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Thread: Any advice?

  1. #1
    It's only a face, I guess.
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    Default Any advice?

    Ok, I'll give you a few details about myself so that you may offer any advice, if you have any.

    I have been shaving with a straight razor for about 3 months now, after buying a Dovo Shavette.

    I have got to the point where I can shave a first pass, and on most occassions a second pass, without cutting myself. Although, if I'm honest, 'cutting' myself has never been the problem (as it has only ever happened when I am careless).

    The problem is that cutting with the grain, and then cutting across the grain (on the second pass), leaves me shaved, but it isn't that smooth. It's quite clear that a third pass, against the grain, would be necessary to make the skin totally smooth (and it does). However, whenever I shave the third pass, against the grain, the skin pulls, and it is quite painful. When the shave is finished (after a third pass), the skin starts to bleed and it 'bumps', and usually becomes inflamed with a redish appearance. It doesn't bleed from a clean 'cut', as such, but tends to produce many tiny 'spots' of blood, instead. This generally makes my face look ridiculous for the rest of the day.

    So, I can shave fine for a first and second pass, but the skin is not that smooth (despite being devoid of hair). However, a third pass seems totally out of the question.

    I have tried all sorts of skin preparation, and the razor is very sharp when it has a new blade (although I find it much, much easier to shave with a blade that has been used a couple of times, rather than a fresh one).

    Am I doing something wrong, with regard to the third pass?

    Some people seem to be able to get a very smooth shave with only a second pass across the grain.

    However, when I shave with my safety razor, I can get perfectly smooth skin, by shaving against the grain, with no irritation or problems whatsoever.

    Why should this not be the same with a straight razor, if I can shave well enough on a first and second pass?

    Thanks

  2. #2
    what Dad calls me nun2sharp's Avatar
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    Are you lathering before every pass, how much pressure are you putting on the blade?
    It is easier to fool people than to convince them they have been fooled. Twain

  3. #3
    It's only a face, I guess.
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    Quote Originally Posted by nun2sharp View Post
    Are you lathering before every pass, how much pressure are you putting on the blade?
    I wash my face with hot water, and re-lather with a brush, before every pass. I also apply a little oil before I lather, too, as I find that this helps to lubricate the blade.

    I apply only a very little pressure to the blade. I find that when the blade is not brand new, I can apply a little more pressure and get a slightly closer shave.

    However, with only a first and second pass, the shave is not nearly as close as I can get it with my safety razor, with no irritation.

  4. #4
    Senior Member prosneek's Avatar
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    First, your face may not be able to handle that many passes at once. Try shaving WTG first and then ATG second to get a close shave and eliminate 1 pass on your face. Second, your face may not be able to deal with AGT shaving. I have 2 spots on my neck that cannot deal with it. If that is the case, you may have to do multiple passes WTG or XTG. It may also be an angle thing.

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    Scutarius Fbones24's Avatar
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    To be honest, this same thing was happening to me. I even posted on here about how at one point, my best shave in over a month came from my old Fusion.

    My only advice is that it takes time, practice, proper prep and excellent technique. I am now at the point where I can shave everyday with a straight, one pass WTG and get almost the same smoothness as I could with my old fusion. Now, if I add a XTG pass, I am smoother.

    What helped me get over the edge, was when I eased up a lot on the pressure I was using. When I realized that the actual pressure used when shaving is very, very light, I turned the proverbial corner and have not looked back.

  6. #6
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    Am I reading correctly that your razor is a shavette? If so be aware that they are much less forgiving than the real thing. A proper straight should be used with a very light touch, and a shavette with an even lighter touch. Though you aren't cutting yourself it sounds like you could be using too much pressure, even if you don't think you are, leading to irritated skin and a rough shave. You may want to re-examine your prep as well. Don't be afraid to overdo it.

    As well, if you think that the blade is too harsh for the initial shave you could try corking the blade. I've never done it myself, but some guys feel it takes away some harshness away from a fresh shavette blade.

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    illegitimum non carborundum Utopian's Avatar
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    Light touch, correct angle, and a scything stroke will all improve your shave.

    The touch should be so light that you are not certain if the blade is touching your skin.
    The angle is the distance between the spine and the skin. and you can best determine the proper angle by trial and error. Most recommend a 30 degree angle but personally I think a lower angle works much better.
    The scything stroke incorporates a slicing motion into the down stroke of the blade so that the starting and finishing points of the stroke form a parallelogram, whereas a straight down stroke would form a square. This cuts in the same manner as when you slice a tomato--you don't just push the blade straight down.

  8. #8
    At this point in time... gssixgun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Viscious View Post
    I have been shaving with a straight razor for about 3 months now, after buying a Dovo Shavette.

    Why should this not be the same with a straight razor, if I can shave well enough on a first and second pass?

    Thanks
    I am going to walk a fence here, but Shavette style razors are not quite the same as a true SR,,, close but not quite... They are a compromise between the DE and an SR...

    The blades tend to be a bit harsh at first and some even after a few shaves, there is variation between each shave as the blade goes from too harsh, to almost perfect, to too harsh again, as the edge degrades... You are always chasing the blade, instead of tweaking the blade with your strop each morning to your face.....

    The edges are dead straight, also there is no smile at all, and actually very little flex... The corners are sharp, and the blade is rather short, all this tends to be hard for the user to control pressure...These blades were more designed for a hair stylist then for a shaver, but hey they do work ...

    You just really have to work with them if you expect them to substitute for a Straight Razor...

    Now also keep in mind that many people never can do ATG passes with a real SR either so some of this might just be your beard....

  9. #9
    It's only a face, I guess.
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    Thanks for the tips, guys!

    I shaved this morning, and funnily enough, it's the smoothest shave I've ever had.

    I've figured that a much lower angle than 30degrees is necessary for my razor, with my face. I think that this may be a characteristic of the use of a shavette.

    I am finding it difficult to reach some parts of my neck for a 3rd pass, but the rest of my face is totally smooth, and I didn't cut myself on a 3rd pass, at all.

    I think that everything said about the shavette is totally true. However, now that I have had such good results with it, it has tempted me to pay out much more for a set of stuff that I would need for a real straight razor.

  10. #10
    Modern Day Peasant Nightblade's Avatar
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    Just a personal opinion here...I have a Dovo special(tortoise shell scale) and it has been a gem to shave with.It's an excellent affordable first shaver.First and foremost,when you get your blade whatever you choose,make sure it is shave ready. STRAIGHT RAZOR DESIGNS guarantees it to be so and also give you a coupon for a second honing free when your blade gets dull(which should take awhile). Strop carefully and slowly to start as there is no need to rush.Speed comes over time with careful practice.If you get your blade factory direct it is not guaranteed to be shave ready.There are plenty of folks here that are very good honemeisters,GSSIXGUN is one of them. Once you get the pressure thing down you will be a happy shaver.Also ,make sure you have a good quality soap or cream as that is also crucial.Just make sure to do some quality research before making your purchase so you are absolutely sure of what your getting.As most important of all ,as it has been said many a time here........Have fun !

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