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Beard reacting to DE shaving? + Corking

Hi guys,

I've had about 10 DE shaves now using a merkur 38C (same as 34C but longer handle) The only decent shaves I can remember was probably my first, which was using a Swede where I went 2 passes WTG. And, the 4th shave (with the same swede blade) I tried ATG (cheeks only) and it was great.


Since then, I have tried iridium supers, feathers, derbys etc. and combinations with a whole host of various well-known branded creams and pre-shave oils + alum blocks. I just cannot repeat that first great shave anymore. :frown: It can't just be down to the swede. Surely, blades don't differ that much and I have tried quite a few.

Unless I am paranoid, I swear the area to the right of my lip, the hair growth is now tougher than ever before now that I have been DE shaving.

Is it possible the hair is reacting to DE shaving and growing back stronger?

Should I apply pre-shave oil just once or more as needed? Or is it better to just lather for longer?

This morning I tried going ATG on my cheeks with a feather and everytime i started i just felt TUG, TUG, TUG. Tried different angles and more lather but nothing except TUG TUG TUG. I carried on anyway and I knew what would happen: Razor burn from hell. I was right. I came out the shower, with ymface looking like a big fat tomato. Had to hide from mom so she couldn't see me and head straight out to work without breakfast. That was 12 hours ago and my face still aches right now. If I try to speak I can feel the pain around my mouth as my mouth stretches :frown:


Is it ok to 'cork' every blade the first time it is used? I've done this to every blade during the last few shaves. I insert it (2-3mm deep) into a cork and slide the full length back and forth 1-2 times.

Off to watch mantic's vidoes to imprive my technique as it's likely that is causing the problem too.


Yours achingly,


Sonny


ps. If anyone knows of a good place in the **UK** to get Gilette Swedes, please let me know. It seems to be my lucky blade.
 
It's too bad you're having problems. First, your hair is definitely not "reacting" to DE shaves. Hair is hair and although properties may change a bit as you age, there is no way one type of shaving is going to result in hair growing "stronger".

You really only need pre shave oil once. I would not re apply - the majority of DE shavers do not use pre shave oil but it can help make things more slippery and smooth however it won't help the blade actually cut any better IMHO. Try using 'Kyle's prep' as documented in the forum or at least making sure you really get a good hot soak of face and use a good quality soap or cream and take your time with the brush. Also make sure you re lather between passes and don't rinse the razor too often - you might be going over an area with not enough cushion or slip with the second stroke.

Corking the blade is really not necessary although some feel it helps. I would try using a feather uncorked.

90% of the problem is usually technique. The Swedes are good blades but you should be able to get a very good irritation free shave with most good blades like Feathers and even Derby's. My guess is that with your first shave you were really concentrating on technique as you were scared xxxxless (I was). particularly pressure and blade angle, and since it was successful , you're trying a little too hard but not concentrating on blade angle - that is likely what is causing the problem. If the blade angle is to steep, you're going to get tugging and scraping causing irritation.

Obviously you want to go WTG first, re lather then AGT or XGT.

good luck

Chris
 
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G

gone down south

Patience, 10 shaves is nothing. Come back in a couple months after you've figured it all out and tell us how good your shaves are :)
 
Thanks guys. I hope so.

My beard is just getting sooooooo tough. Even with shaving every other day. The bony parts and under nose are impossible as well as the area 1 inch under the ear. Currently, I am doing half DE and half sensor excel. That's just the face, don't even get me started on troublesome neck.

Watching the mantic vidoes now.
 
I must say, mantic has the perfect face and neck. After my jaw, there is a dip into my neck (which makes shaving a pain), whereas mantic's face and neck continue flat down the same 'line'. It's great!
 
I must say, mantic has the perfect face and neck. After my jaw, there is a dip into my neck (which makes shaving a pain), whereas mantic's face and neck continue flat down the same 'line'. It's great!

Now don't go telling him that! You'll have him ending up with the big head. :rolleyes::wink:
 
1) no, I shouldt think so. Youre probably just paying more attention to it these days
2) I dont think preshave oil is needed if you have a good (aka Kyles) prep
3) no, corking essentially dulls the blade a little, corking when new can settle down an overly agressive blade, but I certainly wouldnt do it every time
 

Luc

"To Wiki or Not To Wiki, That's The Question".
1) no, i shouldt think so. Youre probably just paying more attention to it these days
2) i dont think preshave oil is needed if you have a good (aka kyles) prep
3) no, corking essentially dulls the blade a little, corking when new can settle down an overly agressive blade, but i certainly wouldnt do it every time

+1
 
My face is thin, with a much harder to shave jaw area than Mantic's, and I think I have a thicker, tougher beard, too. When I first started it seemed that I would never be able to get the neck and jawline done correctly. Good news is that almost 3 months later I am able to shave those areas. I have to adjust the angle a lot more than Mantic does, but it IS doable, and I'm getting better and better at it.

Patience, my friend, patience.
 
Only 10 shaves into DE, and you've tried all those blades, creams, and oils? Too many variables! You really should try to minimize any and all differences between shaves while you get your skill up. Stick with the same shave (cream/soap, oil, blade brand, aftershave) at least for a copuple weeks (a month would be better) while you nail down your technique better.

My guess is that it may also be possible that your first couple of shaves went so well because you were truly paying attention to the actual shaving itself. Then you got perhaps a bit overconfident and maybe got sloppy. I did this myself when I was first starting.

As for blades, only drop a brand immediately if the shave is going awful, with tugging, pain, and excessive nicks and weepers--and even then, consider the possibility that the blade in question is a bad apple. In that case, try another blade of the same brand before moving on. If the shave is still more Jason Voorhees than James Bond, ditch all of that brand and move on.

EDIT: As to the Swedes, well, they've been discontinued. Laying in a supply is now a bit of luck in finding NOS, I'm afraid.
 
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I'm voting technique as the culprit, specifically angle and pressure. Coming from a Mach 3, it took me weeks to get away from the impression that I needed to feel the blade cutting for it to be doing any work. Your description of the latest Feather shave sound exactly like you had the razor tilted over too far and were dragging the blade across your skin:frown:.

It's possible also that you don't have your lather protecting well (don't have it to a good consistency yet).

Above all, slow down and change. one. thing. at. a. time.

To summarize, try to see how little razor tilt you can use and still reduce your beard. At the same time, try to use as little pressure while doing so.

If you can, take a day or two off to let your skin recover from the Feather disaster.

- Chris
 
THANK YOU ALL VERY MUCH.

Will shave tomorrow using Kyles Prep. I've bought some pricey shave oil so might as well include it in kyles prep.

Fingers crossed.
 
Did the kyles prep and tried a Gilette 7 oclock (yellow packaging) blade. first good shave in ages! Yesssssssssssssss!

Also learnt how to make a thick and bubble-less lather. Took a good 3-5 mins. Hand got tired from all the swirling lol. Learnt that lather is so, so important.

Thanks again to everybody
 
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