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Neck area -- a good idea not to try and shave too close there?

Good evening all.

As you all know I am getting really good shaves with my 39c Sledgehammer. I can get superlative smoothness on my cheeks, moustache area and chin. However on my neck after doing a W and X pass, I can still feel some very fine stubble as if the hairs are just slightly above the skin level. With my Mach 3, I could indeed get the neck smooth but that led to some severe rash and bumps; which have now dissipated since using the 39c.

So is it possible to get closer on the neck without getting the said problems? My neck hair grows in all sort of weird directions. Or should I carry on as normal and not take any risks?

You are pretty much correct but there are some strategies and gentle practice pays off in the long run.

Remember that you can shave cross grain to achieve a pretty close shave so if you're familiar with which direction your hair grows, you can shave accordingly. Maybe use a slick lather to map your beard if you haven't already (I assume most adults know what direction their hair grows at this point).

The more you shave your neck, the more accustomed your skin becomes to having a blade dragged across it and you'll eventually be able to shave closer without causing irritation and of course, your muscle memory will improve.
You have been informed that you are to give your sledgehammer to your wife and purchase a mild razor for yourself. This is for your own good. :mad:

In all seriousness, the above post nails it. A mild razor makes learning easier, but it needs to be one with excellent clamping to prevent blade vibration.

Also, start with the safety bar first and do several passed tipping the blade in until it grabs the hair without actually dragging your skin. That's your starting point, I still start there. With each successive stroke stroke, I start moving shallower and thereby closer. This way, if my neck is irritated already, I can just stop after a couple strokes. :cool:
I had the same issue the only difference was I was using a 37C. For me it was the slant that did it. It would shave awesome everywhere else but I would end up using my EJ DE89 to do my neck. I finally just gave it to a guy at work that had been into wet shaving for awhile.
Your issues with shaving the neck seem to be fairly common. A lot of people have whorls, cowlicks, or lines where the hair growth changes from one direction to another. The jawline and Adam's apple are usually more difficult to get close. This is where the "touch up pass" and "blade buffing" come into the picture. After your main pass is over, try a layer of thin lather and you can easily feel where the stubble remains. You can use most razors in the "riding the cap" position going against the grain just in these few spots. Avoid the temptation to apply a lot of pressure, just use a tiny amount (to avoid irritation). You may need to experiment over the course of a few weeks.
It took me so long to figure out in 1 specific part of my neck (which I would always get irritation if shaving every day) grew in a weird direction. If doing a 3 pass shave I hit that specific spot with the grain 2x before hitting it XTG, but that too still poses a problem sometimes if my lather isn't up to par. Like you said, your neck hair grows in all different directions. Certainly try to follow the grain pattern as best as you can and really develop that feather light touch. Those spots are when "blade chatter" can sneak in and bite ya. If you can't get it quite as close as you want that shave, you really don't need to push it as later in the day you won't notice it anyway. Try again next shave.

For me and my technique/sensibilities and beard type, really the only way I really get consistent irritation free shaves is with a straight razor.
Neck shaving is all I do, well sometimes head (lately been just buzzing)

I will say that the neck area needs good technique paired with razors and blades that work well for you.
What I've learned during my 1st year of wet shaving:

* It isn't really worth the risk of irritation to go for perfection. Even if I achieve perfect BBS, it will only last a few hours before the stubble reappears.

* Sharp blades are better than dull blades. At first I thought a dull blade was good enough, but if I have to work to hard at it with repeated passes and buffing, I wind up with more irritation than if I use a sharp blade.

* The neck area is especially difficult, so I just settle for 'good enough'. I very rarely have any irritation on the cheeks, it is always on the neck or just under the jaw line.

* Just about every soap I tried provided good slickness. The difference among them is in the post shave. Good soaps tame the irritation and sooth the skin. MWF is the best I've found so far.
One way to eliminate a bit of the stubble feel is use a balm because it will hydrate the skin, I shave in the morning and find I'm a bit dehydrated from sleeping and will shave and for my post shave I usually finish with a dollop of balm. A good balm would be like CeraVe moisturizer lotion with 3 Ceramides with Hyaluronic acid or a Nivea and add a couple of drops of HA. I find I get a close shave and can barely feel any stubble and about a 1 hour later I can not feel any stubble most of the time, the root of the whisker is deep and as the outer skin hydrates it kind of buries the top of the hair on the neck area(its cheating maybe :letterk1: :laugh: ). I was mentioning this on another thread so why not show what kind of happens, I'm not the best at explaining my observations & pictures help. These are some old archived photos I took with my USB microscope when I first got it a few years ago.
DFS.bbs  just after a shave! (2).jpg
BBS shave 1 hr later.jpg

Have some great shaves!
My neck hair grows basically sideways, so unless my straight has a short blade or a smile, it's tough to get a true ATG pass. I don't sweat it. Glassy smooth on my cheeks is enough, I don't mind if my neck isn't quite as close. And it's a little more prone to irritation so less is more down there.
Same. Less is more. Irritation free below my jawline sticking to WTG passes. Close and comfortable every time. Step away from the razor. Works for me.
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My neck is also noticeably more sensitive than the rest of my face. WTG is enough for neck DFS+, but before I had experience, beard mapping was essential because my neck beard grows in several directions. Nowadays muscle memory kicks in.
I agree with @APBinNCA , the milder the razor the better. Day-to-day I use my 6S with the R2 plate, if I skip several days R3 to R4 at most. The last baseplate labeled R5/R6 is too aggressive for me. Other mild razors with which I (used to) get neck DFS+ are (were) the FOCS ( , the Feather Popular, a Parker TTO and the Merkur 15C (with both the original and compatible OC heads)). The other important criterion is stretching, which means flattening the shaving area, not pulling taut.
Forget about ATG, this has always proven a nightmare for me except with [email protected], but even then the end result is as smooth as WTG. Meaning really smooth on the cheeks and neck, passable around my mouth.

As for other factors, I have been cold shaving for a couple of years now, without a brush for a couple of months. But I used to regularly use a brush and I used to use warm water to achieve the same closeness, so for me the exact prep is irrelevant.
My neck, chin and jawline are my problem areas. I've learned to stretch my skin, first on a WTG pass, then on an ATG pass to mow down most of the chaff without irritation. Anything that remains gets blade buffed away.

Also, heed Ron R's advice (above) and use CeraVe lotion as an AS balm. It really does make a tactile difference in your perceived stubble, as well as how you face feels and looks in general.

One more thing. And this is purely personal. I never start with the goal of a BBS shave. DFS is just fine. But once I get started, some maniacal force takes over, forcing me to go for it. I always have one in my rotation. :crazy:I suppose it's "shaving psychosis" or some such silly thing. Such is life on B&B.;)
Do DE shavers not stretch their skin? Skin-stretching is essential for me on the neck, but I shave with an SR. I don't see why a DE shave should be different in that respect. It's hard to ride loose skin, regardless.
I've been doing that in the last couple of months. Usually I do it on the first, WTG pass but on the cheeks only, then on the ATG on the throat and possibly the XTG and cleanup there if I'm doing a 3-pass shave. It has made quite a big difference in the closeness of my shaves.
Thanks for all of your replies. Regarding the neck area, I have decided not to try and get too close there as its very prone to bumps if I get too close. I have no issues with other areas on my face. A simple W and A pass on my neck does the job.

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