin down, away from the nose, and hides the fleshy part of your lips to avoid cutting them.
  5. You're just new to shaving and haven't had someone to show you some of the basics.

    Check this video out - it has some good pointers for shaving under your nose - moustache area. It's by a guy who's handle is Mantic. He's a well-known wet shaving guru on this and other shaving-related discussion forums.

    I'd recommend looking at more (or all) of his videos - he covers all the basics (and more) of wet shaving. He usually uses a double edge razor but sometimes he uses a cartridge razor to show some techniques. The general principles of preparation and shaving and after shaving care are very similar between double edge and cartridge shaving.

    Most guys here use a double edge razor - it's an "old-fashioned" razor that most guys feel gives a better and cheaper shave than cartridges. My personal opinion, is that you should probably master the basics of shaving using a cartridge. Have you tried other cartridge razors - I've been shaving for years and hated the fusion. If I use a cartridge, I much prefer the older Sensor or plain Mach3 cartridges.

    You might get better shaves with proper preparation and better shaving creams/soaps. Are you using just plain gel/foam out of a can? You might want to invest in an inexpensive brush and good quality cream or soap - something like Proraso. That might be enough to give you more cushion for a better shave.
  6. That caught my eye -- A Fusion is far from a "regular" razor. You need to use a vintage razor -- like a Mach III.

    OK, that's a joke.

    Seriously... I also find the upper lip area to be difficult. Assuming my whiskers are somewhat typical, that may be where some of the toughest whiskers are on your face. And it is a tricky area to get the blade to properly.

    I don't see any reference to beard prep in your post. Since that is essential to a good shave and since the toughest whiskers is where it is most essential maybe you could concentrate on the preparation part of the videos. If the videos you watched weren't "the Mantic videos" those are the ones you should look for:

    I also agree with uberculture on a better way to stretch the upper lip skin. Also open your jaw wide. That will stretch things just a wee bit more. There's all kinds of ways to "make faces" with your mouth that will stretch that area. Don't be afraid to look goofy!

    Anyway! Welcome to B&B. Continue your research, ask questions and practice and you will eventually work it out.
  7. Welcome to B&B !!
  8. Don't be embarrased! Shaving is an art and it takes everyone a different amount of time and technique to get good at it. You're just finding your technique right now. I'm in the same boat with you as I just switched from a M3 to a DE. A few cuts and nicks are par for the course (they stop fast though :D).

    As for the Fusion, it's an awfully big razor, perhaps it's just too large to get in the target area? I know for me the fusion is about as wide as my upper lip. Maybe you could use the Fusion on the rest of your face and try a cheapy disposable 1 bladed razor with a smaller head just for your upper lip (I know there's a blade on the back of the fusion, but it has no guard whatsoever which could make it a bit trickier). A single top to bottom stroke should get a fair amount of hair off, and then you can use the Mantic videos to work on improving the technique from there.

    Personally I've not had great luck using my tongue to make my upper lip easier to reach, I usually just pull it in to my mouth so my front teeth make it stick out... the teeth are not as soft and give you a steadier surface to cut.

    As for the DE/safety razor, I say go for it whenever you're ready. It's different from a cartridge razor anyway. Don't be nervous.

    Oh and welcome!
  9. Welcome to B&B. The upper lip is the hardest area for me also, so don't be embarrassed. This is a great forum and everyone is very friendly and helpful. Relax, slow down and enjoy the experience. Definitely watch the Mantic59 videos on YouTube, They are invaluable.
    Happy shaving!
  10. Might I recommend a goatee?

    Wish I could help, but I haven't shaved my upper lip (or chin for that matter) in nearly 5 years.
  11. I agree that it's likely the problem is the stupid Fusion razor. Switch to a two-bladed cartridge like the Atra or the Sensor and I'll bet you'll have a much easier time of it.
  12. Or go straight to a DE.

    He had mentioned considering a safety razor and the only thing holding him back was he was concerned about doing it without having gotten the technique down with a cartridge first. It doesn't make sense for him to to go to a double or a triple blade if he was considering moving to a DE. He could just learn it all on the DE.
  13. I agree! The goatee was gods gift to man!
  14. I much like you learned to shave on my own. As the fellows pointed out, the Fusion is big and hard to get in those tight areas around the upper lip and nose, I owned one and didn't really care for it. It is very hard to cut yourself using a cartridge razor, and if you are more than likely your technique needs some work. If you dont have the razor flat against your skin which is accomplished though proper angle or move it even slightly to the left or right on a stroke, it is easy for the blade to leave slice marks on your face, I know because it happened to me on the rare occasion. Now if your bleeding is from small weepers, thats normal for most guys, happens to me all the time. Also don't rush, take it slow and enjoy the shave, your skin will thank you. Hope I could be of some assistance. Welcome to the club, enjoy.....
  15. You know what. I've been thinking about it and I'd like to help you. I only own one safety razor and brush so I can't give those away, but I can get you started. I'd like to PIF you the following:

    1. A nice Bay rum soap with a bowl (I actually got this as a PIF myself recently). It smells awesome but its a bit spicy for me. There's plenty of shaves left in it!
    2. A new puck of VDH glycerine soap. It's great stuff, and it's what I got to start with 3 weeks ago. Replacements are cheap and available, making it an awesome soap to learn on.
    3. Some DE blades. I know the sampler packs are popular but personally I only ever wanted one of each kind. I'd like to send you one of each of these blades: Astra superior platinum, Dorco ST 300, Gillete 7 o clock Yellow (gotta have something fancy), Red Israeli Personna, Merkur (use this last...), and a Derby, as well as 5 crystals. That will give you 5 crystals to start on and 7 different blades to try to find which one you like best.

    Check out the buy/sell forum and I'm sure you can find a cheap DE and brush to start off with, and you'll be well on your way. Then check back and keep us posted! Ditch the Fusion and learn this way. It's more work, but it's more fun, gives better shaves, and costs less!

    PM me with an address to send this stuff to if you're interested and I'll send it to you free and clear. I really feel compelled to help you in your shaving journey... The Lord just started tugging on my heartstrings here.
  16. SavantStrike you are a true gentleman at heart.


  17. ..... in 1994 :lol1:
  18. Or just grow a mustache like I did.
  19. When you said "Fusion Razor, I am an idiot!" I thought you were using Fusion Razor as a swear word... like "Fusion Razor! I just stubbed my toe!" or "Fusion Razor that's hot!" :lol:
  20. Trying putting a little bit of milk on it and let the cat lick it off.

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