Skin Stretching with DE's

Discussion in 'General Shaving Discussion' started by BestFaceForward, Apr 29, 2012.

  1. For those of you who use straight as well as DE razors, do you also stretch the skin when using your DE's? If not, why?

    Almost everything I've read and watched says not to stretch the skin when using DE's as it could lead to in-growns and irritation, but when you get a shave from a barber, they always stretch your skin to make a smooth surface for the straight and reduce the likelihood of a nick. But by stretching, the barber is not necessarily opening you up to in-growns and irritations -- right? In fact, on Utube I recently saw GFT's master barber shaving someone with, I believe, a mach3 and showing the client HOW to stretch his skin while shaving himself at home.

    So, my thought is, when using DE's, why not stretch the skin with your non-holding razor hand, perhaps not necessarily to the extent of when using a straight?
  2. One difference is that barbers are trained to shave WTG and XTG only: no ATG.

    But this is a point where I think Mantic59, who advises that skin-stretching can cause ingrowns, has been interpreted too strictly. I might restate his advice as: if you are prone to ingrowns, avoid shaving too closely and do not strive for BBS.
  3. I agree with everything you stated. Further, I would never advise anyone to shave against the grain while stretching their skin. However, for your WTG pass(es), and presumably for XTG as well, why not stretch with a DE?
  4. I skin stretch for WTG and XTG, but when I go ATG only place I do it is lightly to help around the jaw line.
  5. I know I'm a mutant as far as shaving goes (part of a subspecies that can "shave with a claw hammer using thirty weight"), but I have never stretched my face with any razor. That includes my many str8s. I'm currently enjoying str8-like shaves with a hand stropped Ted Pella blade in my Gem 1912.
  6. As I am learning to use a straight I am slowly starting to learn how important it is to stretch the when there is no safety bar.
    But, with the DE, I still feel that it is better to not stretch the skin too much. There doesn't seem to be a need, maybe the safety bar stretches the skin before the blade just a little. Moreover, with the ATG pass on a DE, I get irritation if my skin is too taught - even without stretching by hand. On a practical side too, since you only use one hand (usually) to use a DE, it is tough to stretch the skin over the whole face.
  7. RazoRock

    RazoRock Vendor

    I stretch the skin on my neck... mainly because I only shave the neck WTG
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2012
  8. Also, mantic59 does not advise NOT TO stretch the skin, he advises not to OVER stretch the skin.
    A little isn't too big of a deal for most people (that usually don't have problems like ingrowns or irritation).
  9. I stretch the skin very lightly and make facial contortions for certain parts of my face to get the stubborn hairs. Nothing like the straight razor guys do though. If you are stretching with a DE, you really need to be careful. If you overstretch, you WILL get ingrown hairs, especially if you were prone to them when you used cartridges.
  10. YMMV?

    Since discovery is a big part of my reward when shaving, I'm always experimenting, and skin stretching is a part of that. I shave DE half the time, straights the other half, and I'm finding ways to tweak my results with both methods using more creative stretching. I learn something new every shave--even if it's "never do THAT again!"

    Last edited: Apr 29, 2012
  11. i DE shave.

    i stretch my sideburns while shaving ATG. i only use my free hand to stretch the skin on my chin otherwise, also while shaving in all passes, including ATG. and i simply pull my upper lip down with my facial muscles rather than using my free hand, to stretch it as well, and again i am doing obliquely ATG on my final upper lip pass. i lift my chin up to stretch the skin on my WTG neck pass, then i bullfrog for my XTG pass, and chin up to stretch again for my ATG pass.

    i have a pretty fine/light beard and moderately sensitive skin, so i am not prone to ingrowns.
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2012
  12. +1 - That is exactly what I do. Normally I use facial contortions during my reduction passes and only stretch the skin when I am going back and touch up my jaw line and around hte adams apple.
  13. On some parts of my face, stretching a bit prevents skipping.

    I do not stretch a lot with my hands though, most is facial gymnastics.
  14. I stretch the skin for the ATG pass on my neck and the jaw line; let's just say I have enough neck skin that I have to stretch or the razor won't cut the hair. I am careful to use very little pressure and to make sure I've done enough beard reduction on the other passes (I've recently started doing 2 WTG and 2 XTG passes before the ATG) that there is little beard left on this pass.
  15. I have tried skin stretching with my de's in the past..meh..didnt do much..there that bar which prevents the blade from getting closer on the skin..unlike a straight which has none
  16. Hi, a question, what exactly is meant by "skin stretching"? I get the make it flat part, but do you physically take your hand and pull it flat? Or do you mean more along the lines of contorting your face to make it smoother? Like around the chin or under the nose to make it flatter?
  17. take your fingers and move your skin around..keep it "taught" is the idea
  18. I was taught to stretch my skin and I still do.

    I stretch more when using straight razors and high blade exposure DE and SE razors than I do with mild safety bar straight razors like Gillette Tech and Feather stainless.

    So the answer is yes, but differently depending on the razor I am using.
  19. AABCDS

    AABCDS Contributor

  20. I tried skin stretching while shaving atg. Bad idea. At most I'll do some light skin stretching in my problem areas such as lower neck

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