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Two Weeks In, Frustrated But Not Yet Giving In

Hey everyone. So I'm two weeks into my second try at DE shaving. I tried about 7 years ago and gave up quickly after hacking my face to shreds. Finally got the itch again so here I am. I'm using a Razorock GC .68P to start. I have the .84P plate on the way as well as someone in another forum suggested that the more aggressive plate might solve my issue. Mostly Nascent blades, but I have tried an Astra blade (wasn't bad on the first shave. The second wasn't good), and also tried a Feather blade (not good at all). I've been using Razorock Zi'Peppino soap with a Plissoft synthetic brush. I've also been using Stirling Gentleman Pre-shave oil.

So here's the frustration. With the DE razor, I can get BBS on my face- i.e. my cheeks, my chin, my upper lip, and under my jaw. The problem is this one area of my neck, on the left side. No matter what I do it gets irritated and gets quite a few weepers. I normally do three passes. WTG, XTG, ATG. After my first couple of shaves it got better (guess technique improved) but it's still not even DFS, let alone BBS. It ends up being sore and irritated all day. I do shave every day. Hate stubble on my face.

This morning, I had someplace to be early and didn't have time for a DE shave. I used the Gillette Fusion ProGlide I've been using for years, used Proraso Red from the tube and face lathered, and got a BBS shave. Kinda makes me wonder why I'm bothering with DE. But I'm aware of the environmental advantages and of course the cheaper blades etc. So I'll keep trying. Just frustrating that this one area of my neck won't cooperate.
 
First, congratulations! ‘Traditional’ wet shaving is a skill that takes a bit of effort to acquire.

I suggest you map your beard to understand what you are doing with each pass, especially in the problem areas.

Stick with this and you will get the results you want!!
 
First, congratulations! ‘Traditional’ wet shaving is a skill that takes a bit of effort to acquire.

I suggest you map your beard to understand what you are doing with each pass, especially in the problem areas.

Stick with this and you will get the results you want!!
Yeah I have my face mapped. Not the issue. I suspect it may just be the angle of my neck in the area, combined with the fact that the hair on that part of my neck grows almost sideways rather than up or down. The same area on the other side is fine though. So... I dunno.
 
The neck is hard! I've been at it a few months now and still have frustrating days where I can't get to acceptable smoothness, or I give myself a half-dozen weepers. I was pretty much resigned that I just can't get to BBS on my neck, but I recently read a tip here to push the opposite side of the neck, which sort of fills in the the side I'm trying to shave so it's not concave. That, combined with some j-hook strokes, worked shockingly well, at least for me, and has gotten my neck very close to BBS a few times. Just make sure your touch is very light to avoid cuts.

Anyway, good luck and welcome back.
 
I have the same kind of problem on my lower neck. The thing that makes the difference for me is pre-shave: Soap alone (even a nice, moist, thick, creamy lather) just isn't protective enough. Granted, this might be due somewhat to poor technique as I have only been shaving with a DE razor for about 3 months, but when I use a good, slick cream shave I have no irritation.

Some products that work for me are alba botanica cream shave, Hempz shave gel, and head/slick. This morning I combined the unscented alba botanica with a shot of the metholated head/slick and applied with my synthetic brush and got a smooth, irritation free shave (even on my neck). The Proraso white pre-shave also works pretty well for me.
 
Another member described the hair pattern below his jawline as “crop circles”, I can relate. I’m now satisfied with getting things close and comfortable, BBS it is not. It just took some time to figure out my technique, angles and level of comfort. Whatever works for you.
 
Another member described the hair pattern below his jawline as “crop circles”, I can relate. I’m now satisfied with getting things close and comfortable, BBS it is not. It just took some time to figure out my technique, angles and level of comfort. Whatever works for you.
Yeah, I'm thinking if I can avoid the irritation I might be ok not quite being BBS. But its' frustrating knowing a cartridge CAN get me BBS 99% of the time. So I know it CAN be done, somehow.
 
I used to use the fusion. Fast, no cuts and very bbs. I would also get break outs from what I think was cutting the hair below the skin (not a good look in your fifties!).
I switched to DE shaving during the pandemic lockdown and never looked back. I can feel by the afternoon that it is not as bbs as the fusion was but it is more comfortable and I don't get the skin issues I used to have (I've always shaved every day anyway). I noticed also when I went back to the fusion for travel that it now felt like it pulled more. Definitely more than the DE. So now for travel I have a TracII clones with some personna cartridges but for home I use my trusty Yates 921 with shaving soap and Astra SP blades. Simple, fast and I like it better than cartridges.
 
