View Full Version : Still getting razorburn
08-16-2006, 07:07 PM
You may recall that I recently posted about my foray into the world of DE razors and my problems with razorburn (http://badgerandblade.com/vb/showthread.php?t=4373#top).
Well, after more practice, I still get razorburn pretty much everytime that I shave. I simply can't master this 30 degree angle thing (which is odd, since I'm an architectural engineer and figuring out angles is like second nature). The three finger technique seems to work so-so for me. It doesn't seem to produce the kind of force needed for the blade to cut through facial hair.
Also, as a point of clarification, when everyone says 30 degrees (approx) I assume you mean that with the handle parrallel to one's face you must rotated the blade up 30 degress, so that the razor handle is then 60 degrees from perpendicular to your face?
And finally, witch hazel and proraso seem to minimize post-shaving razor burn pain, the burn itself doesn't want to retreat. No amount of waiting between shaves or delicate touches is helping. I experienced some razor burn when using a cartridge, but it was certainly no worse than shaving with a DE.
And the cartridge certainly didn't demand 20 minutes of my day, like using my Merkur does.
So, what the !@#$ is going on? I can go after my neck with the daintiest touch imaginable, and it turns red and angry. Maybe it's just time for me to grow a beard like man was meant to! :biggrin:
Queen of Blades
08-16-2006, 11:27 PM
What all have you changed in your shaving set-up since your initial post?
I noticed you said you were using a pretty old brush. How old, and where did you obtain the brush from? Any chance it may be the culprit?
I give you credit for hanging in there -
Is your razor tightened firmly against the blade? the blade should deform to the contour of the blade deck- what blade are you using?
Angle of attack-forget the #'s that can be a mind game.
Place the razor on your face say at your side burn with the handle at 90 degrees to the floor just drop the handle until it just catches the hair- thats a place to start. don't assign it a number in your head- just feel it.
Are you taking small strokes 1 inch or so?
Have you mapped the direction of your beard growth? Your first pass should be from behind the hair or in other words from root to tip. On many men this is in various directions and switches from area to area on the face.
Whats your prep,whats your Lather like- what cream /soap are you using?
Don't give up,
08-17-2006, 05:39 AM
The razor is tightened as firmly as it will go. As far as my initial post goes, the only changes that I made were adding the witch hazel afterwards and the proraso pre/post shave. I also picked up one of those $30 C+E brushes, and it certainly helped me build better lather. I used Taylor's hypo-allergenic cream to shave with.
And yes, I have 'mapped out the hairs on my face to a good degree. The part of my neck in question grows to the right and slightly downward, and that is the direction that I shave over it. Being that I never really found the 30 degree mark, I sort of adopted the 'rotate until it catches hair' technique naturally and have been shaving in more or less that manner.
I can only suggest than that you try on of the super lubricating soaps- I use Honeybeespas they are a good value and super slick.
08-17-2006, 06:23 AM
What exactly are the technical differences between lathering with a cream and with a soap?
08-17-2006, 06:30 AM
I definitely feel for you. I've been on this DE train for about a month, and I've had a couple good shaves but also some bad ones (razor burn on my neck particularly). But this morning I had the best shave of my life.
2 days growth
shower 1. shampoo hair 2. wash body 3. wash face 4. hair conditioner on beard
Instead of rinsing the hair conditioner off while I was in the shower, I let it sit on my beard throughout my lather creation in my new Moss Scuttle. Funny thing was the leaving the conditioner on during my prep not only let it soak into my beard better, but also seemed to retain the heat from the shower on my face. Add to all that new American Personna blades that I finally found at Walmart (much more comfortable than the Merkurs I've been using) and I achieved a great shave. Only took one pass with some touch up.
So if you ask me the key to achieving a comfortable shave has been the addition of hair conditioner.
08-17-2006, 07:15 AM
i think your angle is backwards start with the handle parrallel to the floor then bring it down 30 degrees
08-17-2006, 03:05 PM
All very good tips from the forum. I had a similar problem quite a few months ago with getting razor irritation constantly, almost to the point I was ready to quit DE shaving. But I then discovered Pacific Shave Oil (PSO).
I use a few drops massaged into my beard before each pass and I get zero razor irritation. Zero. I can go over a spot multiple times, all different angles, even on the sensitive part of the throat on either side of the adams apple. No irritation.
