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Pulling face necessary?

I will be switching from DE to straights soon and I was wondering how important it is to pull and stretch your skin during straight shaves. I get a great shave without stretching my skin with DEs, but a better, closer shave when stretching. The problem is that when I stretch my skin, it feels mildly irritated for a few hours and my face feels kind of numb when I touch it. Because of this, I don't stretch my skin and still get pretty much BBS shaves, they just don't stay that way as long as they do when I pull/stretch the skin.

The tutorials I've been reading all say to pull your skin when using a straight. Is this really necessary? Will I be able to shave pretty much the same as I do now in this regard or do I really need to pull/stretch? Are the mechanics of a straight different enough that I probably won't suffer the same feelings from it (after I start to get my technique, that is. I know I'll most likely suffer in the beginning like I did when switching to DEs)?
 
Yes; it's critical you do proper stretching. You do not want your skin to bunch up in front of the razor, it will bite you if you do.
 

Luc

"To Wiki or Not To Wiki, That's The Question".
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You can get away without pulling on a few surfaces if they are flat already. Is it going to be the same and as close? No. You need to pull the skin to provide a better flat surface. The whisker will be easier to cut if you pull.
 
Stretching the skin is essential! I think it is different from stretching with a DE partly because there is no guard bar or comb on a straight which stretches the skin for you. I do not get any irritation from stretching my skin but I do get irritated if I forget to do it and end up with a nick :laugh:. Good luck with your switch, start a diary, read other beginners diaries and keep us posted on your progress.
 
There are places I have to stretch with my off hand (upper cheek, lower outside of neck) and there are places (around mouth, below chin) where making faces and or moving your head up or to the side stretches it enough without pulling it with your hand.

But without a bar or combs to keep your skin from being pulled up into the blade some stretching is required. Start by overdoing it a bit and back off as you gain skill.
 
Thanks for the great replies. Starting off by pulling and then backing off as I get better sounds like a solid plan.
 
i find that some easy stretching greatly enhances the ability of a straight edge to glide over the skin. when skin is not stretched at all it has a tendency to not glide as well.
 
In my opinion it's crucial to stretch the skin. How much is a matter of taste & testing.
Both for a better shave & for not cutting yourself.
The streching with a straight won't be making your skin irritated. Just help you to get a great shave!
 
I think stretching is a must. I don't do it when I DE shave (not that much anymore) but can't get a close shave with a straight unless I stretch.

I also would feel razor burn if I stretched too much with a DE but do not have the same reaction with a straight.
 
Thanks for all the great advice. I'll just try it out and kind of play it by ear as to what is too much or not.
 
I think stretching is a must. I don't do it when I DE shave (not that much anymore) but can't get a close shave with a straight unless I stretch.

I also would feel razor burn if I stretched too much with a DE but do not have the same reaction with a straight.

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Hey - welcome back, man.
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