What's new
  • The Annual Sue Moore Auction is now running from 19 - 21 October. Every year proceeds from this auction and all monies raised go directly to the National Breast Cancer Foundation. Please take a look at the items that are available this year, as there is sure to be something of interest to everyone!

Three weeks in and rough going thus far

Hello everyone. I'm very new to the safety razor experience; it's been about three weeks now. I've always had sensitive skin, particularly my neck in the front and back as I also shave my head, so I decided to do some research and look for a remedy. This is when I came across an article extolling the virtues of the safety razor, so I decided what the heck, I'll give it a shot. I purchased an Edwin Jagger DE89, Omega 49 brush, Taylor of Old cream, and a sample pack of blades from Maggard's and got to work. I did quite a bit of research and watched several videos before attempting my first shave, and despite a little trepidation it all went very well. I thought I'd be a bloody mess, but after three weeks now I have yet to cut myself. I've been very careful to keep a proper angle and exert as little pressure as possible on the head of the razor. However, I'm finding that irritation has increased quite a bit on my neck. The rest of my face and head feels about the same as always, but my neck is always red and razor burned now, quite a bit more than it ever was using a cartridge razor. I've tried several post shave products including straight witch hazel, alum, lotions, and various after shave liquids and balms, but nothing has helped. I normally shave every three days, so I guess my break in period will be three times as long as it should be. I'm going to stick with it for another few months and see how it goes. I'm in no hurry to go back to cartridge razors as there is definitely something satisfying about this method of shaving, so hopefully I can get the burn under control. Anyway, thanks for reading. I've really enjoyed reading all of the informative posts on this site. I've learned quite a bit already in my short time here.
 
There’s a bit of a learning curve when you switch from carts to DE. One of the key things, as you are probably aware, is pressure. I found it takes a lot of concentration to overcome the muscle memory from years of cart shaving. Plus, the neck is problematic for most us us anyway. I think that with practice and perseverance your technique will improve and the shaves will get better with time. Welcome to the forum and best of luck!
 
Welcome aboard B&B. It sounds like you are off to a good start, in spite of the neck issues. It is more difficult to maintain the proper angle and at the same use minimal pressure on the neck. Have patience and keep practicing. You will get it in time.

Good luck.
 
Sorry to hear. Sounds like you're doing things right.

Hopefully things start coming together with more time & practice. Only things I can think of are beard growth mapping & trying to get the skin at the right tension level (e.i. taut vs slack).
 
Sorry to hear. Sounds like you're doing things right.

Hopefully things start coming together with more time & practice. Only things I can think of are beard growth mapping & trying to get the skin at the right tension level (e.i. taut vs slack).

Thanks to everyone for the replies. I appreciate all of the feedback. Yeah, the beard growth on my neck is mainly side to side which makes it difficult to keep the blade flush against my skin due too the curvature of my neck. Keeping my skin taut has also been a challenge. Just can't seem to get a good purchase on my skin due to the lather, which I suppose is actually a good thing. It's obviously doing it's job. I'm just going to keep plugging away at it.
 
I too have sensitive skin and have two comments: try to avoid alum. Even if I wash it off after a few seconds it tends to irritate. Second, find the WTG on those sensitive spots and go only WTG for a while (forget the north to south thing on those areas). When your skin has recovered, carefully go XTG. Oh, and a clarification: light touch doesn't mean your grip and your pass should't be firm.
 
You are doing the right technique, it just takes time to dial in technique/pressure. It took me a couple of months to get it right and I shave 6 days a week. Ensure you have a sharp blade and map the beard, try to stay away from ATG. Keep at it and things will get better.
 
You might try shorter strokes on the neck. Because of the arc from the bottom of the neck up to the jaw line it is difficult to keep the same blade angle.
 
I think that you have been given some great advice thus far, it I wanted to welcome you to B&B! Good luck, and keep us informed!
 
Hi Gummie! I'm pretty new here too (6 months) but I've learned quite a bit, especially recently..

I too have a sensitive neck, especially under my jaw line. What has helped me is "bull frogging" tilting your jaw down and to one side when you shave the neck. This and a little gillette slide has done wonders for my neck. I also noticed any stretching made irritation on my neck worse, so I just go a relaxed posture on the neck and short strokes. No more irritation at all. Give it a try.
 
Welcome to B&B. It will get better, you have to un-learn adding pressure when DE shaving. Things got much better for me around the 2 month mark. This coincided with the use of my first heavy razor: The Merkur 39C. I like a heavy razor. I believe it helps plow through the beard with its own weight.
 
Welcome. As said already, the neck is the most problematic area for most. If you don't already know your beard growth direction, figure that out. Some guys have hair growing in multiple directions on the lower neck, making it a challenge.

I would suggest you avoid shaving ATG on the neck. I only do two passes on the neck, both being WTG. The rest of my face i do XTG on the second pass, but never ATG - it's just not worth the rash and irritation.

Keep us posted on your progress.
 
Thanks guys. I think I'll give the bullfrogging technique a try the next time WTG and forgo all stretching on the neck area.
 
Welcome to B&B.

First, limit the number of passes you do on your neck. The more you go over the same spot the more you increase your irritation.

Hydration is important to get a lubricating lather. So be sure to have sufficient water in your lather. Also, don't cheat on the product.

I have found it helpful to wet my face before each pass. The extra water on my face seems to make my shave smoother.

Irritation usually is caused by poor blade angle and too much pressure on the razor. The neck is a tricky area to shave because keeping the right blade angle and little pressure is a challenge. The usual advice is to let the weight of the razor do the job - not put pressure on the blade. To put that in action I have found that using the two fingers and my thumb to hold the razor with another finger resting on the tip of the handle. This results in holding the razor very lightly with no pressure on the razor. You want to hold the razor as lightly as you can without it falling from your hand. I have found that using the right grip on your razor goes a long way in keeping pressure off of the blade. This post may help you. Also, take a look at this wiki.
 
Top Bottom