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Thread: Sensitive faces: Who has given up on against the grain shaving?

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    Default Sensitive faces: Who has given up on against the grain shaving?

    Whether it was my Thiers-Issard 5/8 or Merkur Progress, I would always get nicks and irritation if I tried a single pass with the grain plus an additional pass against the grain. I don't know if it was my technique because I'm fairly new at this, but I would shave very meticulously and still get irritation and nicks. I would even use top-notch stuff like the Art of Shaving soap AND pre-shave oil.

    My skin didn't look nor feel good at all. That alum block did a great deal of sting, too. Well, I only shave with a single pass with the grain now. Even across the grain is pushing it, as I still get a nick or two.

    Anyone else like me who only does a single pass with the grain?

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    It is probably your technique. If I were you, I would do two passes with the grain (WTG). After a few weeks, I would add in an across the grain (XTG) pass. Finally, I would add the against the grain (ATG) pass.

    Which blade are you using in the progress? What prep are you doing? How is your blade angle?
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    If you're taking a poll, I just do a single pass WTG and find the results to be quite acceptable. My razor is one that has been described as aggressive, so maybe that's a factor. It's hard for me to be completely WTG on the neck, but I do as best as I reasonably can.

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    I haven't.

    I have (actual) sensitive skin, but am fortunate enough to have light facial hair. Your prep and, most of all technique, will make all the difference in the world. Oh. Having a really, really, really sharp blade helps as well. Don't be shy in sending out your TI for a rehone once your skills have developed a little.
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    I do two WTG passes and get nice close shaves.
    I've given up on XTG and ATG and haven't been missing them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Virgo Thing View Post
    Anyone else like me who only does a single pass with the grain?
    95% of the time that's all I do. Occassionally I'll do a second pass ATG, but generally only if I don't think I'm going to shave the next day.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Virgo Thing View Post
    My skin didn't look nor feel good at all. That alum block did a great deal of sting, too. Well, I only shave with a single pass with the grain now. Even across the grain is pushing it, as I still get a nick or two.
    Sound like you are using too much pressure during your shave. The alum is stinging because you are taking off a layer off skin. The thicker the layer removed, the more painful it will be. You should feel the alum but not feel the alum, if you get my meaning. Try using a light as touch as possible. When you get the hang of it, ratchet up the pressure until you get the shave you want.
    "I wonder what it's like to shave with Occam's razor."

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    Quote Originally Posted by Virgo Thing View Post
    Whether it was my Thiers-Issard 5/8 or Merkur Progress, I would always get nicks and irritation if I tried a single pass with the grain plus an additional pass against the grain. I don't know if it was my technique because I'm fairly new at this, but I would shave very meticulously and still get irritation and nicks. I would even use top-notch stuff like the Art of Shaving soap AND pre-shave oil.
    Good tools and products won't make up for poor technique. And the learning process with a straight is a long one. My own experience with them is I couldn't even manage a XTG pass, and a very bad WTG.

    The Progress is pretty aggressive as DEs go, and a straight is as aggressive as it gets. As a new shaver, such results aren't a surprise. I think most people skin could be called sensitive if they tried a W/ATG while on a learning curve.

    I've given up on ATG passes because I don't need them. A W/XTG gives me a plenty good enough shave, and a further ATG is only going to increase the risk of discomfort.

    Lather is very important, no one can get a comfortable shave without a decent lather. I'd forget ATG for a while and focus on technique, and getting comfortable shaves.

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    With my 11C (Open Comb HD) I wasn't able to do ATG on my neck without lots of ingrowns and irritation. Amazingly enough though with a slant I'm able to go ATG with no issues at all, that little bit of built-in slicing motion did the trick.

    So perhaps in the OP's case some new technique could help out such as the "Gillette slide" or shaving with the razor angled.

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    Not me. ATG everyday.
    “The things you used to own, now they own you.”

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    ATG on most areas of the face every day, but my chin is a nightmare when it comes to ATG....cuts, irritation, burning, etc. So I only do that when I have an important function that I need to look spiffy for...dates and the like. Otherwise I do a XATG pass....that is, diagonal upwards...that's about as close to ATG that I can do there.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Virgo Thing View Post
    I'm fairly new at this, but I would shave very meticulously and still get irritation and nicks. I would even use top-notch stuff like the Art of Shaving soap AND pre-shave oil.
    I suggest avoiding the ATG pass until you get more experience. The ATG shave requires that:
    Your beard had been reduced already to short whiskers.
    Your face and whiskers are well-conditioned (soft whiskers, standing up).
    You can move a razor across your face without touching your skin (well, almost not touching).

    ATG requires steady hands, and experience, unless you have a face of granite.

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    I do a partial ATG pass when I use a safety razor, but I really only do one pass with straight razors with touchups in the more coarse areas and sharp contours. I wouldn't say I've given up on ATG, but rather it became largely superfluous.
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    I go ATG every time I shave. It wasn't easy at first because I hadn't unlearned using pressure from my dark cartridge days. Once I learned how to use a light touch, ATG is zero problem. This evening, I got such a good shave that applying witch hazel felt like splashing on water. You can get there, too, but you have to learn how to keep a very light grip on the razor. It might seem counterintuitive at first, but once the light xomes on you'll have excellent shaves.

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    I absolutely cannot shave against the grain no matter what type of razor I use.

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    I usually only do a single WTG pass, and only go the whole banana when I have a reason to shave extremely close or if I won't be able to shave the next day. Nothing to do with sensitive skin, though... just keeping my shave time down cause I got other things to do, like scratch myself or let my mind go blank because I forgot what I was thinking about. (Redneck Zen Meditation).
    "A noble heart embiggens the smallest man." (Jebediah Springfield)

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    For me, it look a total revamp of everything for me to be able to go ATG...I mean everything. I modified my brush with O rings because it was way to floppy and I didn't feel it had enough backbone to exfoliate, I watched videos to find that my lather was garbage, switched razors and blades, changed my prep but the big one for me was I went from cream to soap. Since switching to soap (Mama Bear) I have yet to experience ANY razor burn and to be honest, since I only go for BBS shaves and shave every day, my first pass is ATG. What I also suggest you focus on, and I know that EVERYONE says this, is how you are shaving. You have to find what works for you. For me, my whole shave is almost like a series of buffer passes. I know people that if they tried that, their face would be on fire and full of cuts.

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    I had what I thought was sensitive skin. Back when I was using the Fusion, Mach 3, etc. With the DE I have found that a little less angle on the ATG helps a lot! More parallel to the floor on the handle keeps the blade from scraping the skin. Of course adjustments along the way helps a lot.
    Basically I can hold the razor with more angle for the initial WTG pass. Holding the handle down more, that allows the blade to be more aggressive. As the hair is removed you can bring the handle up more which reduces the blade contact.

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    I had given up on ATG, but I just tried it and whilst I have no irritation my shave is no better for it. As I have suffered irritation when I have gone ATG I'm just not going to bother anymore.
    Last edited by Speedwell68; 07-27-2010 at 05:08 AM.
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