What's new

Neck irritation and switching from cartridge razors

Lots of great advice has already been offered. I would also mention you are far far from the only person who has encountered this issue—search for “neck” and I’m sure you can find even more suggestions.
For what it’s worth, I could never get close shaves on my neck with a cartridge. Now, with a DE I have to approach conservatively—but 4 out of 5 shaves I get a very close finish with no irritation. I get the rare ingrown around the Adam’s Apple, but never any razor burn. Better preparation can make a big improvement (hot towel, brush and lather being made on the face) even with a cartridge razor—but DE is simply miles better.
I used to get hellish ingrown hairs not just on my neck but along my jawline, too. They went away when I stopped shaving with a cartridge razor. I would strongly second the advice that you switch to a DE razor, or even go single edge. You might want to look for an old Schick injector - poke around the Single Edge razor forum and you're sure to learn a ton. Same goes for the DE forum.

One thing nobody has mentioned that I think is key: you should get a shaving brush and build your own lather. That will probably prep your skin much better than any goop out of a tube, however hypo allergenic it claims to be. There's no substitute for using a shaving brush.
Thank you everyone for the replies and suggestions. I tried the bullfrog method and ATG on my neck today and it worked ok. Very little irritation but not close at all to BBS. I also used cold water which seemed to help with the irritation. I'm going to keep on reading the forums and learn more. I'm probably first going to try and find a different shave cream, and then I'm very interested in trying to switch from cartridges to safety razors.
find a different shave cream
Switching to a brush and soap can make a huge difference too. However it's a two-edged sword (double-edged? bad pun?) because scrubbing hard with a brush can cause its own irritation. In my earlier wetshaving days I think brush burn was a real problem for me. However, using a gentle hand still creates exfoliating action and more microscopic/manual application of lather can help soften whiskers, and create more slickness and cushion for the razor.

Synthetic brushes are inexpensive, and a shave soap stick like Arko is dirt cheap. Might be worth trying. However, chasing the mythical neck BBS without irritation may be difficult without moving to a single blade razor--and even then, those results are challenging and sometimes uncommon for experienced DE wetshavers. We all have to make compromises between closeness and comfort, regardless of equipment.
Good prep, light pressure from a de razor. 3 pass shave then add extra water to lather and make long passes horizontal (atg) as a cleanup pass using very little pressure. Cold water rinse. a/s of choice.
i would switch to a brush (synthetic is easiest) and good soap first. Learn to make a good consistent lather. See if you like the results. If not try a popular starter DE. ie Merkur 34c. Good luck!
Some common things that cause irritation are:

Too many passes.
No protection during repeat or additional passes.
Protection/Lather inadequate.
Too much pressure used.
Chasing BBS with too mild a razor.

Cold water shaving helped me. Cold water splash before and after and for rinsing your razor during the shave.

Every time you shave, you should use the same routines and patterns. A chaotic, irregular shave regimen invites mistakes and unknowns.

Too many passes invites irritation. Know when to stop and in the beginning...don't chase BBS. BBS comes with time and experience. It also comes regularly when you find the razor and blade that's right for you.

Along with the above in reference to passes...lather with every pass. Don't skimp on this important point. The lather is the protection when you shave. To make strokes and passes without it invites nicks, cuts and irritation.

Everything said here is completely on point, IMHO.

Great answer, @JCarr!
Skip all above … there’s a reason we all venture to DE and it does work. Yes I suffered a lot with cartridges and foam … (except Magaluf bikini party where foam is a winner 🥇)

Pay up get the best of what can afford and the tallow soaps work.

Personally I’ve used a merkur 39c as my step into DE … defo been good for me. I also tried number of soaps tabac / moon soaps etc and related aftershaves - all worth the time and expense

Ron R

I survived a lathey foreman
I wanted to get some thoughts from members here on dealing with neck irritation. Ever since I started shaving I've been using cartridge razors (Gilette ProGlide) and I've switched from 5 blade to 2 blade "sensitive" cartridges. As long as I remember I've had trouble with ingrown hairs and bumps and nicks and irritation on my neck.

To reduce neck irritation & ingrown hairs I would limit the # of passes, after each pass use cold water rinse to calm the skin. I would stay with a mild double edge or SE razor and try not to go for the BBS shave.
After done shaving and skin is fairly dry use a old worn tooth brush or a dry boar brush and lightly brush area's of skin where they are prone. What the brush does is free the ingrown from traveling inwards, I use this method after getting a nasty ingrown hair years ago and have had no issues since (knock on wood :laugh:).
You have try something different if your getting issues with a cartridge razor is my opinion and suggestion.
Some additional information that might help with ingrown hairs that I had.
Have some great shaves!
With cartridge razors, I could not shave my neck without irritation, I would never attempt against the grain. Since I have swapped to DE razors and traditional wet shaving it’s cleared up my neck and made shaving enjoyable. To be honest, I don’t know if it’s just the razors. I now take much more care with shave prep and technique. Either way I am hooked and I am never going back to cartridges.
Top Bottom