Welcome to Badger & Blade! :)

The main reason why I think you are getting a BBS shave with a cartridge razor and no weepers, is because cartridge razors by design, are mild razors. They are designed to get the job done easily, without causing a weeper, especially since using a proper angle isn't important, as the razor head just tilts at the angle it needs to be.

Have said that however, thats the only PRO's I can say for a cartridge razor. You are right about the environmental impact of cart razors, and their high blade replacement costs. The reality is, I think you might be a candidate for needing a mild DE razor, stay away from aggressive razors, I don't think they are doing you any favors.

Another thing is blade type, stay away from super sharp blades like Feather's, Kai's Bics. Look into Astra's, like you mentioned, or any other reported mild razor blade. Also, don't apply unnecessary force to the neck! Let the weight of the razor make the cut, use a light of a feather technique. I personally never achieve a 100% BBS shave on my neck, some of it is left DFS.

If I try to overdo it, I might cause razor burn or weepers and nicks. So I do the best that I can do, and I just quit while I am ahead. I never do XTG passes, my skin doesn't appreciate it. I do just WTG, and ATG passes. You've already been given great advice. But ya, I'd consider using a mild razor and mild blades if I were you, use proper angle, do not apply pressure.
 
Yeah, I'm thinking if I can avoid the irritation I might be ok not quite being BBS. But its' frustrating knowing a cartridge CAN get me BBS 99% of the time. So I know it CAN be done, somehow.
I also came from the Gillette Fusion, though I used their power handles for years. I wasn't really disappointed in my shaves with them, truth be told. Our youngest son bought me a DE razor and some blades. That started my venture into Traditional Wet Shaving.

I did some research and ended up with an Artist Club razor, i.e., the Executive Shaving Company's Claymore Evolution. I have to say, for the very outset, I was getting closer shaves than with the Gillette Fusion Power. It sort of surprised me. And it's a very mild but extremely efficient shave. Sort of hard to explain. The AC blades are much thicker than DE blades, giving another nice benefit. There is no blade chatter. For me, it was a more hmmmmm secure feeling. I'm having trouble communicating the differences. Perhaps, it's something one has to experience... or someone else could explain it much better than I'm am doing. I didn't have to learn a lot... I didn't feel like a novice or feel overwhelmed. It was intuitive. That doesn't mean my technique didn't need improvement, of course... just that it was a very short learning curve.

Anyway, just something to ponder. I have a pretty coarse, old man beard. The Claymore Evo makes short work of it.
 
Yeah, I'm thinking if I can avoid the irritation I might be ok not quite being BBS. But its' frustrating knowing a cartridge CAN get me BBS 99% of the time. So I know it CAN be done, somehow.
It is frustrating not getting the results you‘re looking for, trying different things and making compromises. I say do what you like. I don’t use carts, but some guys do and get great shaves. I started with DE’s both vintage and modern, tried different combinations and eventually moved to a straight razor. It was a process, but for me, whatever the tool I use, I’m satisfied with a close comfortable shave.
 
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The last two letters in BBS are "BS," which is why I don't bother trying to achieve it because it's BS and comes at the price of irritation in other places, and the whiskers are just going to grow back again in a few hours anyway. I use a mix of DE, SE and Straight Razors and out of all of them, I get the smoothest, irritation free shaves from my straight razors everywhere, except on either side of my neck to the right and left of my adam's apple. There are no laws in shaving, so instead of going over the same place several times and risking irritation or worse from inexperience with a straight, after applying witch hazel I grab my Mach III with the 3 year old blade in it and clean up those two areas. Don't over think it, it's just shaving; besides, instead of exercising dominion over your facial hair, focus on your co-workers...
 

Esox

I didnt know
So here's the frustration. With the DE razor, I can get BBS on my face- i.e. my cheeks, my chin, my upper lip, and under my jaw. The problem is this one area of my neck, on the left side. No matter what I do it gets irritated and gets quite a few weepers.

I had the very same problem in the very same area. I have swirl growth patterns on either side of my Adam's apple. My problem was a lack of blade rigidity. You can read about my discovery of that below.


