This could be a challenging one:
I've been hanging out on here and on SMF ("Newbie Burns Down Face") and reading myself blind for the last month. Despite lots of good advice on SMF, I've managed to probably louse things up and got lousy results. Undoubtedly MY bad, not theirs.
I'm a 57 year old white male with very curly hair, an INSANELY TOUGH BEARD (all white and grey), Sensitive Skin, every-increasing vertical lines on my neck -- and a really thick head for instructions.
For over 40 years, I've shaved with moderate to severe razor burn virtually all of the time. I've used every electric razor ever made -- each one tore up my face. All of Gillette's and Schick's razors have really hurt me, except for the M3 Power, which I have used for the last year. The M3P with M3 shave cream, used in the shower after a long, hot shower provided the closest shave -- but still with less razor burn than other razors. I had to use a NEW M3P blade EACH DAY (due to dullness, tugging, and general discomfort with day-old blades). I could only get a close shave by going against the grain at least twice after first going with the grain. Until last year, no aftershave would help alleviate the burn this caused. Then I discovered TENDSKIN -- I have purchased a 10 oz $50 bottle every two months now for over a year. It STINGS -- but it kills the burn after a while.
This is my "best" combo so far:
For the last week, I've shaved with the Progress/Merkur (setting 1 or 2) combo at the sink after my shower. I've used mild face soap in the shower, put hair conditioner on my face for the duration of the shower, then let warm/hot water run on my face for at least 3 minutes at the end of the shower. Then, at the sink, I've applied a warm wash cloth to my face, applied PSO, then lathered Nancy Boy to a nice peak in a bowl in my hotpot. I've done a N/S pass on my cheeks, then a S/N pass on my neck. I've been VERY careful to apply no pressure or negative pressure as I shaved. The pass removed "some" hair, but not enough to resemble even a "poor" shave -- and I got a NASTY razor burn anyway. My chin, of course, has been inflamed, so I've skipped it now for 3 days.
I've purchased WAY too much stuff (some notes included):
Merkur SS Blades
Feather Platinum Blades
Israeli Personna Blades - SEVERE irritation
Vulfix #2234 Brush
Trumper Rose Cream - irritation
Trumper Limes Cream
Taylor's Avocado Cream
St. Charles New Spice Soap
St. Charles Tony's Choice Aftershave -
Proraso Green Tube Shave Cream - irritation
Proraso Pre-Post Cream
Nancy Boy Shave Cream
Nancy Boy Pre-Shave Oil - too thick
AOS Unscented Cream - not enough lubrication
AOS Lavender Pre-Shave Oil - too thick (nasty)
Pacific Shave Oil
Trumpers Rose Skin Food - irritation
D.R. Harris Aftershave Milk - FANTASTIC (after TENDSKIN)
There you have it! Now -- should I keep shaving with the Progress/Merkur on a setting of 1-2 with one pass, as I describe? Should I increase the setting? I used a Feather 2 days ago, carefully, and it worked much better than the Merkur. It definitely feels like the Merkur blade is not effectively cutting the beard (sound and feel). I've found the Merkur blade pulls severely on the second day of use. So I used a new one each day for the last 2 days -- better results. But still better with a new Feather. BTW, I've never cut myself, even a little, in the last month. Just razor burn.
Perhaps the TENDSKIN has toughened up my beard some? Maybe since I take 36 prescription pills each day, my beard has petrified?
Will continued single pass shaving result in an EASIER shave for me?
Should I use a blowtorch instead?
I'm really frustrated, and it probably shows ... I've come here to B&B now because this seems like a cozy place with some really patient members. I've watched Joel's DVD now about 4 times, so I "should" be familiar with the basic concepts.
Any help is appreciated. I'm gonna hang in here until someone tells me to get lost!