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Shaving Against the Grain

I returned to shaving with a safety razor a few months ago. Prior to that it was all cartridge.

Shaving against the grain was always part of my three part routine (WTG/XTG/ATG) with the cartridge and there was never a problem.

I’ve been doing the same routine with my safety razors and had an occasional nick on the chin and upper lip areas. Always on the ATG.

Two days ago I got a nasty cut on the chin. Real bleeder. Rocca razor and second time around on a Persona platinum. I was using an old shaving soap, which still produced a great lather. Had used the bloom from soaking the soap as a pre shave as opposed to pre shave lotion. My usual routine when working w a soap vs cream.

To be on the safe side I ditched the old soap and Persona (I’d had 4 great shaves on the last (and first) one I’d used without a problem.

I know about perfecting technique. The skin area was tight and I was paying attention. Might’ve been a bad blade, old soap, or just a slip up but I’m using a Norelco until the bump goes down and am considering abandoning ATG…even though it does produce a definitely closer shave.

I did stop ATG in the upper lip area, already. Maybe I could do the same with the chin, as well. Never have problems anywhere else.

Thoughts?

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I returned to shaving with a safety razor a few months ago. Prior to that it was all cartridge.

Shaving against the grain was always part of my three part routine (WTG/XTG/ATG) with the cartridge and there was never a problem.

I’ve been doing the same routine with my safety razors and had an occasional nick on the chin and upper lip areas. Always on the ATG.

Two days ago I got a nasty cut on the chin. Real bleeder. Rocca razor and second time around on a Persona platinum. I was using an old shaving soap, which still produced a great lather. Had used the bloom from soaking the soap as a pre shave as opposed to pre shave lotion. My usual routine when working w a soap vs cream.

To be on the safe side I ditched the old soap and Persona (I’d had 4 great shaves on the last (and first) one I’d used without a problem.

I know about perfecting technique. The skin area was tight and I was paying attention. Might’ve been a bad blade, old soap, or just a slip up but I’m using a Norelco until the bump goes down and am considering abandoning ATG…even though it does produce a definitely closer shave.

I did stop ATG in the upper lip area, already. Maybe I could do the same with the chin, as well. Never have problems anywhere else.

Thoughts?

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I would avoid shaving against the grain and just concentrate on improving your shaving technique. Also, think about adding a pre-shave cream to your routine. I've found that pre-shave cream makes the blade glide smoother and helps avoid nicks and cuts. Good luck.
 
Revert (termporarily) to a milder razor, pay extra attention to the technique, until you get the smooth result you want. And keep in mind, you don't want to remove all hair, you just want to cut it. With WTG and XTG you are very likely to get a good enough result without possible nicks or cuts.
 
The shave ATG is called the money pass to some shavers. Some folks can not shave ATG because they get irritation. Some razors that have a lot of blade feel or blade exposure are just difficult around the chin area when technique is still maturing, chin area for myself is challenging when using aggressive razors. You could try using a steep approach(riding the bar) and that way you can regulate the blade feel maybe better, as you get things dialed in better it becomes easier with tweaking your chin approach.
It will all come together eventually as long as you understand what happened to create a issue, just looking at the photo you applied to much pressure is my guess on that scrap. .
 
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Revert (termporarily) to a milder razor, pay extra attention to the technique, until you get the smooth result you want. And keep in mind, you don't want to remove all hair, you just want to cut it. With WTG and XTG you are very likely to get a good enough result without possible nicks or cuts.
I intend on using the R89 Grande for a while.
Interesting about not wanting to remove all the hair. If that’s the case I figure I’ll be fine without the ATG and continuing with the Rocca (love that razor). My MO has been to get it baby smooth. Different approach this way.
Thanks.
 
ATG with a DE razor isn't the same as with a cartridge razor. I don't think a cartridge shaves as close. So the Cartridge ATG is probably the equivalent of WTG/XTG with a DE. I'd stick to that with a DE!
With my electrics I would do ATG perfectly and always thought I got a BBS shave. I was wrong because I discovered that with the DE, I do a 2 pass WTG/XTG and end up with the same result as the electric.
 
I would avoid shaving against the grain and just concentrate on improving your shaving technique. Also, think about adding a pre-shave cream to your routine. I've found that pre-shave cream makes the blade glide smoother and helps avoid nicks and cuts. Good luck.
I’ve been using this when I use creams:


Maybe use it along with the bloom with soaps, from now on? I’d read where the bloom is, in essence, a pre shave cream.

Thanks.
 
The shave ATG is called the money pass to some shavers. Some folks can not shave ATG because they get irritation. Some razors that have a lot of blade feel or blade exposure are just difficult around the chin area when technique is still maturing, chin area for myself is challenging when using aggressive razors. You could try using a steep approach(riding the bar) and that way you can regulate the blade feel maybe better, as you get things dialed in better it becomes easier with tweaking your chin approach.
It will all come together eventually as long as you understand what happened to create a issue, just looking at the photo you applied to much pressure is my guess on that scrap. .
Thanks, Ron. One of the things I like about DE (and eventually SE) shaving is the challenge of the technique. I like to practice focus.

Think you’re right on the pressure issue. Just got it wrong this time around. And the Rocca, though not an open comb, is definitely a more aggressive shave than the R89.
 
ATG with a DE razor isn't the same as with a cartridge razor. I don't think a cartridge shaves as close. So the Cartridge ATG is probably the equivalent of WTG/XTG with a DE. I'd stick to that with a DE!
With my electrics I would do ATG perfectly and always thought I got a BBS shave. I was wrong because I discovered that with the DE, I do a 2 pass WTG/XTG and end up with the same result as the electric.
Totally with you on the comparison of two pass vs electric. Thinking of using the electric as the third pass, after the DE two pass. My barber recommends that, though he uses a Remington vs my Norelco.
 
