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Stubble retracting beneath the skin turning into a BBS - magic or reality?

In my other thread (link below), many people claimed that they achieve the BBS only about half an hour or so after the shave.

The argument has it that whiskers retreat back beneath the skin once they dry out.

So, I was wondering as if this was actually the case.

Personally, if I feel any stubble left during my final / clean-up pass, I will feel that stubble 30 minutes or an hour later, just as much.

So, what I'm trying to say is, if I don't achieve the BBS during my shave, it won't magically turn into a BBS post-shave.

I'm not trying to discredit anyone's view, just genuinely curious what all of you guys think about this.

 

AimlessWanderer

Contributor
If I'm chasing the perfect shave, for a special event of some kind, I'll shave early. I'll then check it again, and potentially revisit the sink half an hour to an hour later. Sometimes the stubble retracts as the hydration level balances out, or sometimes a "missed area" will appear and need sorting out. It all depends how hydrated both the hair and skin was during the shave. As both normalise, bristle exposure can change on my face, and 30 to 60 minutes is usually enough to see if I need to do any more work. If so, any final touch ups are done with just cold water only, no soap.
 
If I'm chasing the perfect shave, for a special event of some kind, I'll shave early. I'll then check it again, and potentially revisit the sink half an hour to an hour later. Sometimes the stubble retracts as the hydration level balances out, or sometimes a "missed area" will appear and need sorting out. It all depends how hydrated both the hair and skin was during the shave. As both normalise, bristle exposure can change on my face, and 30 to 60 minutes is usually enough to see if I need to do any more work. If so, any final touch ups are done with just cold water only, no soap.
I'm not sure I'm following you.

Are you saying that sometimes whiskers will retract, although you do feel stubble immediately post-shave?

And at other times whiskers will actually protrude further outward, prompting you to clean-up an hour after the initial shave.

So, sometimes they stick farther out and sometimes they decide to go back under the skin? This seems odd.

I don't mean to sound sarcastic, I just don't get it.
 
I do experience this strange phenomenon, but I also sometimes get the exact reverse - an area that feels stubble-free during the shave starts to feel ever so slightly rough a few minutes after the shave. My feeling is that both these apparently contradictory experiences are caused by the same thing(s).

If I get certain areas of my face feeling 95%-ish BBS during the shave, they'll feel 100% BBS a little while after. My skin tends to be a bit oily and about half an hour after a shower/shave I'm generating a thin layer of my own "soul glow" :) and my skin feels likes its plumped up. This lubrication and "pumping up" (hydration?) can, for a while at least, make that last micro-trace of stubble harder to detect.

Similarly during some shaves I think I misread (misfeel?) an area as being 100% clear, maybe due to residual lubrication from the soap, or the skin being somehow flushed by the shower/steam. Later parts of my face feel like they've tightened up a bit, and that has helped to reveal the stubble.

I know that all sounds like contradictory gobbledy gook, but in reality I do feel that my skin can react differently to the same shower/shave routine from one session to the next. Sometimes I get the stubble-hiding effect, sometimes it's the stubble revealing effect.
 
I do experience this strange phenomenon, but I also sometimes get the exact reverse - an area that feels stubble-free during the shave starts to feel ever so slightly rough a few minutes after the shave. My feeling is that both these apparently contradictory experiences are caused by the same thing(s).

If I get certain areas of my face feeling 95%-ish BBS during the shave, they'll feel 100% BBS a little while after. My skin tends to be a bit oily and about half an hour after a shower/shave I'm generating a thin layer of my own "soul glow" :) and my skin feels likes its plumped up. This lubrication and "pumping up" (hydration?) can, for a while at least, make that last micro-trace of stubble harder to detect.

Similarly during some shaves I think I misread (misfeel?) an area as being 100% clear, maybe due to residual lubrication from the soap, or the skin being somehow flushed by the shower/steam. Later parts of my face feel like they've tightened up a bit, and that has helped to reveal the stubble.

I know that all sounds like contradictory gobbledy gook, but in reality I do feel that my skin can react differently to the same shower/shave routine from one session to the next. Sometimes I get the stubble-hiding effect, sometimes it's the stubble revealing effect.
OKAY, interesting.

Let me tell you what my method is for feeling if there's any stubble left - I press really hard with my fingertips ATG into the skin, while pulling/stretching the skin in all directions. The motion resembles massaging, but not gently, rather vigorously, almost like I'm trying to poke my own face. NOW, if I don't feel any stubble then, rest assured I'll be truly BBS for the next 10 or so hours. If I do - simple - more work to be done.

Do you keep rotating different razors and blades frequently? Perhaps that might explain it... IDK.
 

AimlessWanderer

Contributor
I'm not sure I'm following you.

