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First pass not doing anything?

Hey guys. Just to preface this, I've been wetshaving for about a month and a half. I use a Merkur 180 Long Handle, Proraso, Edwin Jagger Best Badger Brush, and the Walgreens blades, which I believe are rebranded Personnas.

So recently I've been doing three passes: ***, XTG, ATG. This has been working fairly well but I've been getting a little bit of irritation. I assumed this was just a technique issue, but really hasn't been getting all that much better. Well, today I decided to back off on my routine a bit because I'm going out tonight, still had a little irritation leftover from yesterday, and wanted to give it a chance to heal. As such, I only did the first two passes.

Well, my face doesn't seem to have changed much at all since before I shaved. It looks a little bit... better... but that might just be a result of the repeated application of Proraso, plus Witch Hazel and aftershave. Looking in the sink afterwards, I see very little hair floating, and I think all that's there is really just stuff I chopped off my sideburns by mistake.

Is it possible that my first two passes aren't actually doing anything? They definitely used to, but now that I've added an ATG pass and started getting much closer shaves, is it possible that my beard actually isn't growing back to a level where it's long enough to be cut with a WTG pass on the next day? If that's the case, then I definitely want to vary up my routine; doing two passes that do nothing but add extra irritation to my face doesn't seem very smart, and it could actually be the reason I've been getting irritation lately. What should I do, though? Change them to being more aggressive XTG passes (ie closer to ATG)? Drop them entirely?

Also, is it possible that this just means I need a more aggressive angle on those first two passes? A sharper blade?

Thanks for any help.
 
Each pass should reduce the beard some. The first pass usually removes slightly more stubble than subsequent passes, although nowhere near as much as a Mach3, for example, would remove.
 
Each pass should reduce the beard some. The first pass usually removes slightly more stubble than subsequent passes, although nowhere near as much as a Mach3, for example, would remove.

+1

Even after only 24hrs my first pass WTG removes more hair than each pass thereafter. It could be an issue with blade angle. i.e. too shallow or to steep, either way the blade can be slightly off the surface and therefor doing nothing. A dull blade could also be to blame.

-Jake
 
+1

Even after only 24hrs my first pass WTG removes more hair than each pass thereafter. It could be an issue with blade angle. i.e. too shallow or to steep, either way the blade can be slightly off the surface and therefor doing nothing. A dull blade could also be to blame.

-Jake

Just switched blades this morning, so it's definitely not a dull blade. I guess my angle must be off. Man, I really thought I had this down at this point :mad3:.
 
Okay, I just went back, mixed some more lather, and did several passes in the same spot with varying angles. None of them seemed to do anything, though I did find that some were very clearly the wrong angle. This is getting really frustrating.
 
Give yourself all weekend to grow some stubble, on Monday when you shave you'll know for sure if the first pass is doing anything or not.

(is the 180 a 2-piece or 3-piece razor? It's not unheard of for people to put the baseplate on upside down with a 3-piece razor, thereby turning it into a nice paperweight!)
 
(is the 180 a 2-piece or 3-piece razor? It's not unheard of for people to put the baseplate on upside down with a 3-piece razor, thereby turning it into a nice paperweight!)

this is a good point, but if this were the case, the second and third passes wouldn't remove any stubble, either.


Do make sure the razor is put together properly, though.
 
I agree with giving it a rest for an extra day. I never feel my WTG pass put there is a bunch of stubble I have to rinse off the razor. If you do think it's a technique issue, go back to basics and approach it like it was your first shave all over again, it's what I do if I feel my technique has been off.
 
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