For me, finding which was is actually against the grain with my own whiskers was the key. I know people talk about mapping your face. I haven't actually drawn it out, but I have learned from letting my whiskers grow for a few days and noting the patterns.

But more importantly... when I'm shaving, I can run the free hand over my face and feel which way the hair is growing... and shave against that pattern for my "ATG" pass. In other works... the ATG pass isn't necessarily south to north.

I have the most difficulty with my chin area.... the chin itself and the sides of the chin. That's what I have do an extra clean-up after a two pass shave. My neck used to be an issue until I figured out... the hair on sides of my neck grow toward my ears... both sides. Now that I shave against the grain there, my neck is completely smooth.
 
Totally with you on the comparison of two pass vs electric. Thinking of using the electric as the third pass, after the DE two pass. My barber recommends that, though he uses a Remington vs my Norelco.
Your Norelco should do just fine!
I was an electric user for 30+ years till I got into wet shaving. I've probably tried (and own) every Brand/Type of machine and for daily use, my preference was always a foil type shaver. Specifically Panasonic which is undoubtedly the "close shave king" when it comes to foil shavers. The rotary Norelco's seem to work better for someone that shaves every few days. But the reality is that the end result with a rotary is hands down the closest shave (with an electric). But for daily use, it created irritation & ingrown hairs. Regardless, if what you describe will work for you, go for it!
 
Two days ago I got a nasty cut on the chin. Real bleeder. Rocca razor and second time around on a Persona platinum. I was using an old shaving soap, which still produced a great lather.
That usually points to a technique problem; blade angle and pressure may be the issues. Once it is healed you could try again but the chin and upper lip are often difficult areas to shave for a BBS. The Rocca is aggressive by reason of the larger blade gap so you need to take a little more care and not force the razor.
I intend on using the R89 Grande for a while.
That will do the job and and a good razor to hone your technique. As a daily shaver it is able to produce a very close shave.
 
ATG with a DE razor isn't the same as with a cartridge razor. I don't think a cartridge shaves as close. So the Cartridge ATG is probably the equivalent of WTG/XTG with a DE. I'd stick to that with a DE!
With my electrics I would do ATG perfectly and always thought I got a BBS shave. I was wrong because I discovered that with the DE, I do a 2 pass WTG/XTG and end up with the same result as the electric.
My thoughts also :)
can not do my upper lip ATG but yeah if I want to do XTG its closer than my electric or cart ever did anyway :)
 
Two disconnected thoughts occur to me.

1. I apologize for my presumptuousness, but I don't associate what looks like your dramatic wound with the direction of shave, however better it may be to abandon ATG. Having been there, that looks simply a catastrophic operator failure.

2. Pursuit of BBS can be a form of madness. By all means get that shave as perfect as you will, gives you confidence, or otherwise pleases you. And know the whiskers will grow back.


 
only thought would be try some other blades in a sampler pack I know for me some blades would be trying to tear my hair out ATG while others worked as they should (all but my lip area for me)
 
As I understand the Rocca is designed to work at a steep angle. When you go against the grain you will probably rotate the handle and dig more into your skin. Most of my razors work best riding the cap going ATG. The most affective cutting angle is at 30 deg relative to the beard angle. My beard grows almost parallel to my skin in some areas. Going too steep ATG gets me in trouble.
 
Two disconnected thoughts occur to me.

1. I apologize for my presumptuousness, but I don't associate what looks like your dramatic wound with the direction of shave, however better it may be to abandon ATG. Having been there, that looks simply a catastrophic operator failure.

2. Pursuit of BBS can be a form of madness. By all means get that shave as perfect as you will, gives you confidence, or otherwise pleases you. And know the whiskers will grow back.
No need for apologies. This is an open forum and I put myself out there. I studied music performance and comp for years. Learned how to be open to observation and criticism long long ago.

I think the human error factor is at play here, as well. Quite the gaffe. Beautifully terrible shade of red.

Question is whether I want to continue to tempt ATG fate with the Rocca (aka: hone my technique), switch to a milder razor when I do that third ATG pass, use an electric for the third pass, or just blow off ATG altogether.

Or a combo of the above. 😊
only thought would be try some other blades in a sampler pack I know for me some blades would be trying to tear my hair out ATG while others worked as they should (all but my lip area for me)
I was using the second of a Persona Platinum 5 pack. First blade was excellent. Maybe I was feeling complacent…or it may have been the blade (“the sun was in my eyes” “there’s a hole in my mitt” “I forgot to tighten my bow hairs”).
As I understand the Rocca is designed to work at a steep angle. When you go against the grain you will probably rotate the handle and dig more into your skin. Most of my razors work best riding the cap going ATG. The most affective cutting angle is at 30 deg relative to the beard angle. My beard grows almost parallel to my skin in some areas. Going too steep ATG gets me in trouble.
I think you’ve got it there, JPO. See my reply to jmd for what I’m looking at for options.

Whatever I do…it’s gotta involve wet shave. I’ve got some wonderful soaps, cream, brushes, razors, etc that I’m already missing.
 
With some razors when I start to shave ATG I can feel that it's starting to tug. Usually I just adjust the angle so it's maybe 20 or 30° from ATG. That's often just enough to go from tugging to slicing. "If it doesn't feel right, stop doing it" is my rule of thumb.

Another suggestion is to do an ATG pass with a milder razor / sharper blade. ATG is also a scenario where slant razors come into their own.
 
A chunk of face taken off in that area was probably from too much pressure. I have read reviews of the razor line and it has been called somewhat aggressive. If you can get your hands on one try an adjustable Gillette on lower settings in that area for ATG. One big advantage of adjustable razors is that you can dial them back for sensitive areas.
 
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