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Struggling On...

Welcome! Hopefully you'll find the blade sampler to resolve a lot of your tugging problems. I've not tried too many blades, but am really bad at trying to stretch blades too far. When I do switch them, it's like "Hey, that tugging thing has gone away!". You probably need a sharper blade.
Regarding the neck....dont be afraid to give it one pass for a while as you develop technique. You can experiment with different directions and may find that one direction is really where your problem lies. And I'd definitely try just turning your head to stay with the dominant hand. I RARELY use my left hand to shave...only occasionally if I'm shaving the back of my neck or something and just can't physically get there with the right.
The alum will definitely leave your skin feeling tight. I shave before showering (I know...I'm a rebel...), and only use alum if it'll be a while before I get into the shower post shave.
 
Well things are on the up.

New blade today, tried the Astra SP. Seems to like me better than the Personna blades. Have some feathers and, from what I’ve read, some milder Derby blades along with some Treet blades.

Also a new shaving cream, Castle Forbes, which has good reviews over this side of the pond, along with its aftershave balm, containing witch-hazel.

Much less irritation again although I was a bit slap-dash and rushed it a bit so a few nicks. But still much better.

After something I’ve read, if I’m shaving the day after a shave, would a milder blade be better? Or would it be better to have a sharper blade to deal with the slightly tougher, shorter stubble?
 

FarmerTan

George Bailey Fanboy
Well things are on the up.

New blade today, tried the Astra SP. Seems to like me better than the Personna blades. Have some feathers and, from what I’ve read, some milder Derby blades along with some Treet blades.

Also a new shaving cream, Castle Forbes, which has good reviews over this side of the pond, along with its aftershave balm, containing witch-hazel.

Much less irritation again although I was a bit slap-dash and rushed it a bit so a few nicks. But still much better.

After something I’ve read, if I’m shaving the day after a shave, would a milder blade be better? Or would it be better to have a sharper blade to deal with the slightly tougher, shorter stubble?
Do you have an Astra SS? I'm one of the weirdoes that much prefer them to the SP. It's hard to beat Gillette Silver Blues though, my overall favorite.
 
Well things are on the up.

New blade today, tried the Astra SP. Seems to like me better than the Personna blades. Have some feathers and, from what I’ve read, some milder Derby blades along with some Treet blades.

Also a new shaving cream, Castle Forbes, which has good reviews over this side of the pond, along with its aftershave balm, containing witch-hazel.

Much less irritation again although I was a bit slap-dash and rushed it a bit so a few nicks. But still much better.

After something I’ve read, if I’m shaving the day after a shave, would a milder blade be better? Or would it be better to have a sharper blade to deal with the slightly tougher, shorter stubble?
The stubble would be the same difficulty to cut as longer stubble, so the same quality blade. Now, if your skin is tender from shaving so close together, you would have to try all three types and see which works best. Milder might not scrape your skin a badly, but might pluck hairs instead of shaving them. Sharper might cut the hairs instead of plucking them, but scrape your skin raw.
 
Oh my goodness, I am following this thread with so much trepidation. 1st off welcome @mikey642 ! I don't have much to offer as I totally have a vanilla beard with predictable growth patterns. That being said, it looks like you are getting good advice and making some progress. If I were you I would continue with what is working yet limit myself to 2 passes or every other day. I don't know what your shave needs are, but if you can continue to isolate the components that are working you'll be on your way to daily DFS in no time. Hang in there and glad to have you here.
 

FarmerTan

George Bailey Fanboy
Oh my goodness, I am following this thread with so much trepidation. 1st off welcome @mikey642 ! I don't have much to offer as I totally have a vanilla beard with predictable growth patterns. That being said, it looks like you are getting good advice and making some progress. If I were you I would continue with what is working yet limit myself to 2 passes or every other day. I don't know what your shave needs are, but if you can continue to isolate the components that are working you'll be on your way to daily DFS in no time. Hang in there and glad to have you here.
Smartest thing I've read here!

