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Help!! Facial hair like iron filings

Hello my fellow wet shaves. I need your help and advice.
I have very tough facial hair. One days growth is like iron filings. Not only is it sharp to touch, but thick, very very thick and sharp. It's like sandpaper. So sharp I can light a match on it.
I use a DE razor, but I'm finding no matter what soaps, pre shaves, lather thickness, blade type, razor type etc, it is hard to have a three pass. I have a 4 or 5 pass shave after a shower. I dull razor blades fast! 2 shaves and I'm reaching for a fresh blade.

Do any of my fellow shavers have any tips to combat this?
 
Ok, I’m just kidding. I honestly don’t know what to say. My beard isn’t that tough BUT, I will say this. My shaves last longer when I shave using a straight. Of course being your beard is so tough, you’d have to know how to hone.

A marginal step down from a straight however would be Feather’s quasi straight.


-https://www.westcoastshaving.com/products/feather-artist-club-ss-razor-black

I used one for two years straight! Love the thing and I’m positive it’d mow down your iron fillings with glee!
 
Skin (and thus hair) conditioning. You may need to condition your face to a point where you grow less coarse hair. Also, I recommend you experiment with thicker blades in a more rigid setting (either an aggressive Schick Injector or an AC type razor). Lastly, try shaving oil or coconut oil to shave instead of creams or soaps. Best of luck, friend.
 
Ok, I’m just kidding. I honestly don’t know what to say. My beard isn’t that tough BUT, I will say this. My shaves last longer when I shave using a straight. Of course being your beard is so tough, you’d have to know how to hone.

A marginal step down from a straight however would be Feather’s quasi straight.


-https://www.westcoastshaving.com/products/feather-artist-club-ss-razor-black

I used one for two years straight! Love the thing and I’m positive it’d mow down your iron fillings with glee!
This is fine recommendation if you feel comfortable using a straight. This is an AC straight. Uses a thick strong SHARP blade. Pair with shaving oil. Bye bye tough whiskers.
 
I experience this, too. When I first started wet shaving I was getting worse shaves than before. It took time to develop my technique. Some things I learned along the way:

Water is your friend. The more you can soak your beard in water before your shave, the better. A hot towel on your face for a few minutes does wonders. At a minimum, you should do a thorough face washing before you shave.​

Technique makes all the difference. Getting the blade angle just right and using little to no pressure is key to a good shave. If you're a newbie, give yourself time.​


There are sharper options out there that will slice through those whiskers, both razors and blades. When you get your technique down, you can experiment with sharpness. Take it from me, it's not worth trying beforehand. Nicks and weepers will take the place of iron filings.​
Your first month or two of shaves are not going to be as good as they were with a cart or electric. Over time, though, they will get better. Keep at it and you will persevere. And don't be afraid to ask questions. This forum has a lot of people willing to give advice freely. Welcome to B&B, and happy shaves!
 
Do any of my fellow shavers have any tips to combat this?
Sometimes you just have to live to what nature has thrown you.
Which razor and blade(s) are you using at present? Do you get a very close shave now? Sometimes improved technique can get you a better shave so persevere with achieving improvement. Also, have you mapped your stubble so you know which direction(s) is true against the grain.
Four passes is not too terrible, I do that daily but I am happy with that regime because I enjoy shaving.
Spend at least 3-4 minutes working the lather in before the first pass so you get maximum hydration into the stubble. I have never tried pre shave products but you could try that an experiment.
 

BigJ

Ambassador
My beard is more in the ‘average’ range, so take this with a grain of salt.

My best suggestion is that you work hard on your prep. I find that a hot shower, CereVe face wash and several minutes of a hot towel really helps! At least I feel great! :a29:
 
My beard might not be a tough as yours, but I think it is pretty tough. I normally do a four pass shave, three normal passes plus a clean-up pass. Then I do a bonus pass with the lather to provide extra conditioning for my skin. I normally get 3-4 shaves out of a blade, with the exception of Feather. That one only gives me 2 good shaves.

Try to shave after a shower if possible. Use both shampoo and conditioner on your face to clean, hydrate and soften your beard.

I do not normally use a preshave, but I have tried Grooming Department preshave and it works well.

Be sure to use a high-quality soap, properly hydrated. You did not mention which soaps you have tried, but I recommend soaps by Ariana and Evans, Barrister and Mann, Declaration Grooming, Grooming Department, Murphy and McNeil, Wholly Kaw, and Zingari Man.

You did not mention which razors and blades you have tried. The blades that normally work well for my tough beard are: BIC Chrome Platinum, Gillette Nacets, 7 O'Clock Blacks, PermaSharp Super, and Personna Platinum (Israeli Reds, not made in Germany). Although Feather blades are sharp, the edge does not hold up well to the stress of a tough beard.

