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The Alamo!

I wrote this same post in another thread but I kind of hijacked that thread and that was not my intention.

It’s called ”Neck irritation and what to do about it.” Check it out. Lots of great stuff in there.

Now, as to MY conundrum. This is going to be a long one. So keep that in mind before reading on (although please do😅)

I’ve been wetshaving for a couple of years now. As many before me, I started out wanting less irritation and to make shaving less of a chore. 50+ razors and hundreds of soaps, AS, creams, unicorn tears, drops of dinosaur extract later speaks to it not being a chore anymore (or?).

How about the irritation. Well. I have this spot on my neck about 5x5cm (2x2 inches I believe) where the whiskers grow ”sideways” from left to right. Everything else is N—>S. This spot though….it has been the bane of my wet shaving existence. I don’t want to sound dramatic but nothing seems to rid me of this curse. I have tried ALOT of things. Most of them suggested by you guys.

With every new gear I bought I made sure to at least give it a 10 shave trial, using the same setup. The only thing I changed was blades. If a certain blade made my face look like modern art from the get-go then I switched blades.

Now. My ”irritation” is…irritating to say the least. I never get razor burn or bumps or ingrown hairs. If I do get ”bumps” they are very small. More like a rash. My beard sits right between ”medium” and light growth. I need to shave EOD or every 3rd day to maintain a groomed posture. I also work as an army officer in the swedish army so I need to be clean shaven. Or at least give the illusion of clean shaved skin.

My irritation creeps up the day after the shave, when the hairs start to grow out. In THAT spot alone. It stings, Itches and becomes red with some red ”streaks” running parallell with the growth. I dont feel it unless I stretch my skin. Looking up or sideways.

Its really hard to shave WTG in that spot because of sheer ”neck-anatomy”. I usually do a two pass shave. WTG all over and XTG on my cheeks and jawline. I dont go ATG because I dont need it and I dont/Can’t chase BBS. I also dont care about BBS, irritation free and comfort is my goal.

I shave N—>S for my first pass except for that spot. N—>S on that spot becomes XTG. So I have to channel my inner mime and try to shave WTG sideways with the handle pointing towards my right ear. That usually gets it but I often need to touch that spot up. I’ve tried to shave in a Criss-Cross pattern, diamond pattern, X-pattern, ATG but everytime my necks mocks me , turning into the ”predator” clicking the self destruct action on his wrist-computer-thing, laughing.

My routine right now is. Shower/or warm water soak(cold water shave did nothing. Warm water feels better). Wash face/neck with Marseille soap. Nohai preshave gel (tried Proraso, TOBS, Grooming dept. AOS, it probably doesn’t do anything but it feels good. Right now Nohai seems to do…something). Lather my face/neck with my now favourite soap (MdC). Warm towel on lather splattered face. Re-lather. Shave. Wash Off soap residue. Witch hazel, Laneige moisturizing toner (fancy-pants Korean skin care) and CeraVe cream.

Feels awesome. No burn, no redness, no soreness….until the next day. Some days are better some are worse.

The only razors that give me irritation free shaves more often than not are:

Gamechanger .68 (Silver Blues or indian wilkies saloon)

Hawk V3 (Kai protouch).

Razors I’ve tried:

Homelike START (all the plates)
Timeless ti.68
Karve AA,A,B,C (In brass, A-B in alu)
CG level 1,2
Vector
34c
DE 89
Fatboy(2-4)
Slim Adj(2-3)
New SC, LC
Post war Tech (The Tech almost makes the ”this works” list)
Masamune
Tradere
6S,C
Henson Mild, Medium (yes, even these gave me irritation more often than not)
ATT SSM1(this was too mild)
R41
R89

To name a few. I dont want to be that guy who says that I’ve mastered angle and pressure, clearly I have not BUT I can shave every other part of my face with an R41 with minimal prep without a hint of an issue.

6/10 shaves are usually free from irritation but there is always the chance of that spot coming to haunt me like Freddy. I’ve come to a point where I feel like screw it, live with it. But something inside me refuses to be beaten by a patch of skin on my neck. I love this hobby and also require to be shaven so less pain would be welcome.