Things WILL continue to improve my friend! Relax and don't chase the baby's bottom!
 
If you're using a Timor, you might want to know that it's just a cheap OEM that they got from China and marked up the prices by a lot. The quality should, of course, be lackluster.

Since you have sensitive skin, I'd suggest getting a good European razor like the Merkur 37C slant. It's designed for people with sensitive skin. I'm surprised no one suggested this yet.
 

FarmerTan

George Bailey Fanboy
If you're using a Timor, you might want to know that it's just a cheap OEM that they got from China and marked up the prices by a lot. The quality should, of course, be lackluster.

Since you have sensitive skin, I'd suggest getting a good European razor like the Merkur 37C slant. It's designed for people with sensitive skin. I'm surprised no one suggested this yet.
Yes, there are definitely better choices than Timor, at least on my incredibly handsome face!
 
Yes, there are definitely better choices than Timor, at least on my incredibly handsome face!
A quick google search told me OP probably paid 1st world prices for some shoddy quality razor made in China.


 
This may not help you much but i did notice this....have really hot water to use with your de...it seems when the water is really hot it shaves better ...at least to me almost like butter...im talking like kettle hot..just dont splash the water onto your face until the end of the shave it cools
Down fairly fast
 
If you're using a Timor, you might want to know that it's just a cheap OEM that they got from China and marked up the prices by a lot. The quality should, of course, be lackluster.

Since you have sensitive skin, I'd suggest getting a good European razor like the Merkur 37C slant. It's designed for people with sensitive skin. I'm surprised no one suggested this yet.
A quick google search told me OP probably paid 1st world prices for some shoddy quality razor made in China.


Interesting. It has got “Made in Germany” stamped on the underside of the head? But I will look at changing. This is fast becoming an expensive hobby!!
 
Better shave again today. This time, with the Feather. It was strange... I wasn’t overly impressed in some areas considering they’re meant to be so sharp. However, in other areas I got BBS in 2 passes!! The other areas needed more touching up than normal. But still less irritation. Need to see which I prefer over the Feather and the Astra SP. I will look to try the SS at some point as well as Silver Blues. I think my skin prefers sharper blades

Check out this razor sharpness guide to get an idea of how sharp different blades are.

Eg to cover a range from mild to sharp: Derby Extra -> Astra Superior Platinum -> Astra Super Stainless -> Gillette Nacet are all good choices.

Lots of other blades to choose from too.
Interesting article. Thank you for that!
 
Digging up the thread again. I tried a Derby Premium today, following on from a bit of a crap shave yesterday. So I wasn’t expecting much. But it wasn’t a bad blade to be fair. Better than I was expecting. I’m going to retry the feather again soon. And when payday comes, some GSB and the like!
 

JCarr

Contributor
Digging up the thread again. I tried a Derby Premium today, following on from a bit of a crap shave yesterday. So I wasn’t expecting much. But it wasn’t a bad blade to be fair. Better than I was expecting. I’m going to retry the feather again soon. And when payday comes, some GSB and the like!
Not a fan of the Derby Extra, but i find the Premium and the Usta to be decent.
 
Well things are on the up.

New blade today, tried the Astra SP. Seems to like me better than the Personna blades. Have some feathers and, from what I’ve read, some milder Derby blades along with some Treet blades.

Also a new shaving cream, Castle Forbes, which has good reviews over this side of the pond, along with its aftershave balm, containing witch-hazel.

Much less irritation again although I was a bit slap-dash and rushed it a bit so a few nicks. But still much better.

After something I’ve read, if I’m shaving the day after a shave, would a milder blade be better? Or would it be better to have a sharper blade to deal with the slightly tougher, shorter stubble?
Sharper blade is ALWAYS better. Pair it with mild/moderate razor and you'll do good.

That said, no razor no matter how "mild" will ever make it up 100% for bad technique. So, gear matters, but techniques matter MUCH more.
 
Completely agree. And that leads me on to my latest discovery as to why I seem to have an irritated neck.

