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Thread: New African American member seeking tips

  1. #41

    Default

    Out of curiosity, are you shaving WTG solely, or doing successive passes?

    I think your best bet would be a Lord Tech Razor. It's ~10 USD and a miracle-worker.

    I'm ingrown-prone and find this razor, used in conjunction with any blade, to make for perfect shaves - albeit XTG is as far as I'll go.

    It's head size is perfect - non-bulky - so you can really pay attention to what you're shaving and the direction in which you're doing so.

    As for removal of ingrowns, BHAs, AHAs and Aspirin Tonics may work, but you can't beat manual extraction.

  2. #42
    lesiki

    Default My African-skin shave

    Hi all.. I've been lurking around these forums for a few months now, and as I finally have something to contribute I thought I'd join.

    I've been struggling with razor bumps for years; I am not African American, just straight African .

    When I started shaving, I used multi-blade cartridge razors which worked fine while my mane was more of a young teen fuzz, but once it thickened the bumps began.. eventually they were pretty bad and I had no solution for years. I tried everything I could get my hands on without research - more blades, less blades, electric, disposable.. nothing worked.

    Then I came across this site and a few others recommending DE razors, and I got myself a Merkur HD. This was a big improvement, and after plenty of cuts and blood-loss I improved my technique a bit.. the bumps didn't go away all together though. Most bumps were on my neck, where the hair grows in all sorts of directions - I tried to map them but that's just impossible, I'd need a razor with milimeter precision to always shave WTG

    In the summer last year, I forgot my HD at home in Kenya (I live in England), and replaced it with a Merkur Futur to try it, mainly because of it's adjustability.. I cannot recommend this razor highly enough!

    I tried level 1.0 first, and have never changed it since. It's just so easy on my skin, and I get good shaves every time, with only the occasional bump here or there following rushed shaves.

    Now, I tried the method shave, but over time I've customised it slightly. Here are my personal tips for anyone with hair like mine (extremely curly, growing in all sorts of directions on the neck):

    1) Merkur Futur on the most conservative level - I'm sure the only reason my HD didn't fully satisfy me was because my technique is still amateurish. But with the Futur on this level, it's almost impossible to shave too aggressively, and it really helps with the angle as well - just roll from horizontal to the point where the blade just touches the whiskers.

    2) Following the grain is good, but not the most important factor - I find that just concentrating on pressure (none at all), angle (between handle and face should be close to 90 degrees), stroke length (do not take long, sweeping strokes; short, smooth ones) are the most important thing. When I tried too much to follow my confusing grain, I struggled to find any pattern. What I do now is one pass North to South (everywhere) which usually suffices, then maybe a South - North pass under the neck in stubborn spots

    That's all.

    I use Wilkinson Sword shaving soap and brush and Nivea for men extra sensitive aftershave balm. Nothing fancy. Oh, and Tend Skin Solution for when those occasional bumps do pop up. I've tried so many different ingrown hair solutions, this one actually worked for me. Smells horrid though.
    I know experts' opinions may vary and what I've suggested is not the method shave, but in my experience it's given me great shaves without irritation, so I'd recommend giving it a try. Get a Futur!

    And thanks to everyone who's left information on here that helped me in the past.. I read so many threads and gathered so much different information so I can't really point at just one post, but to all of you - thank you very much, this forum helped me enjoy shaving and get good results for the first time in my life.

  3. #43

    Default

    Don't get a big Futur. It's a waste.

    Get a lower-priced DE with a well-designed head: the Lord Tech and its long-handled counterpart are phenomenal. BIC Sensitives, as cvac suggested, are also excellent for what they are - throwaways - and require no learning curve.

    The Lord Tech I'm speaking of has a head on it designed in such a way that making the conversion from cartridge to DE is a breeze. No fixed-headed Merkur can offer you this in the same capacity.

    With ingrowns, it's a matter of mechanics: handling the razor with a hand steady and gentle may eliminate any undue razor burn or nicking, but if you're ingrown-prone and shaving hairs below your skin's surface, you'll be getting ingrowns.

    All the prep. in the world can't outdo this simple science.

  4. #44

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Dawgneck View Post
    cvac, are the bic sensitives the same type of razor as the bump fighters?
    No, bic sensitives don't have the wire guard that the bump fighters do. I've never tried bump fighters, btw. Anyway, bic sensitives are simple plastic disposables that only have one blade to cut with, instead of 2/3/4 like most modern disposable razors. Since the bics set the angle for you b/c of the curved head, there isn't a learning curve like with the DE. I would caution you not to rush your shave too much no matter what you are shave with. But I find I can shave with a bic sensitive and aveeno cream in under ten minutes with no cuts if I'm careful. A DE shave for me takes 30 minutes at least.

