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Hello All!

First, I’ve been lurking for a couple of weeks and I will begin by thanking everyone for the helpful information I’ve gotten so far.

I might be a little long winded here - it’s a habit of mine. My introduction to wet shaving is probably unremarkable. I got annoyed with the cost and wastefulness of my Mach3 razors. My approach to shaving has always been to shave in the shower and as I needed a closer shave I simply pressed harder against my face. It’s served me reasonably well, but irritation and a few hot spots always plagued my neck. My neck has always given me problems, far more so than my cheeks. I have a goatee so I don’t shave my lip or chin. Though I don’t have much to compare it to, I feel like I have a dense beard with fairly stiff hair.

On a whim, I bought a Parker Variant which I started to use in the shower, with the same technique as my cartridge. It didn’t go as well as I would have hoped. Those struggles brought me here.

I’m now about 5 shaves into the hobby and I’ve settled in with Proraso Green pre-shave, Mitchell’s Wool Fat Soap applied with an inexpensive badger brush, Duke Cannon’s post-shave balm. So far I’ve had the best luck with a Feather AS-D2 with Astra Superior Platinum blades. I shave WTG, ATG and then ATG touchups under my jaw.

I’m experimenting with various razors and blades and pre-shave, but I still struggle with my neck. And by “struggle” I mean, “after shaving, my neck looks like a map of Napolean’s losses during his Russian Campaign - possibly bloodier.” Oddly though, the bleeding stops after a few splashes of water and just a few minutes. Three hours later my neck feels fantastic (my cartridge razor shaves caused discomfort for days). And the shaves have been surprisingly close. For the first time in my life I’m willing to shave every other day. Heck, I’d probably be happy to shave every day, and I’ve literally NEVER done that in my whole life.

I still have a few things to try. I want to experiment with the “path” on the ATG neck pass, maybe moving in a slant and giving more slicing action will help. I also feel the blade “catch” against the hairs on my neck. I’m trying to shave with almost no pressure, so it feels like the razor will actually stop on my neck. I’d also like to try moving the razor a little more quickly so shear the hairs more snappily rather than grabbing and tugging. Now that I’ve got the hang of shaving without pressure, I might give a Feather blade or a Kai blade another try. If I continue to be stymied, I may be back for some help. :)

Next up for me, I’ve gotten a couple of other DE safety razors to try (Ikon B1 Open Comb Deluxe, RazoRock SLOC, Gillette Tech, and I even picked up the lovely PAA Ascension Copper when it was in stock for a moment). I also bought one of the Shave-Ready Gold Dollar 208s from Razor Emporium to give the straight razor world a try. Obviously, I’m counting on the vast trove of information available here to help me as I embark on this journey. :)

Thanks for everything so far. I’m excited for the trip!
 

ajkel64

Check Out Chick
Welcome to the forum and thanks for checking in with us. As mentioned by @Invicta the Shave Wiki is the place to find all the advice, tips and tricks that you need.
 
Welcome aboard!

As noted by OP, the Wiki has a ton of useful information.

I suggest focusing on two things to help with your problem area:
1. Maintain an optimal razor angle, and
2. No pressure!
 
Welcome to the forums! My best advice is work on your technique, do not use pressure, map your beard growth and stick with one razor for a month so you get things down then experiment if you feel you need to with blades and razors. Just my $.02 worth.
 
Welcome to the forum and thanks for the nice introduction!
Your technique will improve, it just takes time.
Pressure against the skin is a no-go.
When I can, I still avoid shaving against the grain in the neck area because of irritation.
 
Welcome to B&B.

As others have suggested, it is a matter of technique. Irritation usually is caused by poor blade angle and too much pressure on the razor. The neck is a tricky area to shave because keeping the right blade angle and little pressure is a challenge. The usual advice is to let the weight of the razor do the job - not put pressure on the blade. To put that in action I have found that using the two fingers and my thumb to hold the razor with another finger resting on the tip of the handle. This results in holding the razor very lightly with no pressure on the razor. You want to hold the razor as lightly as you can without it falling from your hand. I have found that using the right grip on your razor goes a long way in keeping pressure off of the blade. This post may help you. Also, take a look at this wiki
 
Welcome aboard!

Might I suggest you stick with one setup for awhile? A sure way to become frustrated is to bounce around using different razors, blades etc. while your technique still needs improvement. It helps to develop a solid baseline with a set of equipment so that when you venture out, you’ll know what the problem is. It’s best to only change one thing at a time early on, or change nothing at all. And believe me, I know how hard it is not to experiment! Easier said than done.
 
Welcome aboard!

Might I suggest you stick with one setup for awhile? A sure way to become frustrated is to bounce around using different razors, blades etc. while your technique still needs improvement. It helps to develop a solid baseline with a set of equipment so that when you venture out, you’ll know what the problem is. It’s best to only change one thing at a time early on, or change nothing at all. And believe me, I know how hard it is not to experiment! Easier said than done.

Gah! I'm not made of stone, you know! :)

I appreciate everyone's encouragement. You guys are great.
 
Hey! What do you know? Best shave ever tonight. Regular routine and I shaved with a combination of the Feather AS-D2, 30s Gillette Tech and the stunningly beautiful PAA Ascension Copper. Several of you mentioned "blade angle". I wanted to experiment and see if I could "feel" the right blade angle. I used a couple of different razors because I assumed the right blade angle would be different for each razor, so if I was actually feeling the blade angle, I should be able to tell if one razor prefers a higher or lower optimum blade angle than the others. Sure enough, pretty quickly I could tell that the Feather wants a shallower angle (handle more perpendicular to the skin) than the PAA. When I was thinking about it, it was really noticeable.

Since the first experiment went so quickly, I decided to move on to my second experiment during this shave, rather than waiting until the next. When I've tried to shave with "no pressure" I feel like I'm holding the razor so lightly that it might fall. On ATG passes, I can literally see the razor "bounce" up and away from my skin as it hits whiskers. So I stuck with the Feather razor and tried a few things, but here's the sensation that really worked well. I tried to put "pressure" only in the direction of the cut, NOT perpendicular to the skin. It's kind of hard to explain I now realize having written that sentence. I guess you could say I moved the razor firmly FORWARD without pushing DOWN on it. That worked like magic. Super close shave, even against the grain on my neck and I only had two, TWO little weepers (both of which occurred when I lost my concentration and started habitually pressing the razor into my face).

Honestly, I'm shocked that my face feels so smooth AND great. No kidding, I could shave again right now. I'm stunned.

Thanks to everybody! I'll keep working at it, but I just wanted to give a little progress report.

Cheers!
 
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