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my secret to shaving off a really tough beard on a daily basis

I began my wet shaving journey in June 2021. From the very outset, I knew there was something a bit different about me compared to your average guy. So many of the techniques suggested on forums, Youtube videos etc etc just never really seemed to work. My shaves were patchy, burned, felt very uncomfortable. I could shave every 2 or 3 days with reasonable success, but every day? just no way.

Over the past year and 3 months, I have spent hundreds, thousands of pounds on brushes, creams, soaps, gels, razors, blades, balms and other such wonderments. I recognise I'm lucky enough to do that and I don't want others to have to do the same in my position.

This post is an attempt to give you the secret of what I've learned about shaving with a very tough beard and a reliable but surprising technique that I've found. It's going to be a very long post so apologies, but I hope it will help people like me.


I soon realised I had a few things going against me when I began shaving:


1. I have no eyesight, I am totally blind. This matters a great deal because to me, there is no substitute to a BBS and believe me, my fingers are sensitive enough that I'll pick up any stray hair. If I can't run my fingers ATG and feel nothing, the shave has been a waste as far as I'm concerned. I must also apologise if the formatting in this post is a little wonky, my speech software isn’t great at letting me know if something looks ok when written down 😊

2. I have a stupidly incredibly tough beard. I am half Iranian and that beard is like sandpaper on day 1 of growth. It hugs the face and I have never ever found a blade which allows me more than 1 shave before I have to throw it away. Most razors just bounce over the hairs and leave bits behind and the beard is back in a few hours.

3. No matter how many lathers or pre-shaves I tried, I was still ending up with an unreliable shave and if I wanted to shave every day, something was clearly going to have to change.


So, let's break it down, what did I do?



The razor:
The one thing I realised about 4 months in after a lot of blood sweat and tears, is that only one type of razor works for me. I need a slant, nothing else will do. Sure others can cut the hair, but never very close to the skin and they'd require so much buffing that my face was sore and full of ingrowing hairs.

I also realised that I do not like blade exposure. Again, it comes down to buffing. I have to buff my face a fair bit even with my dream razor and my theory is that blade exposure really irritates my skin because of the amount I have to go over the same area again and again. This is why single edges, Shavettes etc don't work for me. Being blind there is no way I'm going to try a straight but even if I did, I think it would just make me sore.

I tried so many slant razors. Parker, Murcurs, Italian open combs, above the tie, Wunderbar etc etc. In the end, there is only one clear winner for me, the Rex Konsul:

Konsul Slant Adjustable Stainless Steel DE Safety Razor — Rex Supply - https://www.rexsupplyco.com/shop-online/p/rex-supply-co-konsul-slant-adjustable-stainless-steel-de-razor

Yes, it's expensive but you know what? it gets the job done. Superbly close to the skin, no irritation, lets me shave around the neck with no irritation and it goes through my hair like... like a normal razor with a fairly average beard should do :)



The blade:
feathers do not work, let me say that from the outset. I tried them for months and... ouch! Yes they're sharp, but they're not so sharp that they get all that hair off without buffing and again, we're back to going over the same area many times and hurting my face. my experience is that whilst some blades feel ok at the time, give it a few hours and your face feels like it's been run over by a racoon riding a 4 wheel drive car with snow chains.

I won't break down all the hours of blades I went through, but I can tell you that Astra SPs are what I eventually stuck with.
100 Astra Superior Platinum Double Edge Safety Razor Blades and Arko Shaving Cream Soap Stick, Green : Amazon.co.uk: Health & Personal Care - https://www.amazon.co.uk/100-Astra-Superior-Platinum-Shaving/dp/B00CK7NQ8Y

They are very sharp, they are very smooth, they don't irritate my skin and they are incredibly cheap and use no plastic in their packaging. Win win as far as I'm concerned.



The pre-shave and lather:
So, now we come to it. Up until now, none of what I've said is too controversial. Most people would if not agree, then at least understand what I've said above but now, we're going to go way off base.
As I continued buying more and more creams, then soaps, then different types of brushes, oils, gels, lotions, potions, sacrificing a virgin at the appearance of each full moon, something began to get clearer and clearer in my head.
I needed the thinnest, slickest lather possible. I know that sounds obvious, but when I hear people talk about lather, consistency of yoghurt, cushioning etc, no, that's not what I needed. I needed something that was basically invisible against the face. Something that was basically like shaving with water.
my theory is that the more lather, the more of my hair remained behind and after a few hours, the dreaded sandpaper beard is back again.

As I said, I tried everything. What did I stick with? 2 products, although you can decide what works best for you.

My favourite, is trumpers skin food, which can be used for the actual shave and after the shave.
Eucris Skin Food | Luxury Mens Shaving Products | Mens Grooming | Geo. F. Trumper - https://www.trumpers.com/product/eucris-skin-food/



Another good one is executive shaving pre-shave oil, which is basically a liquid soap.
Fuar Ach Snog Minty Water Soluble Pre Shave Oil 150ml - https://www.executive-shaving.co.uk/fuar-ach-snog-minty-pre-shave-oil-water-soluble-150ml



IN both cases, wet the face, apply a little of 1 of the above products and shave normally, no need for lathers, creams, soaps etc etc.