Since then, I've gone to ever more rigid designs and to SE's. SE blades are more than twice as thick as DE blades and far more rigid. A rigid blade is a stable blade and a stable blade is a smooth blade. If a blade can flex when it encounters resistance, it can dig into the skin and, as that tension is released, spring back to its normal state. When it does, it can cause a weeper.

Another way around the issue is to change blades. If you try a fresh Feather blade and shave slower while carefully paying attention to razor angle, you might find you finish with no weepers. The sharper Feather blade combined with a slower stroke can lessen the propensity for the blade to flex.

The easiest way to see if the problem is coming from a lack of rigidity, is to try a simple shim like I did in the thread above. If it helps, you've found the problem but I view shims as band-aid solutions.

A lot of that can be overcome with more critical choices in soaps, blades and technique but to solve it, rigidity was the answer for me. Theres much to read around the forum with a search of the word.

I've been using Mach 3 disposables for the last while. I have to admit they work pretty well but, if I shave too fast, can still cause weepers on my neck. The difference I've found between my Fatip Grande, GEM MMOC and the Mach 3 is efficiency. Using the same three pass shave, done in the same directions with the same soaps and creams, my MMOC gives the longest lasting BBS finish at, typically, 14 hours. My Grande, 12 hours. A Mach 3, maybe 6 hours. They're just unable to cut closely enough for a longer lasting BBS finish.

It took me about 3 years to learn and understand it all and then put it into action. I shaved for two years straight starting directly ATG on 48 hours growth. The best I can manage with my Grande and either a Polsilver or Gillette Yellow blade is a single pass ATG buffing shave done in 3 minutes or less for a 12 hour BBS. All of that is documented in my journal here starting on page 5 on my 7th shave with my Grande and a Feather. All of that led me to this and my quest was finished.

MMOC/PTFE for its 4th shave.

WK.

Maggard Synthetic.

~100 hours since last shave. I dont think it would matter if it was around 200 hours.

Single buffing pass ATG. One clean up. The MMOC is all business and this was business as usual.

Nice comfy BBS. What more could be asked for.

It can be done, and in complete comfort but, it takes time and effort to get there. When you do finally reach that point, it will have been worth it.
 
Hey everyone. So I'm two weeks into my second try at DE shaving. I tried about 7 years ago and gave up quickly after hacking my face to shreds. Finally got the itch again so here I am. I'm using a Razorock GC .68P to start. I have the .84P plate on the way as well as someone in another forum suggested that the more aggressive plate might solve my issue. Mostly Nascent blades, but I have tried an Astra blade (wasn't bad on the first shave. The second wasn't good), and also tried a Feather blade (not good at all). I've been using Razorock Zi'Peppino soap with a Plissoft synthetic brush. I've also been using Stirling Gentleman Pre-shave oil.

So here's the frustration. With the DE razor, I can get BBS on my face- i.e. my cheeks, my chin, my upper lip, and under my jaw. The problem is this one area of my neck, on the left side. No matter what I do it gets irritated and gets quite a few weepers. I normally do three passes. WTG, XTG, ATG. After my first couple of shaves it got better (guess technique improved) but it's still not even DFS, let alone BBS. It ends up being sore and irritated all day. I do shave every day. Hate stubble on my face.

This morning, I had someplace to be early and didn't have time for a DE shave. I used the Gillette Fusion ProGlide I've been using for years, used Proraso Red from the tube and face lathered, and got a BBS shave. Kinda makes me wonder why I'm bothering with DE. But I'm aware of the environmental advantages and of course the cheaper blades etc. So I'll keep trying. Just frustrating that this one area of my neck won't cooperate.
The neck & chin area are the most challenging area for folks with any razor cutting system invented, I found that I stay with a 2 pass shave with pickups (WTG- ATG + pickups works for me).
It took some time to reach easy to get 9-10/10 shaves with a DE but it can be done. It seems your razor is mild and some folks use 2 razors or adjustable DE to get at the low laying or flat laying whiskers. Two many passes will lead to irritation.
I like cold water rinse after each pass to calm the skin also.
With a adjustable razor I like to use the same setting and on the pickups I will raise the setting to pickoff those low laying whiskers.
I'm sure you will figure your procedure out and just take the ups & downs with tweaking your parameters for your Taylor made shave.
 

OldSaw

The wife's investment
There’s nothing wrong with using cartridges if that is what works best for you. Good lathering products are really one of the keys to improved shaves.

