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How do I NOT Get a Close Shave?

Hi Everyone, thanks for all of the great info you've got here. As the title says, I'm looking for advice on how to NOT get too close of a shave. A little background; I've been cursed with sensitive skin and a coarse beard, mostly on the chin. Ever since my beard came in enough to be noticeable, I've struggled with ingrown hairs and irritation. I've tried cartridges, three different DE razors with various blades, straight razors, and a few different electrics. The 'best' (best as in resulting in the least irritation) results I've gotten have been from electric razors, primarily because they don't shave too close. I do still get some irritation and a few ingrown hairs if I'm not careful, but less than with other products.

Which brings me to the original question; are there any wet-shaving products available that will NOT give a super close shave, particularly in the area below the lower lip? That's the biggest trouble spot for me. If I go with the grain and come down the chin, I run into the protruding part of my chin, cut too close and get ingrown hairs. If I go up against the grain, it's easier to follow the curve of the chin, but then it cuts too close below my lip and I get ingrown hairs. I need something that will cut a bit above the skin. BBS is NOT the goal here; I could care less about smoothness, I just need to look presentable. If I weren't still in the Air Force I'd just grow a beard, sadly that's not an option yet.

Any suggestions or advice would be appreciated. I'm considering a Parker Semi Slant, hoping that the angled blade will slide the hairs a bit easier without getting too close. My chin hair is coarse and tough enough that even a brand new Feather DE blade pulls with my Merkur DE handle.
This is really very simple.

Get yourself a MILD razor. Mild means the razor's head has a small blade gap and also a small blade exposure.

Feather AS-D2 would be ideal if you like DE razors.

I prefer SE razors, as you can alter the blade feel (exposure and gap) by using different size blades (width and thickness wise).

So, that sorts the hardware part.

Software wise, I'd use a top quality product and forgo the "usual suspects" everyone starts with. Start with the very best instead, say A&E kaizen base soap. That should sort out software.

And the very most important part - your technique. If you don't care for smooth, let alone BBS, simply shave 1-pass WTG and call it a day.

Good luck! :straight:
 
You’re probably going to think I’m being funny. I’m not. Maybe try wet shaving the spots you can, then use the electric where you need to. Similar to my routine when I have a mustache or goatee.


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Wet shaving (at least for me) is not something you do because you have to. It is something you do because you enjoy it. If wet shaving hurts your chin just avoid doing it on that particular spot.

A second thought of mine would be to focus on your technique. Beard mapping, light to no pressure, correct angle on the razor and good prep.

When it comes to equipment everybody has their own opinion, which (I hope) stems from their own experience with their stubble on their skin with their razors and their blades and... well you get the point. My first comfortable shave was a one pass with a Merkur slant and a Feather blade. But... My skin has not changed a lot since then and I have managed to get comfortable shaves with many other razors ranging from the 34c to the R41. On the other hand I sometimes deal with irritation, because I might not be consentrated on the task.

Bottomline is, keep wet shaving, keep improving your technique, try new equipment if you want and can afford it and comfortable shaves will come sooner than you expect.

Good luck!

Manos.
 
Get some gillette guard razors. If you only go with the grain, they get you a shave which is socially acceptable but not too close
 

JCarr

More Deep Thoughts than Jack Handy
If the definition of a close shave is a BBS result, then the opposite of that is a result that leaves some stubble. If I didn't desire a BBS result, I'd use a razor and a blade that doesn't shave so close...in my collection, that would be a razor like the RazoRock Mamba 70. Now ... In reference to the Mamba 70, it's capable of a BBS shave or close to one...but it would require a number of passes that would risk irritation and weepers. So...the number of passes would be kept to a minimum regardless of the stubble left over. The shave would definitely fail the cotton ball test. But that would have to be ok. Cleanup passes would be held to a minimum to avoid irritation as the closeness would no longer matter.