Sorry for the long post and thank you for reading. If you have/had the same experience, please share. Any tips would also be recieved with gratefullness.

Thank you!
 
Sorry I skim read, but are you sure these aren't existent ingrowns? Also since you shave every 3 days, it is possible you are getting new ingrowns repeatedly. You may have to actually shave that area every day counter to what seems logical. I am afraid the only thing that 100% will fix it is a straight razor, at least in that area. The low angle combined with the ability of the rigid blade to lift hair is the only thing that has worked for me if I go more than 2 days without shaving. I have to go right to the straight, Artist Club in my case. The thing with irritation that can be frustrating is that you have two opposing things. One, you need to minimize the number of passes and therefore can't experiment too much. You get it right or wait a day. Two, you may actually need to shave those areas daily as mentioned. But if you mangle your neck and have to wait, then the problem compounds.
 
Sorry I skim read, but are you sure these aren't existent ingrowns? Also since you shave every 3 days, it is possible you are getting new ingrowns repeatedly. You may have to actually shave that area every day counter to what seems logical. I am afraid the only thing that 100% will fix it is a straight razor, at least in that area. The low angle combined with the ability of the rigid blade to lift hair is the only thing that has worked for me if I go more than 2 days without shaving. I have to go right to the straight, Artist Club in my case. The thing with irritation that can be frustrating is that you have two opposing things. One, you need to minimize the number of passes and therefore can't experiment too much. You get it right or wait a day. Two, you may actually need to shave those areas daily as mentioned. But if you mangle your neck and have to wait, then the problem compounds.
Thank you for your reply! I have thought about daily shaves but I just don’t have the bulk. I would be polishing marble. Could try to use a very mild razor and give it a try.

As for the straights…well. I could try to learn the what nots of straight razor shaving during the weekends and if that pacifies my demon neck then bingo.

Thank you yet again!
 
After typing that, I was thinking more and more that the solution is a One Pass, plus touch ups, daily shave. It might solve your problem without having to learn a straight and will force you to hone your technique to get the most out of one pass on non problem areas. Good luck!
 
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As for the straights…well. I could try to learn the what nots of straight razor shaving during the weekends and if that pacifies my demon neck then bingo.
....
Sorry to disappoint you but that probably won't work. To properly develop your SR shaving technique, you will need to shave daily (every day) for about a month.

If you cannot commit, it is better that you never try.
 
After typing that, I was thinking more and more that the solution is a One Pass, plus touch ups, daily shave. It might solve your problem without having to learn a straight and will force you to hone your technique to get the most out of one pass on non problem areas. Good luck!
I’ll give it a try. Whats the worst that could happen? Irritation🤷‍♂️

Thank you.
 
Sorry to disappoint you but that probably won't work. To properly develop your SR shaving technique, you will need to shave daily (every day) for about a month.

If you cannot commit, it is better that you never try.
Yeah you are probably right. I’ve always Wanted to learn so when I feel like I want to commit then im in!

Thanks.
 
First, CONGRATULATIONS on your progress! You have come a long way.

Second, now that you have mapped your beard and understand what you are doing with each pass you might go one of (at least) two routes: try for 3-passes adjusting for the hair growth, or try one pass (WTG, or XTG only) in the problem area. In either case, continue to work at NO pressure and the appropriate razor angle.

If that fails, you might consider having a dermatologist examine the problem area.

Best of luck!
 
There are many possibilities. You could be allergic to the blade coatings, to your aftershave, to your soap, etc. I have this problem if I use the wrong stuff. Get some steroidal cream (not ointment) and put on that spot and see if it makes a difference. If it does, change your soap and see if that helps, or use no soap at all. When I was in the Army I learned to use body lotion as I read the ingredients on some of the shave creams and they were the same without the soap. That worked, especially in the field. Also, change the direction you shave that spot where you get irritation. Your beard will adapt after a few shaves. That will likely take care of any ingrown hairs and irritation. Shave only in the direction it grows. I'm betting on skin allergy to your perfumed soap or aftershave, though.
 
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