I have a very coarse/thick beard coupled with sensitive skin. I've been DE shaving for a month. While the HD has done very well, I need something much more aggressive that allows a DFS/BBS with less passes. Currently it takes me 4 passes with touchup and my face is on fire!
So, here's the question - slant or mergress? I've heard all the talk on the slant (great for sensitive skin, BBS in 2 passes . . . ). But, could the mergress offer the same reduction in required passes while offering the flexibility of adjustability (that the slant can't do)?
I know that some folks will just say get feathers. But, I'm not looking to buy high end blades at high cost. Derbys and Red IPs are great. And, I'd actually like to just live off VDH soap and Walmart blades, which is why I am pursuing the razor upgrade.
As usual, your advice is much appreciated. Thanks gents!
I have the same skin and hair combo and LOVE my Gillette Red Tip SS. I cannot use Derbys or Red IPs with my hair type. I use my Gillette 7OClock green pack blades every morning and at like $0.15 a blade are a great deal sharper than either of the two you mentioned.
I received a SS red tip from my grandfather's drawer. I haven't tried it yet. I hear it's not that aggressive. Don't our skin types need "aggressive"?
Where do you get your 7 o'clocks?
I picked em up on from a guy on B&B the thread is here
Aggressive in what way? An adjustable like a Mergress is going to allow you to hold the handle of the razor away from your face a little more than you would with an HD, but this isn't going to be the magic bullet allowing you to get BBS in less passes. Technique, blade selection, and even beard prep and lather should have a much greater effect on going BBS or DFS than having a razor with a bigger gap will.
Originally Posted by odawg
Have you tried an open comb razor? You owe it to yourself to try a vintage Gillette New Improved or NEW.
Originally Posted by odawg
A sharper blade would help you mow down that beard with less pressure.
If your face is on fire and it cost 10 cents more to stop it, would that not be worth it?
I have sensitive skin and a beard like a BBQ brush. I make at least 6 passes every time I shave and have zero irritation. So can you. The right prep and the right tools and most importantly the right technique will deliver that great shave to you.
Hi Odawg, I have the same problem beard/skin. Try Gillette's Aftershave Gel for Sensitive Skin, it is great stuff. Also, don't be hesitant to try different blades, Derby's work well for me.
To be honest, I really do not believe going to a Mergress, or a Slant is going to be the magic cure. Matter of fact, in my newbie opinion I think getting something better than US Personna's and cheap soap would do more for a closer shave than a new razor...but I'm a newbie so who knows
I interpret my "aggressive" needs as being able to mow down my tough beard with less passes. And maybe blades are the place to start. I haven't gotten a sampler pack yet. I've tried Derbys and Red IPs. They both do about the same. They last 4-5 shaves of 3-4 passes each. But, they don't seem to cut like butter.
I'm afraid I'll like Feathers or Swedish gillettes. Where do people buy there blades in bulk by the way? Especially those weird blades like sputnik, wilkinsons, lords, etc.
I know westcoastshaving has sampler packs but I see alot more choices at tryphon (sp?) - maybe too much.
Can you describe what you're doing for your four passes (e.g. 1. WTG, 2. XTG, etc.)?
Try a gillette Adjustable.
I have the same combo; heavy beard, sensitive skin.
Merkurs just don't do it for me. I feel like I'm tugging a little bit, regardless of blade.
Gillette TTO's just GLLLLIIIIIDDDEEEE so easily across the face.
And +1 on green 7 O'Clocks. I think I introduced them to AaronX .
Slant bar with feather blades work with sensitive skin as it require less passes; just make sure you practice and get the right angle & pressure(none) first
Viva el Sebo!!
1st pass WTG, 2nd pass XTG, 3rd pass XTG (the other way), if I do a 4th pass it's ATG (where I can handle it w/o irritation), then touch up.
My face is on fire, but not irritated like my fusion days. I just want a blade/razor that cuts like butter across my face.
Well, it's the ATG pass that gets us thick bearded guys BBS, so you simply need to cut out a middle man (or two). I'd start by doing only one XTG pass if I were you.
Originally Posted by odawg
How's your beard prep? A lot of guys here swear by not washing their face with soap pre-shave, but I find that hot water and the alkalinity of soap significantly help in softening my beard for a better, less irritating shave.
Now the bad news: You may just not be a candidate for going ATG and therefore have to settle for DFS. I've got a thick beard and going ATG results in the freshly mowed down hair to retract under the surface of the skin and cause me irritation. For years I've blamed faulty technique, not using the right equipment, etc. for my failure to achieve a BBS shave, until I finally accepted that the combination of my thick beard and sensitive skin just won't allow it. That's not to say that your (and my) technique can't use improvement; there's always more to learn. One tip that may help if you're not already doing this, is to not to press the HD head onto your face, but let the weight of it be the only pressure that's applied. There are actually a lot of experienced shavers on this forum that no longer attempt ATG passes. My DFS, however, is pretty damn fine!
Last edited by Norbert Sykes; 10-10-2008 at 02:23 PM.
Thanks. I've tried the XTG, then ATG reduced pass shave a couple of times. It turns out decent and definitely a lot less irritating.
My prep consists of shower (conditioner and soap the beard). Then sometimes I use a preshave oil, other times I don't. I also recently bought proraso pre/post. I haven't used it for pre-shave yet and hear it's not all that, but it's worth trying.
My technique for no head pressure has drastically improved over the early days, as has my blade angle. But, there is much more room to improve.
I also think that my face just needs to heal after 17 years of really bad shaves. It has improved greatly since I started DE, and I hope that as my skin heals, my shaves will get better. Or I'll just have to go back to my dirty hippie beard of college days.
DFS will be fine enough for me. Sure, I'd love BBS, but I've never had one and may never, so I can't expect it.