Anyway, that's my take on getting a not so close shave. You may have a razor and blade in mind. Good luck. Happy Shaves!
 
Shaving with a razor with neutral, negative blade exposure is (for me) like shaving in the dark. Relying only on audio feedback may lead to over shaving. I have had better luck using more efficient razors, and only doing one pass across the grain and a pickup pass. The razorock lupo is a good option. I also like using platinum coated blades.
The R41 can also be a good option.
 
@kurt1911, I have read all the replies and none have mentioned the correct answer to your shaving "problem". The correct answer is to learn to shave with a straight razor.

With a straight razor, you are in total control of your shave and the results. It takes time to learn and develop your preferred technique but after about 30 shaves you will be asking yourself why you didn't start with a straight razor in your teens.
 
I started off with a feather SS, loaded with the pro super. Did some cleanup with my mach 3. I have since started using DE's. To this day i have a big problem beating the efficiency and result from the SS. I have not tried the guarded blades yet. Might be worth looking into.
You may also consider the Vector SE razor. I get a really close shave without tingling raw feeling after 3 passes as i do with my DE's.
If you consider straights, get it professionally honed before you consider starting to hone to get a solid reference point.
 
Hi Everyone, thanks for all of the great info you've got here. As the title says, I'm looking for advice on how to NOT get too close of a shave. A little background; I've been cursed with sensitive skin and a coarse beard, mostly on the chin. Ever since my beard came in enough to be noticeable, I've struggled with ingrown hairs and irritation. I've tried cartridges, three different DE razors with various blades, straight razors, and a few different electrics. The 'best' (best as in resulting in the least irritation) results I've gotten have been from electric razors, primarily because they don't shave too close. I do still get some irritation and a few ingrown hairs if I'm not careful, but less than with other products.

Which brings me to the original question; are there any wet-shaving products available that will NOT give a super close shave, particularly in the area below the lower lip? That's the biggest trouble spot for me. If I go with the grain and come down the chin, I run into the protruding part of my chin, cut too close and get ingrown hairs. If I go up against the grain, it's easier to follow the curve of the chin, but then it cuts too close below my lip and I get ingrown hairs. I need something that will cut a bit above the skin. BBS is NOT the goal here; I could care less about smoothness, I just need to look presentable. If I weren't still in the Air Force I'd just grow a beard, sadly that's not an option yet.

Any suggestions or advice would be appreciated. I'm considering a Parker Semi Slant, hoping that the angled blade will slide the hairs a bit easier without getting too close. My chin hair is coarse and tough enough that even a brand new Feather DE blade pulls with my Merkur DE handle.
I too have had the same problem, but after many years of experimentation have discovered that by applying a pre shave oil (I use sunflower or olive oil) then applying a layer of glycerine before I lather, softens the whiskers and provides 'cushion' protection for the skin like nothing else. -Try it, and thank me later.
 

Lefonque

Even more clueless than you
This appears to be a combination of issues. My initial thoughts are using the wrong angle and pressing too hard. It could be a matter of technique and trying too hard. Angle and light touch a with the grain and across the grain should get the shave required. Against the grain for a DFS to BBS.
 
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@kurt1911, I have read all the replies and none have mentioned the correct answer to your shaving "problem". The correct answer is to learn to shave with a straight razor.

With a straight razor, you are in total control of your shave and the results. It takes time to learn and develop your preferred technique but after about 30 shaves you will be asking yourself why you didn't start with a straight razor in your teens.
@rbscebu, I absolutely believe you are 100% in control of your shaves with a SR, as you seem to be a rather knowledgeable guy when it comes to SRs.

I wouldn't be so sure about me being 100% control, let alone 100% satisfied with a SR shave. That being said, I can assure you I am 100% in control of every aspect of the shave (angle, pressure, BBS result, no irritation) with my Blackland Vector OC SE razor.

It continually gives me better, smoother, more rewarding shaves overall than any other type of razor I've ever used (DE, SE, AC, SR), including my original Feather AC SS (which BTW is a great razor).