When shaving, make sure you are shaving at a shallow blade angle. Some people call this riding the cap. If you shave at a steep blade angle, the blade may have difficulty getting through your stubble.

Best wishes.
 
I experience this, too. When I first started wet shaving I was getting worse shaves than before. It took time to develop my technique. Some things I learned along the way:

Water is your friend. The more you can soak your beard in water before your shave, the better. A hot towel on your face for a few minutes does wonders. At a minimum, you should do a thorough face washing before you shave.​

Technique makes all the difference. Getting the blade angle just right and using little to no pressure is key to a good shave. If you're a newbie, give yourself time.​


There are sharper options out there that will slice through those whiskers, both razors and blades. When you get your technique down, you can experiment with sharpness. Take it from me, it's not worth trying beforehand. Nicks and weepers will take the place of iron filings.​
Your first month or two of shaves are not going to be as good as they were with a cart or electric. Over time, though, they will get better. Keep at it and you will persevere. And don't be afraid to ask questions. This forum has a lot of people willing to give advice freely. Welcome to B&B, and happy shaves!
Thank you. I have been in the DE club for 4 years. I have good technique, just struggle to cut the tough stubble.
The two blades which are comfortable and cut good are feathers and Gillette Wilkinson Sword (India) along with Gillette 7s Yellow.
I have over 20 DE razors on my shelf.
Still, I can light a match on my face after 9hours growth.
 
Sometimes you just have to live to what nature has thrown you.
Which razor and blade(s) are you using at present? Do you get a very close shave now? Sometimes improved technique can get you a better shave so persevere with achieving improvement. Also, have you mapped your stubble so you know which direction(s) is true against the grain.
Four passes is not too terrible, I do that daily but I am happy with that regime because I enjoy shaving.
Spend at least 3-4 minutes working the lather in before the first pass so you get maximum hydration into the stubble. I have never tried pre shave products but you could try that an experiment.
I use stirling soap, R41, feather. Sometimes use a Gillette Wilkinson Sword (India) or a Gillette 7s Yellow.
Tried ALL pre shave.
Shave after a shower.
Moisturise daily.
 
My beard might not be a tough as yours, but I think it is pretty tough. I normally do a four pass shave, three normal passes plus a clean-up pass. Then I do a bonus pass with the lather to provide extra conditioning for my skin. I normally get 3-4 shaves out of a blade, with the exception of Feather. That one only gives me 2 good shaves.

Try to shave after a shower if possible. Use both shampoo and conditioner on your face to clean, hydrate and soften your beard.

I do not normally use a preshave, but I have tried Grooming Department preshave and it works well.

Be sure to use a high-quality soap, properly hydrated. You did not mention which soaps you have tried, but I recommend soaps by Ariana and Evans, Barrister and Mann, Declaration Grooming, Grooming Department, Murphy and McNeil, Wholly Kaw, and Zingari Man.

You did not mention which razors and blades you have tried. The blades that normally work well for my tough beard are: BIC Chrome Platinum, Gillette Nacets, 7 O'Clock Blacks, PermaSharp Super, and Personna Platinum (Israeli Reds, not made in Germany). Although Feather blades are sharp, the edge does not hold up well to the stress of a tough beard.

When shaving, make sure you are shaving at a shallow blade angle. Some people call this riding the cap. If you shave at a steep blade angle, the blade may have difficulty getting through your stubble.

Best wishes.
Some good points I will takeaway and use. Many thanks
 
My beard isn't that tough, but I wash my beard with shampoo and conditioner in the shower plus again with my bath soap. Then splash with hot water right before I shave and sometimes wash beard with bloom water from soap I am using plus do a pre shave cream with Proraso or Crown. Then I lather and shave, usually three passes with a DE and Schick Injector or two passes with an AC blade razor. You might find a firmer blade like an injector or Artist Club better for you.
 
I've heard of one or two guys who shave twice a day- have you thought about that? It seemed extreme to me but might help with your issue.

For my own beard softening, which is average, I do the following-
  • Hot wash cloth for about a minute
  • Warm water face wash with a liquid face soap- Nivea or Neutrogena Men Face Wash, or Liquid Neutrogena, which is packed with glycerin.
 
Hello my fellow wet shaves. I need your help and advice.
I have very tough facial hair. One days growth is like iron filings. Not only is it sharp to touch, but thick, very very thick and sharp. It's like sandpaper. So sharp I can light a match on it.
I use a DE razor, but I'm finding no matter what soaps, pre shaves, lather thickness, blade type, razor type etc, it is hard to have a three pass. I have a 4 or 5 pass shave after a shower. I dull razor blades fast! 2 shaves and I'm reaching for a fresh blade.

