Razor burn/irritation question..

Discussion in 'Shave Clinic & Newbie Check-In' started by kskwerl, Jun 24, 2012.

  1. Hey guys, so I'm spanking new to wet shaving. Like on my 10th shave new to wet shaving. Anyways, I usually doing Kyle's rep after a hot shower. Bowl lathering with a cream from Taylor of Old Bond street, shave with a Merkur 34D using Gillette 7oclock, cold rinse -> then while face is still wet alum bloc and then apply Dr. Harris Aftershave milk.

    My probation is some really nasty razor burn or irritation under my left and right jaw. I'm including some pictures but in person it looks much worse. Any suggestions are greatly appreciated and thank you in advance!


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  2. I got that too, in my second week (about 2 months in now). Wet shaving is wonderful but those bumps were so bad I wanted to quit! It did go away and I never get it anymore. At first I thought the HOT water I was using was softening my face too much. So I use more warm than hot now. I felt a little burned and raw all over, with the non-raised red dots you seem to have on my right cheek and jawline, somewhat also under neck.

    Many things can probably account for it; TOO MUCH Pressure, blade angle a little off, etc. I have been really trying to lessen pressure, and I think that made all the difference in the world. It's probably key to alter just one variable at a time, e.g. Lose that particular AS balm and see what happens. Or stop doing anything except WTG passes for a few days to let things cool down.

    It WILL get better! Keep at it and USE NO PRESSURE.

  3. The pressure thing is probably the biggest cause of your problem. Even if you think you're not using much you probably are. Try using only the weight of the razor when you shave. Its really easy to do, and that will be more than enough to get the job done.
  4. Thank you both for the suggestions! I think I am using too much pressure. I feel like using leas pressure will require 4 passes to hit all the spots as I am still learning. So my question now is how many passes is too many?
  5. My beard hair under my jaw line goes in all different directions
  6. Kentos

    Kentos Moderator Emeritus

    You are going for beard REDUCTION, rather than beard ANNIHILATION on every pass :smile:. So less pressure won't mean a less close shave. As your skill improves and you learn to maximize your passes based on beard mapping and funny face making(for mild skin stretching) the shaves will improve. It is a newbie tendency to apply more pressure in an attempt to get a closer shave. Try holding the razor below the head between the first finger and thumb, and supported under the handle with the pinky finger. Then just let gravity pull the blade down across the face.
  7. Beard annihilation sounds cool though.

  8. ~~~how often are you shaving? Every day, every other day, every 3rd day? The reason I ask, if you let a few days run between shaves, it might be necessary for you to do two WTG passes just to get the beard length down and to make sure your WTG pass is done, if your beard warrants it. If you follow with one XTG pass and one ATG, then 3-4 passes with touch ups might be the ticket for you

    Getting the majority of the beard knocked down WTG is the single most important direction (pass, or passes) for it's the most productive in regards to beard reduction. Getting WTG out of the way enables all other passes that follow an easier time of it

    Some shavers use two XTG passes...diagonal in one direction and the diagonal from the other direction, or maybe your XTG is east to west then do it west to east

    i know when I used various DE safety razors to shave with I could do a text book shave (WTG, XTG, ATG) and maybe the need for a touch up here there and I knocked it out of the park (BBS). I use a different stradegy w/my straight razors. 2 north to south (essentialy WTG) & 2 south to north w/some diagonal deviations (thrown in the 3rd and 4th passes) which is mostly ATG but nothing is black and white, then I do my touch ups and I'm finished

    Choosing which passes you use and when is a very personal thing. Your success will depend on your equipment, your technique & what you want to accomplish. BBS will take more work than DFS for example, or does it? You may find a system that works for you garunteeing you BBS in 3 passes, w/o touch ups. When i shaved using a couple different GEM SE razors I could get BBS in 3 passes w/no touch ups quite easily. the closest I could come using a DE razor (3 pass BBS, no touch ups) was using my 39c Merkur...but that's not to say another shaver using a Slim couldn't do the same. Different shavers, different tools, different techniques. One size does not fit all in wet shavedom, no matter how hard some may try to convince you otherwise. Don't get sucked in, discover your own way


    Reddick Fla.
  9. ackvil

    ackvil Moderator Contributor

    As said above, irritation usually is caused by poor blade angle and too much pressure on the razor. The neck is a tricky area to shave because keeping the right blade angle and little pressure is a challenge. The usual advice is to let the weight of the razor do the job - not put pressure on the blade. To put that in action I have found that using the two fingers and my thumb to hold the razor with another finger resting on the tip of the handle. This results in holding the razor very lightly with no pressure on the razor. You want to hold the razor as lightly as you can without it falling from your hand. I have found that using the right grip on your razor goes a long way in keeping pressure off of the blade. This post may help you. Also, take a look at this wiki.

