First shave: So whaddid I do wrong?

Discussion in 'Shave School' started by Robstreperous, Aug 12, 2018.

  1. Robstreperous

    Robstreperous Well-Known Member

    Hey there... so after 40 some years of cartridge shaves I finally tried my first safety razor shave yesterday - loving it - still I'm wondering if I can tap the collective wisdom of the board to narrow my learning curve?

    All in all not so bad. My face came out fine. Managed to avoid cuts, nicks and weepers and mostly ended with a fine ,smooth shave. Missed a little around my jaw but a good lesson for next time.

    My question is what did I do wrong around my neck?

    Lots of irritation and bumps on my lower neck --- despite the fact I deliberately shaved lightly. Even had stubble left in this area. I'm Specifically speaking of the area under my jaw away from my adams apple. The farther away from the center of my neck the worse it got.

    For what it's worth I used:

    - Washed face first with warm water, cloth and Neutrogena soap
    - Applied Ogallala bay rum / sandalwood as a preshave. Let it sit for about 90 seconds.
    - Used Barrister and Mann Le Chypre soap and had a very nice well constructed lather.
    - Brand new Astra Blade.
    - Two passes and was diligent about not passing over an unlathered area and relathered.
    - Cold water rinse when done.
    - Applied a cold alum block to face and let sit for about a minute.
    - Cold rinse, pat dry, Barrister and Mann Le Chypre after shave.

    Is there something I should focus on to improve or? Or is it something else?

    Thanks for the advice all...
    Douglas Carey and PLANofMAN like this.
  2. Frijolero

    Frijolero Well-Known Member

    Two things that jump out are direction, and angle.

    This thread will tell you everything you ever wanted to know about getting the angle right. In simplest terms, you want to be slicing, not scraping.

    On the neck in particular pay attention to which way the whiskers grow. Casually referred to as the "grain." It is usually recommended to start shaving with the grain only, especially on the neck. Against the grain is often a source of blood and irritation. Tends to amplify the problem of too steep of an angle. Worry about getting the angle right first, then try other directions later.
  3. CastleShave

    CastleShave Well-Known Member

    I didn’t see the actual razor in your notes. I’m not sure what your using but #1 the razor blade may not be your cup of tea. #2 the razor may have been too aggressive #3 you may have experienced blade chatter

    If you do have an adjustable razor I would suggest more mild settings until you build a tolerance for an actually sharp blade. This happens a lot sooner than you think if your a daily or semi daily shaver. For instance I shave twice a week because I have slow regrowth.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  4. jluc

    jluc smelling pretty

    You're not alone, I have a sensitive neck too. Besides pressure and angle, skin stretching helped a lot on my neck. Good luck and keep us updated on your progress.

    Sent from my SM-G965U using Tapatalk
  5. Enrico

    Enrico Popcorn

    Let me start off by saying that none of what I'm say is to pick or offend. That said ... I'm a firm believer in simplicity. Limit your variables and you'll easily find the problems. I use the following to get a DFS.
    A razor ... for example I use a Gillette Flare; a nice mild easy razor.
    Blade ... for example a Nacet, Polsilver, or a Gillette Silver Blue; that said Astras work fine.
    Shaving soap ... for example Stirling or a nice can of Barbasol; just make sure it doesn't bother your skin.
    Everything beyond that is just icing on the cake.

    I'd suggest joining the 30 day focus group and make sure to ride the cap.

    And don't worry or rush .... you'll eventually get that great shave with no irritation.
    brit, Primotenore, RyX and 6 others like this.
  6. Preacher

    Preacher Well-Known Member

    When I was having irritation in that area, it was coming from the fact that (using the wrong angle) I was not getting the stubble and kept working at it without re-lathering. I have sensitive skin and can't afford to let the razor touch my face without lather. I wasn't even conscious that I was doing this until one day I caught myself. It's very easy to want to go over a small area without re-lathering, but (at least for me) that's a big mistake.
  7. Robstreperous

    Robstreperous Well-Known Member

    Thank you to everyone for the advice. I think I know enough more to be dangerous now -- hopefully not to myself (ha!)

