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New to the world of wet shaving

About 6 weeks ago I was absolutely fed up to my limit of paying $18 for a 4 pack of Fusion cartridge blades, and decided I would give Dollar Shave Club a try since their 6-blade razors are half the cost. I shaved with them for about a week and my face was just, sore, to say the least. I started doing research into all the other "subscription" shaving programs (Harry's, 800razors, Gillette, etc...), and many of the reviews I was reading kept referencing a good "wet shave" as the standard for the best possible shave experience.

After doing countless hours of further research, I decided an extra 10 minutes of getting ready in the morning was well worth the cost savings. The more I researched, the more I realized wet shaving is just as much about the experience as it is about saving money (and sticking it to the big razor companies who charge such crazy prices for razors!).

Last week I received my first few shipments of wet shaving products: a Muhle R89, Tweezerman Pure Badger brush, Proraso sandalwood shave cream, blade sampler pack (Feather, Astra SP, Red Personna, Derby, Crystal, Bic), and I picked up a bottle of Nivea Sensitive AFB. All the typical "new to wet shaving" gear.

After a few days of shaving and seeing what felt good, this week I received a WSP Finest "Prince" badger brush, a Weber Bulldog handle, the full line of Soap Commander sample soaps, and a Soap Commander AFB. I'm also on the wait list for a Wolfman WR1-OC when they come available again.

So far everything is going well, I'm definitely a convert and I actually look forward to shaving each morning. I haven't had any nicks or weepers yet, knock on wood, however I do have a fairly thick and course beard and the very bottom of my neck gets irritated extremely easily. This is the one problem area I've still had issues with using the new razor.

Does anyone have any advice for dealing with that? Unfortunately I have to shave daily for work, I've been doing a single pass WTG on my lower neck to try and decrease the razor burn/irritation but it still seems to be a problem. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
 
Hello and welcome. Great to have you here.

For your neck, I would suggest beard mapping so that you know for sure which way the whiskers grow. Let your beard go for a couple of days and then feel the grain direction with ytour fingers. You may be surprised at what you learn.

Once grain is known, be sure to make first pass WTG. Second can be XTG or ATG.

Good luck.
 

Marco

B&B's Man in Italy
Hello and welcome. Great to have you here.

For your neck, I would suggest beard mapping so that you know for sure which way the whiskers grow. Let your beard go for a couple of days and then feel the grain direction with ytour fingers. You may be surprised at what you learn.

Once grain is known, be sure to make first pass WTG. Second can be XTG or ATG.

Good luck.

Excellent advice here. And welcome to B&B!
 
Welcome to the club. Glad to have you aboard. Try watching some of the YouTube videos by Mantic59. They are good tutorials.
 
Thanks guys, I've tried to follow the grain as best I can but the area that gives me the most grief does grow sideways (towards my ears) as opposed to down, so maybe I'm not getting it lightly enough on the first WTG pass.

What are you opinions on more aggressive/efficient razors with 2 passes vs a more mild razor with 3 passes? Is one better than the other in terms of irritation and sensitive areas? It may be my technique, but right now I do not get a close enough 2 pass shave (WTG/XTG) to make it through the day without significant stubble. It is smooth in the morning but by 3 pm or so I start to look a little shaggy. For me this is a no-go because I'm military and can't be walking around looking like I haven't shaved.
 
Welcome to B&B.

Sound advice above, I have a crazy growth pattern myself, so I can explain what I do.

Normal stuff first shower, washing of the face etc...

Once I lather my face my first pass is WTG, on my cheeks, chin and center of my neck, that is North to South. Next is my neck under the jaw line, the WTG pass is at an angle from the base of my throat up to my ear.

My XTG pass is like above in the opposite ditections.

If I still feel a little stubble in the stubborn areas I do what they refer to as buffing. I do suggest that you watch Mantic59 video on special shaving techniques.

I hope all this makes sense and good luck with your pursuit.
 
Welcome to the wonderful world of wet shaving and of course B&B.

Good to see Mantic's videos still being the point of reference for beginners after all these years!
 
Welcome! The lower to mid neck is my trouble spot also and the only thing that has helped me is to make sure I thoroughly prep. HOT water towel, warm cream and getting the neck first thing has helped me. Most people start at cheeks and move to the neck but I have found that when the cream has sat for a minute or two on my neck while getting cheeks first, it will get "sticky" on my neck which causes me to use more strokes and or more pressure. Getting the neck first thing after the cream has been applied while its nice and slick and KEEPING PROPER ANGLE has helped a lot. Good luck!
 
Thanks everyone. I think I've watched most of mantics videos so I think it is more a matter of practicing the technique. I like the suggestion to start on my neck, I'll give that a try.

I thought about starting on my lower neck at the Adams apple and doing one stroke towards each ear (the bottom inch or so of my neck hair grows in this direction), then relathering the neck and hitting my whole face from top down. This gives me a WTG first pass over my whole face and a XTG second pass on the lower part of my neck while I'm doing the first pass on the rest of my face, if that makes sense. Then I can leave the neck alone and do 2nd and 3rd passes on the rest of my face.

