The Lather Maestro
as I posted in the SOTD thread yday. ... It felt like i was improving a bit. As the day progressed, my neck was getting irritated. I was wondering tho... will the BBS shave not happen until the technique is mastered? Can it BBS be obtained with a mild razor at all? Also, what does it mean when the 1st pass (all north to south), its like I have to do another pass north to south? It's kinda hard to explain. Is it my blade and/or technique? I'll stick with my Leaf Twig razor for a while as recommended. I think it was my 4th time with the current blade (shipped with the razor). Thx!
Wow. Funny this came up the day after I started a thread on my finally achieving BBS fairly frequently. I don't know the answer to your question if you are 'chasing' the BBS. I do remember when I first started with the DE if I went for more than a CCS (close comfortable shave), I would sometimes get neck irritation. Back then I was also a daily tie wearer, so I just backed off and was happy with a CCS.
I would say that without really 'trying' to get better, within the next year or two I did get better and would achieve DFS (damn fine shave) every day with a workmanlike shave approach. I still never chased the BBS because that would cause irritation, but I was getting irritation-free DFS every day and still wearing a tie frequently. I could never do that with carts.
I cannot answer your question because I never worried about getting a BBS, I just enjoyed my shaves. But I've been at it 10 years now, and all of a sudden (from the perspective of ten years, it's sudden), I'm getting DFS+ every day and a BBS 2-3 times a week, with no irritation. And surprisingly, during the course of a normal shave time, not the usual half-hour or so it used to take me. I've had a bit of a breakthrough, I believe, because after years of experience, I started playing with new razors and blades in a big way 3 months ago. I hesitate to say that in here because I think that's a huge problem for beginners, but at some point experimenting can drive your technique to new heights.
The keys to it are I know my facial hair map intimately now, perhaps my neck has become more used to it now (not sure about that, though) but I now know exactly where to blade buff on my jawline, exactly how much pressure and what angles to use, and I've learned to use just the barest light pressure on the ATG areas. I took ten years, but I wasn't worried about chasing BBS I was just shaving. Could you get there in 6 months? Maybe, I have no idea.
What I do know is that every new shaver, with no exceptions, is going to learn more quickly, and with less irritation and problems if they lock down for one to two months of shaves. If they don't they'll still learn to shave it will just take them much longer to get comfortable with it, that's all. But how fast you can get to regular BBS without irritation I haven't the faintest clue. I would just say, relax and enjoy the journey, it will come, but chasing it is not worth the irritation, IMO.
Here's my recent epiphany thread. I am quite certain it should not take ten years, by the way, I just didn't happen to chase it. Maybe some other newer shavers getting irritation-free BBS can tell you how long it took them.
So this is interesting to me, especially since a newer member started a thread on whether technique "mattered" as much as finding the right razor/blade combo. :rolleyes: So, I've been wetshaving for 30 years (soap and brush) but DE shaving (as in giving up carts) for about 10 years. Lately...
P.S. Oh I forgot. Yes a BBS can be achieved with a mild razor. I get one routinely now from a fat-handle tech. That is a YMMV thing though, for sure. Beards and skin are all different, it may or may not work for you. But I note a lot of other very, very experienced shavers here who used to think you could not get a BBS with a mild razor, now routinely do. Again, that bolsters my experience and technique theory. And supposedly as we age our beard gets tougher. But the answer is yes, most folks can achieve a BBS with a mild razor. Not everyone, but most. A more aggressive razor may get you there quicker, and it will also more likely raise the risk of irritation, but I'm not convinced a more aggressive razor is required to get a close shave. It may take longer with a mild razor, but you can get there. The balance between close, quick, and comfortable is a tricky one. I suspect that is one of those conundrums where you get to "pick two".