It is important you only change one variable in your shaving equation at a time to effectively isolate the trouble.
Adding PSO to your routine may help you like it did me. It is inexpensive, will not adversely affect your brush, blade or lather. It is virtually scentless, and is not oily or greasy. Visit http://pacificshaveoil.com/ and try a bottle.
08-17-2006, 07:44 PM
It's 30 degrees for the angle of the blade to the skin. If my trig is correct, that's equivalent to a 30 degree angle of the razor handle away from perpendicular to the skin (assuming the handle is perpendicular to the blade, which in practice, it isn't, since the blade is slightly curved if the razor is tightened properly).
Perhaps getting the right angle will help. The blade cuts most efficiently at a low, 'flat' angle. What a high angle will accomplish is digging into the skin, but leaving the hair uncut.
An easy way to look at it is that the razor is almost always held somewhat perpendicular to the skin, or just slightly off (30deg) perpendicular. Nothing at all like the modern razors.
going back to post 3 and 4, goosemeplease means you to start holding the razor with the handle parallel (at zero degrees to) the floor, rather than at 90. and in post #4 you mention that you wait till it just catches the hair. since you're starting from the wrong angle what's happening is this: at 60 to the skin surface, the blade will not cut -- it will just catch, and refuse to move. that's when you start tugging, pushing it into the skin and so forth (done it myself). At the right angle, it won't catch, it'll just glide. You may not even feel it cut, if it's a sharp blade. PS what razor are you using? The hot towel and conditioner is the cheapest, best prep. I went without this morning and had a noticeably rougher shave. Just use any old conditioner, but keep it on.
08-18-2006, 11:46 AM
I use a Merkur Classic, and I have been using Merkuer blades for a while... but I'm trying out the Personna blades right now. I might try other future blades as well.
Is there a good razor out there for people who are prone to razor burn and acne ?
08-18-2006, 11:57 AM
pressure is the key. do not use any pressure. the first time i used a DE i stayed awake for a few hours coz of the razor burn. my face was on fire. we are used to using pressure while using the multi-blade cartridge raxors that without r knowledge we do the same with DE.
No pressure is the key to minimal razor burn.
08-18-2006, 01:11 PM
Is there a good razor out there for people who are prone to razor burn and acne ?
Having just tried the Personna blades, I have become a convert. I also started with the Merkur blades. Merkurs are plenty sharp (not like a Feather, though), but they just didn't glide across my face like a good blade with good lather under it is supposed to. The Personnas, IMHO, feel better, both during and after the shave.
On the subject of acne, a month or two ago I changed my shower routine. I used to work from top to bottom (hair, face, and body in that order). But I have since changed it up so I wash my face last. This allows the heat from the shower to have a longer time opening the pores on my face and softening my beard. I also found the only face wash that clears my face without overdrying or being oily. Neutrogena Deep Clean Cream Cleanser. I use the Walmart equivalent Equate brand. Works the same, but half the price. Wash with that for a couple minutes, rinse, slather on some Pantene hair conditioner, and prepare for a great shave.
Hope this advice is helpful.
Proper lather building (http://badgerandblade.com/vb/showthread.php?t=9) and skin stretching (http://badgerandblade.com/vb/showthread.php?t=4026) could greatly help the situation.
08-19-2006, 03:38 AM
All excellent suggestions as always. LT you still have not mention what you do to prep your face and that might help. There are excellent suggestions for prepping your face in this thread. The angle #'s is a mind game, I'm with Goose on this one, just go by feel, you'll know when the blade gets to the hair. Super lubricating soaps/creams in addition to preshave routine might just do it.
Hang in there we are all in this together,
08-19-2006, 05:17 AM
Get the sampler pack of Letterk and be amazed how important it is to use the right blade for your face type.
I started out with the Israeli's switched to then a Derby ,opened my eyes and then the Swedish Gillettes and then the Feather.. oh boy.. its just better, best. awesome upgrades.
Good luck dont give up ! were all here for you to succeed. and I think credit should go to John aka Letterk for doing a good job. it aint easy and def. time consumming to make the packs but its a high Service to B&B. welldone.
Hope the 200 Derby's do arrive soon John..THEY BETTER ! enjoyed the chopin cd ! awesome ....
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