Do any of my fellow shavers have any tips to combat this?
Does the blade tug when you shave?? And do you have soft water?? Waiting for your answers to these 2 questions and then we'll proceed from there
 
Does the blade tug when you shave?? And do you have soft water?? Waiting for your answers to these 2 questions and then we'll proceed from there
I do get tug from the blade every now and then. I do alot of face prep.
I live in a hard water area unfortunately.
 
I do get tug from the blade every now and then. I do alot of face prep.
I live in a hard water area unfortunately.
Here is my advice(hopefully it helps you out):

1)Take a plastic cup and fill it up with a generous amount of shaving cream, like 2-3 dollops(Not SOAP but cream I use proraso white cream for example). Then fill that plastic cup up with water till about 60-70%.

2)Mix the cream and water together with your shaving brush and leave the brush to soak in that "shaving crea/water mixture"(I'll just call it soapy water from now on). Rub your fingers in the soapy water it should feel VERY SLICK

3)Take the soapy water from plastic cup and drip some into your hands and rub it into your face as a preshave, do this a couple of times(but make sure you save enough soapy water for building the lather later).

4) Once you've rubbed enough soapy water over your face take the brush let the excess soapy water drip back into the plastic cup(don't waste it down the drain the soapy water in the plastic cup should last you for 3 passes) . Then proceed to load your brush(Either by loading from your soap of choice or just adding a dollop of cream to your brush) and proceed to face lather.

5)IMPORTANT STEP!! Don't ever use the hard water from the tap for hydrating your lather. Use the soapy slick water in the plastic cup. Drip some into your brush and continue lathering up until you're satisfied with the hydration level.

6) Once ready to shave take your razor head and dunk it into the soapy water and proceed to shave. Rinsing every once in a while with tap water but then immediately redunking in the soapy water right before starting a new stroke.

7)Once you've finished a pass rinse your face with the soapy water from the plastic. You don't need a lot of soapy water. Just enough to apply a thin film over your face and neck before you relather. Relather and shave(don't forget to dunk razor head in soapy water).

In the 2 and a half years I've been DE shaving I always thought I had an immensely tough beard and that's what caused the tugging but then I realised it was a matter of slickness due to hard water. This method works even better than distilled water for me. Now It's all VERY SMOOOOTH. If you didn't understand some of the steps don't be afraid to ask me. I'll gladly try my best to explain better. The only downside to this technique is you need SHAVING CREAM(and maybe a plastic cup hahaha just kidding you could use any cup)
 
Here is my advice(hopefully it helps you out):

1)Take a plastic cup and fill it up with a generous amount of shaving cream, like 2-3 dollops(Not SOAP but cream I use proraso white cream for example). Then fill that plastic cup up with water till about 60-70%.

2)Mix the cream and water together with your shaving brush and leave the brush to soak in that "shaving crea/water mixture"(I'll just call it soapy water from now on). Rub your fingers in the soapy water it should feel VERY SLICK

3)Take the soapy water from plastic cup and drip some into your hands and rub it into your face as a preshave, do this a couple of times(but make sure you save enough soapy water for building the lather later).

4) Once you've rubbed enough soapy water over your face take the brush let the excess soapy water drip back into the plastic cup(don't waste it down the drain the soapy water in the plastic cup should last you for 3 passes) . Then proceed to load your brush(Either by loading from your soap of choice or just adding a dollop of cream to your brush) and proceed to face lather.

5)IMPORTANT STEP!! Don't ever use the hard water from the tap for hydrating your lather. Use the soapy slick water in the plastic cup. Drip some into your brush and continue lathering up until you're satisfied with the hydration level.

6) Once ready to shave take your razor head and dunk it into the soapy water and proceed to shave. Rinsing every once in a while with tap water but then immediately redunking in the soapy water right before starting a new stroke.

7)Once you've finished a pass rinse your face with the soapy water from the plastic. You don't need a lot of soapy water. Just enough to apply a thin film over your face and neck before you relather. Relather and shave(don't forget to dunk razor head in soapy water).

In the 2 and a half years I've been DE shaving I always thought I had an immensely tough beard and that's what caused the tugging but then I realised it was a matter of slickness due to hard water. This method works even better than distilled water for me. Now It's all VERY SMOOOOTH. If you didn't understand some of the steps don't be afraid to ask me. I'll gladly try my best to explain better. The only downside to this technique is you need SHAVING CREAM(and maybe a plastic cup hahaha just kidding you could use any cup)
Some great advice. Thank you. I will try that and see what happens. I have wondered if the hard water effects the lather, but I can make good lathers.
I find that due to my facial hair been tough, I do a 4,5 pass shave then touch up.

Strangely, I find I am now leaving a 2day gap between shaves so my hair is longer and get a better cut.
Thank you for your suggestions. I am definitely going to try it out.
 
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