    - I can see now that it was pointed out my beard grows in a couple of different directions under my chin. I never realized that.
    - Razor: At the moment I'm using a WCS 78S Open comb. But hopefully I should have access to a Merkur 37C (slant) and a Gillette adjustable (Blackbeauty).
    - The Barrister & Mann I've been using for a while now and I feel pretty comfortable with it.
    - The 30 Day club sounds like a great idea. Except I'm getting ready to do some travel over the next few weeks and won't be able to take my blades in my carryon so .... looking forward to joining up in September.
    - Thank you for the comment about the skin building up a tolerance. I was wondering about that and hopefully that's the case.
    - Also thank you for the links. I'm sure they'll help as well.

    Thanks again all.
    RyX, PLANofMAN, wristwatchb and 3 others like this.
  8. Jayaruh

    Jayaruh The Cackalacky House Pet

    Supporting Vendor
    I am just going to suggest the cold water shave. Just rinse with cold water from the tap. Wet your brush with cold water from the tap. Shake it off and load your brush. Lather with the cold shaving soap. Do all with cold water from the tap. Rinse with cold water. Welcome to TSD. You should go to the welcome page and introduce yourself for a proper welcome.
    BigMark83, RyX, PLANofMAN and 3 others like this.
  9. BaylorGator

    BaylorGator MISTER Fancypants

    I was in exactly your shoes a few years ago. A few thoughts and then a difinitive answe:

    First of all, don’t fret; your neck is the hardest part of your face to master. It involves understanding the direction the grain grows, and on your neck this pattern is often “all over the place”. Face mapping can help, but don’t worry about that yet.

    Second of all, don’t worry about changing out gear either. You mentioned good products. Changing out gear when learning is like changing out golf clubs every round to see if you play better. When you are learning, you don’t need better or different gear; you need proper fundamentals and practice. DE shaving is a learned skill (just like a golf swing) which takes time to develop. Time takes time, as they say.

    Third and most important- Do the 30 Day Thread. I am one of the regulars there, and joined up with the crew a couple years ago when I was learning to shave with a DE and considering giving it up because of my inability to master the skill. In 30 days the difference was night and day. Now, I can shave with any razor any blade any soap under any circumstances. If you shave with the same equipment for 30 days asking questions and posting results in that thread, I will be shocked if you don’t see significant improvement and results you are very happy with by the end of that time. Besides it’s a fun group to banter with, which is why I’ve stayed with the crew for the last couple of years, hanging around to answer questions and help out others who are having the same struggles that I did when I started.

    Oh, and welcome to the TSD family!
    MntnMan62, Primotenore, RyX and 4 others like this.
  10. Herm2502

    Herm2502 off to elf practice

    Love the "slicing, not scraping" comment. A razor angle that is too steep will SOUND like it's doing a great job, but only scrape the skin. I like to "ride the cap". To do this I place the head of the razor lightly against my skin with the handle 90° straight out from my face. Then I tip the razor down just to where I feel the blade. Then I try to maintain that angled throughout the shave.

    You'll get it, but all the technique takes a bit of time. Good luck!

    brit, Primotenore, RyX and 5 others like this.
  11. david of central florida

    david of central florida Rhubarb Rubber

    A bit of stretching in this area may help.
    The thing is that how of the neck has softer looser skin. As the angle and pressure that worked on the outer jaw or cheek gets to this softer area, the skin bunches and hangs on the razor edge. This isn't a good scenario. Try going slow and gently pulling the skin taut, puffing like a bullfrog works too. Just make sure the blade slices hair not skin and doesn't scrape. Shorter strokes on tighter skin.
    And be satisfied with good for now, fantastic comes in time.
    Herm2502, RyX, PLANofMAN and 4 others like this.
  12. PLANofMAN

    PLANofMAN Paperboy

    Article Team
    Just to add to the already fantastic advice in the thread:

    No lather, no razor. Don't make a pass, spot a few hairs and then go back over it. You can get to that point eventually, but not starting off. (Unless you are my cousin, who routinely shaves using nothing but water. He's a freak of nature).

    Any time you switch to a new way of shaving, like for example, wet shaving, it will take your skin some time to get used to this new method of exfoliating.

    If you use a loofah in the shower, avoid using it on places you shave, at least for the first month or'll get plenty of exfoliation from shaving.

    Stick to one pass on the neck, plus a few touchups, at first, and shave with the grain if you can.

