Sensitive skin and thick hair! Need Help!

Discussion in 'General Shaving Discussion' started by jaymeister99, Aug 19, 2008.

  1. Ive always had very sensitive skin and thick quick growing hair. Seems I always have razor burn, and red irritated skin. I used to shave in the shower with no cream/soap. This worked much better, but still had plenty of burn and irritation. Now Im out of the shower shaving and trying a DE razor with shaving soap.

    Heres a quick rundown on the routine:
    1. Put the brush in a bowl of hot water, add a little hot water to my soap.
    2. Shower for 10 minutes, rub face with hair conditioner start of shower(swiped the wifes)
    3. Mix up a lather, move to bowl, add a little more water for lather. I got a decent lather using Van Der Hagen.
    4. Lather face, rub with brush (boar bristle, I know need a badger) for about 5 minutes.
    5. Shave in at least three directions, at least 2-3 passes each. My neck in particular gets beet red. Stings bad.

    Any recommendations?
  2. I have sensitive skin and fairly tough (but not too thick) whiskers.

    I've found I need a very sharp blade - only gillettes and feathers work. It's important not to have to take too many passes. I've also cut down some of the passes I do - XTG on the neck? Turned out not to do anything useful for me. Hell even WTG isn't so useful on some of my neck, it only irritates without cutting much... so doing just my ATG pass but more carefully works best.
  3. How many times can you use a gillette or feather blade? So far Ive tried Dorco (crap for me), Derby, and Wal-Mart Personnas. So far the Derbys are best, but I got some Crystal and Red Personnas to try still.
  4. You might want to add a hot towel to the prep cycle. Say just before the lathering step. Best guess is to do that for at least 2 minutes.

    As an example, I set the brush to soak in hot water, and put a little hot water on my soap, at the same time I've got a towel in the sink soaking in the hot water. I grab the towel, wring it out so that it isn't dripping, go to my easy chair in the living room kick back for five to ten minutes with the towel wrapped around my face, just like at the barbershop.

    Is there an AD for towels?:lol:
  5. AD? Whats AD?
  6. Acquisition Disorder. Folks around here like to joke that DE shaving is a kind of addiction and once that bug has bitten you, you'll find yourself buying all sorts of DE things without being able to control yourself. :smile:

    I've found this to be the case as well. I don't know how my whiskers compare, but even with proper prep as described in this thread, I dulled my first Derby blade after two shaves, and I only do WTG/XTG/ATG.

    You could experiment with using less passes on especially sensitive areas, but you'll need a really sharp blade. The how/why of DE shaving works best by reduction, so jumping straight to an ATG pass or skipping steps to avoid abusing your skin may not work as expected.

    Some people here recommend getting a slant, which theoretically cuts using a slicing motion anyway, meaning it won't hang on tough stubble and cuts more smoothly, so you can shave in less passes. I'd try this if Lee would ever ship my Barber Pole. :) If it performs as described, I may just jump straight to an ATG pass, or just WTG/ATG as ashultz mentioned. Keep it in your hopper for later, if you haven't tried it already. :smile:
  7. my .02

    I can't tolerate multiple passes either. I do one oblique (or against in some areas) pass, splash with warm water (not a full rinse - a wet film remains) and touch up.

    Also conditioner makes my whiskers stiffer, not softer. I massage a little shave cream in while I'm showering and leave it on. Then I lather with more cream at the sink. This is the best routine for beard softening I've tried.
  8. I used to shave north to south on my neck and that was getting me into trouble. I was shaving across the grain. I would suggest to make sure about the hair direction before moving on. Hope this helps.
  9. AD, got it :wink:

    I'll try out a few of the blades with a reputation of being sharper. I'll get another sampler pack with the Feather, Gillette, and Merkur.

    How many shaves do you manage to get out of these blades?
  10. Merkur blades have a pretty bad repuation, and I found them pretty useless.

    I mostly get only two shaves out of blades. Some of them work to three but... why push it? I only have one face, I can make another dollar.
  11. Any experience with the Feathers, Gillette, or Wilkinson Sword?
  12. I love feathers. They're the sharpest & smoothest to my face so far. IMHO, there is a bit of a performance jump from a derby to a feather.

    No experience with Gillette.

    I don't remember exactly which Wilky Sword I used...the German made I believe...but they were about like a Merkur to me.
  13. My experience are all three listed are among the sharpest and it boils down to which works best in your razor for you. I would also pass on the conditioner, I tried it the last few days and did not see any improvement. Decrease the number of passes and concentrate on touch up the ruff spots. A good aftershave with witch hazel sounds in order, Lucky Tiger and/or any of the Thayer's should help.
  14. Also try different after shave balms. Ny neck is tender too, so I sympathize. I've had very good results with Gillette's Soothing Balm to help with irritation.
  15. Never used Wilkinsons. But I use Gillettes all the time - every time I try to use something else it's not sharp enough.

    Except for feathers, which I can get good results with, unless it's one of the times when I don't. So I try them every now and then but find I can't consistently use them safely.
  16. I tend to suffer from ingrown hairs and razor burn on my neck if I don't treat it with care. Partly this is down to the fact that the stubble on my neck grows in various different directions in different places, so shaving with the grian at all times is difficult. A tip I read somewhere on these very boards (although I can't find the post now) was to take a cotton bud (or Q-tip, if you live in the US) and drag it over your face. When it gets caught up on stubble you can be fairly sure that you're pulling it against the grain and thus get a clearer picture of the direction that stubble is growing in on various parts of your face / neck. Hope this helps!
  17. Two to three passes in each of three directions is up to nine passes....WAY TOO MUCH!! Each pass causes a little micro-abrasion which is compounded with each pass. More than 3 or 4 passes and you're setting yourself up for redness, irritation, bumps, and BURN, BURN, BURN. Don't go back over an unlathered face and use very light pressure on neck area.
  18. That pretty much explains my facial hair. I remember seeing the q-tip post too, but I know the directions of the hair now pretty well. Annoying isnt it?!
  19. Give TOBS Avocado a try also.
  20. I never tried any shaving balm. I had used some after shave before, but that made it even worse.

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