1.5 years in, need to look at technique again.

Discussion in 'Shave School' started by Everett, Dec 1, 2011.

  1. Everett

    Everett Well-Known Member

    Lately, I have been noticing my shave quality deteriorating, and am not sure what combination of things may be causing it. I have some ideas, and I thought I would sort them out here, and see if anyone has any input.

    I have been using only one razor regularly since I have started wetshaving, a Merkur 23c, and it has been a great one for me with all sorts of different blades in the past. I have had my share of irritation free BBS's and DFS's with Feathers, Astra SPs, Iridium Super, Isreili RPs, and a fair number of others. Recently I acquired a 73 Black Beauty, which is really the only other razor that I have/had that I have used more than a handful of times. I really want to like this razor, but the good shaves I get from it are few and far between.

    For the last 10 or so shaves, I have been back to the 23c, with the Astra's, Feathers, RPs, and recently a shark. I got a great first shave from the Astra, but the second one bombed and tore my face to shreds. The feather gave me 2 decent shaves, with not a lot of irritation, but I could still tell something was wrong. This shark that I am using now gave me an excellent first shave, the second one was horrible, and again this morning it was a decently good shave, with a little bit of irritation.

    So there's a bit of back story. My thoughts on what the issues could be are:

    Technique. I may be using too much pressure, or bad angle. It seems to me that most of the damage happens under the chin and on the neck, XTG. I usually do 3 pass + touch ups, WTG, XTG, ATG. The ATG pass feels better to me than the XTG, so Im pretty sure that ATG isn't the issue, as it has not been in the past. How do you go about shaving across the grain, under your jaw?

    Blade choice. Though, if a certain gives me a good shave once, and the next one bad, then I'm not sure.

    Lather. It seems that my lather has been consistent though, using an easy to lather soap (Proraso White) with most of these shaves. It is nice and slick, offering good cushion, not too watery.

    Growth Mapping. Maybe I need to revisit this, and take a closer look at stubble direction.

    Does anyone else have anything to add that I may be missing? Sorry this turned into quite the long post, but I suppose I am just organizing my thoughts here.
  2. GDCarrington

    GDCarrington Burma Shave

    Have you dropped this razor on its head by any chance and knocked anything out of position?
  3. newb

    newb Resident Newb

    I've had similar experiences in the past usually when I'm changing up my gear and trying to figure out how to get the razor dialled in. I think that irritation can become a cumulative effect and eventually the safe standby's will yield irritation too. What has worked for me in the past is to take a few days off and allow your face to heal. Then come back at it shaving every other day, and using a good ASB. In no time you'll be back to that quality shave.
  4. Everett

    Everett Well-Known Member

    I don't believe I have dropped it, and it looks the same as it always has, but thanks for the idea.

    Also, taking a few days off would be a good idea I suppose, and I am usually an every other day shaver as it is.

    I took a closer look at my stubble mapping, and it seems different now than what I remember it being before, so I'm thinking I'll see how the irritation is tomorrow, maybe give it a few days, and go with a tried an true blade, razor, soap, and keep a close eye on growth map, angle, and pressure. Thanks for the ideas gents, I appreciate the input.
  5. SharpSpine

    SharpSpine Well-Known Member

    While reading your post the first thing that came to my mind was to map your beard growth again, which you have also though of. Seeing your last post tells me that you've found some things that weren't how you remember them. Is this the magic bullet? Probably not, but it sounds like it could be a major contributor. Good luck!
  6. Everett

    Everett Well-Known Member

    Well, I took a few days off, and this mornings shave was back to the old awesome! Remapping helped a ton, now I have to get used to the different directions in different places again, but oh well! Not quite BBS, but almost, with my 23c, Astra SP, and Euro. Palmolive.

    Thanks for the replies guys.
    swarden43 and SharpSpine like this.
  7. SharpSpine

    SharpSpine Well-Known Member

  8. tomnat

    tomnat accepting applications

    Great to hear that you have it figured out. Good luck on your future shaves.
  9. Bird Lives

    Bird Lives Future Root Beer King of Turkey

    Congrats on things sorting themselves out....
  10. Dridecker

    Dridecker Sherlock

    Good to read you're back on the road to great shaves. :happy088:

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