So, my neck growt, from directly unde the middle of my chin, grows straight down in a strip about 1-2” wide. It then travels across from this strip at 90degrees from neck towards ear, if that makes sense. However, the bit closes to where my collar would be grows upwards.

Shaving the middle bit seems fairly simple. Shaving the collar line part only looks decent ATG, which is fine as I can achieve this with 0 irritation.

The problem area is the bits that lead from my Adams apple towards my ears. Because I can’t get the angle right on these areas, I end up doing numerous passes to reduce the beard, which is causing irritation, coupled with my angle probably being too steep.

I’m planning on trying a north to south 1st pass on this area, which would technically mean the first pass would be XTG. However, I feel I’m more likely to get the angle right using this direction. I’m sure I’ve read someone on here somewhere doing the same thing.
I’ve also changed my way of holding the razor. Trying the hold right at the end of the razor instead.
Hopefully this makes a difference!
 
Completely agree. And that leads me on to my latest discovery as to why I seem to have an irritated neck.

So, my neck growt, from directly unde the middle of my chin, grows straight down in a strip about 1-2” wide. It then travels across from this strip at 90degrees from neck towards ear, if that makes sense. However, the bit closes to where my collar would be grows upwards.

Shaving the middle bit seems fairly simple. Shaving the collar line part only looks decent ATG, which is fine as I can achieve this with 0 irritation.

The problem area is the bits that lead from my Adams apple towards my ears. Because I can’t get the angle right on these areas, I end up doing numerous passes to reduce the beard, which is causing irritation, coupled with my angle probably being too steep.

I’m planning on trying a north to south 1st pass on this area, which would technically mean the first pass would be XTG. However, I feel I’m more likely to get the angle right using this direction. I’m sure I’ve read someone on here somewhere doing the same thing.
I’ve also changed my way of holding the razor. Trying the hold right at the end of the razor instead.
Hopefully this makes a difference!
Many people have a similar growth pattern on the neck. Quite a lot of people have whorls which can make the whole idea of "the grain" a bit of a joke. It might help you to take a few close-up photos of the neck area after several days without shaving. That can give some insight.

Try holding your razor like a pencil.
 
Many people have a similar growth pattern on the neck. Quite a lot of people have whorls which can make the whole idea of "the grain" a bit of a joke. It might help you to take a few close-up photos of the neck area after several days without shaving. That can give some insight.

Try holding your razor like a pencil.
Yep, I get the whorls/whirls as well. However they don’t tend to give me an issue. Which makes me think it’s angle on the neck where I get irritation.

I’ll give the pencil hold a go as well. Thanks.
 
Completely agree. And that leads me on to my latest discovery as to why I seem to have an irritated neck.

So, my neck growt, from directly unde the middle of my chin, grows straight down in a strip about 1-2” wide. It then travels across from this strip at 90degrees from neck towards ear, if that makes sense. However, the bit closes to where my collar would be grows upwards.

Shaving the middle bit seems fairly simple. Shaving the collar line part only looks decent ATG, which is fine as I can achieve this with 0 irritation.

The problem area is the bits that lead from my Adams apple towards my ears. Because I can’t get the angle right on these areas, I end up doing numerous passes to reduce the beard, which is causing irritation, coupled with my angle probably being too steep.

I’m planning on trying a north to south 1st pass on this area, which would technically mean the first pass would be XTG. However, I feel I’m more likely to get the angle right using this direction. I’m sure I’ve read someone on here somewhere doing the same thing.
I’ve also changed my way of holding the razor. Trying the hold right at the end of the razor instead.
Hopefully this makes a difference!
You don't have to get the angle of growth just right as far as your wtg pass.
Center under chin on neck is straight down so that's easy.
Sides are diagonal down away from chin.
Bottom 1" or so is diagonal up and to the side toward ear. So if you just kind of go in the way it grows it should be ok. No exact angle but that way.
It helps for.me to do the bottom 1" first up diagonal toward ear. This area is more prone to irritation so I do that first. Then do top of neck so I know where to stop.
 
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