New African American member seeking tips

Discussion in 'Shave Clinic & Newbie Check-In' started by Dawgneck, Jan 22, 2009.

  1. Hello, everyone.

    New member checking in.

    I am an African American currently shaving with the Gillette 5-blade Fusion, and I'd like to switch to DE shaving to help clear up mild to moderate shaving bumps.

    Two weeks ago I started using a product called Skin Tight (an alcohol-aspirin type chemical) which has helped reduce the bumps from moderate to mild.

    I use a Crabtree & Evelyn (Edwin Jagger) Super Badger brush and Crabtree & Evelyn Sienna shave cream, I shave every other day, but I believe I need to switch from the Fusion to a DE razor to totally eliminate the remaining bumps.

    I thought about purchasing a Merkur Visoin 2000, but the number of warnings I've read outnumber the positive reviews. The Gillette Fat Boy is another razor I'm contemplating, but I prefer a new razor over a used "classic". Lastly, I like what I've read about the Merkur HD, but I think I might need an adjustable razor to help with the bumps.

    I am searching for Badger & Blade threads related to African Americans new to DE shaving and razor bumps. I'd appreciate someone pointing me in the right direction. I'd also appreciate any suggestions and tips on razor and blade choices and shaving techniques especially useful to African Americans with razor bump problems.

    Thanks in advance.
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2009
  2. I'm not African American, but I just wanted to say:

  3. Bienvenido! A Progress or Margress might be a nice new adjustable razor, I also like the Futur but as you will se in the reviews some folks have issues with it
  4. With proper cleaning (soap and water and Scrubbing Bubbles) and disinfecting (Barbicide), a vintage razor will be just as good as any of the modern ones, in my opinion. Don't discount them.

    That said, welcome and good luck.
  5. Gruder

    Gruder Moderator Emeritus Contributor

    Welcome to B&B! I don't share your cultural heritage, but am not sure that I see how an adjustable would be better for bumps. I think that it's in some ways key to learn good technique without the added variable of blade gap choices. Once you have the technique down, my hunch is that the bumps will have resolved themselves. So my recommendation: go with that HD. Once RAD hits you can branch out to some of the turn-to-open (TTO) adjustable stuff.
  6. Hey Dawgneck (Great name!)

    Welcome to the forum.
    Black male from the UK here.

    You're in the right place for advice. Many, many shave veterans in this forum, with a great willingnes to share information. I'm a relative newb to DE shaving, after almost 20 years of not shaving at all due to bad experiences! A single blade razor will help with razor bumps no doubt. What works for me is shaving regularly, using no pressure on the razor and using products with mainly natural ingredients. I also exfoliate the night before a shave using a small brush and a natural soap, which helps get rid of ingrown hairs that affect in particular men like us with curly beard growth. Also, I use organic aloe vera gel or a natural moisturizer as a face mask before bed.

    Check out Mantic59's videos on youtube for shave technique tips and read the stickies at the top of the newbie board for prep and shave tips.

    Stick around, there's lots to learn......

    This was a recently added to thread on the subject.
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2009
  7. Welcome to B&B, great to have you!
  8. +1 Welcome!
  9. Welcome!

    I've heard that black folks are more prone to developing Koloid scaring than white folks. I don't know why, but this is something I picked up when I used to tattoo.

    The black folks skin always reacted much more than white folks to the needles.

    Granted, this is the internet, right? I'd suggest waiting for the bumps to go away before starting to shave based on the wiki article. Ultimately, if these are your simple run of the mill shaving bumps, no harm done in waiting.

    Anywho, I'm a newb as well. I *just* got my gear delivered, and I'm looking forward to a little me time in about 2 hours. Welcome to the big show, and I hope your issues are mitigated!!!
  10. I met a chap at a Hong Kong cosmetics expo who was selling a gel made with acteylsalicylic acid (Aspirin) to be applied post shaving to reduce the bumps. His stand had photos of skin of various colours showing the before.after photos of using his gel - and gave me a sample to try.