The 1st time I did this I was very scared. Would this protect me as much as it needed to? The answer was a complete and satisfied yes.

Gone was so much of the buffing that I'd been used to. You have to be careful, but that hair came off and stayed off for 12 hours and no need to create lathers, use brushes, scuttles etc etc.
Finally I could get right up against the skin and I felt like someone with an average or dare I say normal beard having a shave.



The aftershave balm:
Even with my new technique, I need to moisturise after a shave. I guess most people do but for me personally, I don't like the way my skin feels dry after a good thrashing with the razor. I use 1 of 2 products which again, after many tries I found worked best for me.

Good old Trumpers skin food, which has just become my 1 product when shaving

Or Executive shaving intensive moisturising balm which smells amazing and stays on the face for a few minutes before soaking in, which leaves my skin totally soothed.
Intensive Moisturising Balm Paraben Free 200ml - https://www.executive-shaving.co.uk/intensive-moisturising-balm-200ml



My technique:
So, here's what I do for a daily shave using all the above products.

1. Before a shower (I have found absolutely no use taking a shower it does not soften my beard), fill the sink with really hot water.

2. Plop the Konsul loaded with an Astra blade into the sink and rub my face gently with my fingers to soften the hair.

3. Massage some Trumpers skin food or executive shaving pre-shave oil into the stubble. wet hands are a must for this, you want a slippery texture all over your face.

4. One pass, at maximum exposure setting on the Konsul about 6.5 if memory serves, WTG. I don't get a very smooth shave from this but I do get a lot of what I call the top coat of the beard off. You will need to keep dipping the razor in the sink in order to clean it but also to keep the blade wet. This in turn keeps your face and the product on your face wet, to give it the glide you need.

5. Wet and massage the face again and reapply some Skin Food or Pre-shave oil. Probably less than before since that top coat is now gone.

6. 1 pass, maximum setting on the Konsul, against the grain. Likely to need going over the same areas with a few strokes each time and in some places, I advise moving the razor slowly over the face rather than short sharp strokes, as it tends to pick up and cut all the hairs without leaving them behind if you do this. Again, keep dipping that razor, sometimes I stand on a towel to make sure I keep the floor dry. Keep that blade and your face wet but not so wet that you melt all the product off.

7. For any patchy areas that need cleaning up, you should be able to dip your razor and gently shave without adding more product. This is especially true around the chin, often by this point I'm left with the smallest amount of product and mostly shave just using water. If you're gentle, the hair will come right off.

8. Wet the face again and reapply more product, but this time specifically around the moustache and mouth.

9. Shave across then ATG around the above areas. I find it is always best to shave across the grain 1st, to get those annoying hairs on the edge of the lip off. With short sharp strokes, shave against the grain working your way from the edge of the lip upward toward the nose. Do not press too hard here, the trick is to let the razor skim gently over the surface using the product as a glide.

10. Rince the face in water, check if you need to clean up any areas and if you do, just use the water as lubrication.

11. Take a shower and rub the face gently with warm water to clean all the product and hairs off.

12. Apply some balm. I tend to find if you apply straight out of the shower, you may want to put a little bit more on after getting dressed, the skin always feels nicer this way.



I really hope that's been of some help and apologies it was so long.



Thanks.



Ed.
 
Glad you have found what works best for you! Another product you might like is Stephan Stay Smooth Conditioning Shave Cream. I've not used Trumper's skin food, but it sounds similar to Stephan's. It just takes a small amount with plenty of water. It's overpriced on Amazon at around $18 USD but most places here in the US have it for around $6.

 
Glad you have found what works best for you! Another product you might like is Stephan Stay Smooth Conditioning Shave Cream. I've not used Trumper's skin food, but it sounds similar to Stephan's. It just takes a small amount with plenty of water. It's overpriced on Amazon at around $18 USD but most places here in the US have it for around $6.

Thanks, good to know. Yeah I can't seem to find it in the UK anywhere and Trumpers do a 500ML skin food bottle for £30 or so which I'm hoping will last a long time. Perhaps if my cousin visits from the US I'll get her to bring some with :)
 
That's quite a story, thank you for sharing. It's great discovering what works for us to get a pleasant, close shave. Congratulations, sir, & may you continue to enjoy your journey!
 
I began my wet shaving journey in June 2021. From the very outset, I knew there was something a bit different about me compared to your average guy. So many of the techniques suggested on forums, Youtube videos etc etc just never really seemed to work. My shaves were patchy, burned, felt very uncomfortable. I could shave every 2 or 3 days with reasonable success, but every day? just no way.

Over the past year and 3 months, I have spent hundreds, thousands of pounds on brushes, creams, soaps, gels, razors, blades, balms and other such wonderments. I recognise I'm lucky enough to do that and I don't want others to have to do the same in my position.

