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New to DE shaving, cannot get a close shave

Hi all Gentlemen,

I was looking for a review of the Gillette Guard and stumbled across this forum. The amount of information to the finer aspects of shaving this forum provides is just incredible.

To give a background on myself, I am from India. I started shaving when I was about 17 which was in 1999. I learnt shaving from my dad as most of us do.

I did start with a DE razor but I do not remember what razor or blades I used back then.

Later, when I started working I switched to Mach 3. Yes, I was too impressed with their ads where they show how the first blade actually cuts the hair and the remaining blades cuts through any of the remaining stubble. I have never looked back from Mach 3 ever since.
I tried various other multi blade cartridges but nothing seemed to match what Mach 3 does so I always kept going back to Mach 3.

I made my dad also switch to cartridge razor. He uses a Gillette vector (attra) as he felt Mach 3 was not value for money. I now feel guilty of making him switch.

Later, looking into these forums, I wanted to go back to DE shaving. So I grabbed a 7'o clock Sterling Razor (This is the one with plastic handle and metal head). Here in India, I was not able to find good quality razors in offline stores and most of them seems to available online.
I did not want to spend much so I planned to start with a basic Razor first. I used a 7'o clock platinum (black pack) blade which has some good reviews in this forum.

I was thinking I would end up cutting myself but thankfully did not. The metal head did give enough weight and I did not have to apply much pressure.

But the problem starts here, though it did not cut my skin it doesn't cut a few hairs as well. I am having a problem getting a close shave especially in my neck area. I just shaved with a Mach 3 and it was just too good and it gave a very close shave even in tricky areas.

I just need some help on the following things:
  • I get a very close shave in my cheeks because it is flat. However, at my chin and neck I am not able to pivot the razor so end up leaving some hair.
  • I learnt a few terms here like WTG, ATG and XTG. I always do 1 WTG, 1 ATG and 1 WTG irrespective of Razor. I am never able to do XTG with any razor. My hands just don't do it. Is this necessary with DE razor ?
  • Will a plastic razor (the click version) do better due to less weight ?. I just have a spare one and can try.
  • I also never retain a mustache and with a DE razor, shaving below my nose is also a problem. It just slips and is never able to cut. I am just afraid to apply more pressure.
I do understand that everyone's face is different and each razor and blade can give different results for each person.
I just need some guidance mostly on how to angle in the tricky areas like near the jawbone, neck, chin and below the nose.

I was kind of frustrated after my shave and wanted to go back to Mach 3. But better sense prevailed and I am posting here.
 
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Welcome, you should get some good advice from the more experienced here soon. I'm new at this too and while it seems like running the razor over an area should result in the same outcome as a cartridge razor, ever little change in angle and pressure does have an effect. So it's just trial and error for a while.
 
I takes a bit of getting used to with a DE. Since you got not tugging or irritation the blade is probably fine choice. I would recommend keep trying and try and focus on blade angle. Change the angle of the handle and your hand further and closer to your face till you get the sweet spot.
I also struggle along my jaw line with missed hair on my first pass in mild razors. Try a second pass XTG (cross the grain) from ear towards chin. This really helpse clean up to a close comfortable shave(CCS).
Like anything in life you will get better with time and practice as you find out what works for you and develope muscle memory.
Best of luck, glad your here!
 
Angle, angle, and angle. Easier to find/ keep on your cheeks. Harder on curves like chin. Practice will help. I'm assuming it's a pretty light razor. Usually light razors will give a fair amount of audible feedback. You can hear when it's cutting. Use that to your advantage. Under the nose can be a challenge, but it's just experimenting to see what works. keep at it, and you'll succeed. And Welcome to B+B!
 
Hello and welcome. Great to have you here on B&B. Wander on over to the Hall of Fame and introduce yourself.