My favorite cartridge was the Schick FX Diamond. I’m not even sure if they are still available. It only had two blades and shaved like a dream.

My current favorite razor is the Henson mild version. It almost never gives me any irritation unless I’m super aggressive and even then it is pretty minimal compared to other DE razor contraptions.

I would hate to suggest that you spend more money on an expensive razor like the Henson, but you might want to check their warranty and see if they have a trial period.
 
Your icon not sure if you are a photographer ? Me 20+ yr pro BUT my left neck area is a mess maybe its a photographer face thing :) ahhahaah

yeah I have this wacky every which way is ATG and XTG on my left neck all mixed together

I just find learning what stretching works and finding that best blade for the razor helped also realize I just sometimes let it go and be a DFS on that area when I can tell to much
also found less is more on pressure and sometimes a touch quicker seems smoother on the lower neck kinda break that resistance feel ? until I hit my side of lip area still on cheek then tiny strokes works so that just took a while to figure out

into Wolfman razors now and love them my next fav razor is the GC 84 and 68 though they are so comfy the Lupo makes me cry :) OK not really but yeah not comfy BUT wow clean shave I can really see why folks love them
took trying about 15 razors the top were all close so lets say 10 of them NO WAY the other 5 I could live with and the top 2 are subtle but that extra performance is worth it as that last % was a HUGE face saving feeling my post by the time splash and balm is on shirt on I have NO burn feel of a bad shave where the bit less I could tell I shaved but it would fade where the low razors yeah NO just NO for me :)
and was worth the hassle of trying so many and then trying 40 blades in them to get the top 6 or so and now just using those
also the soap was HUGE once I found the slickness I never could get with some others made it a whole lot better as in less of that heat feel or burn
Neutrogena Hydro gel is my savior when it comes to WOW post feel on just after splash using my nivea up but the Neutrogena to me is magic

that said as you know ALL this is personal and found one persons perfect was horrid and vice versa kinda thing :)

best of luck though
 
The reality is, I think you might be a candidate for needing a mild DE razor, stay away from aggressive razors, I don't think they are doing you any favors.

I was told the GC .68P WAS mild. And then someone in another forum suggested I needed more aggressive for fewer passes, so I have the .84 plate coming. At this point, could be anything. I'm VERY careful in that area when making my passes- no pressure, watching my angle, etc. Might just need to work on that more.
Another thing is blade type, stay away from super sharp blades like Feather's, Kai's Bics. Look into Astra's, like you mentioned, or any other reported mild razor blade. Also, don't apply unnecessary force to the neck! Let the weight of the razor make the cut, use a light of a feather technique. I personally never achieve a 100% BBS shave on my neck, some of it is left DFS.
I've found the Nacets do the best so far, and Astra on the first shave was similar. Going to stick with them and work on my technique more. I suspect my lather *might* need some help too. Not sure it's slick enough.
 
Your icon not sure if you are a photographer ? Me 20+ yr pro BUT my left neck area is a mess maybe its a photographer face thing :) ahhahaah

Yeah I work as a landscape photographer and workshop leader. Might be all the fresh air.
 
Some good advice here. The main thing I noticed was that this doesn't happen on the right side of your neck (and I'm assuming the hair grows in similar patterns on both sides). This is good! It suggests that a better shave is possible with the tools you're using.

There are many ways to work on technique, but here are three might help:
  • If you're comfortable practicing with your non-dominant hand, and it might take you a shave or two to adjust, but you could shave your left neck with the other hand and see if it helps.
  • One thing I did with cartridges that doesn't work with DE razors is to sort of roll the razor head in a little flick at the end of my stroke, especially when shaving upward. On my neck, I've found I need to hold my wrist more still, adjusting only to keep the razor at the same angle to my neck as the contours change.
  • Finally, there are a million ways to stretch the skin (or to push it or bunch it or whatever), but the trick I use is this: I wait a couple hours after a bad shave and pull the neck skin with one hand so I can really feel the stubble with the other hand. That's the direction I need to pull, and to shave ATG, in an actual shave if I want it BBS.
Having said that, I don't often go for BBS on the lower neck. It either irritates me right away or it irritates me the next day as the hairs are growing out. Once your technique is dialed in, you can push it to see the closest shave your face will allow without irritation. (Different blades make a world of difference here; it's almost inconceivable how big the differences are for different faces.)

Happy shaving!
 
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