This post is an attempt to give you the secret of what I've learned about shaving with a very tough beard and a reliable but surprising technique that I've found. It's going to be a very long post so apologies, but I hope it will help people like me.


I soon realised I had a few things going against me when I began shaving:


1. I have no eyesight, I am totally blind. This matters a great deal because to me, there is no substitute to a BBS and believe me, my fingers are sensitive enough that I'll pick up any stray hair. If I can't run my fingers ATG and feel nothing, the shave has been a waste as far as I'm concerned. I must also apologise if the formatting in this post is a little wonky, my speech software isn’t great at letting me know if something looks ok when written down 😊

2. I have a stupidly incredibly tough beard. I am half Iranian and that beard is like sandpaper on day 1 of growth. It hugs the face and I have never ever found a blade which allows me more than 1 shave before I have to throw it away. Most razors just bounce over the hairs and leave bits behind and the beard is back in a few hours.

3. No matter how many lathers or pre-shaves I tried, I was still ending up with an unreliable shave and if I wanted to shave every day, something was clearly going to have to change.


So, let's break it down, what did I do?



The razor:
The one thing I realised about 4 months in after a lot of blood sweat and tears, is that only one type of razor works for me. I need a slant, nothing else will do. Sure others can cut the hair, but never very close to the skin and they'd require so much buffing that my face was sore and full of ingrowing hairs.

I also realised that I do not like blade exposure. Again, it comes down to buffing. I have to buff my face a fair bit even with my dream razor and my theory is that blade exposure really irritates my skin because of the amount I have to go over the same area again and again. This is why single edges, Shavettes etc don't work for me. Being blind there is no way I'm going to try a straight but even if I did, I think it would just make me sore.

I tried so many slant razors. Parker, Murcurs, Italian open combs, above the tie, Wunderbar etc etc. In the end, there is only one clear winner for me, the Rex Konsul:

Konsul Slant Adjustable Stainless Steel DE Safety Razor — Rex Supply - https://www.rexsupplyco.com/shop-online/p/rex-supply-co-konsul-slant-adjustable-stainless-steel-de-razor

Yes, it's expensive but you know what? it gets the job done. Superbly close to the skin, no irritation, lets me shave around the neck with no irritation and it goes through my hair like... like a normal razor with a fairly average beard should do :)



The blade:
feathers do not work, let me say that from the outset. I tried them for months and... ouch! Yes they're sharp, but they're not so sharp that they get all that hair off without buffing and again, we're back to going over the same area many times and hurting my face. my experience is that whilst some blades feel ok at the time, give it a few hours and your face feels like it's been run over by a racoon riding a 4 wheel drive car with snow chains.

I won't break down all the hours of blades I went through, but I can tell you that Astra SPs are what I eventually stuck with.
100 Astra Superior Platinum Double Edge Safety Razor Blades and Arko Shaving Cream Soap Stick, Green : Amazon.co.uk: Health & Personal Care - https://www.amazon.co.uk/100-Astra-Superior-Platinum-Shaving/dp/B00CK7NQ8Y

They are very sharp, they are very smooth, they don't irritate my skin and they are incredibly cheap and use no plastic in their packaging. Win win as far as I'm concerned.



The pre-shave and lather:
So, now we come to it. Up until now, none of what I've said is too controversial. Most people would if not agree, then at least understand what I've said above but now, we're going to go way off base.
As I continued buying more and more creams, then soaps, then different types of brushes, oils, gels, lotions, potions, sacrificing a virgin at the appearance of each full moon, something began to get clearer and clearer in my head.
I needed the thinnest, slickest lather possible. I know that sounds obvious, but when I hear people talk about lather, consistency of yoghurt, cushioning etc, no, that's not what I needed. I needed something that was basically invisible against the face. Something that was basically like shaving with water.
my theory is that the more lather, the more of my hair remained behind and after a few hours, the dreaded sandpaper beard is back again.

As I said, I tried everything. What did I stick with? 2 products, although you can decide what works best for you.

My favourite, is trumpers skin food, which can be used for the actual shave and after the shave.
Eucris Skin Food | Luxury Mens Shaving Products | Mens Grooming | Geo. F. Trumper - https://www.trumpers.com/product/eucris-skin-food/



Another good one is executive shaving pre-shave oil, which is basically a liquid soap.
Fuar Ach Snog Minty Water Soluble Pre Shave Oil 150ml - https://www.executive-shaving.co.uk/fuar-ach-snog-minty-pre-shave-oil-water-soluble-150ml



IN both cases, wet the face, apply a little of 1 of the above products and shave normally, no need for lathers, creams, soaps etc etc.

The 1st time I did this I was very scared. Would this protect me as much as it needed to? The answer was a complete and satisfied yes.

Gone was so much of the buffing that I'd been used to. You have to be careful, but that hair came off and stayed off for 12 hours and no need to create lathers, use brushes, scuttles etc etc.
Finally I could get right up against the skin and I felt like someone with an average or dare I say normal beard having a shave.



