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"I have coarse hair and sensitive skin"

Wet shavers, what's your take on your hair / skin compared to other folks?

  • I think my hair is coarser than average

    Votes: 18 22.8%
  • I think my skin is more sensitive than average

    Votes: 13 16.5%
  • I think my hair / skin is more or less "normal"

    Votes: 37 46.8%
  • I don't really know how I compare to others

    Votes: 15 19.0%
  • Other...

    Votes: 8 10.1%

  • Total voters
I understand OP's sentiment, but sometimes I watch YouTubers shaving "3 days of growth" and wish that 3 days of growth was largely invisible for me too. But I have Eastern European genes, so 5 o'clock shadow is more like noon shadow. My beard is like sandpaper, and I have super sensitive skin - not just when shaving, in general.
I feel very blessed to have have the genetic inheritance of good skin. My skin is not sensitive generally speaking, and--with shaving in particular--I don't have real issues.

I will only get shaving irritation when I have grossly over-shaved and/or my technique with a new (agressive) razor isn't up to snuff. When that happens (it does), it is entirely my own fault, as I've pressed my luck too far. I know that.

I pretty much chase BBS every time I shave. I like to be smooth and that leads me to making multiple passes. Rarely is a fairly typical 6 pass shave a problem for me. I think my skin is actually healthier as a result of shaving closely and often, as the practice keeps the skin well exfoliated.

As to coarseness, I'd say I'm fairly medium, overall. Cheeks and neck are easy. But the entire "goatee" area is tricky for me, in part because that hair has definitely gotten tougher with age (I'm 65), but more of a factor is that the grain pattern there seems to grow every which way. To some degree, I felt like I'm always going against the grain (and even against multiple grains) no matter the approach angle.

That makes getting the closeness I desire, without having any irritation, somewhat of a skill challenge.

But therein lies the art of shaving.

I absolutely hate the phrase or statement "I have coarse hair and sensitive skin". It's usually the first thing new shavers blame after getting a bad shave, 2 weeks after taking up wet shaving and doing a 4 pass shave with weak lather.

We all have sensitive skin when you drag a razor blade across it, especialy with poor technique.
I absolutely hate the phrase or statement "I have coarse hair and sensitive skin". It's usually the first thing new shavers blame after getting a bad shave, 2 weeks after taking up wet shaving and doing a 4 pass shave with weak lather.

...and plenty of ATG buffing using enough pressure to compensate for their bad angle!

I selected the "haha" reaction - it's funny 'cos it's true!
This is great because I was just thinking about starting a thread like this. I 100% believed I had coarse hair and sensitive skin when I started DE shaving. After time, I realized all the weepers and razor burn were user error and not the fault of my skin. Once I dialed in my technique and stopped chasing the perfect setup, my shaves become consistent, clean, and almost effortless. And once I figured out how to dial in one razor, it became a lot easier to dial in razors that are part of my regular rotation.
Why the cynicism? Well, this view seems to be so ubiquitous that I can't believe it is true for everyone that says it! Instead, I think that a lot of people struggle with typical newbie issues and assume that, because they are having problems, they must be dealing with some unusually difficult whiskers or skin. After all, only half of the guys out there will truly have hair that is coarser than average, or skin that is more sensitive than average.

I am curious to know what veteran wet shavers think about this. Do you think shaving is more difficult for you than for other guys because of the properties of your hair or skin? Is that what drew you to wet shaving?

That said, I can't put myself in another man's shoes, so I wonder if other experienced wet shavers share this view, or if this simply reflects my own experience?
Most guys think that they have a sensitive skin because they can't use the razor properly, using too much pressure? Using a blade your beard doesn't like? Poor lather? Bad prep? You didn't map your beard out? All those things will affect your shaving experience in a negative way. Been there done that :welcoming:

Once you get the hang of it you won't have any issues unless you're trying a new blade your face doesn't like. This is what I would say to any beginner:

1 - Map your beard before you even touch a razor.
2 - Take a nice and hot shower before you shave.
3 - Use a mild and forgiving blade like the Astra SP.
4 - Some might not agree with this but I would get an adjustable DE razor, you can easily control the aggressiveness of the razor.
5 - Pre Shave oil; a huge improvement if you have bad lather I would recommend using olive oil (or any other oil NO WD40 :adoration:)
6 - Relax your arms, shoulders and wrist when you're shaving, don't push the razor in your face just let it touch your face and then you make the stroke.
7 - Take your time, it's not a race.

Those seven points is the advice I would have given to myself on day 1.
Think a large percentage of people say:

Skin sensitive, Beard tough as nails.

At my age 70+ skin is still sensitive, beard is no long like it was 30+ years ago.

Still to this day get INGROWN HAIRS, hate em.🤮
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