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Maximus2
05-23-2010, 11:39 PM
Hey guys. I've been wetshaving for about a week and I've really been having some issues with my these past couple of days. I'm getting a lot of irritation, redness, and bumps, and occasionally even some blood. I've tried doing shorter, more specific strokes and putting on more lather, but that doesn't seem to help. Do I just need to keep practicing or is there something I might be doing wrong? Does this say something about the composition of my lather, or my prep, etc.?

Here are some specifics:

- I'm using Kyle's prep (holding the hot towel on for about a minute and a half until it's really lost any heat over room temperature)
- I'm using Proraso, lathered in a mug with the new badger brush Target sells
- I have Merkur 180 (extra long handle) with Walgreens blades (which I believe are Personnas)
- I'm doing the first three passes of the "four pass shaving" thing. That means my neck experiences N-S, then horizontal towards the center, then horizontal away from the center.
- I'm using Proraso liquid cream aftershave.

Any help is VERY much appreciated!

mblakele
05-23-2010, 11:42 PM
That sounds like a problem with blade angle. Take a second look at http://badgerandblade.com/vb/showthread.php?t=130110 - and I hope it helps.

[ EDIT: Luc is right, and pressure is at least as likely to be a problem. ]

Luc
05-23-2010, 11:55 PM
Pratice is the first thing that comes to mind.

Make sure that you are not applying any pressure at all. The razor and the blade must do the work, not you.

Your angle might be off a bit.

tob1303
05-24-2010, 12:04 AM
Here's my advice...(beyond the above)

Don't go anything near against the grain yet. Go with the grain and if that goes smoothly, across the grain.

I had been having tons of problems with neck irritation, ingrowns, bumps...then I bought a product called Tend Skin - cotton ball a bit on after each shave, and then perhaps again at the 5 o'clock shadow stage, and it worked wonders...don't get irritation anymore.

tob1303
05-24-2010, 12:05 AM
Oh, and if you haven't already, do a serious grain mapping of your neck. My neck (and I counted) officially goes in 6 different directions at different points.

If you can't eye the directions...the way I figured it out was to wait until I had a good shadow going and take a cotton ball and lightly drag it across your stubble...whereever residue remains on your face the most, that's against the grain. Give it a try.

ackvil
05-24-2010, 05:41 AM
Oh, and if you haven't already, do a serious grain mapping of your neck. My neck (and I counted) officially goes in 6 different directions at different points.

If you can't eye the directions...the way I figured it out was to wait until I had a good shadow going and take a cotton ball and lightly drag it across your stubble...whereever residue remains on your face the most, that's against the grain. Give it a try.

:thumbup1: Good advice in both posts.

Maximus2
05-24-2010, 06:16 AM
Still had some of the irritation from yesterday today, so I just did one pass over most of the neck. I'm going to keep doing this until the irritation dies down before going back at it. Having over-watered lather today didn't really help...

media
05-24-2010, 06:50 AM
I had the same problems man. Like a rookie pitcher in the Major Leagues, you eventually work out the issues and start throwing strikes.

My neck was the last area I had any problems when starting out, eventually I learned I had to curve left a little going against the grain. You will figure this stuff out. Also, your face is still getting used to the blade. If you go to every other day, letting it grow a little, you will have a much more comfortable shave next time around. That is, if you arent doing that already.

My shaves now are BBS every time, my 2nd pass it a mix of ATG and XTG. Saves time in the morning and is a much better shave.

baldheadjim
05-24-2010, 07:08 AM
Here's my advice...(beyond the above)

I had been having tons of problems with neck irritation, ingrowns, bumps...then I bought a product called Tend Skin - cotton ball a bit on after each shave, and then perhaps again at the 5 o'clock shadow stage, and it worked wonders...don't get irritation anymore.

I can second that opinion of Tend Skin. I shave head, neck, and face daily and used to have severe problems until I tried the Tend Skin. Used to order it off the web but just recently I found it sold in a beauty supply shop.

As far as your shave technique I think much of it is practice and learning the grain of your facial hair. I have tried everything from a straight razor, to electric shaver, to my tried and true Mach 3. Each blade/device has a method that will best suit your face. I agree with others that say go light on the pressure and to allow the blade to do the work.

Kilted_Warrior
05-24-2010, 08:24 AM
The importance of a good lather cannot be stressed enough. I initially thought I had the makings of a good lather routine as I had been using a badger brush for some time along with TOBS shaving creams with my fusion long before I converted to DE. Turns out I hadn't. I was originally lathering from tub to face, but have since invested in a ceramic rice bowl that I use to whip up a lather and a cheap plastic measuring jug that I fill up with boiling water. This allows me to top up my lather with small teaspoon sized amounts of water, and also lets the bowl sit nicely on top keeping the lather warm. You can always add more water but if you add too much its harder to add more cream or soap to your mix. I would suggest checking out some lather posts on here and Mantic59's videos give a good run through on making great lather.

Regarding the mantra of no pressure and let the razor do the work, I couldn't agree more. I used to grip the handle of my Merkur 34C HD like my life depended on it. 15 years of holding various cartridge razors takes a lot of breaking old habits.

I now have learned to hold the razor handle at the end of the razor rather than near the head. It will feel strange at first but you will soon get used to it. You are almost only directing the razor over your face and letting it move around your various areas with your hand only directing it rather than pressing into it. Looking into the mirror and making sure you constantly have the right angle, and not feeling bad if you constantly have to re-adjust if you feel irritation or the angle looks wrong. Locking your wrist to maintain a steady angle also helped me. Hope the info from a relative newbie myself helps.

:biggrin1:

Maximus2
05-25-2010, 06:25 AM
Just doing one pass yesterday let it grow enough for me to take a better look at the direction of the grain on my neck. Turns out it grows down and away from the middle, with the horizontal aspect becoming more pronounced the farther you go from the center. Which means I was essentially starting with an XTF pass and then doing an ATG pass. I switched it up today to be WTG, XTG, more aggressive XTG, and I don't see any irritation. This might be because it's better rested and my prep was a bit better today, but I also think the change helped a lot!

WindyShaver
01-05-2013, 09:20 AM
First, the mapping of hairgrowth is key.

Secondly, if you're not using any thing to make your skin supple then your skin may be more sensitive.

I had big problems with irritation especially on my neck until I started using a homemade version of preshave oil before lather and before the final ATG pass. It's just sunflower seed oil and grapeseed oil from another thread. I also cold shave. After the shave, I put on a healthy dose of AS Balm (Speik or Nivia) and also some moisturizer. Not only has the irritation gone away but shaving has become easier. And while I think the preshave oil helps with the shaving itself, I think the bigger issue is my face and more importantly neck skin was not supple and moisturized. I NEVER put anything on my face or neck other than soap and cheap shaving cream prior to DE shaving.

If you keep your skin happy, then it seems to become more bulletproof and less prone to irritation.

biminyrd
01-05-2013, 01:02 PM
It's taken me years to finally figure out one area of my neck. Sometimes you have to move the skin to a different area to the the correct angle. Also, my pattern for a safety razor is much different than for a straight.

Take a few days off over the weekend to let your skin heal, then give it another go on monday, and maybe just go with the grain on your neck, or take the week and use your old razor on your neck while you continue to hone your skill, pressure and angles on your face.

Dools
01-05-2013, 08:40 PM
I just posted this in another thread.......I have Not mastered my neck (yet), but, For Me, I lowered my expectations.......I enjoy a BBS All Over my face, BUT, I am okay with a less than BBS on my neck, especially if my neck has no irritation.