The aftershave balm:
Even with my new technique, I need to moisturise after a shave. I guess most people do but for me personally, I don't like the way my skin feels dry after a good thrashing with the razor. I use 1 of 2 products which again, after many tries I found worked best for me.

Good old Trumpers skin food, which has just become my 1 product when shaving

Or Executive shaving intensive moisturising balm which smells amazing and stays on the face for a few minutes before soaking in, which leaves my skin totally soothed.
Intensive Moisturising Balm Paraben Free 200ml - https://www.executive-shaving.co.uk/intensive-moisturising-balm-200ml



My technique:
So, here's what I do for a daily shave using all the above products.

1. Before a shower (I have found absolutely no use taking a shower it does not soften my beard), fill the sink with really hot water.

2. Plop the Konsul loaded with an Astra blade into the sink and rub my face gently with my fingers to soften the hair.

3. Massage some Trumpers skin food or executive shaving pre-shave oil into the stubble. wet hands are a must for this, you want a slippery texture all over your face.

4. One pass, at maximum exposure setting on the Konsul about 6.5 if memory serves, WTG. I don't get a very smooth shave from this but I do get a lot of what I call the top coat of the beard off. You will need to keep dipping the razor in the sink in order to clean it but also to keep the blade wet. This in turn keeps your face and the product on your face wet, to give it the glide you need.

5. Wet and massage the face again and reapply some Skin Food or Pre-shave oil. Probably less than before since that top coat is now gone.

6. 1 pass, maximum setting on the Konsul, against the grain. Likely to need going over the same areas with a few strokes each time and in some places, I advise moving the razor slowly over the face rather than short sharp strokes, as it tends to pick up and cut all the hairs without leaving them behind if you do this. Again, keep dipping that razor, sometimes I stand on a towel to make sure I keep the floor dry. Keep that blade and your face wet but not so wet that you melt all the product off.

7. For any patchy areas that need cleaning up, you should be able to dip your razor and gently shave without adding more product. This is especially true around the chin, often by this point I'm left with the smallest amount of product and mostly shave just using water. If you're gentle, the hair will come right off.

8. Wet the face again and reapply more product, but this time specifically around the moustache and mouth.

9. Shave across then ATG around the above areas. I find it is always best to shave across the grain 1st, to get those annoying hairs on the edge of the lip off. With short sharp strokes, shave against the grain working your way from the edge of the lip upward toward the nose. Do not press too hard here, the trick is to let the razor skim gently over the surface using the product as a glide.

10. Rince the face in water, check if you need to clean up any areas and if you do, just use the water as lubrication.

11. Take a shower and rub the face gently with warm water to clean all the product and hairs off.

12. Apply some balm. I tend to find if you apply straight out of the shower, you may want to put a little bit more on after getting dressed, the skin always feels nicer this way.



I really hope that's been of some help and apologies it was so long.



Thanks.



Ed.
Happy to see you found a solution that works for you. Really great story.

Curious if you ever tried Cremo shave cream during your journey. The effect you are achieving with the Trumpers or Executive Shaving balm seems similar to how Cremo works where you just rub it into wet skin for a very slick shave. If you did try it how did it work for you?

Note I'm guessing since you spent pounds that you are in the U.K. an I'm not sure if this product is available there. In the U.S. it is available in many grocery and big box stores for around $6 -$7.
 
To echo the others: It is so good to hear that you found a routine that really works for you. There are so many variables, and trial and error involved, that it must feel like a triumph! Thank you for posting this as it can hopefully help many others.
 
I'm having a similar problem with my beard and even after taking a shower, it still doesn't feel very soft. The prep is probably the only thing about shaving that I hate with passion. I truly envy those who just wet their face for 30 seconds and just start shaving right away.
 

Ron R

I survived a lathey foreman
I began my wet shaving journey in June 2021. From the very outset, I knew there was something a bit different about me compared to your average guy. So many of the techniques suggested on forums, Youtube videos etc etc just never really seemed to work. My shaves were patchy, burned, felt very uncomfortable. I could shave every 2 or 3 days with reasonable success, but every day? just no way.

Over the past year and 3 months, I have spent hundreds, thousands of pounds on brushes, creams, soaps, gels, razors, blades, balms and other such wonderments. I recognise I'm lucky enough to do that and I don't want others to have to do the same in my position.

This post is an attempt to give you the secret of what I've learned about shaving with a very tough beard and a reliable but surprising technique that I've found. It's going to be a very long post so apologies, but I hope it will help people like me.


I soon realised I had a few things going against me when I began shaving:


1. I have no eyesight, I am totally blind. This matters a great deal because to me, there is no substitute to a BBS and believe me, my fingers are sensitive enough that I'll pick up any stray hair. If I can't run my fingers ATG and feel nothing, the shave has been a waste as far as I'm concerned. I must also apologise if the formatting in this post is a little wonky, my speech software isn’t great at letting me know if something looks ok when written down 😊

2. I have a stupidly incredibly tough beard. I am half Iranian and that beard is like sandpaper on day 1 of growth. It hugs the face and I have never ever found a blade which allows me more than 1 shave before I have to throw it away. Most razors just bounce over the hairs and leave bits behind and the beard is back in a few hours.

