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Calling All Head Shavers....Help

Fellow head shavers, lend me your expertise. For years now I have been shaving my head with a Schick Hydro (five blade cartridge razor) which fairly good success. In fact I used to shave my head once a week and could essentially do no wrong. I had to be careful on the back of my neck and could only shave with the grain but otherwise it was fool proof.

The same razor would make the biggest mess on my neck to the point that I looked into laser hair removal. I have since discovered and began to master DE shaving which has drastically increased the look and feel of my neck but my head is another story all together. Really its just the back of my head and neck that are the problem.

At first I realized it was probably the angle, then it was too dull of a blade, then it was too sharp of a blade. I have used various razors (Merkur 38c, Tech, Fatboy and Slim (settings 1 - 5), DE89 and Milord) and blades ranging from Derby to Kai and Feathers. I am cautious of the grain and pressure and try to only do two with the grain passes. I still get red blotchy irritation and bumps.

What am I doing wrong? What set ups are you using?
 
I tried my best, but I couldn't master head shaving with a DE. The scalp is very unforgiving, or I should say my thick skull is. I switched to a Schick Extreme 3, which is nice and flexible. You could continue with the Schick on your scalp, and a DE for your neck. Kind of a nuisance, but if it works, why not?
 
Oh, no cartridges. Then I'd suggest choosing your mildest razor, and riding out the learning curve. My skill did improve, but not to the point I would have liked. I was shaving daily, face and scalp, so my head was perpetually in a state of razor burn. I suppose it didn't help that I insisted on using a Red Tip!
 

ackvil

Moderator
Many folks have a hard time using a DE on the head. I have been head shaving about six months now. If I use a more aggressive razor on my head I end up with nicks. For me, I have a hard time keeping the correct angle particularly on the back on my head and neck. Using a mirror did not work, either. Recently, I switched to Schick injector razor and that had worked for me.
 
I tried using a DE to shave my head but it was never a nick free exercise, too many hard bumps and hollows. Then I picked up a Sensor Excel twin blade cartridge razor and found the right tool for the job for me.
 
I love that you guys are using some vintage cartridge razors. I have an old atra handle I could take for a spin but I think I'm going to keep fighting the good fight with the DE for the moment (I'm stubborn).

I don't get nicks or weepers and I don't even get a sting with the alum or the alcohol. Just redness and bumps. It must be the angle which is damn near impossible on that portion of my head/neck.
 

ackvil

Moderator
It could also be too much pressure. I know I have to be extra careful when shaving the back of my head-neck area.
 
I love that you guys are using some vintage cartridge razors. I have an old atra handle I could take for a spin but I think I'm going to keep fighting the good fight with the DE for the moment (I'm stubborn).

I don't get nicks or weepers and I don't even get a sting with the alum or the alcohol. Just redness and bumps. It must be the angle which is damn near impossible on that portion of my head/neck.
That sounds like the angle. Shaving the back of the head and back of the neck is pretty tough (one of the reasons why I use generic disposable razors for that job). If using a disposable or cartridge razor is simply not an option for you, perhaps it may be prudent to get someone to shave that part for you.

I don't know what type of pre-shave prep you are using on your head but I find that shaving one's head with real shaving soap instead of canned goop is superior. I also wet the head with a steaming hot rag while I prepare the shaving soap to apply it to my head.
 
Well using carts is not an option because I just don't want to use them. So really it is an option and I have a bunch of them left from my dark years.

For prep? I always shower first using a good soap, then use Proraso pre-shave and I haven't used the goo in a long time. Not sure how I did for so long.

Thank you for confirming what I thought the issue was (angle). It is extremely difficult on the back portion of my head. The shave sometimes feels great yet the next day its very red and irritated.
 
I use many different razors and rarely have any real issues, but maybe I'm just easy to shave. If DE isn't working try a Schick injector, my favorite is an E, but some find them to be too aggressive. I would suggest a G or an I anything after the I has too long of a handle for me anyway.
 
Well using carts is not an option because I just don't want to use them. So really it is an option and I have a bunch of them left from my dark years.

For prep? I always shower first using a good soap, then use Proraso pre-shave and I haven't used the goo in a long time. Not sure how I did for so long.

Thank you for confirming what I thought the issue was (angle). It is extremely difficult on the back portion of my head. The shave sometimes feels great yet the next day its very red and irritated.
Cold water after splash can reduce irritation
 
This is all about technique. I shave my head daily (sometimes twice a day) and while can take a little while to get used to, it's certainly not impossible. Stretch the skin with one hand while making a pass with the other. To get the angle just right, use something like a Tech, which will force you get the angle correct without tearing up your skin. A Tech won't really cut unless it's at just the right angle so it's a good tool for learning. Also, your lather needs to be very rich and silky. The quality of your lather has a tremendous impact on the outcome of your shave. It's very easy to irritate your skin with a sharp blade without proper cushion. Be patient. Take it slow at first. Before you know it, you'll be whizzing through a head shave with no irritation whatsoever. Practice and patience are key. Best of luck, friend.
 
Get yourself a Feather Popular TTO and use a sharp blade. Nice mild razor, I use the Popular to shave face and head almost daily. Never a problem.
 
Thank you gentlemen,

For the time being I have gone back to my Schick Hydro 5 (I have a bunch of carts left). It feels weird and almost hurts which makes me wonder why I used that method for so many years but at the same time it leaves my skin with very little irritation. This would indicate (to me anyways) that the problem is improper angle. I still shave the rest of my head and face/neck with the safety razor. I was using a tech previously with a Kai blade and it still seemed to cause me some issues but I will try it again once my neck area has gone back to normal.

Someone recommended a Gillette Atra which I may also try but my ultimate goal is to be able to use the safety razor without irritation. A Razorock Baby Smooth was also recommended.
 

ShaverGN

Contributor
I could never master head shaving with a DE razor. SE work better. Injectors are good. Cobra was the best.
I settled on HeadBlade. But it's a cartridge.
Try using Noxezema as a pre-save cleanser and shave lube.
 
Thank you gentlemen,

For the time being I have gone back to my Schick Hydro 5 (I have a bunch of carts left). It feels weird and almost hurts which makes me wonder why I used that method for so many years but at the same time it leaves my skin with very little irritation. This would indicate (to me anyways) that the problem is improper angle. I still shave the rest of my head and face/neck with the safety razor. I was using a tech previously with a Kai blade and it still seemed to cause me some issues but I will try it again once my neck area has gone back to normal.

Someone recommended a Gillette Atra which I may also try but my ultimate goal is to be able to use the safety razor without irritation. A Razorock Baby Smooth was also recommended.
Angel and pressure, I did not notice if you have tried a few different blades . I know some blades just work better for Me
especially for my head . I always try and use a milder blade for My head. Lab Blue , Voskhod something in that line of sharpness
 
DE Head shaving has never really been an issue for me. Infact, it is easier than my face personally. I have used lots of razors with no issue with my current daily driver being a Rockwell 6s on 4 with pretty much any blade. 1 atg pass and maybe a little cleanup. Play around with different grips and handle lengths for the back of the head.
A longer handle razor with an upside down grip (pinky finger near the head of the razor and thumb on the other side of the handle near the middle) works well for me if I need a n-s pass.
 
I prefer to shave my head with a straight. (Not a shavette). Just like combing my hair back - front to back. For the face, I use straights, DEs, SEs, or injectors depending what mood I'm in. Love the variety.
 
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