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Failed experiment

Having read the entry on shaveblog about how shaving after a sauna allowed the venerable Mr Greenberg to attain his best shave results I decided to chance my arm and see what a steam would do for me.
As anyone who has read some of my threads will know, I often lack the time to prepare properly and my results suffer accordingly, whilst the idea of steaming my face wont serve as a quick fix for that particular problem, today was one of those rare occassions when I found myself with time to spare, so I thought I would try something new.
Unfortunately, my home lacks a dedicated sauna, and not wanting to go to my health club without shaving, I had to improvise. I filled my wash basin with boiling water, set my timer for ten minutes and with a towel over my head, lowered my face down into the basin.
My first problem came approximately thirty seconds in, when I remembered that I am claustrophobic, not being able to breathe easily was a big problem. Still, in the interests of closing in on a BBS shave I decided to persevere. Nine minutes and thirty seconds later I emerged from under my towel looking like a beetroot.
Following the discussion thread where I aired my dissatisfaction with Trumpers Violet, I wanted to see if the steam treatment would help enhance the performance of my least favourite cream. The perspiration made the already poor lather even harder to apply, but still I decided to persevere.
Four passes later, I completed the very worst shave that I have ever had. The razor continually skipped and stuttered on my skin and my bristles were harder to cut than normal. Even when I was struggling with the violet it wasn't this bad, the steam treatment was the obvious culprit. Steam is supposed to plump the skin making the bristles easier to cut, in addition to the softening of the beard, all I can say is phooey (it's late can't think of anything wittier)
The lesson in all of this. For fellow DE novices, stick to the shower and shave, it is a tried and true formula and it works. Also, not everything you see on shaveblog is gospel (not that many people think that anyway)
The lesson for the more experienced. Well, there is no lesson. Having been here for a while I wanted to contribute something, rather than just hanging around and feeding off of everyone elses experience like a parasite; the end result was a subpar shave and potential third degree burns ( I did read up on steaming, but no one said don't use boiling water! Blame it on my eagerness to add to the forum) so I am still very much in need of your assistance.
To cut an overly long story short, anything that can help soften my beard prior to shaving would be a godsend, that is why I am looking into adding a home sauna to my house ( a whole new acquisition disorder awaits us, shaving sauna acquisition disorder) but seriously any D.I.Y project involving boiling water is dangerous stick to what works and trust the professionals.
Warm regards,
Alex
 
My, my - that didn't work for you.... :eek: I would hazard a guess that so much steaming actually plumped the flesh around the whiskers such that they were effectively withdrawn a bit rather than protruding. That being said, I can attest to the fact that a shave after a good cardio workout is always better than not. Go figure.
 
AJS said:
Having read the entry on shaveblog about how shaving after a sauna allowed the venerable Mr Greenberg to attain his best shave results I decided to chance my arm and see what a steam would do for me.
As anyone who has read some of my threads will know, I often lack the time to prepare properly and my results suffer accordingly, whilst the idea of steaming my face wont serve as a quick fix for that particular problem, today was one of those rare occassions when I found myself with time to spare, so I thought I would try something new.
Unfortunately, my home lacks a dedicated sauna, and not wanting to go to my health club without shaving, I had to improvise. I filled my wash basin with boiling water, set my timer for ten minutes and with a towel over my head, lowered my face down into the basin.
My first problem came approximately thirty seconds in, when I remembered that I am claustrophobic, not being able to breathe easily was a big problem. Still, in the interests of closing in on a BBS shave I decided to persevere. Nine minutes and thirty seconds later I emerged from under my towel looking like a beetroot.
Following the discussion thread where I aired my dissatisfaction with Trumpers Violet, I wanted to see if the steam treatment would help enhance the performance of my least favourite cream. The perspiration made the already poor lather even harder to apply, but still I decided to persevere.
Four passes later, I completed the very worst shave that I have ever had. The razor continually skipped and stuttered on my skin and my bristles were harder to cut than normal. Even when I was struggling with the violet it wasn't this bad, the steam treatment was the obvious culprit. Steam is supposed to plump the skin making the bristles easier to cut, in addition to the softening of the beard, all I can say is phooey (it's late can't think of anything wittier)
The lesson in all of this. For fellow DE novices, stick to the shower and shave, it is a tried and true formula and it works. Also, not everything you see on shaveblog is gospel (not that many people think that anyway)
The lesson for the more experienced. Well, there is no lesson. Having been here for a while I wanted to contribute something, rather than just hanging around and feeding off of everyone elses experience like a parasite; the end result was a subpar shave and potential third degree burns ( I did read up on steaming, but no one said don't use boiling water! Blame it on my eagerness to add to the forum) so I am still very much in need of your assistance.
To cut an overly long story short, anything that can help soften my beard prior to shaving would be a godsend, that is why I am looking into adding a home sauna to my house ( a whole new acquisition disorder awaits us, shaving sauna acquisition disorder) but seriously any D.I.Y project involving boiling water is dangerous stick to what works and trust the professionals.
Warm regards,
Alex

Alex,
I am overcome by the nobility of your sacrifice. Perhaps next time bring on the drawn butter when you are about to steam to lobster red instead of the violet?
Really, despite the most hooplahed blogger's insights, three minutes with a moderately warm wash cloth on the cheeks and neck will work the trick of hydrating the whiskers. YMMV
 
When I get the time, I usually try to hold a heated cloth/ towel over my face, but I can never get these to hold any appreciable amount of warmth for more than thirty seconds or so. I was looking at ordering the Classic Brand steam towels from classicshaving.com, as they are supposed to hold heat for longer because they are heavier, any experience with these?
Warm regards,
Alex
 
I share Alex's problem, and have been looking at the same shaving towels, which makes two of us eagerly awaiting someone's helpful replies.
 
Hello Lads,
I find that warmth retention is more related to mass than weave. I typically use a (large) wash cloth, but on weekends use a handtowel-sized (actually it is a handtowel) bit of turkish toweling. I heat them well in the basin and ring them out to almost dry (they do not drip after wringing). (N.B. My buddy the cat enjoys watching me curse as I ring them out because they are HOT!) I wrap it around an already wet (from cleansing) visage and away we go for a few moments of pure relaxation after I get over the hot shock. Do exercise caution, if your faucet set does not limit the temperature of the water, you could easily scald yourself.:blushing:
 
Scotto said:
I combine my shower with the face steaming. After washing and conditioning my hair, I'll use the washcloth on my face to steam a bit, and then use the washcloth afterward to wash my body (not vice versa...)

I tend to do the same thing. I sometimes even use conditioner as a preshave. I figure if it makes the hair on my head softer it should do the same for whiskers.
 
Yes Scott, I have tried something similar with a washcloth, and, while it did help, it's those pre-shower shaves that are giving me the most trouble.

Ron, I'll have to look for a larger towel to try, thanks!
 
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