3. No matter how many lathers or pre-shaves I tried, I was still ending up with an unreliable shave and if I wanted to shave every day, something was clearly going to have to change.


So, let's break it down, what did I do?



The razor:
The one thing I realised about 4 months in after a lot of blood sweat and tears, is that only one type of razor works for me. I need a slant, nothing else will do. Sure others can cut the hair, but never very close to the skin and they'd require so much buffing that my face was sore and full of ingrowing hairs.

I also realised that I do not like blade exposure. Again, it comes down to buffing. I have to buff my face a fair bit even with my dream razor and my theory is that blade exposure really irritates my skin because of the amount I have to go over the same area again and again. This is why single edges, Shavettes etc don't work for me. Being blind there is no way I'm going to try a straight but even if I did, I think it would just make me sore.

I tried so many slant razors. Parker, Murcurs, Italian open combs, above the tie, Wunderbar etc etc. In the end, there is only one clear winner for me, the Rex Konsul:

Konsul Slant Adjustable Stainless Steel DE Safety Razor — Rex Supply - https://www.rexsupplyco.com/shop-online/p/rex-supply-co-konsul-slant-adjustable-stainless-steel-de-razor

Yes, it's expensive but you know what? it gets the job done. Superbly close to the skin, no irritation, lets me shave around the neck with no irritation and it goes through my hair like... like a normal razor with a fairly average beard should do :)



The blade:
feathers do not work, let me say that from the outset. I tried them for months and... ouch! Yes they're sharp, but they're not so sharp that they get all that hair off without buffing and again, we're back to going over the same area many times and hurting my face. my experience is that whilst some blades feel ok at the time, give it a few hours and your face feels like it's been run over by a racoon riding a 4 wheel drive car with snow chains.

I won't break down all the hours of blades I went through, but I can tell you that Astra SPs are what I eventually stuck with.
100 Astra Superior Platinum Double Edge Safety Razor Blades and Arko Shaving Cream Soap Stick, Green : Amazon.co.uk: Health & Personal Care - https://www.amazon.co.uk/100-Astra-Superior-Platinum-Shaving/dp/B00CK7NQ8Y

They are very sharp, they are very smooth, they don't irritate my skin and they are incredibly cheap and use no plastic in their packaging. Win win as far as I'm concerned.



The pre-shave and lather:
So, now we come to it. Up until now, none of what I've said is too controversial. Most people would if not agree, then at least understand what I've said above but now, we're going to go way off base.
As I continued buying more and more creams, then soaps, then different types of brushes, oils, gels, lotions, potions, sacrificing a virgin at the appearance of each full moon, something began to get clearer and clearer in my head.
I needed the thinnest, slickest lather possible. I know that sounds obvious, but when I hear people talk about lather, consistency of yoghurt, cushioning etc, no, that's not what I needed. I needed something that was basically invisible against the face. Something that was basically like shaving with water.
my theory is that the more lather, the more of my hair remained behind and after a few hours, the dreaded sandpaper beard is back again.

As I said, I tried everything. What did I stick with? 2 products, although you can decide what works best for you.

My favourite, is trumpers skin food, which can be used for the actual shave and after the shave.
Eucris Skin Food | Luxury Mens Shaving Products | Mens Grooming | Geo. F. Trumper - https://www.trumpers.com/product/eucris-skin-food/



Another good one is executive shaving pre-shave oil, which is basically a liquid soap.
Fuar Ach Snog Minty Water Soluble Pre Shave Oil 150ml - https://www.executive-shaving.co.uk/fuar-ach-snog-minty-pre-shave-oil-water-soluble-150ml



IN both cases, wet the face, apply a little of 1 of the above products and shave normally, no need for lathers, creams, soaps etc etc.

The 1st time I did this I was very scared. Would this protect me as much as it needed to? The answer was a complete and satisfied yes.

Gone was so much of the buffing that I'd been used to. You have to be careful, but that hair came off and stayed off for 12 hours and no need to create lathers, use brushes, scuttles etc etc.
Finally I could get right up against the skin and I felt like someone with an average or dare I say normal beard having a shave.



The aftershave balm:
Even with my new technique, I need to moisturise after a shave. I guess most people do but for me personally, I don't like the way my skin feels dry after a good thrashing with the razor. I use 1 of 2 products which again, after many tries I found worked best for me.

Good old Trumpers skin food, which has just become my 1 product when shaving

Or Executive shaving intensive moisturising balm which smells amazing and stays on the face for a few minutes before soaking in, which leaves my skin totally soothed.
Intensive Moisturising Balm Paraben Free 200ml - https://www.executive-shaving.co.uk/intensive-moisturising-balm-200ml



My technique:
So, here's what I do for a daily shave using all the above products.