Implying that one can only get a great shave with a SR is put bluntly - a nonsense. No offense meant.
 

Lefonque

Even more clueless than you
@rbscebu, I absolutely believe you are 100% in control of your shaves with a SR, as you seem to be a rather knowledgeable guy when it comes to SRs.

I wouldn't be so sure about me being 100% control, let alone 100% satisfied with a SR shave. That being said, I can assure you I am 100% in control of every aspect of the shave (angle, pressure, BBS result, no irritation) with my Blackland Vector OC SE razor.

It continually gives me better, smoother, more rewarding shaves overall than any other type of razor I've ever used (DE, SE, AC, SR), including my original Feather AC SS (which BTW is a great razor).

Implying that one can only get a great shave with a SR is put bluntly - a nonsense. No offense meant.
Blackland Vector is a very nice razor.
 
....
Implying that one can only get a great shave with a SR is put bluntly - a nonsense. No offense meant.
And no offense taken. I was not implying that one can only get a great shave with an SR, however shaving with an SR (with proper skill and technique) has been a sure way for many to get a close shave result without ingrowns and skin irritation.
 
And no offense taken. I was not implying that one can only get a great shave with an SR, however shaving with an SR (with proper skill and technique) has been a sure way for many to get a close shave result without ingrowns and skin irritation.
Fair enough then 😀

FWIW, I shaved with Gillette cartridge razors and canned goo for 30 years and never had an ingrown hair in my life. I did have some irritation on my lower neck though. Switching to wet-shaving some 3 years ago, resulted in MUCH better shaves overall - daily chore transformed into enjoyable experience. I find shaving with a SR truly fascinating, but my lack of skills (and motivation) required to maintain one, had me opt for AC shavette at first, then AC-SEs as my preferred method. To each his own...
 
Thank you all for the suggestions! Especially to Aimless Wanderer for the detailed instructions, that helps a lot.

Yesterday morning I used a Merkur 38 HD with a Feather blade, Proraso Sensitive Skin Green Tea Pre-shave Cream and pre-shave oil. No cuts but it burned all over for the entire day. Today I tried using an Edwin Jagger DE89 instead in the hopes it would be milder. I took the same blade out of the other razor and used the same pre-shave, cream and prep. It burned a bit less (but still rather uncomfortably) on my cheeks afterwards but wouldn't really shave my chin at all.

Even with a blade that's only on it's second use it just won't cut chin hairs with a light touch. I'm left with what looks like 1 day stubble. The razor just stops when I hit that area unless I press harder, which experience has already taught is a bad idea. I don't want a BBS shave, but it needs to be close enough to pass muster at Air Force Reserve duty, and this isn't good enough.

I'm thinking of taking tomorrow off to allow the skin to heal, then trying again on Thursday with the Merkur. I greatly prefer the longer knurled handle and heft relative to the EJ. I'll just try a Dorco blade and a lighter touch this time. If that doesn't work, maybe a Parker Semi-Slant razor would do the trick? I could see how the slanted blade might be more effective against the wires growing from my chin. Hitting them straight on doesn't seem to work even with the Feather blades, which are supposed to be the absolute sharpest. Wish me luck.


I only quoted you for the part about the Parker Semi Slant. It's a good razor, but, it's not a mild razor, and IMO it requires some finesse to use properly, just opinion, but, I think it's a mid- aggressive razor, and being a slant, will not make it more gentle on your face. If someone asked me "is the Parker Semi Slant a good razor?", I'd answer yes, it certainly is. Just my thoughts....as far as the problem you're describing, it's not a good option. If you want a really close shave, smooth and clean, that Parker is one option to consider, it's not gentle, it's good for someone who wants to step up to a closer shave, from something mild, at a very good price point. If you want a mild slant razor, (again only opinion here), the iKon x3 is mild.
 
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