    Dawg, is your Gillette slim an adjustable razor? If so, that's what I started with, but it was a black handled one which is called the super. I liked it so much I bought a chrome slim adj. that is on the way. I'm just learning to shave with a more aggro fixed head razor now, after a few months. Definitely takes more care than the slim on a 1-3 setting. In general, I'm a fan of adjustable razors and I think lesiki has a point about the ability to fine tune to a mild setting. I think the mild setting works best with a very sharp blade.
    http://wiki.badgerandblade.com/User:cvac

  5. #45
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Florence, AL
    Posts
    806

    Default

    Hi Dawgneck........WELCOME!!!!!!

    While I am not an African-American, I, like most others here have been fighting the, until recently, seemingly uphill battle against ingrown hairs. I used a Mach3 Turbo razor for a while and tried all manner of gels and other drug store riff-raff. I knew that I was eventually going to the 100% DE/cream soon, but wanted to 'train' my face in stages. I then moved to a Bump Figher razor with Trac II blades to I could get used to a head that didn't pivot. That was useful I think. Long story short.....I had my second full DE shave today and got a VERY close shave with absolutely minimal irritation (a few nicks bc of technique) and wont be going back!

    All of that being said......if you are interested, I feel this would be a fine occassion to do my first P.I.F. (Pay It Forward). I would be willing to send you free of charge the Bump Fighter razor, six new Trac II blades, a used Body Shop Synthetic brush, and a tube of 80% or so full C.O. Bigelow (Proraso Green) shave cream. This might be a good 'first step' to a better shave if you are still waiting for your other supplies to come in or just want to take baby steps. Let me know if you are interested!

  6. Default

    Has anyone else tried shaving with just plain ol' Olive Oil? It has literally been the only thing that has completely eliminated my razor bumps and ingrown hairs. I shave with a Merkur Futur on setting 4.5 (very aggressive), and have yet to get one nick or ingrown hair.

    When I started shaving a few weeks ago with my Merkur Futur, I was using lather and a badger hair brush (which I'll be selling shortly) and was still getting some razor bumps on one side of my neck. Switching to "oil shaving" completely got rid of those bumps and has eliminated the problem altogether for me. I can literally make as many passes as I want with oil (which you'll need to do in order to get a closer shave), but after the shave there is absolutely NO irritation. And most importantly, the day after there are no razor bumps or ingrowns. My neck does not itch at all like it normally would either the day after.

    I'm still a newbie, so is there anyone else with more experience who only shaves with oil, who has found it to work amazingly well at preventing/eliminating razor bumps and ingrown hairs?
    Merkur Futur, Dovo 5/8, Silver Steel 6/8 (Unknown)
    Rooney 1/2 Super Silvertip

    "It's all about bucks kid, and the rest is just conversation."

    Jon

  7. #47
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Land of the Morning Calm
    Posts
    6,865

    Default

    Welcome to B&B!
    As a newb to DE shaving myself, I can honestly say there is truth to the fact that:
    A) You'll find a ton of folks to help you craft your shave and
    B) You'll find every product under the sun here to make the perfect fit for you

    Glad to have you! As a newb, I can't offer advice, but I can surely tough it out with you. From what I've been told, the first DE shave isn't the best...my best advice is dont get discouraged! Stick with it.
    Chris
    Steward of the B&B Clubhouse

  8. #48
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Florence, AL
    Posts
    806

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by jonnyjon84 View Post
    Has anyone else tried shaving with just plain ol' Olive Oil? It has literally been the only thing that has completely eliminated my razor bumps and ingrown hairs. I shave with a Merkur Futur on setting 4.5 (very aggressive), and have yet to get one nick or ingrown hair.

    When I started shaving a few weeks ago with my Merkur Futur, I was using lather and a badger hair brush (which I'll be selling shortly) and was still getting some razor bumps on one side of my neck. Switching to "oil shaving" completely got rid of those bumps and has eliminated the problem altogether for me. I can literally make as many passes as I want with oil (which you'll need to do in order to get a closer shave), but after the shave there is absolutely NO irritation. And most importantly, the day after there are no razor bumps or ingrowns. My neck does not itch at all like it normally would either the day after.