1. Before a shower (I have found absolutely no use taking a shower it does not soften my beard), fill the sink with really hot water.

2. Plop the Konsul loaded with an Astra blade into the sink and rub my face gently with my fingers to soften the hair.

3. Massage some Trumpers skin food or executive shaving pre-shave oil into the stubble. wet hands are a must for this, you want a slippery texture all over your face.

4. One pass, at maximum exposure setting on the Konsul about 6.5 if memory serves, WTG. I don't get a very smooth shave from this but I do get a lot of what I call the top coat of the beard off. You will need to keep dipping the razor in the sink in order to clean it but also to keep the blade wet. This in turn keeps your face and the product on your face wet, to give it the glide you need.

5. Wet and massage the face again and reapply some Skin Food or Pre-shave oil. Probably less than before since that top coat is now gone.

6. 1 pass, maximum setting on the Konsul, against the grain. Likely to need going over the same areas with a few strokes each time and in some places, I advise moving the razor slowly over the face rather than short sharp strokes, as it tends to pick up and cut all the hairs without leaving them behind if you do this. Again, keep dipping that razor, sometimes I stand on a towel to make sure I keep the floor dry. Keep that blade and your face wet but not so wet that you melt all the product off.

7. For any patchy areas that need cleaning up, you should be able to dip your razor and gently shave without adding more product. This is especially true around the chin, often by this point I'm left with the smallest amount of product and mostly shave just using water. If you're gentle, the hair will come right off.

8. Wet the face again and reapply more product, but this time specifically around the moustache and mouth.

9. Shave across then ATG around the above areas. I find it is always best to shave across the grain 1st, to get those annoying hairs on the edge of the lip off. With short sharp strokes, shave against the grain working your way from the edge of the lip upward toward the nose. Do not press too hard here, the trick is to let the razor skim gently over the surface using the product as a glide.

10. Rince the face in water, check if you need to clean up any areas and if you do, just use the water as lubrication.

11. Take a shower and rub the face gently with warm water to clean all the product and hairs off.

12. Apply some balm. I tend to find if you apply straight out of the shower, you may want to put a little bit more on after getting dressed, the skin always feels nicer this way.



I really hope that's been of some help and apologies it was so long.



Thanks.



Ed.
 

Ron R

I survived a lathey foreman
I think you have zeroed in on your shaving needs and September was slant month(Slantember version 5) on B&B and the Rex Konsul was being used a lot from different folks where my observations with good results they mentioned. Great looking razor also & designed well, lots of folks say it is a smoother than the Rex Ambassador, but I do not own either razor.
Pre-shave is important and I found a inexpensive method and have been using it for about 3 years and I'm not changing.
I brush wash my face with CeraVe hand bar soap with a 5-10 second brush load with a dedicated cashmere Yaqi synthetic brush followed by a dollop of Aloe Vera gel of the cleaned beard area seems to work well and not clog up my shave brushes or razors and very happy but my my beard is not coarse and thick either.
Good write up on your journey to find a good razor and your pre-shave + a lot of folks will benefit from your experiences and possibly use your formula of success.
Z-Pre shave products (2).jpg


Have some great shaves!
 
I'm having a similar problem with my beard and even after taking a shower, it still doesn't feel very soft. The prep is probably the only thing about shaving that I hate with passion. I truly envy those who just wet their face for 30 seconds and just start shaving right away.

I honestly gave up with shower prep after a while it did nothing and weird as it sounds, I felt more dirty having had a nice shower then a shave. like I wanted the shower to cclean all the muck off my face afterwards. I'd recommend some Trumpers skin food on your beard. Don't expect it to get much softer, but it should at least allow the razor to get closer to your skin.
 
For me also, I totally agree with Xonic. Guess it is really what fits you. I just do a very good wet face with warm/hot water. I do follow up with a hot towel. I do apply my own home made pre-shave to the face (for every pass). Then the games begin. Wish all a great one, BFX
 
I began my wet shaving journey in June 2021. From the very outset, I knew there was something a bit different about me compared to your average guy. So many of the techniques suggested on forums, Youtube videos etc etc just never really seemed to work. My shaves were patchy, burned, felt very uncomfortable. I could shave every 2 or 3 days with reasonable success, but every day? just no way.

Over the past year and 3 months, I have spent hundreds, thousands of pounds on brushes, creams, soaps, gels, razors, blades, balms and other such wonderments. I recognise I'm lucky enough to do that and I don't want others to have to do the same in my position.

This post is an attempt to give you the secret of what I've learned about shaving with a very tough beard and a reliable but surprising technique that I've found. It's going to be a very long post so apologies, but I hope it will help people like me.