Are you saying that sometimes whiskers will retract, although you do feel stubble immediately post-shave?

And at other times whiskers will actually protrude further outward, prompting you to clean-up an hour after the initial shave.

So, sometimes they stick farther out and sometimes they decide to go back under the skin? This seems odd.

I don't mean to sound sarcastic, I just don't get it.
I'll do a careful shave, but won't chase BBS there and then. A near but not quite BBS might become a closer feeling shave once the hydration level settles down. I would put that down to the hair shaft swelling as it hydrates, and losing that gained bulk as it normalises.

However, skin can plump up with hydration too. If I were to shave after a bath/shower that chances are that my skin would be more hydrated than if I just splashed water on face before shaving. Then it's a matter of which plumped up more, the skin or the hair.

Half an hour to an hour later, I'll know.
 
Do you keep rotating different razors and blades frequently? Perhaps that might explain it... IDK.
Barring the odd experiment, it's the same blade type and razor every day. I think a key variable could be whether I'm shaving soon after a workout; I haven't tracked it but if I had to guess I'd say the delayed stubble retraction thing tends to happen on days when I shave after a hefty run / calisthenics session.
 

BigJ

Ambassador
Interesting!

I judge my shave ’quality’ immediately after I finish.
I have not noticed much difference after an hour or so; I may need to pay a bit more attention. :a21:
 
Here is my $.02 worth as someone who does not chase BBS at all. I never notice how close of a shave I've had until about an hour after I shave. I notice even more 24 hours after a shave. My beard is light and slow growing so 24 hours after a close shave there is just not that much there to shave.
 
I’ll jump in here and say that IME it does feel smoother after a while once my skin is not as puffy from the shaving and has absorbed the aftershave/balm.

But I don’t chase BBS, if I wanted the kind of BBS where I can rub my fingertips against the grain and not feel anything I would have to shave with a cheese grater and literally shred like 10 layers of skin!

I have a really coarse beard and usually have a 5 O’Clock shadow in about 5/6 hours after the shave so I go for a DFS with healthy looking skin, instead of looking like I splashed acid all over!
 
I think I notice something like this once in a while. I wouldn't say DFS turns to BBS but does feel like there's a bit less stubble an hour later. But then a couple more hours and it's back again. My shaves all seem pretty close right after I'm done shaving though. It's not until the next morning that I can really tell when I got an exceptionally close shave the day before.
 
The phenomenon happens to me. I suspect that skin repair, coupled with hair follicles losing the purposeful over-hydration may have something to do with it.
 
Call it whatever you want, but when I rub my chin immediatelly after shave I feel a lot more stubble than a few minutes later (I don't chase BBS). Every. Single. Shave.
Well, I don't know what to call it other than a poor shave. I get you don't chase a BBS, but to me if it's not a BBS it's a wasted effort.

When I'm done with my shave, I don't feel ANY stubble, anywhere on my face. And so, I don't feel it for the next 8-10 hours, either.
 
Interesting!

I judge my shave ’quality’ immediately after I finish.
I have not noticed much difference after an hour or so; I may need to pay a bit more attention. :a21:
Exactly my point... if I feel the stubble while my face is still wet after the shave, I'll sure feel it an hour latter, as well. It won't magically disappear on its own.
 
I’ll jump in here and say that IME it does feel smoother after a while once my skin is not as puffy from the shaving and has absorbed the aftershave/balm.

But I don’t chase BBS, if I wanted the kind of BBS where I can rub my fingertips against the grain and not feel anything I would have to shave with a cheese grater and literally shred like 10 layers of skin!

I have a really coarse beard and usually have a 5 O’Clock shadow in about 5/6 hours after the shave so I go for a DFS with healthy looking skin, instead of looking like I splashed acid all over!
IMHO, your skin should not feel "puffy" or "swollen" during or immediately after your shave. If it does, it'd suggest your face-prep, lather and shaving technique leave a room for improvement.
 
When shaving at a steep angle with R41 I experience this. I suspect it is because I notice a slight tugging that pulls up the hair. With other razors I have not noticed this.
 
When shaving at a steep angle with R41 I experience this. I suspect it is because I notice a slight tugging that pulls up the hair. With other razors I have not noticed this.
I've been shaving with my R41 for years, but I've never subscribed to the concept of "steep angle shaving". I always ride the cap in all directions - WTG, XTG, ATG, oh especially ATG. Steep angle results in scrapping instead of cutting. No thank you!
 
I've been shaving with my R41 for years, but I've never subscribed to the concept of "steep angle shaving". I always ride the cap in all directions - WTG, XTG, ATG, oh especially ATG. Steep angle results in scrapping instead of cutting. No thank you!
Scrapping:
scrapped-1.png

Scraping:
scraped-1.png
 
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