    As for blade angle here is a good post that may help you.
  10. The usual suspects: less pressure, more beard mapping. In some cases, if you have beard growth in all directions using fewer stroke directions may help. It's counter intuitive but I find it works for the swirl on my neck. As with anything, YMMV.
  11. Are you trying to shave ATG on your neck? I can give myself bumps on the neck when using improper technique on the neck. Try forgoing ATG passes there and see if the bumps heal, and then save ATG passes for moments when you really NEED a BBS shave until your technique is better.

    As everyone else said, pressure. More specifically, I've found sound to be a very good indicator of the quality of your technique, and that's the sound of the blade cutting the hair. You can hear it in geofatboy's videos and when you get your blade angle and pressure right, you'll start to hear it on your face too. It may vary from razor to razor but if you're pushing too hard then the blade can't sing to you. It's a stretch of the imagination and of reality, but it's like trying to make a tuning fork hum while you're holding it by the fork, your skin is muting the sound on the blade and making it quieter.

    Too little pressure (which is almost an oxymoron in this case) and the razor will catch, too much and you won't hear anything. Go for just enough pressure and you'll hear the scraping sound of the hairs being sliced away.

    Keep in mind that the wrong blade angle will also cause there to be no sound, so this is what you're aiming for. And also I've never used a 34C so I don't know how it sings, but my 33C makes a good amount of sound.

    If you're using correct angle and pressure, you should be able to achieve BBS with up to 4 passes before you get any razor burn. Then again, your skin is yours and yours alone so... YMMV. Some people can never shave ATG on the neck because the skin is so much more sensitive.
  12. +1 to all of the suggestions above.

    One day you'll shave and you'll realize, "Hey, no irritation!" - I think the majority of us have experienced what you're describing.
  13. Thank you all for the suggestions, I'm not going to quote each one of you because that would be a very long page stretching post. I think for now I'm just going to lighten the pressure and shave WTG and see where that goes from there, I dont want to change too many things so I can pinpoint what it is I'm doing wrong. I usually shave every day or every other day, as long as only doing WTG gets rid of all visible hair on my neck I'm all for it until I get my technique down.

    Thanks again guys!
  14. In addition to the excellent advice everyone has mentioned, you may also want to reduce the number of passes, at least until you're technique has greatly improved. Your shave won't be as close, but your skin may feel much better. The most important advice I've taken to heart from the B&B community is that the basic objective is a socially acceptable shave with no irritation. It may be that you should wait to consistently meet that objective before trying for DFS and BBS. I myself have become content with CCS and maybe DFS, together with the joy of the DE shaving ritual.

  15. I'm real new to all this lingo what is CCS and DFS. I take it WTG is With The Grain, ATG is Against The Grain, XTG is Across the Grain?
  16. So I reduced pressure to just the pressure of the weight of the razor and wow, I must have been applying an obnoxious amount of pressure. I still get the bumps but no where near as bad at all. Thanks a bunch guys!
  17. If you're like me, rub your hairs a bit and try and figure out at least the majority of the grain of the beard there. Mine all over my jawline/neck changes directions, so I have to just figure out the best way to go and I do that. There really isn't a correct way because of how weird my beard grows, but as time goes on, I get less and less irritation.
  18. Hi Kskwerl: To help prevent or decrease razor burn... Immediately after you shave, perform a cold water rinse, ice cub rub until it melts, towel dry, and also apply Cortizone 10 lotion. The Cortizone 10 lotion will help the red bumps disappear quicker and it nourishes your skin. Get the lotion and not the cream. You can get it at your local Walgreen's or any drug store.

  19. Yea mine's pretty much exactly like that

    Thanks for the tip I will give that a try for sure! Cheers!
  20. I tried something a little different this morning. I only did two passes on my neck (WTG and XTG), and did three passes (WTG, XTG, and ATG) on my cheeks. The growth on my cheeks is thicker, and comes back faster than that of my neck, and is much more noticable. My neck has always been my problem area as far as irritation, so the less time spent there, the better.

    I also make sure to give my neck an extra-good scrubbin' with my facewash in the shower beforehand. Anything to soften those whiskers up a little more helps.

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