I soon realised I had a few things going against me when I began shaving:


1. I have no eyesight, I am totally blind. This matters a great deal because to me, there is no substitute to a BBS and believe me, my fingers are sensitive enough that I'll pick up any stray hair. If I can't run my fingers ATG and feel nothing, the shave has been a waste as far as I'm concerned. I must also apologise if the formatting in this post is a little wonky, my speech software isn’t great at letting me know if something looks ok when written down 😊

2. I have a stupidly incredibly tough beard. I am half Iranian and that beard is like sandpaper on day 1 of growth. It hugs the face and I have never ever found a blade which allows me more than 1 shave before I have to throw it away. Most razors just bounce over the hairs and leave bits behind and the beard is back in a few hours.

3. No matter how many lathers or pre-shaves I tried, I was still ending up with an unreliable shave and if I wanted to shave every day, something was clearly going to have to change.


So, let's break it down, what did I do?



The razor:
The one thing I realised about 4 months in after a lot of blood sweat and tears, is that only one type of razor works for me. I need a slant, nothing else will do. Sure others can cut the hair, but never very close to the skin and they'd require so much buffing that my face was sore and full of ingrowing hairs.

I also realised that I do not like blade exposure. Again, it comes down to buffing. I have to buff my face a fair bit even with my dream razor and my theory is that blade exposure really irritates my skin because of the amount I have to go over the same area again and again. This is why single edges, Shavettes etc don't work for me. Being blind there is no way I'm going to try a straight but even if I did, I think it would just make me sore.

I tried so many slant razors. Parker, Murcurs, Italian open combs, above the tie, Wunderbar etc etc. In the end, there is only one clear winner for me, the Rex Konsul:

Konsul Slant Adjustable Stainless Steel DE Safety Razor — Rex Supply - https://www.rexsupplyco.com/shop-online/p/rex-supply-co-konsul-slant-adjustable-stainless-steel-de-razor

Yes, it's expensive but you know what? it gets the job done. Superbly close to the skin, no irritation, lets me shave around the neck with no irritation and it goes through my hair like... like a normal razor with a fairly average beard should do :)



The blade:
feathers do not work, let me say that from the outset. I tried them for months and... ouch! Yes they're sharp, but they're not so sharp that they get all that hair off without buffing and again, we're back to going over the same area many times and hurting my face. my experience is that whilst some blades feel ok at the time, give it a few hours and your face feels like it's been run over by a racoon riding a 4 wheel drive car with snow chains.

I won't break down all the hours of blades I went through, but I can tell you that Astra SPs are what I eventually stuck with.
100 Astra Superior Platinum Double Edge Safety Razor Blades and Arko Shaving Cream Soap Stick, Green : Amazon.co.uk: Health & Personal Care - https://www.amazon.co.uk/100-Astra-Superior-Platinum-Shaving/dp/B00CK7NQ8Y

They are very sharp, they are very smooth, they don't irritate my skin and they are incredibly cheap and use no plastic in their packaging. Win win as far as I'm concerned.



The pre-shave and lather:
So, now we come to it. Up until now, none of what I've said is too controversial. Most people would if not agree, then at least understand what I've said above but now, we're going to go way off base.
As I continued buying more and more creams, then soaps, then different types of brushes, oils, gels, lotions, potions, sacrificing a virgin at the appearance of each full moon, something began to get clearer and clearer in my head.
I needed the thinnest, slickest lather possible. I know that sounds obvious, but when I hear people talk about lather, consistency of yoghurt, cushioning etc, no, that's not what I needed. I needed something that was basically invisible against the face. Something that was basically like shaving with water.
my theory is that the more lather, the more of my hair remained behind and after a few hours, the dreaded sandpaper beard is back again.

As I said, I tried everything. What did I stick with? 2 products, although you can decide what works best for you.

My favourite, is trumpers skin food, which can be used for the actual shave and after the shave.
Eucris Skin Food | Luxury Mens Shaving Products | Mens Grooming | Geo. F. Trumper - https://www.trumpers.com/product/eucris-skin-food/



Another good one is executive shaving pre-shave oil, which is basically a liquid soap.
Fuar Ach Snog Minty Water Soluble Pre Shave Oil 150ml - https://www.executive-shaving.co.uk/fuar-ach-snog-minty-pre-shave-oil-water-soluble-150ml



IN both cases, wet the face, apply a little of 1 of the above products and shave normally, no need for lathers, creams, soaps etc etc.

The 1st time I did this I was very scared. Would this protect me as much as it needed to? The answer was a complete and satisfied yes.

Gone was so much of the buffing that I'd been used to. You have to be careful, but that hair came off and stayed off for 12 hours and no need to create lathers, use brushes, scuttles etc etc.
Finally I could get right up against the skin and I felt like someone with an average or dare I say normal beard having a shave.



The aftershave balm:
Even with my new technique, I need to moisturise after a shave. I guess most people do but for me personally, I don't like the way my skin feels dry after a good thrashing with the razor. I use 1 of 2 products which again, after many tries I found worked best for me.

Good old Trumpers skin food, which has just become my 1 product when shaving

Or Executive shaving intensive moisturising balm which smells amazing and stays on the face for a few minutes before soaking in, which leaves my skin totally soothed.
Intensive Moisturising Balm Paraben Free 200ml - https://www.executive-shaving.co.uk/intensive-moisturising-balm-200ml



My technique:
So, here's what I do for a daily shave using all the above products.

