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Two Weeks In, Frustrated But Not Yet Giving In

Hey everyone, thanks for the suggestions... quick update. Shaved again today (head and face/neck) and got what I'd consider a DFS for now. Only one nick anywhere, and slight irritation on the problem area on my neck. But overall I'm satisfied. I think I got slightly better lather adding more water than I previously had been, and I was VERY careful to watch my blade angle and a very light touch. I'm awaiting a the .84 head for my GC razor, as it had been suggested that a more aggressive head would require fewer passes and thus cause less irritation. Here's hoping. Overall, I'm happy to be improving.
 
Hang in, brother. At first it seems like you can't do anything right and can't find your way out of problems. Just keep peckin' away at it. It does get easier, your technique improves, and you begin to see how things all fit together in your particular situation.

How long does it take? Don't ask me, man -- I've only been doing this wetshaving thing for four years. Still improving; also still making silly mistakes from time to time. Having fun doing it, though! (Let's be real: after a couple of months things start to look better, but ideally improvement or evolution is ongoing.)

O.H.
 
I would advise to try “puffing out” your neck by holding your breath and forcing more air into your neck. Sounds weird, looks silly, but it helped me to get a close shave on a thumb sized concave area below my jawline on one side of my neck.

Also, practice just shaving close without chasing BBS. As your technique improves, BBS will get easier to “catch”.
 
You have sideways hair growth on your neck. Me too. It took a while but learning to shave sideways on my neck for wtg first pass made a huge difference. Fast forward to the 6 minute mark in this video and you can see it in action. Mine is even more complicated, as I have to go down and sideways for the top of my neck, and up and sideways for the bottom, all on first pass. Second pass is easier as xtg is all just straight up. Grow out 3 or 4 days worth to see if this applies. It will make a big difference. JM

 

Chan Eil Whiskers

Fumbling about.
I'm still figuring things out after a few years, but most all of my shaves are very satisfactory by my high standards.

Some of what you might need to learn can be learned somewhat vicariously, but not everything. We all have to fumble about a bit as we learn our skin, whiskers, and the various components of good kit.

What works for one of us is likely to work for others, but not necessarily me or you.

Happy shaves,

Jim
 
My advise is to not chase BBS. Shave lightly and carefully, like really lightly to start. Try a couple of light passes using different directions for each one and see how that goes. Once you know your face and what works you will be able to venture out a bit more and try to get a closer shave. When I first started I used to hack my face up with some razor/blade combos but realized I was using too much pressure, too many passes etc... After a while you learn what works for you and you can revisit razor/blade combos you thought were too agressive before you knew what you were doing. It's not a race, less is more and enjoy the process!
 
...I suspect my lather *might* need some help too. Not sure it's slick enough.
Work on your lather. IMO, the consistency should be like Yoplait yogurt, not merangue, but also not running off the brush. If your have *any* doubts at all, then that is definitely your problem. Or at least the most noteworthy thing that has easy room for improvement. Don't be afraid to waste some soap in learning.
 
I agree, me being a fairly new wet shaver, although, I've been doing it for almost 3-months now, I've since learned that lather consistency is everything. So many lather photo's or video's show the merangue looking foamy lather. As it turns out, that is an improper lather! It does the skin no favors. I tried man, I tried, I shaved so many times with the foamy lather's. Just doens't work proper, pure and simple.

Now sometimes its easier to get away with it, with high tallow content based soaps, like Tabac for example, they are literally designed to be a slick lather king! But more recently, I've been making slick yogurt like consistency lather, and the performance of that, has been far superior.

Here's my holy grail shot of both my brush, my bowl, my Yogurt lather achievement to please the Gods, and the soap that I used, which is Captains Choice Italia.
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Chan Eil Whiskers

Fumbling about.
Most of what anyone says helps them may or may not help you. Still, we can't stop ourselves.

My rule of thumb for myself is this: If it's not comfortable, then I'm doing too much.