    If I could find his business card, I would flick it through to you.
  11. Welcome Dawgneck!
    I am hoping that wetshaving will become an enjoyable passtime for you as it has for me.
    As far as razor suggestions, I would say, if possible to go to a retail place where they have different razors for sale. I think it is best to pick some up and see how they feel in your hand.
    That is what I did, and the Merkur Futur(a modern adjustable) spoke to me right away.
    For me it was an excellent choice and it has served me well indeed.
    For blade choice, it is really hard to beat the sample packs sold by John at .
    You are almost certain to find a brand that suits your face and style.
    Sorry, I can't help with the razor bump things on your face, but I'll bet someone here can offer some good advice. Generally speaking, the advice you get here is worth every penny you pay for it:biggrin:
    So good luck and happy shaving!
  12. Dawgneck, Welcome to B&B

    for now I say pass on the Vision until you get more experience it can be a great razor if used daily but can also cause frustrations, I recommend an older Gillette SS and a sampler pack of blades given that combo you are almost certainly able to find the combo for you from a very mild shave with some blades to a very close shave if using feathers
  13. Everyone,

    Thanks for the warm welcome. I feel at home already :smile:

    After reading your suggestions and other posts on this site, I have decided to try a used Gillete Fat Boy razor. I want my first shave to be as trouble-free as possible and I think this might be the best intro for me.

    I'm trying to win one on eBay and hope to have one within a week or two.

    I'm sure RAD will kick in soon after, so I'll look at the Merkur Progress or Futur as my second razor.... If I find the Fat Boy too difficult to come by, I may move on to the Progress or Futur first.

    In either case, I will stay away from the Vision 2000 until I'm more experienced, as suggested.

    I would like to wait for the bumps to disappear before starting out, but I can't grow a beard and the bumps won't go away if I continue shaving with the Fusion, so I have to move to the DE asap.

    I'm unable to find a shop in my area that has different razors so I'm relying on Badger & Blade to educate me.

    I just viewed a few of Mantic59's videos... they are an incredible! Thanks for the tip, pbroddi.

    Well, thanks again for the warm welcome and suggestions, guys. Back to reading posts and learning all I can about DE wet shaving!
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2009
  14. Hi Dawgneck --

    Welcome to B&B!! Glad to have you join us.

    There are a number of A-A guys who post regularly here, and I'm sure that they'll chime in. They develop their own techniques, and may start off shaving every few days. It seems that within a couple of months, most are shaving daily, and get comfortable and very close shaves.

    I'll point you to Mantic's shaving videos that he has posted on the net at YouTube. The practices are common regardless of race, so this is a great place to start.

    I'll also opine that the Merkur Vision would be a poor choice for a starter DE razor. Most vintage Gillettes should be fine, as would be a non-adjustable Merkur. I recommend that you stay simple to start, then branch out a bit after you get your routine worked out. I also recommend that you acquire the low end blade sampler from to get you going.

    Read a lot, post your results; both successes and failures. Your in a good group here and wet shaving is easily learned --it just takes a little coaching and some practice.

    You're going to like this wet shaving stuff. :w00t:

    -- John Gehman
  15. Welcome to B&B. Great to have you here! :smile::smile::smile:
  16. I'm surprised that no one has recommended a Tech. They are easy to come by, cheap, and probably the mildest de razor. You would have to work hard to hurt yourself with one. Great razor for a beginner, and good to have around on a day after a careless one.
  17. Dawg,

    One thing I'd recommend is picking up some Gillette "sensitive" disposables. They only have one blade and are fairly gentle as long as you don't apply too much pressure. I use these when I'm in a rush or travelling and don't have time for a DE shave with a brush. If you *need* to shave every single day no matter what, there will inevitably be times when you are rushed and these disposables are a lifesaver, IMO.

    Also, a Gillette "slim" adjustable can be had for a bit less than a "fatboy" and it's easier to find one in good condition. Fatboys go for inflated prices on ebay and the ones that show up are often in poor condition.

    Good luck.
  18. netsurfr

    netsurfr Vendor

    Welcome to B&B!
  19. Just curious, have you tried a Bump Fighter razor yet? It's a cartridge, like the Fusion, but it has a single recessed blade that doesn't cut down to the skin in order to fight ingrown hairs. I use mine with regular Trac II blades, as I don't really have a problem with ingrowns. There are a few reviews of it in the review section.
  20. Hi Dawg!
    Welcome to B&B. As you can see, this place is always a good source of information for shaving advice (and a bunch of other topics, too!).

    I second the recommendation about the Techs. Great shavers.
    That said, whatever razor you decide to go with, you might consider posting a request in the Buy/Sell/Trade forum here. Many members have more than one of various models that can be had for extremely reasonable prices.
    Also, check out the PIF (Pay-it-Forward) posts that pop up from time to time.
    These are usually directed at new members and can help you find something that works for you.
    Blade-wise, see if you can get some samples from here on the board of different types. Everyone has different favorites and ones that work (or don't) for them.
    Finally, for the 'bumps' a search for J-hooking here. It's a kind of technique (mostly for the neck area) to help you get a good close shave without having to make too many passes (thereby reducing the chance for irritation and/or 'bumps).

    I'm confident you'll be happy with the advice and friendship here!

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