    I'm still a newbie, so is there anyone else with more experience who only shaves with oil, who has found it to work amazingly well at preventing/eliminating razor bumps and ingrown hairs?
    I'm not sure how many use olive oil per se, but I know there are a number that use preshave oil for that purpose.

  9. #49
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    27
    Thread Starter

    Default Still waiting for gear to arrive

    Everyone, thanks for your posts! Iím getting a lot of good info from all of you while I wait for the gear to arrive.

    I believe Iíve reached a point where Skin Tight / Tend Skin canít help anymore. I hope the DE will take my skin to the next level.

    Pbroddi and LastManStanding, I have already started using your prep tips. Thanks.

    Jonnyjon84, I tried preshave oil and straight oil before, but my cartridges got dull after one or two shaves and were always hard to clean. I will try your technique with the DE blade at least once and see how it works for me.

    BullDawg, how are those feathers working for you?

    Crag, I read that thread before you posted your suggestion. It was very informative. Thanks.

    Boyextraordinare, WTG solely. XTG and ATG always chopped my face and neck to pieces, but remember I was using a 5-blade Fusion cartridge.

    Lesiki and Boyextraordinare, since I already purchased the Slim and HD, Iíd like to try these out for a while before looking at other razors. Thanks for the tips, though. If the Slim and HD donít work for me, Iíll revisit your suggestions.

    CVAC, yes, the Slim is an adjustable razor. It should arrive any day now. Iím sure Iíll start it out at 1 and ease upward from there.

    Cammyfive, Iím interested in your Pay It Forward offer but I donít know what the P.I.F. concept is? Can you please explain it to me?

  10. #50

    Default

    I think you'll end up doing well.

  11. #51

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Dawgneck View Post

    CVAC, yes, the Slim is an adjustable razor. It should arrive any day now. I’m sure I’ll start it out at 1 and ease upward from there.
    Make sure you open the buttefly doors before adjusting, otherwise the adjustment won't work. 1 is super mild. I'd start with 2 or 3 and see how that goes. Sharp blades work well on this setting for me. (I mean blades that are sharp, not "sharp brand" blades, never tried those)

    Good luck.
    http://wiki.badgerandblade.com/User:cvac

  12. #52

    Default

    You're most welcome Dawg.

    You've had lots of great advice, hope it all works out for you. (I'm sure it will)

    My 67 Slim Adjustable just arrived 10 minutes ago! Oh, baby.......

  13. #53
    Pogo

    Default Summary on Shave Bumps

    Dawgneck: Welcome to the fraternity.

    Visit this site for a good overview: http://www.aocd.org/skin/dermatologi...liculitis.html.

    Here is a quotation from the Bic Website: "If you suffer from razor bumps or ingrown hairs (Pseudofolliculitis Barbae or PFB), Dermatologists [sic] recommend using a single-blade shaver, such as the BIC Classic Sensitive Shaver™."

    The general principle is don't shave too close. This excludes multiple-blade razors, multiple passes, against-the-grain, across-the-grain, skin stretching, and aggressive settings on adjustable razors.

    The advise of ClubmanRob apropos the Bump Fighter razor may be your solution. Bump Fighter products are, however, difficult to find.

    Personally, I suggest avoiding the Merkur Futur and Merkur Vision. There are overpriced, fiddly to load and maintain, way too heavy, and their smooth surfaces are difficult to grip with wet hands. I found Merkur plating substandard; it comes off in chips.

    I am told that, in some jobs, the problem can be so intractable that afflicted men have gotten letters from their physicians to excuse them from shaving and allowing them to grow beards.

    Have you tried a depilatory yet? This link may help: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GejXtVkwhyk.

    Electric products may help. See these sites: http://www.wahl-store.com/product_de...#37;207060-700, and http://www.wahl-store.com/product_de...WAH%209940-600.

    Hope this helps.

    Good luck.

    Pogo
    Last edited by Pogo; 01-29-2009 at 03:12 AM. Reason: Insertion

  14. Default Just ordered 100 Feathers

    [QUOTE=Dawgneck;969208]
    BullDawg, how are those feathers working for you?