Captain of the Obvious (meme).jpg


A Damn Comfortable Shave is comfortable
  • During the shave.
  • Immediately after the shave.
  • Until the next shave.
My number one goal is always a Damn Comfortable Shave. If it wasn't a DCS it wasn't a good shave.



1653228712959.png


Most bad shaving outcomes are caused by too much.
  • Too much pressure
  • Too much work
  • Too much in the expectation department.
I want the closest, longest lasting shave possible, but never at the expense of comfort.



1653227740838.png



I generally recommend consistency in technique, patterns, and gear.

Generally I just do the same shave every day. The same way of shaving. The same shaving patterns. The same lathering methods. Everything is the same in everything I can do. I tend to not change the patterns.

Sometimes I do slightly more or less work, but the amount of work doesn't vary all that much.

The outcomes vary, but most of my shaves are very good. No, I'm not saying most are BBS, but many are close enough for me.


1653229594426.png


I'm mystified by how many different blades some people use. In my view, finding a good blade is important, but switching blades around introduces a major kit change.

Cal @Cal advised me early on to do a Fixed Four - a month with the same blade, same razor, same brush, and same soap - which was a pain to accomplish but a very good learning device.

Too much changing of the variables defeats the science.



1653228473439.png



Getting the lather right is important.

I have no idea how to evaluate lather by looking at it. None of the descriptions make sense to me.

What I do know is a good lather is half the shave. I developed for myself a little face lathering experiment which helped me determine exactly how hydrated the lather from a given soap could and should be. It's a good experiment whether you're a face latherer or not. (I have no idea why anyone would use a bowl but it's none of my business is you want to complicate things with a bowl.).

Anyway, here's a link to my hydration experiment.



1653229317283.png


It took me a very long time to figure out that it doesn't matter what works for someone else if it doesn't work for me. I'm only dealing with my skin and my whiskers. In that regard I've heard all sorts of advice related to preshave routines, practices, and products. I've tried a few preshave products. Most were helpful but not all that helpful. Finally I stumbled upon a preshave routine and products which work exceedingly well for me. My shaves are better because of it. My skin is consistently comfortable because of it.

That does not mean that you should follow my preshave routine.

You have to find your own way.

Happy shaves,

Jim
 
Most of what anyone says helps them may or may not help you. Still, we can't stop ourselves.

My rule of thumb for myself is this: If it's not comfortable, then I'm doing too much.


View attachment 1459955


A Damn Comfortable Shave is comfortable
  • During the shave.
  • Immediately after the shave.
  • Until the next shave.
My number one goal is always a Damn Comfortable Shave. If it wasn't a DCS it wasn't a good shave.



View attachment 1459945


Most bad shaving outcomes are caused by too much.
  • Too much pressure
  • Too much work
  • Too much in the expectation department.
I want the closest, longest lasting shave possible, but never at the expense of comfort.



View attachment 1459935


I generally recommend consistency in technique, patterns, and gear.

Generally I just do the same shave every day. The same way of shaving. The same shaving patterns. The same lathering methods. Everything is the same in everything I can do. I tend to not change the patterns.

Sometimes I do slightly more or less work, but the amount of work doesn't vary all that much.

The outcomes vary, but most of my shaves are very good. No, I'm not saying most are BBS, but many are close enough for me.


View attachment 1459953


I'm mystified by how many different blades some people use. In my view, finding a good blade is important, but switching blades around introduces a major kit change.

Cal @Cal advised me early on to do a Fixed Four - a month with the same blade, same razor, same brush, and same soap - which was a pain to accomplish but a very good learning device.

Too much changing of the variables defeats the science.



View attachment 1459940


Getting the lather right is important.

I have no idea how to evaluate lather by looking at it. None of the descriptions make sense to me.