  • I get a very close shave in my cheeks because it is flat. However, at my chin and neck I am not able to pivot the razor so end up leaving some hair.
Practice and try different angles. Also so some skin stretching with your off hand.
  • I learnt a few terms here like WTG, ATG and XTG. I always do 1 WTG, 1 ATG and 1 WTG irrespective of Razor. I am never able to do XTG with any razor. My hands just don't do it. Is this necessary with DE razor ?
XTG is not really needed, IMHO. WTG first, ATG next, and touch-ups should be sufficient.
  • Will a plastic razor (the click version) do better due to less weight ?. I just have a spare one and can try.
Low weight is not an absolute plus. Some guys prefer it and some prefer heavier razors. Again, practice and experiment to find your personal groove.
  • I also never retain a mustache and with a DE razor, shaving below my nose is also a problem. It just slips and is never able to cut. I am just afraid to apply more pressure.
Again, practice and experiment to find your personal groove.
 
Welcome to B&B. Great advice above. I will only add encouragement to be patient, and give yourself time to learn this new skill. DE shaving is very different from cartridge, and it took me time to unlearn cartridge habits before I truly got the hang of DE. You'll get there. :001_smile
 
When your razor isn't cutting the angle is wrong. Yes, another try a different angle post.

Under the nose is a tough area. I don't know your razor, but I have difficulty getting right under the nose with the WTG pass with a fat-headed razor. I push and pull my nose out of the way (depending on which side) with that pass.

It's possible your razor/blade isn't quite aggressive enough for your beard, but any razor will cut hair with the correct angle.

You are absolutely correct in using as little pressure as possible. Bravo.

Weight is not your enemy when selecting razors, although some people like light razors. I get the best results with a stainless steel razor paired with the fattest, heaviest handle.

If you do what you did, you'll get what you got. Don't be afraid to experiment.
 
I find that if I want my best shave I use my heaviest razor. As far as light weight goes I have a razor that's pretty light and although some say no pressure I give it hell when I shave with a lighter razor. I'm not talking filleting hide off but a little pressure to get the stubborn stubble. Also there's just some spots that no matter what you do you may never get it perfect and I have one like that under my jaw line that I just deal with.
 
Welcome aboard! In addition to the advice above I have a few suggestions:

#1. DE is a skill that takes some time and effort to develop. Well worth it in the end.
#2. I suggest that you read through the wiki and watch some videos. Tons of useful information.
#3. Technique is far more important than equipment once you have a reasonable set-up.

Keep at it and you will get there!
 
Thank you all Gentlemen for the warm welcome and the worthy advice.

@NurseDave, Sure, I wasn't expecting the same result. Yes, I must work on the angle but I am just wary about applying pressure.

@Mtn Man, I chose the blade after doing enough research in this forum. As you rightly said, it takes Practice and Patience.

@Hoka Hey, I should work on the angle. The audible feedback is one big reason I like the DE shaving.

@BSAGuy, I use both hands to shave actually (not at the same time) . I will try some stretching as you said. Though I do with the face itself, never tried with the hand

@Graybeard57, This forum has already given me enough motivation. I am just going to hang on till I get there :)

@musicman1951, After using pivoted catridges it is tough to manually angle a DE razor. I am going to try a lighter razor next. I used a 7'o clock sterling. It has a plastic handle with a metal head. A very basic razor.

@D1dad, BigJ, Thanks. I am going to stick to this forum for a while until I get the shave I need with a DE :)
 
Here are some items from my kit. Yes, these are pretty ordinary compared to the stuff you gentlemen have but I intend to acquire the skill before investing more $$

The Razor which I have been using for the last 10 days:
IMG_20170629_194657.jpg

The plastic razors which I purchased. Both combined cost less than a $ but were very difficult to find in stores. Even the smallest of shops which I roamed around stock cartridge razors only and they gave me a weird look when I asked for a DE. These razors were also termed "Ordinary Blade Razors" by them.
Both are manufactured by Super-Max. You can see how battered the packages are, indicating they have not been sold in a long time.
IMG_20170629_194255.jpg
After shave lotions:
IMG_20170629_194400.jpg

I still use a synthetic brush. Gillette works out best for me. I believe that expensive brushes require some run-in before they get soft. Is that correct ?
IMG_20170629_194441.jpg

Blade collection. I think I will give the Super-Max and Zorrik a skip. They came free with the Plastic Razors.
IMG_20170629_195518.jpg

Shaving creams. Probably this is the only place where I think I can match some of you :)

IMG_20170629_194215.jpg

My catridge collection.