    I have more general advice for new wet shavers in my signature, so if you need more, feel free to click on the link.
    brit, Herm2502, Primotenore and 4 others like this.
  13. Robstreperous

    Robstreperous Well-Known Member

    That sounds like excellent advice. Especially the single pass over the neck for a while. I'll be checking out those links.
    Frijolero likes this.
  14. Terry

    Terry Well-Known Member

    Well, here's what helped me or my 2 cents.
    1. Never do two passes.
    The soap on the 2cd pass irritates my neck.
    2. Try a good warm shaving, then try cold shaving, found out cold shaving is the only way I can shave.
    3. Don't streach your skin to much, just enough to get a flat surface, no more.
    4. Take your time, that was the hardest thing for me to learn.
    5. Shave top to bottom then stop.
    6. Don't go for a perfect shave, just a good shave then stop. You will get better. The 2cd hardest thing for me to learn.
    7. You need only enough pressure to keep the razor against your face, no more. The angle of the razor is the most importaint thing.

    8. Don't, do not, never, drag the razor over skin that doesn't have shaving cream on it. This was an old habbit from the disposible razor shaving days I had to break myself from doing.

    9. Only use styptic pencile and only if I cant get the bleeding to stop, the alum block irritates my skin to much.

    Repet again...

    When I started out I used a very mild razor a Weishi long handle or my Murker 23c. AND I tried different blades using a sample pack, went through 4 or 5 packs. As I got better at shaving I found I liked differen't blades and different razors then at first.
    I also found that using witch hazel twice a day helped, once after work then once BEFORE shaving never use as an after shave, it will burn my neck somthing awful.
    I shave every morning, and somtimes once at night.

    I have been wet shaving for all of 6 months and change. I now use a Phoenix Bakelite Open Comb Slant with a Feather blade for the face as a daily driver and a Razorock german 37c with a Dorco 301 blade for my head and I shave both every morning. BUT I didn't get here over night! It took time, it took practice, and now I get great results.
    You will too
  15. Robstreperous

    Robstreperous Well-Known Member

    Thanks all. Third shave today and I'm getting better at this. All these ideas are helping. I'll have a Gillette adjustable to fool around with in a couple of days before I make some final selections ahead of September's 30 day thread.

    It's going to be tough to settle in on a single soap and aftershave for 30 straight days... It's been so much fun fooling around with all these.

    brit, PLANofMAN, Herm2502 and 3 others like this.
  16. wristwatchb

    wristwatchb wristwatch "danger" b

    Rob, congrats on your progress. Please feel free to post in the 30 Day thread this month, even if you can't post everyday right now and even if you haven't settled on a razor, soap, brand of blade, etc. If it makes you feel better to vary your soaps and aftershaves, that's OK too. Whatever floats your boat, but you might find that you improve more quickly by using one setup for awhile. The 30 Day Crew is always willing to help and cheer you on to better shaves. The party never stops, and anyone is welcome anytime. We just create a new thread at the beginning of each month so that we can recycle our jokes. :)
  17. Paul Turner

    Paul Turner outside the quote(s) now

    All cans of Barbasol are nice :). But to be serious, this is a good line of advice.
    Enrico likes this.
  18. brit

    brit Well-Known Member

    when i stopped using carts almost 2 years ago ,i got some irritation the first few shaves.after a dozen shaves or so i noticed the razor bumps and ingrowns disappearing. after a while i noticed i could do a three pass shave with little irritation. skip to now. i do a three pass shave and after it feels like i haven t shaved . but the stubble is heat, tender spots etc.some a/s burn a little as they should but nothing else. my technique improved with time, skin improved, etc. well worth the the effort and investment. i can now shave almost daily if i have to.every other day works the best for me.hang in and have fun.riding the cap works....
    Enrico and Edison Carter like this.
  19. Bama Samurai

    Bama Samurai with Laser-like Focus Staff Member

    Ditch the preshave
    Don't scrub your face or neck
    Colder water
    Skin stretching

    Skin stretching, angle control, and little pressure solves this.
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2018
  20. BigMark83

    BigMark83 [...........] this space intentionally left blank

    The only preshave you need is a shower.
    Bama Samurai and Frijolero like this.

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