I've also been trying different brands of blades every day which I read today is not wise, so I'll stick to the astra sp for a week while I'm trying to get this technique down.

Thoughts?
 
Thanks everyone. I think I've watched most of mantics videos so I think it is more a matter of practicing the technique. I like the suggestion to start on my neck, I'll give that a try.

I thought about starting on my lower neck at the Adams apple and doing one stroke towards each ear (the bottom inch or so of my neck hair grows in this direction), then relathering the neck and hitting my whole face from top down. This gives me a WTG first pass over my whole face and a XTG second pass on the lower part of my neck while I'm doing the first pass on the rest of my face, if that makes sense. Then I can leave the neck alone and do 2nd and 3rd passes on the rest of my face.

I've also been trying different brands of blades every day which I read today is not wise, so I'll stick to the astra sp for a week while I'm trying to get this technique down.

Thoughts?

That makes perfect sense and sounds like a solid plan. Knowing the directions in which your beard grows, and where those appear, means that your "WTG" may hit all the points of the compass! I still struggle to break the habits I built up throughout the years and truly shave WTG on the first pass.

I just started with Astra SP and find them to be fairly sharp, but smooth. When I cut myself, I don't even know it until I see the spot of blood. I do cut myself more with Astras than I did with my first blades, but I think it's because they're sharper and a bit less forgiving. It just means I need to work on my technique.

Welcome.
 
Welcome aboard B&B. It looks like you are off to a fine start. Plenty of good advice already given above. I suggest, however, that you shave your neck last. Allowing the lather to remain on your beard for longer may help soften the whiskers. I also think your shaves will improve as your technique is refined. Be sure to watch your pressure. You may think you are not using any pressure, but practice using less just the same. You will be surprised by the results.
 
Hello and welcome. Great to have you here.

For your neck, I would suggest beard mapping so that you know for sure which way the whiskers grow. Let your beard go for a couple of days and then feel the grain direction with ytour fingers. You may be surprised at what you learn.

Once grain is known, be sure to make first pass WTG. Second can be XTG or ATG.

Good luck.
+2 and welcome!
 
Hello, and welcome :)

I'm still in my first 2 weeks of DE shaving and the neck seems to be a difficult spot for a lot of people, including me. One thing I started to realize is that I was trying to remove too much lumber on my first WTG pass. I was concerned that if I didn't then my XTG passes would be too irritating. I've come to learn that for myself the first WTG pass doesn't need to be so close - it just needs to be a good, clean reduction. Then some careful XTG passes and I'm done and ready for post-shave. I would also add that a 2-pass shave is working out great for me. I know I could be getting a closer shave with more passes, but that will come with time and experience.

Hope this helps and good luck!

:001_smile
 
Thanks everyone. I think I've watched most of mantics videos so I think it is more a matter of practicing the technique. I like the suggestion to start on my neck, I'll give that a try.

I thought about starting on my lower neck at the Adams apple and doing one stroke towards each ear (the bottom inch or so of my neck hair grows in this direction), then relathering the neck and hitting my whole face from top down. This gives me a WTG first pass over my whole face and a XTG second pass on the lower part of my neck while I'm doing the first pass on the rest of my face, if that makes sense. Then I can leave the neck alone and do 2nd and 3rd passes on the rest of my face.

I've also been trying different brands of blades every day which I read today is not wise, so I'll stick to the astra sp for a week while I'm trying to get this technique down.

Thoughts?
The Shave wiki has great help too
http://wiki.badgerandblade.com/Blade_Angle
 
Just wanted to add a little update since I've had another handful of shaves since originally posting. Since then I've been using Soap Commander soap, the WSP finest badger brush, and the Bulldog handle on the R89. For me, the SC soap has made a huge difference in lather as compared to the Proraso I was using before, much more slick and protective. Also, the heavier weight and grip of the Bulldog handle has really allowed me to just focus on my angle and allow the weight of the razor to do the cutting without adding any additional pressure.

These changes alone (couple with me sticking to the Astra SP blades for now) have really already allowed me to cut back on the level of irritation on my lower neck, and my face in general feels much more comfortable than it did before. I'm absolutely loving the Soap Commander AFB, even the Nivea stuff leaves my face feeling oily/greasy but the Soap Commander absorbs completely and smells awesome, and the menthol give a nice cooling feeling for a few minutes that isn't too obnoxious.

I'll keep working on my technique and will report back again in another few days, it seems like each shave gets better and better.
 
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Welcome to B&B

Shaving is "beard reduction" with each pass so you should be thinking MORE less irritating passes not fewer.

Drop into the Shave Wiki and read over some of the shaving articles. http://wiki.badgerandblade.com/ You will find a LOT of useful info in there.

If you have not already done so, stop into the Hall of Fame and tell everyone a little about yourself

http://badgerandblade.com/vb/forumdisplay.php/30-Hall-of-Fame
 
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