First, the Guard. This is surprisingly good for a low cost Razor:
IMG_20170629_200046.jpg

The Vector 3. Possibly, the worst product by Gillette. Even the Guard does better.
IMG_20170629_200008.jpg

Finally, speak of the devil and here it comes.

IMG_20170629_200135.jpg
 
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Thank you all Gentlemen for the warm welcome and the worthy advice.

@NurseDave, Sure, I wasn't expecting the same result. Yes, I must work on the angle but I am just wary about applying pressure.

@Mtn Man, I chose the blade after doing enough research in this forum. As you rightly said, it takes Practice and Patience.

@Hoka Hey, I should work on the angle. The audible feedback is one big reason I like the DE shaving.

@BSAGuy, I use both hands to shave actually (not at the same time) . I will try some stretching as you said. Though I do with the face itself, never tried with the hand

@Graybeard57, This forum has already given me enough motivation. I am just going to hang on till I get there :)

@musicman1951, After using pivoted catridges it is tough to manually angle a DE razor. I am going to try a lighter razor next. I used a 7'o clock sterling. It has a plastic handle with a metal head. A very basic razor.

@D1dad, BigJ, Thanks. I am going to stick to this forum for a while until I get the shave I need with a DE :)
Ok, so back when you first learned shaving did your dad actually teach you, and how was you're shave results back then, what are you doing different now. ..different, blades technique?
 
Ok, so back when you first learned shaving did your dad actually teach you, and how was you're shave results back then, what are you doing different now. ..different, blades technique?
Good question. My dad shaved me for a few times and he just explained on how to apply the right pressure. My facial hair was way different than his, mine grows long and downwards my face.
Also, I was not a shave enthusiast back then and I don't remember how my results were. Once I switched to Mach3, it was always Mach 3 and there was no looking back.
Why did I switch to DE again ? Just because I came across this forum (If you know what I mean :))
 
Welcome to B&B! Just remember, no pressure and watch your angle. These things will become automatic after a short while and with practice your shaves will improve in no time. Also, shaving the neck presents special challenges that we all encounter. Check out this thread for lots of great info and tips to help you with neck shaving problems.
 
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Welcome!
I am switching from a Fusion cart to a DE (3rd week).
For over 10 years I used the "traditional wet shaving" techniques but instead of a safety/straight razor, used a Fusion Cart.
I have found two major differences (for me) between wet shaving with carts vs DE that effect my shave quality:

1). Creams/lathers marketed and used for carts are alot slicker and have less body then creams/soaps marketed for Safety/Straight razors. Carts need slickness above all else, that's alot of shave head and blades moving across your face (also probably why they all add lub strips, more slickness). Also, the gabs between blades is small and can clog so you need a thinner body for the cream to move the whiskers through the gaps.

For me, using a cart soap/creme gives a great shave on a cart, but average with a DE and vice versa.

2). Face Mapping. Once again for me, seems the stroke lengths, which areas are best served with WTG/ATG/XTG are very different using my DE vs cart. With a cart, lower neck and next to the adam's apple area was a XTG. With a DE, ATG is working alot better.

Based on my experience, I would make sure my cream was more designed for DE shaving, and try different WTG/ATG/XTG passes to see which pass actually worked the best in which area with the DE.

As always, YMMV and this has been my experience. Good Luck and have a Great One!
 
Hello Paray2x, I can relate to your experience going from cartridge to DE, it was quite different at first for me but I feel after 2 or 3 shaves, you will be able to adapt and learn what works with your razor and face.

My experience has been awesome going from cartridge to DE, no idea why I have delayed switching for as long as I have. My advice is to start off with the lowest setting if your DE is adjustable, allow the weight of the razor to apply pressure, and go slowly. Good Luck!

Fun story to share, with the Merkur Futur and Feather Blade, If i set it above anything pass 2, my face would be bloody due to my lack of experience with it, I started at 1 and slowly figured out what passes to make to prevent cuts. After about 2 weeks of shaving with it and possible my skin adjusting to the DE, im proud to say I don't cut myself as much.
 
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