1. Before a shower (I have found absolutely no use taking a shower it does not soften my beard), fill the sink with really hot water.

2. Plop the Konsul loaded with an Astra blade into the sink and rub my face gently with my fingers to soften the hair.

3. Massage some Trumpers skin food or executive shaving pre-shave oil into the stubble. wet hands are a must for this, you want a slippery texture all over your face.

4. One pass, at maximum exposure setting on the Konsul about 6.5 if memory serves, WTG. I don't get a very smooth shave from this but I do get a lot of what I call the top coat of the beard off. You will need to keep dipping the razor in the sink in order to clean it but also to keep the blade wet. This in turn keeps your face and the product on your face wet, to give it the glide you need.

5. Wet and massage the face again and reapply some Skin Food or Pre-shave oil. Probably less than before since that top coat is now gone.

6. 1 pass, maximum setting on the Konsul, against the grain. Likely to need going over the same areas with a few strokes each time and in some places, I advise moving the razor slowly over the face rather than short sharp strokes, as it tends to pick up and cut all the hairs without leaving them behind if you do this. Again, keep dipping that razor, sometimes I stand on a towel to make sure I keep the floor dry. Keep that blade and your face wet but not so wet that you melt all the product off.

7. For any patchy areas that need cleaning up, you should be able to dip your razor and gently shave without adding more product. This is especially true around the chin, often by this point I'm left with the smallest amount of product and mostly shave just using water. If you're gentle, the hair will come right off.

8. Wet the face again and reapply more product, but this time specifically around the moustache and mouth.

9. Shave across then ATG around the above areas. I find it is always best to shave across the grain 1st, to get those annoying hairs on the edge of the lip off. With short sharp strokes, shave against the grain working your way from the edge of the lip upward toward the nose. Do not press too hard here, the trick is to let the razor skim gently over the surface using the product as a glide.

10. Rince the face in water, check if you need to clean up any areas and if you do, just use the water as lubrication.

11. Take a shower and rub the face gently with warm water to clean all the product and hairs off.

12. Apply some balm. I tend to find if you apply straight out of the shower, you may want to put a little bit more on after getting dressed, the skin always feels nicer this way.



I really hope that's been of some help and apologies it was so long.



Thanks.



Ed.
That consul razor looks amazingly high quality!
 
I need a slant, nothing else will do.
One of my biggest light bulb moments in shaving came when I discovered the Gillette slide. This mimics the action of a slant razor and is an absolute game changer. Any patches of irritation just went away when I started to incorporate these strokes. They can be done with both a DE and a SR.
 
I have a stupidly incredibly tough beard. I am half Iranian and that beard is like sandpaper on day 1 of growth. It hugs the face and I have never ever found a blade which allows me more than 1 shave before I have to throw it away. Most razors just bounce over the hairs and leave bits behind and the beard is back in a few hours.

I loved this post and I'm so glad you found your own winning combination.

I guess we must be brothers from a different mother because I am cursed with the same beard. It literally shreds new bed sheets and pillow cases within 2-3 weeks unless they are percale weave cotton, or 100% linen. I also can't wear wool sweaters which are half-turtle or full turtle neck because they are destroyed with one wearing.

Depending on the brand of blade, I may have to switch to a fresh blade half way through shaving with a DE. With a shavette, I need to change blades up to four times during a single shave. Feather and Astra SP will last me one entire shave but, even with those, on the last few strokes the blade edges are compromised.

My beard map is asymmetrical and complex. On the right side, the entire jaw line grows diagonally upward from bottom of ear lobe to nose, the cheek hair above the diagonal growth grows from top to bottom, and the neck under it grows up from throat to chin. On the left side, the jaw line grows sideways from ear to mouth, with the cheek hair above the diagonal growth itself growing diagonally downward from eye to ear lobe, and the neck hair growing sideways from throat to ear. In the deep groove between my bottom lip and chin, there is no sebum - only tightly packed, exposed hair roots. It is a very dangerous and difficult area to shave.

As you can imagine, any long stroke that I make (for example from top of ear down to bottom of throat) will traverse three different growth directions. For this reason, I need to make lots of short strokes and shave in what appears to be a very disorganised manner. Even with the short strokes, on a one-day growth, my R41 open comb clogs with every few strokes and I need to keep burning hot water running constantly to melt the stuff out between every pass. Rocca is a bit easier in this regard

I also have enough money that I can buy and try whatever I want without worry, but I don't like to accumulate extra of anything due to space constraints (buy a bigger house, get more stuff, repeat). I currently have five Stirling soaps and I think they are pretty OK, but when I bought a tub of A&E Pamplemousse with K2E formula I immediately noticed that it is next-level face-friendly compared to Stirling. There was simply no question. Today I ordered a Merkur Futur to see how that will fare against my sandpaper face. Should be here tomorrow, so let's see.
 
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