What I do know is a good lather is half the shave. I developed for myself a little face lathering experiment which helped me determine exactly how hydrated the lather from a given soap could and should be. It's a good experiment whether you're a face latherer or not. (I have no idea why anyone would use a bowl but it's none of my business is you want to complicate things with a bowl.).

Anyway, here's a link to my hydration experiment.



View attachment 1459952


It took me a very long time to figure out that it doesn't matter what works for someone else if it doesn't work for me. I'm only dealing with my skin and my whiskers. In that regard I've heard all sorts of advice related to preshave routines, practices, and products. I've tried a few preshave products. Most were helpful but not all that helpful. Finally I stumbled upon a preshave routine and products which work exceedingly well for me. My shaves are better because of it. My skin is consistently comfortable because of it.

That does not mean that you should follow my preshave routine.

You have to find your own way.

Happy shaves,

Jim
I used my razor for a couple months before I started experimenting with the various AC blades available. It made it pretty easy for me to determine the differences fairly quickly because I was intimately familiar with the razor itself.

The only problem for me it... I now have a few packages of blades that are less than stellar. I did look at several of the places where you can order just a few of several blades... but none of the ones I found had all the blades I needed to try. In the end, I'll be able to use what's in the "not that great" category for a few shaves each, but I get 6 shaves from each of the blades from two of the designs.
 

Chan Eil Whiskers

Fumbling about.
I used my razor for a couple months before I started experimenting with the various AC blades available. It made it pretty easy for me to determine the differences fairly quickly because I was intimately familiar with the razor itself.

The only problem for me it... I now have a few packages of blades that are less than stellar. I did look at several of the places where you can order just a few of several blades... but none of the ones I found had all the blades I needed to try. In the end, I'll be able to use what's in the "not that great" category for a few shaves each, but I get 6 shaves from each of the blades from two of the designs.


You're in a big club.
 
Playing a bit of catch up on here so..
First off welcome to Badger and Blade... The true league of extraordinary people. Here you will find a plethora of knowledge on shaving topics and a bunch more..... and that means a-lot....
Second of all you have a fantastic list of advice. My only contribution to it is to take your time... relax... use shaving as your meditation time.
Happy Shaving
 
How are your shaves going?
Pretty good. A little irritation today but overall pretty good. Still not sure my lather is where it needs to be. Been using a Rockwell 6S on plate 3, but may try plate 4 to see if a more aggressive plate will help reduce the irritation I suspect is caused by too many passes.
 
Pretty good. A little irritation today but overall pretty good. Still not sure my lather is where it needs to be. Been using a Rockwell 6S on plate 3, but may try plate 4 to see if a more aggressive plate will help reduce the irritation I suspect is caused by too many passes.

The lather consistency you are looking for is wet yogurt. But if you turn the brush upside down, and the lather falls off the brush, its too wet IMO, so you thicken it up. Basically, you want a yogurt consistency, that once lather is applied to brush, and you turn brush upside down, the lather stays on the brush, this is what you want. You will get there Rick, I believe in you! ;)
 
The lather consistency you are looking for is wet yogurt. But if you turn the brush upside down, and the lather falls off the brush, its too wet IMO, so you thicken it up. Basically, you want a yogurt consistency, that once lather is applied to brush, and you turn brush upside down, the lather stays on the brush, this is what you want. You will get there Rick, I believe in you! ;)
Yeah that’s pretty much what I’m getting I think. It’s definitely not runny. I guess the irritation I got the last two shaves has me wondering. Going to try plate 4 on the 6S and see how that goes.
 
Yeah that’s pretty much what I’m getting I think. It’s definitely not runny. I guess the irritation I got the last two shaves has me wondering. Going to try plate 4 on the 6S and see how that goes.

Yes, we might be getting at the true core of the issue here. If your lather is good, but your still getting irritation, either its irritation from the brush that you are using, or, its too much blade aggression. So you are correct sir, you might require a lesser blade aggression. Kudo's to you for your willingness to adjust your shave. :thumbup1:
 
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