    Hey Dawgneck, the Feathers worked out so well over the last few days that I've ordered 100 ($37 shipped from Canada from a guy on ebay). Apparently they aren't as scary as some people say when combined with proper prep and good form and technique. My Merkur Barber Pole Slant should arrive next week. We'll see how that goes

    Also, thanks to the poster that recommended exfoliating the night before a shave with Liquid African Black Soap. I purchased some (along with a loofa) based on your advice and it has worked extremely well

  15. Default Thanks Pbroddi and Crag

    Thanks Proddi for the advice on exfoliating the night before with Liquid Black African Soap (got that from the older post referenced by Crag). I'm also trying the Aloe Vera as you recommended

    Thanks Crag for linking back to that original disucssion thread from a couple years ago. Great info there

  16. #56

    Default

    Your very welcome Dawg. That's what we are here for to share ideas, trial and error and provide that information to the public. Good luck a stick with it as it will get easier and more enjoyable.

  17. #57
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Florence, AL
    Posts
    806

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Dawgneck View Post
    Everyone, thanks for your posts! Iím getting a lot of good info from all of you while I wait for the gear to arrive.

    I believe Iíve reached a point where Skin Tight / Tend Skin canít help anymore. I hope the DE will take my skin to the next level.

    Pbroddi and LastManStanding, I have already started using your prep tips. Thanks.

    Jonnyjon84, I tried preshave oil and straight oil before, but my cartridges got dull after one or two shaves and were always hard to clean. I will try your technique with the DE blade at least once and see how it works for me.

    BullDawg, how are those feathers working for you?

    Crag, I read that thread before you posted your suggestion. It was very informative. Thanks.

    Boyextraordinare, WTG solely. XTG and ATG always chopped my face and neck to pieces, but remember I was using a 5-blade Fusion cartridge.

    Lesiki and Boyextraordinare, since I already purchased the Slim and HD, Iíd like to try these out for a while before looking at other razors. Thanks for the tips, though. If the Slim and HD donít work for me, Iíll revisit your suggestions.

    CVAC, yes, the Slim is an adjustable razor. It should arrive any day now. Iím sure Iíll start it out at 1 and ease upward from there.

    Cammyfive, Iím interested in your Pay It Forward offer but I donít know what the P.I.F. concept is? Can you please explain it to me?
    Pay It Forward, as I understand it, is a concept where one member of this board helps out without charge another member that is usually new or newer at this whole wet-shaving hobby. The unspoken understanding is that someday, if you are in a position to help out another member (i.e. by donating some no longer used items), you would do so in the spirit of continuing to 'pay it forward'. That's what makes this board so great in my opinion.

  18. #58
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Cambridge, England
    Posts
    142

    Default

    Welcome Dawg. I live in the "sticks" in England and had no chance of handling a DE, so I went for the HD after reading all the good reviews. The HD is fantastic; I am getting the best, closest and most enjoyable shaves of my life. For me the combination of HD and Derbys has proved unbeatable. But the only others blades I have tried are Persona and Merkurs, which IMO were not as good as Derbys.
    [FONT="Arial"][FONT="Trebuchet MS"][/FONT][/FONT][FONT="Comic Sans MS"]Cheers, David

    *[COLOR="DarkSlateBlue"]Merkur HD
    *Blades: Feathers/Gillette 7 O'clock/Derby Extra
    *Creams:Trumper GFT/St Johns of London Cedarwood & Clarysage
    *Soaps: going to try one of these days :w00t:
    *Brush: cheap Boar which does the job :eek:[/FONT][/COLOR]

    [I]"[FONT="Trebuchet MS"]Rugby is a hooliganís game played by gentleman; soccer is a gentlemanís game played by hooligans"[/I][/FONT]

  19. #59

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Bulldawg View Post
    Thanks Proddi for the advice on exfoliating the night before with Liquid Black African Soap (got that from the older post referenced by Crag). I'm also trying the Aloe Vera as you recommended

    Thanks Crag for linking back to that original disucssion thread from a couple years ago. Great info there
    You're welcome.

    The liquid black soap is my favourite product. It's so versitile, you can shower or bathe in it, wash your hair.....hell, even my wife uses it as a make up remover!! Smells fantastic! People I've recommended it to tell me they've had to hide it from their families because everyone wants some!

    If the aloe vera gel is too gooey, try aloe juice from your health food store. works just as well.

  20. #60
    LBC Kel

    Default

    I am a Newbie to wet shaving as well. I have only been using a DE for 2 months. I too am African American and switched in order to clear up some ingrown hairs. I have two DE razors, the Vision and Futur. I like the weight and feel of the Futur more. They both shave about the same, the Futur is just easier to handle.

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